Listen to my story.
I have probably had one of the more unusual journeys on the way to finding myself at a top-tier law firm.
I never did a clerkship ‒ here or at any firm ‒ and had never even actually worked in a law firm before joining Clayton Utz. Instead, I've spent the past decade pursuing a professional triathlon career. I combined this with my studies until I graduated in 2010, when I began to represent Australia at a professional level. This took me to almost every continent on the planet where I raced in the widest variety of conditions, from choking on smog in China to passing out from hypothermia in Norway. I won multiple national titles and represented Australia at World Cup and World Championship level.
After finishing my career, I went from a highly-structured routine with daily, achievable goals, to trawling job advertisements and learning how to construct a resume. This was an especially challenging time for me, particularly when the rejection emails started arriving. But my athletic training had taught me the value of perseverance and attention to detail in my preparation, so despite having literally my first ever job interview of any type, I earnt my dream position here. And while the transition from spending my days outside exercising to being in an office all day learning everything from scratch has been a difficult one, with the help of the Clayton Utz Graduate Program the learning curve has never been too steep and I have always felt supported.
I chose Law because it speaks to my competitive side. As for Clayton Utz, there were all of the obvious reasons. It’s a major firm that works on high-profile matters and offers graduates the very best in training, exposure, assistance and development. Like my sporting days, here at the firm excellence is pursued and high performance is expected. So it's a familiar culture. But more importantly it's an enjoyable one. Success comes when you're happy and because Clayton Utz doesn't look for the same mould of person when assessing applicants, it's created a friendly, collegiate environment that I can honestly say I look forward to coming to each day.
I'm excited for my professional future. The chance to grow and learn within a firm like Clayton Utz is an opportunity I never expected. But I'll also never be able to give up my sport. I plan to continue running at a competitive level, beginning with the Australian Corporate Games in May and later this year in my first ever attempt at a full marathon on the Sunshine Coast in August. And with the support of Clayton Utz, where my work hours are flexible, and I have the chance to go for a run during my lunch break if I choose to, I'm sure I can combine my need to compete with my new career in law.