Pathways mentors

Jason Elward

LLB Law, 2014-2017

For most of secondary school, I knew I always wanted to end up in university because I desired to further my knowledge and gain valuable life skills that would set me up for my future career. I came to the University of Exeter because I loved the amazing campus and the sporty side to the university.

However, I didn’t take the conventional route into studying law at university as I actually completed a whole year of Accounting & Finance before swapping to Law. Having studied Business Studies, Chemistry, English and Maths at A Level, and after having my heart set on a career in finance for about 5 years prior to attending university, I always thought that my future was clear cut. But not everybody makes the right choice when coming to university and Exeter were great with this and they understand that some students aren’t sure of themselves at this stage.  They were brilliant with helping me come to the decision to swap to law, a decision helped by the fact that I studied a Business Law module as part of Accounting & Finance which I found to be very interesting. So my advice would be to try and get some kind of work experience or study experience of law prior to applying as this can give you a good indication of whether you will enjoy studying it at university.

I applied to become a Pathways mentor after reflecting on my journey to law and the tough decisions that I was faced with in coming from a disadvantaged background myself. Knowing that it would be really rewarding if I was able to help people in similar situations, I was thrilled to be accepted to the scheme as I wanted to make an active difference to the community of young, disadvantaged budding law students.

As a Pathways mentor, my main role is to help participants of the scheme by offering them e-mentoring help as and when they require it in order to facilitate their journey through sixth form and their application to university. In addition to my e-mentoring responsibilities, I also have the opportunity to assist the students through academic workshops, trips to court and even residential summer schools. Being a Pathways mentor is something that I have thoroughly enjoyed as not only do I feel a personal sense of reward for giving back to those who, like myself, haven’t had the best chances in life, but you are also offering worthy students the chance to succeed in education and gain the opportunities that they truly deserve.

Hopefully, I will be able to achieve my career ambitions of becoming a commercial solicitor in the city, whilst also being able to continue to partake in pro bono projects such as Pathways to Law.