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Balancing Law whilst being proactive at university

By Humerah Al-Hadad
Book open Reading time: 3 mins

Life as a Law student can easily be summed up as the struggle to balance reading Lord Denning’s hundred page judgements (spoiler: they are overturned most the time and are utterly redundant); figuring out how to sell yourself to a commercial law firm extra-curricular activies and having to perfectly craft the ‘why law’ answer. Due to students having to be all-rounders, performing well academically, but also be involved in extra-curricular schemes led me applying to become Queen Mary’s Campus Champion for Bright Network. 

Embracing your first year

My first year at university highlighted that you do need access to help and support to navigate the legal landscape. I was lucky enough to gain a place on a university scheme during sixth form that meant that I was well prepared for my university journey. The reality is that not many people have access to such opportunities. The opportunity to work with an organisation that provides free career resources, information and events was something that was really important to me, as I had experienced first-hand the difference a little bit of support made, and was keen to give back.

My journey as a Campus Champion began in my second year, and eventually led to me securing the role as the Head of London Campus Champions in my third year. I have learnt so much about myself and gained invaluable opportunities, but also built up my own personal brand. 

The importance of being proactive

Although my motivation for completing extra-curriculars was predominantly career based, being a Campus Champion opened many doors for me within the university. My role and subsequent connections to the Bright Network team allowed me to secure a further role as the Diversity and Inclusion Officer at Queen Mary’s Law Society. I was able to bring together both my Law Society and Bright Network roles to host the first Queen Mary Annual Law Conference. I am a very academically driven individual and I was initially sceptical about compromising my time to study with other activities, but learning to say yes to a variety of roles and projects not only gave me the opportunity to hone my employability skills, but also to meet some amazing people.

Learning from failure

Failing to secure a vacation scheme in my second year, pushed me to ensure that my CV was completely airtight. I noticed a gap in my leadership experience, which I was able to fill by accepting a further Bright Network role in my third year. Building on my previous experiences in retail, I was able to determine which management style I found most effective, which I have been able to export these models into the way I manage my London team. In the past, I found it difficult to assert myself and delegate tasks. The opportunity to work closely with two members of the Queen Mary team allowed me to build my confidence to help co-lead a London wide event involving all London universities. 

Participating with Bright Network has allowed me to learn so much about myself, whether it be leading a team or trying to strike up a conversation with potential sign-ups at the Freshers’ Fair. In such a career focused degree, so much emphasis is placed on getting the grades and relevant work experience, that we can sometimes overlook the value of self-development and genuine confidence. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to go on this journey with, and being a Campus Champion has exceeded my expectations in terms of its contribution to my development and growth!