Vassilena A.

Manager - Legal Services - Immigration
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Vassilena A.
History
History
Undergraduate
James
2011
United Kingdom

My employment

Manager - Legal Services - Immigration
KPMG LLP
United Kingdom
Legal services
Large business (250+ employees)
2014

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A day in the life of a Manager - Legal Services - Immigration in the United Kingdom

I had planned to start a career in corporate law. Instead, immigration has offered a better work-life balance, faster pace of legal change, and a more 'people' focused technical area, where practitioners have very diverse backgrounds.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

KPMG LLP is a large internal professional services firm offering a mixture of legal, tax, audit and consulting advice.

What do you do?

I provide UK immigration advice to clients, ranging from multi-national corporates to start-ups and private clients. Immigration advice ranges from getting people into the UK, to planning hiring and overseas recruitment, complying with prevention of illegal working legislation, and auditing organisations (both employers and educational establishments) on their immigration compliance. Keeping at the forefront of a fast paced, ever changing and sensitive area of law keeps me busy every day.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

I completed a BA degree in History, took a gap year, then undertook the Graduate Diploma in Law, and started working in immigration law immediately after. I was scouted on LinkedIn by my first employer in 2013.

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

Yes. I had planned to start a career in corporate law. Instead, immigration has offered a better work-life balance, faster pace of legal change, and a more 'people' focused technical area, where practitioners have very diverse backgrounds.

Describe your most memorable day at work

Post Brexit vote day. Coming into the office, knowing that the UK's immigration system is due to be overhauled. What a day. It led to the development of some exciting technology tools to help employers guide their European workforce through the changes in the immigration system, and very many client calls.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

I work in an office of approximately 8,000 people 4 days a week, and I usually work from home 1 day a week. My office environment has a 'dress for your day' policy. I am used to a semi hot-desking in a flexible, open and honest culture of collaboration. KPMG offers endless opportunities to get involved in a variety of non-work related volunteering and community activities.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

I was part of the cheerleading team, I did a Fusion performance, and I attended regular law society events. Cheerleading and Fusion were great for team building. The law society offered good opportunities to meet some of the main magic and silver circle law firms.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

Be prepared to be flexible, and do your research. There are many opportunities outside the best advertised and most well known employers.

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?

Legal sector specifically for immigration and also employment law. Overcoming discrimination and conscious/unconscious bias. Dealing with difficult interviewers.

Next steps...

If you like the look of Vassilena’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Vassilena a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Vassilena to be your mentor.

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