Alex Manu is the third of three siblings to study Law at BU, following his older sisters Charlotte and Rebecca. While he’s keen to point out that his decision to go down this career path wasn’t to follow in his sisters’ footsteps, he does admit that their experiences at BU had an influence on his decision.
“I think I chose to study here because of the placement year and because I was familiar with the university. I was familiar with the area, I knew the course structure and set up, and I just knew it was good,” he smiles.
“I’d already heard of Sue Warnock (programme and framework leader for BU’s Law degrees) and I already knew about all the different lecturers and all the different people here before I even started,” Alex adds.
He explains that there’s no sibling rivalry when it comes to his studies though, and that his family has been nothing but supportive.
“We’ve always been really encouraging of each other - they’re very supportive when I get my results now and I used to encourage them when I was younger. We’re very different people and we’ve all excelled at different things, so it’s all pretty friendly,” Alex says with a laugh.
He also explains that while both his sisters have gone on to work in jobs outside the legal profession, he intends to train as a solicitor, a decision that was cemented by his placement year.
“My placement was with Law Debenture Trust Corporation, who are commercial trustees based in London. I worked in their commercial trust department, which was a non-legal placement. I really enjoyed working there, but at the end of the experience I realised this wasn’t the route that I wanted to go down.
“What I’ve come away with was invaluable though in terms of my connections and general work experience,” he enthuses.
Alex also reveals that there’s a strong community of BU graduates working at Law Debenture: “It wasn’t until I started working there that I realised that they have a lot of Bournemouth students working for them, and not just from law, but business and finance too.
“So a lot of their employees are BU graduates, and many of their higher level managerial directors had children who studied here too.”
Sue Warnock, programme and framework leader for BU’s Law degrees, explains that BU has a particularly strong connection to Law Debenture Trust Corporation: “They have been a placement provider for 20 years and they always come and give a talk and a lecture to our second-year students. Very often, they’ll conduct their interviews at the university as well, rather than asking students to travel to them in London. Our relationship with them is very strong, and they’re just one example of many companies that we’ve developed close ties with.”
Alex is enthusiastic about every aspect of his course, from his experiences in the moot court in his second year, to his placement and even the hard work he’s putting in as he approaches his finals.
“I would definitely recommend anyone considering Law to come here. One, because I know what it’s like - I know that it’s not an easy course but it’s possible to make your life here and your course easy in a sense because of the lecturers and other staff who are always available to try and help you make it as stress-free as possible.
“The other reason is because of the placement year. I can’t stress the value of that enough. I’ve spoken to employers and I know for a fact that they will take anyone who’s got a 2:1 and a placement year over someone with a first any day because of that industry experience,” he enthuses.
So what next for Alex? Well, he intends to do his Legal Practice Course and train as a solicitor after graduating this summer. Despite being the last in a line of three siblings to graduate from BU, Alex hopes his association with the university won’t end there. He’s keen to stay in touch and come back to talk to future Law students about the possibilities open to them, much like previous BU graduates have done for him.