My week at Registers of Scotland

My name is Jamie Booth, and I have spent the last week in Registers of Scotland completing my work experience. I am a fourth-year student at George Heriot’s School, having just sat my National 5 (what would have previously been known as Standard Grade) exams. Throughout our years at school, Heriots make us embark on two separate weeks of work experience – this being my first. This is in order to give us a greater knowledge and understanding of what life is like in the real world, outside of the school bubble that has cradled us for the majority of our lives.

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Jamie Booth

Inspired by my favourite TV shows, Suits and The Good Wife, I had become interested in the field of law. Aware of the Hollywood glamour that tinges these shows, I wanted to experience law in the real world to make sure that once the drama is stripped away, it’s still something that I’m interested in. I was particularly interested in the public sector, due to the especially important role it plays in ensuring the well running of our society. Memories of my parent’s dealings with Registers of Scotland in the purchasing of our house, which proved to be very useful, inspired me to contact RoS about doing a work experience placement here. I contacted a family friend who works here, and luckily she was successful in obtaining a placement for me!

I was placed in the Legal and Policy departments as their remits most closely fit my interests. I started off my week by meeting the head of Policy and Legal, Colin Miller. He took me to my desk and introduced me to Kaira, the solicitor I would be spending much of my week with. She took me on a tour of the legal department and introduced me to all the members of team – all of whom were extremely welcoming and helpful. I was given a set of documents and books to read to familiarise myself with the work that the department do – which ultimately proved greatly useful in understanding terms and concepts that would later be discussed in meetings I attended. This took up much of the morning so it was soon time for lunch – a quick visit to get some lunch before diving straight back to work.

My afternoon consisted of some more familiarisation with the people and department, before being heading off to a meeting. Being my first ever real life meeting, this proved illuminating as to the hard-work and complex topics that are discussed in the workplace. I learned lots of new information about the law, courts, and working practices here at RoS. The end of that meeting brought my first day of work experience to a close, and as I sprinted away from the office to catch my bus I felt like a new, mature, working man.

Tuesday started with meeting some new faces that weren’t in the day before, and some conversations about myself, my plans for the future, and anything that RoS could do to help me with these plans in the week that I would be spending here. Eileen, another solicitor, gave me a brief introduction to her responsibilities, which include contract law. She challenged me to write a set of contracts for the procurement of goods and services, and gave me some resources that would provide the basis for my contract. I found this interesting and fun, and I will be sure to use some of the knowledge that I learnt here when signing contracts in the future. Colin constantly ensured that I was okay and that I had enough activities to be getting on with, which was reassuring throughout the week.

By Wednesday I had learned lots about RoS; its employees; its history; and its responsibilities. I was tasked to put this knowledge to use and write an essay about the role of RoS in Scottish society. This idea fascinated me and I set to work on crafting my essay. I asked people lots of different questions in order to help me form a theme to my essay – everybody again proving immensely helpful. I also used the RoS website and the internet to look up some history and general facts. I really enjoyed writing this essay as it was something that I had never done before, so it was especially stimulating. Throughout the day I also attended various meetings, and talked to as many new people as I could.

On Thursday it was time for a change. I was moving my base from the legal team to the policy team. Appropriately, my day started off with the policy team departmental meeting. The meeting gave me a good introduction to the team and most of the work that they’re currently doing. Once the meeting was over I came back to the policy department where I sat with John. He took me through what he does on a daily basis in his job and even let me do part of his job for the day, supervised of course! This was fun as it was a completely different role compared to what I’d spent the rest of the week doing.

Waking up on Friday morning was sad as I knew my time at RoS would be coming to a close. I finished my now familiar walk up to the sixth floor to walk through the policy department doors for the last time. I was given some freedom to complete work that I’d been doing throughout the week, before spending some time with Sarah. She familiarised me with what she was currently working on, and took me to some of her meetings throughout the day. This allowed me to meet more people from out with the policy and law departments, and how different departments came together to work on the same projects. And with that, my week was over. I said my last goodbyes to everybody, thanking them for all the help that they’d given me throughout the week.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at RoS, and I would recommend it to anybody else looking for somewhere to do work experience. The staff couldn’t have been more welcoming or helpful and the activities laid out for me were engaging and informative. I saw both my knowledge and my confidence grow throughout the week, and I have learnt many transferrable skills that I will use throughout the rest of my life.

I would love to come back to RoS for a summer job, or possibly even a career someday, and I know that my time spend here for work experience will stand me in good stead for either.

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