The dialogue on our GV blog posts have often been centred on the future and what will happen next in the world of immigration.  But today I would like to take you on a journey I like to call retrospect. Candid retrospect. And this has almost everything and nothing to do with immigration.

This time last year I was working in a small retail chain, I had been there three years and really never had an impatient intention to leave.  For a postgraduate law student who takes on a full course and was only into her first year, taking on a position at law firm wasn’t something that immediately fuelled my engine nor did it feel compatible with everything else I wanted to give my time to, like attempting my way through a 101 slices and cakes cookbook.

But then one evening I found myself at my desk, ignoring the existence of my best friend at the edge of my bed waiting to be entertained, and instead frivolously sending off a digitally dusty resume to every position I could realistically fit into (whilst furiously muttering loudly).  It was an impatient intention catalysed by the (last) text sent from one of my seniors in retail.  It was unprofessional, it was sent at an unreasonable time and it lacked complete human compassion or patience.  It was the last straw on the three year old horses back.

And then just a week before I was jetting off to an Island, I found myself tapping my opal on and off more than I had expected in student break season, racing to the city in very tight Zara kitten heels I had bought moments and one train station stop before the interview.  By then, my disappointment with the events that had led to this moment had subsided but I still went just to see what would happen. I had already said to my parents that I probably wouldn’t take the job.  3 full days and a 30 minute city commute back and forth not to mention no public holiday or Sunday pay – maybe not right now thanks.

After the first interview I began to eat my words.  Can a person ever have a mild profound moment? I think that is what I had.  I met with what I can only describe as the heart of the Gilton Valeo team.  Two women, who are warm and inviting and honest.  It was after that when I realised that maybe it won’t be that I don’t take the job, but I won’t get the job, since now I kind of really want it.  But also questions started flooding my mind.  In a short span of time I had acquired the essence of GV and although inherently and as a person I was in tune with its chords I wondered – was I good enough for them? Was I ready? How would I manage personally? I knew the very basics of immigration and so I can connect, even today, with a client’s position.

And then I had got another call back – the final stage – an interview with the principal who I can now at best describe as the soul of GV.  P for principal. P for pressure.  I double dosed on my research ready for the hard ball questions until the interview actually happened and the topic was P for pasta and P for the all the places I had travelled to and what I enjoy doing with my time and every other question that asked you to pull an answer from your core not from google.

It was a good move, from the outset Gilton Valeo was about their people, those who made the team and those they served. It was a type of focus no human resources or marketing textbook will help hone in for you.  Anyone can answer a question on immigration or list their three worst and best qualities if they prepare well enough.  But to answer something of yourself without knowing that that’s where the dialogue is headed, that’s a challenge – especially since we never stop really finding ourselves.

And if writing this blog post wasn’t spoiler alert enough – I got the job.

For the first couple of months I kept a pale blue journal on my desk in which I detailed every task that I was asked to complete, some with time stamps involved and others with instructions so I could do it again independently.

I don’t keep up that habit anymore, but taking a flick through it now I realised just how quickly my seniors at GV had thrown me into the deep end with tasks and complexity.  And this has been the long running string in the thread that has been my experience at GV so far.   The team, the people who make and have made GV disband all those stereotypes of law firms I feared as a law student.   For some reason, that I have yet to fully comprehend, they put their faith in me – that I could do what they gave me.  They gave it with a smile, soft voices, patience and assurance. And I internalised all of it which made me feel capable and safe.  Safe to try, to make mistakes, to take risks, to do it on my own.

At best the migration landscape can be described as fast moving and dynamic.  At worst, impulsive and accidentally insensitive.  But with the endurance and drive to be better that themed our white walls and to this day emulates from the team, I had found myself falling more and more deeply interested in the whole affair.   The process became clearer the longer I worked there – we were a team of creative problem solvers assisting in the narrative of another person’s migration journey and I could not have been more happily engulfed into something.  Especially partner visas – they are my favourite.

Of course there is always a personal struggle with the law, which is why a sense of myself feels connected to our clients, existing and new.  I am still only a student and yet to take a course in migration but luckily I am a part of a team which enables my personal struggle to be personal growth.