Nicholas Eldred graduated from Aber in 1984 with an LLB. His most recent appointment was as group general counsel and secretary of Christie's.
What do you remember most about your time at Aber?
I have very fond memories of my time at Aber. I was there between 1981 and 1984 studying law and it was a wonderful experience. The first thing was the trip there: some 5 hours from where I lived in the south east and a seemingly endless last leg by train from Shrewsbury. It was a university you could keep fit in without going to a gym: endless walks up and down Penglais Hill and of course at weekends into the surrounding countryside. When I was there, the university had some 3000 students (a bit bigger now...) and it had a very strong close-knit campus feel. Some of the friendships made there have lasted these last 25 years. I remember the glorious sunsets over the sea in the summer and the cold, rainy days for other times of the year. One Christmas I got a special train to Euston which really struggled in the heavy snow. We ended up in Paddington after some 13 hours.
What are you doing now career wise and how has your Aberystwyth Degree helped?
I have had an interesting career to date. I qualified as a solicitor following my law degree and am currently the Group General Counsel and Secretary of Christie’s, best known as an auction house. In this role I get to advise on many interesting aspects of Christie’s business both here in the UK and abroad. Prior to that I held a similar role at the BBC, where I was for ten years, and before that what is now O2, the mobile phone company. I started my career as a corporate lawyer and worked for some years in a city law firm. Not only was the law degree I studied in Aber very broadly based, it was also taught in a way that made me question issues and assumptions, something that is very valuable for a lawyer working in any environment.
What advice would you have for a student doing your course now?
I would embrace the whole opportunity with open arms. Some students socialise a bit too much, others spend way too much time in the library! I think there is a happy balance to be struck. Certainly work hard, it's very important, but take the time to enjoy all of what Aber has to offer.