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Law graduate Alistair reflects on his road to success

Date 7.09.2021

By the age of thirty, Alistair Young had served in the military, married the love of his life, and carved out a successful career in logistics, but he wanted more. Alistair turned his never-quit attitude towards academia and began life as a student, studying Law at the University of Northampton.

Alistair credits his time at Northampton for helping him to succeed. Now, nearly a decade on, we caught up with Alistair for a career catch-up.

Alistair said: “I started at Northampton as a mature student, after having worked since I was 16 when I left formal education and joined the Navy. I didn’t have an easy start in life and the first time around, my education wasn’t my first priority, but always felt I would return to it one day. That day came when I fell in love with the law while studying an access to Higher Education course. I caught the academic bug and I applied to Northampton.

“Having been working for many years, it was a big decision to return to education, and was made more challenging by working alongside my studies to support my family. It was often hard, with late nights and early mornings.

“I didn’t have an easy time studying, at the end of my first year, my wife and I were both made redundant. We were also expecting our first child, so to say things were stressful was a bit of an understatement. Luckily, I have incredible tenacity, when I was doubting myself, the support from the tutors meant the setbacks didn’t disrupt my dream of getting a law degree. If anything, they taught me more about my resilience and capacity to be organised.”

Not one to miss an opportunity to hone his skills, alongside his studies Alistair joined in with student life, he said: “Student life at Northampton is great, I joined the Law Society and in my second year, I became the Master of Moots and led the society in several mooting competitions. A moot is a simulation of a court hearing; usually an appeal against a decision. It involves working through a legal problem, analysing it, researching the relevant law, preparing written submissions, and finally presenting oral submissions in ‘court’ – or the university Moot Room. This built my confidence so much”

Although he had an uphill battle during his studies, Alistair graduated with a first-class degree in Law and secured a graduate role with local employer, Barclays, where he worked in Corporate Services, supporting corporate clients and high street clients banking millions. In 2019, Alistair and his wife, took over the family logistics business, The Home Delivery Service. Under their management, the duo spotted a gap in the market and rapidly expanded operations.

Alistair said: “When my wife and I took over, the business had a handful of very loyal clients, and specialised in the delivery of outdoor play equipment. Fast forward to today, and we’re a market leader in the storage, delivery, and installation of luxury outdoor play equipment and trampolines. As part of that growth, we’ve expanded the headcount of our family run business, and grown our warehousing capability through the construction of new premises. It’s been an exciting couple of years.”

Alistair credits his time at Northampton with the success of the business, he said: “My law degree has been invaluable to the business. All the skills I developed in research, writing, negotiating, and attention to detail have transferred into my role in the business. Never mind all the legal work that comes with contracts, tenders, and negotiations.”

As well as the academic skills from his degree, Alistair believes that his time at Northampton left a lasting impact on him as a person. He said: “My time at Northampton boosted my confidence and developed my skills in persuasion and advocacy, trademarks of the legal profession. Something else I now realise was sparked at university is my desire to give back.

“The business was fortunate and did very well in the pandemic. It was important to us to do something to help people who were struggling. Through the business and our contacts, we managed to raise around £4,000, which we spent on creating Christmas packages for families who were struggling. In the end, we managed to help 36 families to have a proper Christmas, with gifts for each family member, food, and other festive things. 2020 was such a hard year, and to help people to have a small bit of normality for the day was wonderful.”

Reflecting on his time at Northampton, Alistair shared his advice for people considering a law degree, he said: “I have taken so much from my time at Northampton, the people I’ve met, the way the tutors inspired me to think about the law and myself, the incredible support they give me when times were tough, and the opportunities you have alongside your studies. Whatever your circumstances, take a leap of faith and study at Northampton. To get the most out of the university experience, you have to be prepared to make sacrifices, but I assure you, it will be worth it on the day you graduate, and every day after.”

As for many other people, the pandemic made Alistair evaluate his plans for the future, he’ll shortly be returning to education to complete a postgraduate law course.