Former Student Profile - Emilia Gaca, Class of 2016

Guild Y12 & 13

We look forward to welcoming back Emilia in March 2020 for both the Y12 & Y13 Inspire and Career Talks

What years did you attend WHS? 2009-2016

What did you get up to at WHS in terms of study and extracurricular activities?

I studied History, Geography, Business Studies and German as my options at GCSE.  I then stayed on at WHS for A-Levels and studied Psychology, Sociology and German (plus English at AS-Level).  When I was in Year 10, one of my friends convinced me to join the Ultimate Frisbee club led by Mr Rushton.  I quickly fell in love with the sport and played on the women’s U20 GB team along with a few other WHS students! My love for Ultimate continued throughout university, where I was women’s captain on the Ultimate Frisbee club in my final year.

Below is the WHS team representing team GB.

Below is all of us together at a university tournament!

Do you have any fond memories you’d like to share?

My favourite time of year at school was always the Christmas period.  Waiting for the panto was always a time of excitement (waiting for the much anticipated ‘…when I was in Papua New Guinea’ jokes aimed at Mr Rushton) and I loved the wholesome chaos that arose if it happened to snow.  My friends and I always made a cardboard cut out of a chimney and decorated it with personalised paper Christmas stockings.

What did you do after school? Gap year, straight into business or Uni.

After my time at WHS I went straight onto university.   I chose the University of Exeter as my firm option and never looked back! It is a campus-based university which prides itself in having the highest tree-to-student ratio of any university, meaning you’re constantly surrounded by green.  Coming from Buckinghamshire, where this is also the case, it meant that you get to feel like you have that little bit of home with you despite being hours away!  I was awarded a Bachelor of Laws with Honours.

What are you up to now?

After graduating, I started working at McAllister Olivarius as an Operations and Accounting Analyst.  This quickly progressed to me becoming the managing partner’s legal assistant.  The work is very varied which is definitely my favourite thing about it.  It includes anything from meeting clients, taking client intake calls, conducting interviews, researching legal precedents to help win cases and helping with PR matters.  There are also every day tasks like booking business trips or buying books from amazon! McAllister Olivarius is a law firm based in Maidenhead which deals with anything from employment disputes to helping victims of revenge pornography.  We have had several clients in the news recently with pretty high media coverage of their cases.

What do you know now that you didn’t in Year 13 that you’d like to share with current students?

If you don’t ask, you don’t get! Research has shown that this is a problem which young women often face in the business world: we are socialised into being too scared to ask for what we want.  I would advise my younger self to not be afraid to ask for things; whether it’s questions or requests.  This also applies to networking – most people are happy to help and watch you succeed.  I got my first and current post-graduate role by emailing the firm to ask for work experience and it ended in them giving me a job offer!

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