Claire started at Bott and Co in 2015 as an Office Assistant and is now a member of the Flight Delay Team, specialising in recovering flight compensation for passengers with delayed and cancelled flights.
Claire is currently working towards becoming a lawyer through the Bott Academy, studying CILEx whilst working.
We catch up with Claire to find out about her studies, ambitions and what she likes to do in her spare time.
What are the challenges you face working in the Flight Delay Team at Bott and Co?
I would answer this question with one word – Ryanair! But a common challenge is that the airlines are constantly changing how they respond to claims. Sometimes they go through stages of responding quicker, making them much easier to deal with; whereas other times, they drag their feet and we are the ones having to chase them. In these cases, you are never quite sure where you are with each airline and the best thing to do is to try to inform our clients so they understand.
Challenges aren’t necessarily a bad thing though; I quite enjoy the excitement!
You are studying through the Bott Academy, how are you finding this?
Studying through the Academy is a lot different to the academic work I have previously done, but I am definitely enjoying it. The unit I am currently studying for – Civil Litigation – is one which I can relate to each day, especially now I am starting to work more closely on the litigation aspects.
I have found that the Bott Academy provides the support and flexibility I need to balance my work and studies so I can strive to get the most out of and do my best in both.
Why did you choose to study CILEx, what are your goals?
Before I even started working at Bott and Co, I had heard of CILEx and knew it was something I wanted to be doing. After leaving university, because I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do, I found I was drawn to the area of law. I couldn’t initially put my finger on exactly what it was about it that I was so drawn to, but the fact that the law is constantly evolving and impacting lives daily was definitely a contributing factor. My goal is to become a successful lawyer – and hopefully, if I can, with Bott and Co!
How do you manage your time studying whilst working in a full time role?
I have to admit, at first I was apprehensive about how I would be able to balance working and studying, but I manage to do it by spending an hour before work and an hour over my lunch every day doing my CILEx. When it gets closer to my exams or if I begin to panic, I study after work as well.
Studying and working can make it a long working day but it’ll be worth it if it pays off.
We hear you are a keen Formula 1 fan, tell us about this hobby and how it came about?
I was always a bit of a tomboy so from a young age I have been a huge Formula 1 fan. When I was younger, I was more interested in having a remote control car than a Barbie doll! I would say it started because my dad watched the F1 whenever it was on TV so I found myself watching it as well. We even had a vintage Scalextric that my twin sister and I loved playing with.
Last year we were lucky enough to visit the Silverstone racing track to support Lewis Hamilton and watch the British Grand Prix in one of the grandstands; it was definitely one of the best experiences I have had. Next time, I would like to watch one of the foreign Grands Prix such as the Chinese or Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
You are a keen traveller, where is next on your list to visit?
For late summer 2017 myself and my sister are planning a trip to Melbourne, Australia as it is one of those places that we have always wanted to visit. On the way we are going to be stopping over a few nights in Abu Dhabi, unfortunately this doesn’t correspond with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!
After a week in Melbourne the plan is to fly over to New Zealand especially for the Lord of the Rings set tour package, as we are both huge Tolkien fans. Then we will fly onto Port Douglas in Queensland for a week before heading back home. We are going to make it a trip of a lifetime!
If you were prime minister for a day, what law would you pass and why?
My family and I have started to buy extra food when we can to donate to the food banks after becoming more aware of them from the news, so I would introduce a law that would try and help prevent the spiralling issue. I would also introduce a law that would put a cap on footballer’s wages – the amount they earn is ridiculous!
You mentioned you previously went to university, how would you describe the experience?
One of the most eye-opening experiences I have had and one that I don’t regret doing. I met friends for life that I still talk to and see regularly. I also got the chance to live away from home (Hull) and fend for myself, which I actually really enjoyed.
Coming back home from university was very strange as I was so used to doing everything for myself. I definitely do a lot more at home than I ever did before going to university!
You are interested in motor sports, but what sports do you like to do yourself?
I used to play a lot of sport during school and sixth form and continued to play hockey for the University of Hull. I did a lot of running and athletics for my school and county but I’d say it is a lot harder to find the time now I work full time and study as well. I try and do some sort of exercise whenever I can as it takes my mind off other things. My favourite sport is skiing; I have been skiing abroad a few times and absolutely loved it.
If you had to visit one place in the world, where would it be and why?
I would pick Egypt without a doubt. I am very interested in the ancient Egyptian history and have been from an early age. I love how exotic and different the culture is from anything I have been exposed to. I visited Morocco last summer so I suppose that was a small taster of what the culture is like, but I can imagine that Egypt is probably more intense. Also, you can’t forget the food – North African food is definitely my favourite type of cuisine!