My biggest mistake

Everyone makes mistakes, and they can teach us just as much as our successes.

What is your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?

Katie Keates (BA Law with French, 2011) is one of many alumni who have shared their mistakes with groups of recent graduates, revealing what they have learned from it and how it shaped their career for the better.

Katie explained why she thought she did the ‘wrong’ degree, and how she made the leap from law to recruitment.

No such thing as the ‘wrong’ degree

‘Through my work as a team leader at a recruitment agency, Katie Bard, I often meet recent graduates who might be worried if they want to do something different to what they studied.’ After Katie graduated, she went into law and worked as a Barrister’s Clark for Number 5 Barristers Chambers. It was in that role that she discovered what she truly wanted in a job, helping her decide to pursue a different career path.

Skills that transfer to many roles

‘I spent a lot of time thinking I had to do law; my advice would be to just be open to all opportunities that are available to you and remember there is no ‘wrong’ degree. A graduate may believe that they have locked themselves into a particular career path, but my work with employers proves that it is often the transferable skills that companies prize most highly.

‘I think it is so useful for recent graduates to hear someone say it’s okay to make a mistake. I can stand up and say “I’m proof that a few mistakes can actually be the making of you!”

'My biggest mistake' is part of a series of events designed for recent graduates, where alumni sum up their experiences in just four minutes, then offer advice. If you would like to attend, to share your advice, or have any ideas for future events, please get in touch by emailing alumnicommunications@bham.ac.uk.

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