Hollie Walsh

LLB (Hons) Law with Politics (2014)

What is your current role?

Hollie Walsh
Hollie Walsh

After graduating from Manchester, I trained and qualified as a teacher in further education. I opted not to take up a teaching post and instead have gone on to carve out a career in the voluntary/not-for-profit sector as a manager and board trustee.

I have had the privilege of working for charities supporting disadvantaged young people, homeless and vulnerable adults and most recently, I joined a social enterprise focused on reducing health inequalities. I graduated with my MA in Educational Leadership, completing a dissertation focused on child safeguarding. 

Why did you choose to study Law at Manchester?

I am from a widening participation background and had been a mentee on the Pathways to Law programme whilst studying A Levels. The programme opened my eyes to a world of new possibilities and instilled the confidence in me to go ahead and apply to Manchester.

I am from Stockport, Greater Manchester and felt very lucky that I could study the two topics I was most passionate about, take full advantage of all that University has to offer and commute from home too. I feel great loyalty to Manchester.

Did you always know you wanted to do the career you're in?

I have always been driven by social justice and seeking to enhance social mobility. Whilst studying, I was a Peer Mentor and a Mentor on the Pathways to Law programme.

I found a lot of joy in supporting, and I hope, inspiring A-Level students to have the confidence to follow their passions. The experience really ignited within me the desire to use my experience to go on and support others, to do good in the world with what I have and what I have to offer. 

What has your career journey been like since graduating?

I have been blessed to enjoy a challenging, changing and interesting career so far. Whilst working for a youth and education charity, I embarked upon an MA in Educational Leadership which I have recently graduated from.

My career journey has been full of unexpected twists and turns, I have learnt a great deal about myself and others from the times of challenge and have been fortunate enough to meet many wonderful and inspirational people along the way.

Tell us about your day-to-day responsibilities?

I am currently an Operations Manager at a Manchester-based social enterprise. I’m part of the senior leadership team with responsibility for managing and setting the direction of travel for HR, Health and Safety, funding streams and data and evaluation.

Outside of work, I also sit on three charity trustee boards, where I take joint responsibility for overseeing the strategic direction of travel for the organisation, ensuring that the organisation is operating in a sound financial fashion and is meeting its’ responsibilities.

Were there any course units you found particularly enjoyable?

In terms of Law, I particularly enjoyed the opportunity to study 'Criminal Evidence' in my final year, being able to unravel and unpack the adversarial trial process was fascinating. I then went on in the second semester to complete a dissertation in this area. I would strongly recommend undertaking an undergraduate dissertation as it’s an opportunity to dive deeply into an area of personal interest and build independent research skills.

In terms of Politics, I particularly enjoyed studying 'Elections and Voters in Britain' in my final year as this has always been an area of personal interest of mine. I appreciated the opportunity to be able to understand deeply voting behaviour. 

Did the skills gained from your time at Manchester prepare you for your career?

Absolutely – the greatest skill which I have gained is a strong ability to think critically and juggle often opposing and complex concepts in my mind.

I am able to judge issues which arise in work from a range of perspectives and take into account the impact that decision making will have on the future success and sustainability of an organisation. The skills which I would say are vital in all sectors. 

What was the most surprising takeaway from your course?

The level of confidence that having a Law degree from Manchester gives you. Although I still have much more to learn and I am not the finished article, I have silent confidence and grounding which my education has given me. A platform to use to move forwards confidently in the direction of my passions and aspirations. 

What advice would you give to a potential Law student?

The opportunity to study is a gift, and in this world, is a privilege and must be valued as such.

In an ever-changing world, we must seek to place ourselves in a position of choice and opportunity. Your future is yours to shape and determine, by making wise choices now to study an academically rigorous course at a world-class institution. You're giving yourself the very best chance to flourish, to enjoy a meaningful and rewarding career and ultimately become the person you are destined to be.

Commit yourself, work hard and work diligently – the expertise and resources that the University has to offer are incredible. Make the most of every opportunity, it will serve you well in your career and beyond.