Mum-of-one is dreaming of a career as a US attorney after graduating from UCLan
A Merseyside mum-of-one is preparing for an international trip to kick-start a career which will see her fulfil her dream of becoming a US attorney.
Jo Schumacher, of Liverpool, has graduated from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) with a Masters in International Business Law with Distinction, and will travel to New York in July 2017 to sit the Bar exams to qualify as the American equivalent of a barrister.
If she passes, it means she’ll be licensed to practice law in the city, an exciting prospect for travel loving Jo, who aims to secure legal consultancy work for UK companies with links to New York or US offices.
Having raised her son Angus, 11, as a lone parent, the 46-year-old has been determined to combat stereotypes, in a bid to inspire others that it’s never too late to follow a dream.
"The message I want to send is that dreams are achievable. I didn’t go to university when I was 18, instead I travelled the world working on cruise liners. But it shouldn’t stop people from going after their ambitions."
After spending five years as a police officer for Merseyside Police, the shift work involved became impractical following the birth of Angus. It was then she began the LLB in Law at UCLan.
Then, following the completion of her degree and with a goal of becoming a barrister, Jo embarked upon the master's at UCLan, being drawn to the course by its international aspect.
She said: “Law is highly competitive and we all need a unique selling point, so I wanted to increase my chances of being successful at getting a job after graduation with a master's to my name. In addition to the academic side, UCLan provides so many opportunities including leadership courses and overseas travel.
“The message I want to send is that dreams are achievable. I didn’t go to university when I was 18, instead I travelled the world working on cruise liners. But it shouldn’t stop people from going after their ambitions.”
"It’s been hard work, working full-time and finding time to study in the evenings after my son went to bed. But it’s all been worth it, and my family has supported me the whole way."
Jo credits her mother and father, Marie and Peter, for the staunch support which has seen her face the challenges that come with combining childcare with studies, as well as balancing pro bono work for small businesses in Liverpool.
She added: “It’s been hard work, working full-time and finding time to study in the evenings after my son went to bed. But it’s all been worth it, and my family has supported me the whole way. My success can be attributed to the support and dedication of the staff at UCLan’s Law School too.”
Jo was one of 1,500 students who graduated in front of family and friends at Preston’s Guild Hall during the winter ceremonies.