Young Holland Beckett Lawyer Ruby Mills Returns to Tauranga
After growing up in Tauranga, Ruby Mills moved down to Dunedin for university where she completed a law degree. While many of her peers were tempted by jobs in big cities, upon graduating, Ruby couldn’t pass on an opportunity to return to her hometown.
“I love having my family here and how I can drive from the office to the beach in ten minutes.”
Now a lawyer at Holland Beckett Law, Ruby has become involved in Tauranga’s business network for young professionals, LINKT. As a career-focused young woman, LINKT provides Ruby with excellent opportunities for business networking, professional development, and socialization.
While the law is a field renowned for long working hours, moving back to Tauranga has allowed Ruby to pursue a thriving career while still giving her plenty of time to enjoy beaches, family time, and work-life balance.
Ruby, what drew you to study law?
I originally signed up to study Physical Education in Dunedin, however, during Year 13 I gave more thought to what kind of job I eventually wanted and changed to a Bachelor of Commerce in marketing management. A week before I left for Dunedin, I applied to study for a Bachelor of Law. It was all very last minute, but one of the best decisions I ever made. In the end, I graduated with a double degree in law and commerce.
My interest was sparked by a close family friend who was studying it and I became drawn to criminal law. I had always wanted a job that focussed on problem-solving and people, and law seemed like the perfect fit.
What was it like studying in Dunedin?
I was one of very few students from Tauranga to make the move to Dunedin – it is quite a distance and a few degrees colder. During university, I met some of my best friends and had what I consider to be some of the best days of my life. As a city, Dunedin accommodates students and I couldn’t recommend the University of Otago any more highly.
Why did you move home to Tauranga when you graduated?
I was employed by Holland Beckett Law as a summer clerk in my second to last year at university. My intentions were to gain experience in a firm and consider my options, but I ended up loving the working environment and the city.
I accepted a job as a graduate after my final year in Dunedin. Throughout my final year of university, a lot of my close friends were looking for jobs in bigger cities, but the job offer in Tauranga was too good to pass up. After five years in Dunedin, I was excited for the change in lifestyle that Tauranga could offer.
Can you tell us about your role as a solicitor at Holland Beckett?
I work in Holland Beckett’s litigation team at and, as cliché as it sounds, every day is different. The majority of my work is civil litigation, estate litigation, employment, and criminal law. This ranges from advising clients, researching the law, or going to court.
I am lucky to enjoy a range of work that keeps the job exciting. In particular, I really enjoy the people side of the law – helping clients with problems no matter how big or small.
Can you tell me about getting involved with LINKT?
LINKT is a business network of young professionals, entrepreneurs, and career-orientated people. Its purpose is to bring people together through networking events that range from educational and inspiring to lots of fun.
Holland Beckett is a sponsor of LINKT and after attending a few of the events, I asked to join the committee. This interest came from my enjoyment of working with people and socializing. LINKT events are always a lot of fun and focus on bringing young professionals together.
What is your vision for LINKT?
I would love to get more and more local businesses involved in LINKT and broaden the range of businesses. Connections are extremely important and, in the future, I would love to see the majority of young professionals working in Tauranga connecting in some way. Socializing with peers your age is valuable for not only friendships but also for business connections.
What is Tauranga like as a city for young professionals?
Tauranga is constantly growing and I tend to find most people here are very like-minded: the majority move here to work in the corporate world while enjoying the lifestyle of a smaller city. Win-win.
My advice for other young professionals considering a move to Tauranga is to take the step! If you are going to spend the majority of your days working, you may as well live in a beautiful place at the same time.
What was it like growing up in Tauranga?
Tauranga was an amazing place to grow up, but it wasn’t until I left that I appreciated it. It is a central city so while I spent a lot of time at the beach, I was also lucky to be close to numerous lakes and ski fields.
What’s different about the city as a young professional?
Living in Tauranga as a high school student is completely different from my experience working here. I definitely utilize what the city has to offer more than when I was in school. Mount Maunganui in particular has expanded, there is a lot more to eat, see and do and I find I make the most of my weekends a lot more now and really enjoy what the city has to offer. Tauranga has a relaxed vibe and the people are often to thank for that.
What do you do to have fun here?
I love going to the beach and walking up the Mount. I enjoy trying new restaurants, cafes, and bars on the weekends – it is easy to feel like you are on holiday, especially in the summer months. Tauranga is continuing to bring new festivals and concerts here too, which keeps things interesting.
What has moving to Tauranga meant…
For your career?
Holland Beckett has given me many opportunities and experiences as a junior lawyer. I have learned invaluable skills across my 18 months working for Holland Beckett and I am excited to continue developing and learning and see where these skills take me in my future in law.
For your wellbeing?
My wellbeing is a focus for me and living in Tauranga has helped me to focus on constantly improving. There are a lot of opportunities to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
For your relationships?
I have met some amazing people in my time here and I love being close to my family again. My love life is always a work in progress!
Gets You Thinking Doesn’t It?
No one can tell you when you’re ready for a change of lifestyle…but when you are, we’d love to have you in Tauranga!
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