First, a confession – until earlier this year I had no idea that I was a Tanner student. In fact, to be honest, I didn’t even know who Neil Tanner was until a few months ago.
Completely ignorant of the fact I was doing anything unusual (and rather uncomfortable as I was wearing a new scratchy tweed skirt when I never wore skirts or tweed but didn’t think jeans would go down well) I rocked up for an interview at Hertford. The two male interviewers and the room were so scruffy (flip flops, frayed combat trousers, cardigan with holes in, overflowing ashtrays) my jeans would have been really smart by comparison. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed it – it was like a combination of solving the best puzzles ever and a verbal game of three-dimensional chess, and so I took up a place to read Law.
I had a brilliant three years (hard not to) but the one lasting thing which I believe has shaped my path since is the rather combative approach to learning that was a hallmark of my degree – the constant challenging, arguing, finding new perspectives and seeking the best possible answer. This has stayed with me, and grown with me to this day, and is probably the origin of most of the key decisions I have made so far. I have been lucky enough (and perhaps brave enough?) to have worked for 15 years overseas, mostly in Asia. Full-on, high pressured, energising – fabulous.
It’s clear that having the courage and confidence to challenge and ask questions, and the curiosity to really understand has allowed me to succeed in my career, across different cultures and in such a male-dominated industry. My family would tell you it can work less well in a domestic setting!
And leaving the best ’til last: my family. I managed to squeeze in (or perhaps I should say squeeze out!) four boys. My lads are amazing, and my husband is long suffering and the rock that keeps me sane.
Advice… from me…? Oh look, I’ve used up my 300 words already.