June 12, 2020

Beginning of final year

Moving into Leamington

Having spent such an exciting, rejuvenating and productive summer, I was all charged up to start third year. This year is really significant, it ties up my entire Warwick experience and I wanted to do it right. Having spent the last two years still feeling relatively green in being completely independent, this year I knew exactly how to navigate my surroundings and I was so excited to start the year. My goals were to firstly, do the best I can academically and put in all the work necessary for an excellent grade. Secondly, I wanted to seek the best employment opportunity for myself and hand in applications I am proud of, to firms that really interests me. Thirdly, I was always conscious that this might be my last year in the UK, so I wanted to embrace every moment to its full potential and enjoy the experience being a carefree student with some of my best friends.

A major change for me this year was the switch from living in Coventry, to Leamington. When I first moved to Leamington, I knew it was a good decision. Although it is further from campus, I found myself really appreciating the distinction between campus and home life. It also helps that Leamington is profoundly beautiful. It boasts uniformed white architecture with intricate metalworks, lush gardens, expansive rivers, friendly locals and quirky independent cafes. For these reasons, Leamington felt like home from the beginning. Here are some pictures of Leamington and campus in its full autumn glory - one of the prettiest seasons!

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A routine!

Term 1 was academically hectic for me, especially because I had a few 9ams per week, and I pledged to attend all. Being a morning person never came naturally to me, but I wanted to instill a sense of discipline for myself. For example, on Monday mornings, I would wake up really early and bake banana bread by 7am. Then I would get ready, go for my 9am Islamic Law lecture (which I absolutely loved learning), come back to Leamington by noon, and do my grocery shopping. By early afternoon, I'd start meal prepping for the week. Nothing feels as good as having a routine, and sticking to it.

This is an image of the type of food I would prep for myself, especially when I know I have a busy week ahead and won't have much time to spend on cooking elaborate meals.

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However, when I get a chance to, I do love to cook myself a nice meal! Such as this -

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This year was all about challenging myself, and one of the things I wanted to work on was being better with money - not just managing my money better, but actively making more. One of the ways I did this was through picking up 2 part-time jobs.

Student-Fundraiser

I worked for Warwick's development office as a student fund raiser for their telethon campaigns, an initiative to raise funds from alumni for the Universities’ fundraising projects. It quite a laborious role as I had to work 12 hours a week across both evenings and weekends. However, I really enjoyed it as I got to enjoy a high degree of interaction with Warwick alumni.

Though not all calls are successful, this role has improved on my ability to stay cheerful and positive in the face of constant rejections, without letting it faze the quality of my calls. It helps that I really support the cause of the campaign, as part of the money raised goes towards Warwick scholarships. As a beneficiary myself, I was proud to showcase my positive experiences as an example to potential donors - especially when they share my enthusiasm in making education accessible. For the autumn campaign, I was one of the top fundraisers, raising over £17,000 in both regular donations and single gifts. However the best part of the job for me, was that through hours of chatting with strangers on the phone of all ages, I was offered valuable and insightful career, life and even love advice. Sometimes, I'd speak to old and happy married couples who met from Warwick - these heartening interactions shaped the highlight of my role.

Elma's

The second job I took on was waitressing at a Mediterranean restaurant in Leamington, Elma's. It's directly next to my house, and I spent every Saturday evening there. Working in a restaurant is an excellent way to break out of the university bubble every Warwick student is familiar with. I made friends with the chef, and the other workers - their age completely ranges, and its really refreshing to meet people so removed from the comfort of the Warwick bubble. I also became really close with the family that runs Elma's. They own multiple restaurants in Leamington, and they introduced me to some businessmen who also own many of the cafes I frequent. Unexpectedly, working at Elma's gave me an intimate commercial perspective on Leamington's restaurant industry. Overall, it was a really excellent experience working for them and although I decided at the end of first term that I couldn't handle the rigour of 2 jobs and gave this role up, I kept these connections, and it was really nice to have a restaurant to come back to that feels like home.

Law Clinic

This academic year I fully engaged in the role of Project Leader for the Warwick Law Clinic. Although I was already familiar with the project, having been an advisor for a year, being a Project Leader offered a different perspective and carried heavier responsibilities. The start of the year was really hectic, as we had to recruit and train new advisors. Since there was an overwhelming number of applications, narrowing down to 12 advisors was really challenging and time consuming, especially since many of the candidates were excellent. However, deciding on the final 12 because we believed in their ability to thrive in the role, training them, and eventually seeing them conduct successful interviews to our clients and give excellent advice is immensely satisfying. It makes the hard work of managing the advisors, overseeing the interviews and communicating with all stakeholders involved (Wright Hassall, Warwick Volunteers & Sydenham Community Centre), worth it.

As Project Leader, I initiated a goal of improving the project by attracting more clients and hence making a greater impact on the community. We did this by making easily understandable sheets to navigate the complex legal aid system and putting up posters across community hotspots in Leamington Spa and Sydenham. These initiatives were outstandingly successful. This year, we received a three-fold increase in clients. The cases we received were also significantly more complex - for example, we dealt with tax-avoidance and immigration issues. I am really proud of how far the Law Clinic has come in this academic year, and am so excited to continue seeing how far it will grow.

Event at the Cinnamon Club

In November, I was invited to an exciting event held in the Cinnamon Club in London, to commemorate Warwick welcoming it's first Singaporean student 50 years ago. This event was an effort to celebrate Warwick's commitment to strengthening its ties with South-East Asia. It was a small gathering, attended by Her Excellency Ms Foo Chi Hsia (High Commission of the Republic of Singapore in London), Christine Ennew (Provost), Afua Osei, (Associate Director of Alumni and Events), some Singaporean and Malaysian alumni, and Jade and myself. Plenty of the alumni were in the legal industry, and it was really good to hear career advice from such established professionals. I enjoyed and honour the opportunity to sit at that table, and participate in celebrating Warwick's success.

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There was a pretty sunset outside London Marlybone's station the night of that dinner.

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Lisbon

At the end of such a long and exciting term, I took a short holiday to Lisbon with one my best friends. This trip was much needed, and I fell deep in love with Lisbon's seaside, pastel palaces, and their penchant for the sweetest pastries - despite being shockingly sweet, I stand my ground that pastel de nata is one of the best culinary inventions. We stayed in a hostel in Lisbon, where we met some of the most adventurous people. This trip really reminded me all over again why I love travelling so much. One of the many people I made friends with was a Brazilian guy who was on a scholarship to study chemical engineering in St Petersburg and we spent a good portion of time just talking about religion, politics and life. Funnily enough, I never even caught his name - such is the beauty of these profound yet fleeting interactions.

Here are some pictures from Lisbon!

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One of my favourite parts of my Lisbon trip was a ride on the Lisbon Tram 28. The ride takes you down Lisbon, through the old streets and gives you the best vantage view of the city. I sat through the entire ride in complete awe of how stunning Portugese architecture is. This is how the tram looks like from the outside and inside!

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Honestly, Lisbon looks like the backdrop I imagined only to exist in fairytales.

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Xmas & New Years

After coming from Lisbon and spending some time working on essys in Leamington, I spent Christmas and New Years with the family in Durham, as usual. This time, my cousin's beautiful baby boy joined us!

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Glasgow & Edinburgh

In between Christmas and New Years, I hopped on a train to Scotland as it's next door to Durham. I spent a few days in both Glasgow, and Edinburgh. Although I had some friends who I met sporadically who lived in these places, I was primarily alone on this trip. I wanted time alone to work on my essays, and to reflect on the blessed year I just completed. I think in many ways, 2019 was one of the best years of my life. I have never previously gotten the privilege to travel as extensively, I was surrounded by so much love from both friends and family, and I was loving what I learnt in university.

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In between writing my essays in cosy cafes, I went for long walks, soaking in the pretty views (and bearing the crisp Northern cold at the same time!). I people-watched and did plenty of self-reflection, and it was such a peaceful and satisfying way to end my year, and the first term of being a third year student.


March 23, 2020

Summer 2019

Hello!

I'm back, to tell you how my beautiful summer went and to share some (read; many) pictures! It's been a crazy whirlpool of travelling, I've definitely just had the best 3 months of my life and the best way for me to share my experience is through my pictures!

My first destination was Italy! Firstly to Venice, and then Rome. Both of these places were incredibly stunning in their own ways!

VENICE

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Our hostel was on off the main island, and was in an island further away called 'Giudecca'. As we were further way, we had the most perfect vantage view of the main islands and truly came home to the famous views of San Marco Venice alongside the water.

This was the view from outside the hostel!

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ROME

I am really lucky to have met an amazing Roman friend over second year, and she was so excited to hear I was visiting! It was so nice to toured around by a local, as she was able to tell me the history behind the beautiful buildings and sights. I was not just impressed at her knowledge of her country and city, but also the pride with which she shared about her hometown. Margherita (yes, she has an incredibly Italian name!), thank you for making my visit such a sweet one!

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Of course, I had to see the colosseum! I was in Rome after all. It's such an amazing experience to just stare at these buildings and imagine the different generations and experiences the building has weathered through.

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The architecture in Rome was nothing like I had seen before! The buildings were not just made out of practicality and function, they're also incredibly intricate in both design and form. Each building tells a story about a moment in history. For example, in the image above, there are different latin inscriptions on the sides, alongside sculptures of influential Roman figures and magnificent horses.

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These winding cobbled streets down Trastevere were my absolute favourite in Rome! Margherita told me that the colours of the buildings were purposefully designed to complement the sunset. During the sunset, the various orange hues of the buildings blend into the burning skies, creating a stunning horizon. So incredibly poetic and beautiful! I am just obsessed by how well thought through the architecture in all of Rome is.

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This was the St Peter's Basilica, which left me aboslutely gobsmacked. This must be how heaven looks like!

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My favourite part about Rome is that when I look at any part of the city, I see two eras simultaneously. The Romans now live alongside these ruins as part of the backdrop of their days. It's also incredible how these ruins are preserved so elegantly, with most of it's structure intact! One of my favourite things to do this trip was to just sit back and imagine how these ruins must have looked in ancient history. (I was also really amused that the ruins have become the homes of many cats!).

One of the spots we passed by was where Julius Caesar (JC) was stabbed by Brutus on the ides of March! As a complete theatre nerd, and someone who once acted in Shakespeare's play of JC in SOTA, I was so excited!

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This pasta dish pictured below was recommended by my Roman friend. It was in a tiny little corner shop, away from the crowds and took a good few minutes of walking to get to from a main road. In other words, it's not a place I would have found myself. Thankfully she directed me here, because this was definitely the best pasta I had in Italy! It was hand made on the spot by a Nonna who runs the kitchen and came out to say hello to us, without speaking a smidge of English. Italian food is so ridiculously good, I am so glad I went to Italy just for the food alone! Writing this down right now makes me wish I could experience this bowl of pasta all over again.

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After a beautiful week in Italy, I headed off to Croatia! My friends and I were really keen on visiting Croatia and enjoying a beautiful beach holiday, but we also wanted to do it on a very tight budget. Unfortunately, flights to major cities such as Dubrovnik or Krk were expensive, so we decided to book the cheapest flight to Croatia, which landed in Rijeka! Prior to this trip, I had never heard of Rijeka. Yet we took a gamble, and hoped for the best.

We got so lucky! Rijeka is the tiniest little town, nestled away from all the tourists, and I am so glad we chose this destination! Everything was so incredibly cheap, as they cater to locals and therefore do not have exorbitantly high prices. Furthermore, the beaches were extremely clean and filled with entire families - grandmothers, babies, uncles and parents. It was extremely wholesome, and the entire town was so happy to receive us! This was truly an idyllic European town, definitely the perfect retirement or honeymoon spot.

To make it even better, our Airbnb host, Vesna, is the biggest sweetheart in the world. She picked us all up from the airport (3 different times, as we all arrived from different destinations!), she drive us around so much, and gave us so many tips and recommendations. On the weekend, she even drove us to a wet market so we could pick up some groceries to cook. She honestly mothered us, and made us feel extremely loved throughout the trip. Even having left Croatia, she still texts us from time to time and always reminds us we are welcomed back and that she misses us! Croatia's hospitality is simply incredible.

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The seafood was just beautiful! One of my favourite dishes in Croatia is the black squid ink pasta, yums!!

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It doesn't look it, but the water is actually deep! It's least 4 metres, but because of how clear the water was, it simply looks like a waddling pool. Croatia's waters are unreal, I have never seen waters this clear and clean. It was such a treat to swim in.

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My mind was as clear as the water!

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We went Kayaking, and we had a guide bring us around! He told us that the space between us and the top of the bridge, is the same as the depth of the water beneath us. That's definitely extremely scary, especially when people were perched around us to do some deep sea fishing. Regardless, I never felt very safe with the guide, and had an extremely incredible day kayaking around some abandoned islands! One of the islands was populated with just sheeps, which I thought was adorable.

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At the Paradiso beach, we hired a boat for 3 hours at 15Euros (I personally think this is an incredible deal), and went so far off the coast! We explored many different islands, and went swimming deep in the Adriatic Sea. The boat simply requires peddling as though it is a bicycle, and some basic steering skils. The boat also had a slide! This was, no doubt, one of the best days of my life.

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This was the fish market Vesna brought us to! Because Croatia is right by the Adriatic Sea, it's seafood is so incredibly fresh and absolutely to die for. I couldn't believe the flavours I was experiencing. We wanted to gorge ourselves on the seafood, but without spending a bomb. As our Airbnb has a kitchen, we went to the fish market and got a staggering amount of mussels, fish, prawns, squid, vegetables, freshly baked bread, and fruits for such a good deal, and cooked up a feast for dinner! That night, we ate for three hours straight and went into the deepest carb-induced coma right after.

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I was honestly so impressed by our feast, and also by our appetites! We made a huge seafood tomato based stew, baked a huge tuna, roasted some vegetables and mixed a fresh salad. We even played jazz in the background and lit the candles later on! Honestly it was such a lush experience. Although there was only three of us, we finished most of it, albeit with many breaks in between to recharge.

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On a side note, for some reason, the vegetables in Croatia are the freshest I have ever tasted in my life. It tastes like pure chlorophyll (or how I imagine it would taste like).

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This was the last day in Croatia, and I was so sad to leave because of how perfect the entire trip had been. Definitely one to write home about, and another country on the list of places I have to return to.

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CYPRUS

Being from the heart of Southeast Asia, I never knew that someday, I would step foot in this beautiful sunny coastal country called Cyprus! Yet here I was. I came primarily to visit my friend, Haya, who I had gotten incredibly close to in second year. She's Syrian by blood, but was born and bred in Cyprus.

As my main study buddy during the difficult examination period, we had both been looking forward to this trip for a long time and was so excited it was finally here!

Look at the beautiful waves crashing on the coast!

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This is Haya, in the middle of a pineapple float I bought in Croatia! Look at how the trees above the float looks like it's the top of the pineapple. Haha!

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Cyprus was another series of gorging on delicious food. When Haya's family wasn't cooking delicious Arabic food for me, we ate at taverns - a very Cypriot way of dining, where you order mezze platters for the number of people dining instead of ala carte dishes. I love communal dining, so really enjoyed the taverns! This fish tavern was the best! It was right next to the sea, at which there were boats docked next to the restaurant. These same boats caught the grub we were eating just that morning itself. Everything tasted so fresh, and of the sea.

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Plates of olives and hummus and many many dips! I was in a Mediterranean heaven.

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Look at how beautifully clear the water was! This beach was really amazing, the water was so clear and never got more than around 6 metres deep even when hundreds of metres away from the coast! Haya and I swam so far from the coast for ages, staring at the beautiful array of fishes! I brought goggles with me so I could get really close and personal, and stare at their beautiful colours.

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On the weekend, Haya's boyfriend, sister, herself, and me went on a road trip. We started off by droving to the beautiful Avakas gorges, where we got off and did an insanely beautiful hike and saw plenty of flowers, natural fountains and moutain goats. After that, we continued driving through a long isolated road, at which there was a nick in the road that led to these secluded rock pools and a little coast, creating a private beach. We stayed at the private beach for hours, napping and having a picnic at the beach, and swimming in these little pools when it got too hot.

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We stayed till sunset ended. The sunset-watching was probably one of the highlights of my life. The sounds of the waves crashing on the beach was incredibly cathartic, the smell of the salty sea was simply delicious, the sun was a bright beautiful ball of fire. Everything was as perfect as it could be, and I watched it alongside one of the best friends I've made in Uni, and her boyfriend and sister, who both welcomed me so heartwarmingly. The energy was unreal, and we just watched in absolute awe at the perfection of nature. This picture (unedited!) is now my phone wall paper!

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These were one of the final moments I got to spend with Haya, as she will be in France for third year. So incredibly sad to be away from her, but I know that our friendship transcends physical barriers and that regardless of the distance, we'll remain lifelong sisters. I am so lucky to have connected with such a beautiful soul like herself in uni!

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With that, my Cyprus trip and my European summer adventures came to an end! It was so sad, especially since the entire three weeks were so magical. At the end of my trip in Cyprus, Haya's mother called me on the phone as I was on the way to the airport, and told me that she sees me as her own daughter and that I'm welcome anytime in her home, and that she definitely wants me to return when I can.

This level of acceptance, and show of affection touched me deeply and definitely left me tearful on the way to the airport. I just hope that someday, I can come back and experience this beautiful country once again.

SINGAPORE

Coming back home is always comforting, and I was once again bombarded with stunning city views.

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The majority of my time in Singapore was spent interning with 2 different law firms - Forte Law LLC for four weeks, and Nair & Co LLC for two weeks. For six intense week, I gave my complete attention towards the tasks directed at me, and grew immensely in a professional capacity. With Nair & Co, I attended a hearing in the Supreme Court over two days, and it was such an excellent experience, during which I got to listen to the legendary Suresh Nair flaunt his litigation skills in front of a pleased judged.

With Forte Law, as an up and coming law firm, I had the experience of truly getting myself involved in every type of corporate legal work. For example, I edited drafted various contracts with various levels of difficulties - ranging from employment agreements and franchise agreements, to swaps and derivatives agreement. In such a quick paced environment, I was really challenged to stay sharp and think on my feet. This internship also gave me so much clarity on the type of law I enjoyed. Where previously I was closed off to the idea of corporate law, I now know that I really do enjoy the intellectually stimulating work of a corporate lawyer, and particularly find the work involved in a mergers & acquisition really fun!

In between the two internships, I whisked off to Bangkok for a few days with one of my best friends from Warwick, Seneba!

BANGKOK

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A highlight of my trip was that we tried the world's only Street Food Michellin Star! The lady who owns this stall is Jay Fai, and she has an incredible story to her name. She was featured on Netflix's show, 'Street Food', in the Bangkok special. As huge foodies, Seneba and I was so excited to see her and try her food!

Jay Fai grew up really poor, and her parents were owners of a street food stall. She wanted to forge her own path, so she became a really successful seamstress and invested all her life savings into building her craft. Unfortunately, a fire broke out and burned all her equipment and materials away. Heartbroken, her mother gave her a single wok and told her to make something of it. The wok was the only thing she had to her name. She started practising with it, and perfected her use of it. She sold the food she cooked, and eventually she was so successful, that she became the first street hawker in the world to get a Michellin Star.

Although she is incredibly busy with customers, she still cooks each dish by herself and her helpers only do menial tasks such as chopping vegetables and cleaning up. As we eat, she is in plain view, cooking - and honestly her tenacity is so admirable! Such an incredible woman, and an inspiration for anyone.

To get the chance to dine at her restaurant, we had to go early in the morning to book ourselves one of the limited slots for dinner, as most of the slots were pre booked online months ago.

The food was expensive for street food, but reasonably priced for Michellin standard. The crab cakes were absolutely sweet and perfect, and the Tom Yam was incredibly potent with spices. Honestly the highlight of my trip!

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If you've made it this far, I have to say a major thank you! This has definitely been such a long post, but I really wanted to document the highlights of what has been the best summer of my life. Summer 2019, you will be so hard to beat.

Now, it's time to get my head back into University life, as I head into final year. This will be challenging, but I am sure it will also be an incredible experience.

Till then!


June 27, 2019

Year 2, Term 3

Before term 3 started, I spent Easter break in America and Canada, visiting a friend training to be a marine in the Naval Academy in Maryland, and also my brother, who was doing a year of work placement in Toronto. I also made a trip to New York, and Montreal. These destinations were some that I never imagined doing, and so being there just felt surreal.

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When I came back, the reality of term 3 hit me, and the rest of my Easter break and the most of term 3 was spent with my head in my books, either working on coursework or studying for exams. This was undoubtedly a very stressful period, and I was also doing some of the most content heavy core module in my entire law degree. Even though it was difficult, I found ways to work towards my strength - for example working throughout the nights, as that's always worked for me in creating a more productive environment. I also formed study groups and made sure I stuck closely to my study buddy so I never felt as though I was struggling alone. Before coming into second year, I remember being told by my seniors that year 2 would probably be hardest year of my degree. Although I don’t know how final year will turn out just yet, I do know that getting through 2nd year truly was a personal achievement and that it's flexed my muscle of handling academic rigor and that has really built up my confidence about going into final year and being able to handle its demands.

When exam season ended, I spent some time celebrating with my friends, and catching up on all the me-time that I've missed out on in the past 2 months.

I've also gotten started on my responsibilities as project leader for the Warwick law clinic, attending handover meetings and getting myself prepared to step into this role comfortably for the next year. It's going to take up a fair bit of my time, but I genuinely believe that legal advice should be accessible and therefore I am grateful to have the opportunity to help provide that to the people of Leamington in the next academic year.

Not only has this year truly tested me academically, and also in terms of all the leadership roles and side projects I've taken up, it has also given me the platform to pilot myself into a full-blown adult. Living off-campus, meant being independent of all supervision. Even simple things, for example - paying my own utility bills, was really such a necessary experience. It was difficult, but also enjoyable. I've always craved freedom, and being in complete charge of the way I take care of myself as an adult makes me feel so empowered, emboldened and free to pave my own journey.

Next year is going to come with it's own challenges, especially in deciding on what happens after university. While this is obviously really exciting, I am also aware that it is going to be another really intense and difficult year, and I am excited to spend this summer resting and preparing myself for the rigour of the year ahead.

As I am crafting this post, my room is all packed and I am getting ready to whisk off to a few more European countries before heading back to Singapore. I will be visiting my friends in Italy, Croatia and Cyprus and I could not possibly be more excited.

It also goes without saying that I am buzzing to go back home and spend some quality time catching up with family and friends, and also keeping myself engaged with a 1 month internship before coming back to the UK. Going back to Singapore always feels like a reset, and I feel like I definitely need that after this hectic academic year.

Till then!



March 18, 2019

Easter blog part 2

(Continuing from the previous post).

While all the travelling around Christmas time was perfect, of course I had to come back as usual and finish up some assignments due in for January. The following term itself was definitely my busiest one so far in Warwick. Aside from societal involvements as president for Women for Women International, I also represented my society and collaborated with some other female-oriented societies (Warwick Women Career's, Project Baala by Enactus, Girl Boss and the US Programme) to create Warwick's first ever Women's Summit. The Summit is the first of its kind in the UK, and especially the first which is entirely student-led.

The aim of the Summit is to bring together successful and ambitious women from a range of careers, to provide participants with a full day of speeches, breakout sessions, and panel discussions to raise awareness about issues facing millenial women today, and to equip them with the necessary skills in preparation for the workforce. We opened tickets to students from all around the country. All the expenses were covered by sponsors of Warwick Women Career's society, but we still ticketed the event for £9 and all the proceeds from the ticket sales went to both my societies' charity (WFWIW) and Project Baala, which gives women in rural parts of Pakisan, India and parts of Africa access to disposable sanitary pads.

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We started properly planning for the summit before Christmas time, as we only come together with the idea around then. I have never been so heavily involved in something this big, and I am so proud with how the event turned out - we had over 100 particpants. We also managed to contact so many successful and interesting women to come in and share about their work, and the turnout was fabulous! we also raised around £900 for charity in total. One of the comments on the feedback form at the end of the event said the summit created an energy that was akin to a "girl's bathroom on a night out - all love, supportive energy & good vibes!".


Planning the summit has been the highlight of my university experience thus far, and I get so overwhelmed when I think about how blessed I have been to be in a position where I am inspired enough to even think of creating this event, and then to be given the necessary support to go ahead and make it happen. The girls that I was working alongside were nothing but the best, and I am also very proud to have created a position on my societies' exec called the women's summit officer, to make sure this event happens again next year! We have started something that is going to recur annually, and I really do feel like we have started a legacy here in Warwick.


There's so much I can talk about the Summit, and how much it has taught me but I will just let the pictures do all the talking!


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A picture with one of the speakers - Rebecca Robins, the Global Chief of Learning and Culure Officer for Interbrand. She is an expert in branding, and so I emailed her a months ago with an invitation when the Summit was nothing but a dream. She was immediately on board, and so enthusiatic to help us realise our ideas! Fast forward a few months later, she was there in real life on the day of the summit, and she conducted a breakout session titled 'Personal Branding - How to maximise your digital profiles' which was a complete hit amongst the attendees, and she was also in the panel dicussion for women in executive positions. Rebecca's energy is electric, and people like her really just made the whole event such a successful one!

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I moderated a student panel titled 'Women around the World', where we invited students from 5 different continents to talk about their experiences coming from different regions. It was such an insightful panel discussion!

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Aside from the summit, my society also ran a few exciting events, and the latest and our biggest event was the #SheInspiresMe conference!. We had 5 different speakers.

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The first was Amy Mackenzie, and she represented the WFWI foundation in London so she spoke about the inner workings of the charity. Secondly, we had Victoria Azubuike, a final year management student in Warwick. She is also the founder of the US programme, a project to help educate and inspire young women mainly from disadvantaged backgrounds to break boundaries and achieve goals. The US programme hosts conferences, bringing together women from similar backgrounds, helping them to succeed in their chosen careers. Thirdly, we had Amelia Stone - she is the founder of a website, Outspoken. She started this through funding from 02's 'Go think big' team for a social impact project. Her site's main objective is to provide a free and open space for the discussion of equality and justice, mainly regarding gender inequalities, for Warwick University students; and this can be through articles, art, poetry or literature etc. So far, the topics covered ranges from child marriage, period poverty, female sexuality and slut shaming. Our fourth speaker was Vanessa Munro - a feminist, and a Professor at Warwick Law School. She has worked on a number of projects exploring how the law regulates women’s agency, particularly in relation to their bodies and sexuality, and how decision-makers evaluate claims of sexual violence. She is currently co-organising the Scottish Feminist Judgments Project and is involved in a large study of jury decision-making in rape and assault trials, funded by the Scottish Govt. Our final speaker was Dr Ellen Smith-Dennis, a lecturer in the Applied Linguistics department at the University of Warwick. She has conducted research in the UK, Italy and Papua New Guinea. Part of her research was on maintaining an endangered language in Papua New Guinea.

Here some snippets from the conference!

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3 generations of WFWI presidents!

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Members of the society writing letters to our WFWI sisters!

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My lovely exec members.


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It has been the most enriching experience and privilege to work alongside and lead my exec for the past year, and I am so proud of how far we have taken the society! It has grown exponentially, especially with the collaborations as part of the Summit. I have also grown as a person, team player and leader and the experiences of my time as President has truly shaped my work ethics and it was nothing but an honour. I will no longer be on the exec from this term onwards, as we just had our elections, but I have successfully gotten a different position!


For the next academic year, I will be running Warwick Law Clinic alongside 2 other girls. I have spoken about this briefly in a previous post, but just to recap it is a programme that offers free legal advice on the weekly. I used to just be an adviser, but for the next year I will be a project leader and manage the law clinic! I strongly believe in the need to make legal advice more accessible, and so am honoured to have this position and can’t wait to see where this will take me!
For now, it has been one crazy term and I deserve some rest. As I type this blogpost, I am buzzing for my upcoming trip to America and Canada! It has always been a dream to go to these countries and I never thought I would, but here we are! I will update pictures from this trip in the next post - for now, that’s all I have to update this space with!
Much love,

Hayati Bee


Easter blog part 1

The past Christmas break and Spring term was probably the busiest I have ever been in Warwick. This post will be mainly consumed by pictures, to show you how much has happened over the past few months! Picking up from where I left off at the last post, here are some pictures from Budapest!

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After Budapest, I visited Poland. Poland was so beautiful and being there felt like coming home. Polish people are very family-centric, so being there on Christmas was the perfect way for me to immerse myself in their culture. I spent the first half of my trip to Poland in Zgorzelec, the city in which my friend Ala lives in. This is where I spent Christmas eve and day. Zgorzelec is also the nearest Poland city to Germany, and it is connected to the city of Görlitz, Sachen.

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The 2 countries and cities are connected by a bridge, which is literally next to Ala's house. So on Christmas morning, we took a ten minute stroll to Germany (there are no customs or borders!) and because it was Christmas day, we had the whole city to ourselves to explore. Gorlitz is one of the most popular places in Germany, for it has some of the most picturesque buildings and the whole city is paved with cobblestones. It has been dubbed as one of 'Hollywood's favourite cities'. Multiple movies have been shot there, for example - 'The Grand Budapest hotel', 'Around the world in 80 days' and 'Inglorious Basterds'. So being there was a dream, and Ala and I took advantage of the setting and took many pictures around this beautiful city.

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The second part of my trip to Poland was spent with another friend, Jagoda. She lives in Lubin, a tiny and rural part of Poland. We also made a daytrip to Wrocław (did you know this was pronounced as Vrotzwaff?!) Again, it was the most amazing time. Jagoda was the perfect guide and she taught me so much about the history of Poland. She is so passionate and invested in the stories of her parents and the generations above them and she was so quick to spew all the knowledge she has about the war, and about the communist regime her mother had to live through, and amidst all these took me to the best spots to eat! I even tried the famous Polish tartare, a meal entirely comprised of raw ingredients - including raw beef and egg. Wrocław quickly became one of my favourite European cities. Everything was affordable, the city was intensely rich in history, everyone was so friendly and welcoming, and it never felt like a tourist trap. The food was also some of the best!

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Both Ala and Jagoda's family were so hospitable and they truly bent over backwards to make my stay as perfect as possible, despite the language barrier and this really warmed my heart. While sometimes it can be difficult to be away from home, most of the times I feel like I have just found more places to call home.


(To be continued in the next post!)


December 18, 2018

Au–term

Autumn term always fly past in a busy blur, and emotions are high with the excitement of arriving back. This time last year, I was excited for the unknown. Now, I know what to expect but for that precise reason, I am excited to return. My birthday falls right as we all return from the summer break, so my group of friends came together to celebrate it. We played games, had pizza and just basked in each other's company and it was everything I could ask for.

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The view of campus in autumn is gorgeous as always!

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The main extracurricular activity I have been busying myself with is my society, Women for Women International (WFWI).

Over the term, my society ran different fundraising events – such as a 5K run, 24 hour fast, a halloween bake sale & a movie night where we screened Hotel Rwanda. In total, I am proud that we’ve managed to fundraise slightly over 2000GBP, which is enough to sponsor at least 7 women through our training! Although leading WFWI takes up such a huge amount of my time, it is very rewarding when I know the work I am putting in will directly affect someone’s life so positively.

Being the president of a society has taught me so much about being a leader, whilst providing me with the platform to hone on my leadership skills. As a leader, I tend to be more understanding and sympathetic but I now realise that it’s important to couple those values with being assertive when necessary skill. I will be handing over my title of president in the exec elections at the end of next term. I am excited to see what else my time of being president will teach me, as I think it has been such a steep learning curve.

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A further extra-curricular activity I have been involved with is the Warwick Law Clinic, in collaboration with a local firm, Wright Hassall. The Law Clinic offers free legal advice in a community centre in Sydenham, provided for by the students and vetted by a partner and trainee at Wright Hassall. So far, it’s been a satisfying and exciting experience, as we really get a taste of how it feels like to have clients to be responsible for. The law clinic only started about halfway through term, so I am excited to be spending more time with it next term!

As for my course itself, the most exciting module I’ve been working on this term is Shakespeare & The Law. I remember literally speaking about this module during my interview for this scholarship, because I found it so interesting and I couldn’t comprehend how the 2 topics collide. Having done the course, I can honestly say it was one the highlights of my degree and I highly recommend it. It is convened by Paul Raffield, one of my favourite professors. He was an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company for 25 years before deciding to be a lecturer, and he is full of fascinating stories. Due to his theatrical background, the way he presents his lectures and engages us in the content is much like an actor telling us stories, drawing us deep into the content.

The course allows you to appreciate the relationship between the art of advocacy, and how the skills of theatre allows you to push hone on it. For example, the art of persuasion and pulling at the jury’s heartstrings when creating a case for the defence. The texts we learnt were King Richard the 2nd, Merchant Of Venice and Measure for Measure. All of them involve a trial scene, which we analyzed critically in the context of English Law. The lessons comprise of group presentations, moots on behalf of the character’s actions, as well as a grand trial with Paul as the judge.

This module has been the highlight of my term. There is only 8 student who took it, so all of us became good friends by the end of it, due to how interactive the course is, and it’s always good to make more friends.

This module is a cross between the literature and law department. Thus the content and assessment style is very different and creatively invigorating, allowing me to flex a different part of my brain. I know this module is something very unique to what Warwick has to offer, and I am so happy and grateful to be here, enjoying what I’m learning.

This term has been extremely challenging, but with its challenges comes the excellent opportunity for self-growth and development.Regardless, I'm due for a break andI am so excited that Christmas break is finally here. I will be spending it catching up on work, finishing up essays due in January, and overall resting and hibernating from the cold. However, I will also be heading to Budapest tomorrow and spending Christmas itself with my friends and their family in Poland! Even though it is going to be cold, I love the warmth of being with a family on Christmas and so I can’t wait for it!


September 30, 2018

What a summer!

I would say summer break flew by me, but in reality the three months felt so long. Coming home was such a heartwarming experience, greeted by the warmth of the sweet Singaporean sun, friends and family members as well as the familiarity of everything. While everything felt the same, there was one stark difference - and that was the lens of my perspective.

I am definitely a different person from who I was before leaving for university, and for the better. I know it’s cliche to say that university changes you, but I truly experienced it for myself. I came back an even more independent, confident person and my thoughts have taken a more worldly perspective and I definitely needed to come back to realise how jarring my growth has been.

The first social activity I busied myself with upon coming home was celebrating Hari Raya. I’d missed the first few days of it, but celebrations were still in full swing and I threw myself right into some intense family time.

Hari raya with family!

My siblings and I in our traditional clothes, celebrating Hari Raya together.

I also caught up with old friends, and marvelled at the Singaporean skyline that I’d dearly missed in the past year.

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Best friends <3

I also spent a week on the beaches of Krabi, Thailand, to de-stress from the year in university and in anticipation of the stressful internships I had lined up for me.

Thailand

About 3 weeks since I got back from the UK, I started an internship with the State Courts (“SC”) and Family Justice Courts (“FJC”). I found out about this internship via the United Kingdom Singapore Law Student Society (“UKSLSS”). I was a ‘University Court Friend’, working under the Community Justice Centre’s Primary Justice Project (“CJC” and “PJP”).

During this internship, I had the opportunity to spend some time across multiple departments in both the SC and FJC, including but not limited to; family court, crime court, bail centre and magistrate’s complaint. Some of my responsibilities included assisting litigants in person (“LIPs”) sort out court documents, and helping them apply for a personal protection order or domestic exclusion order via the court’s e-litigation platform (iFAMs). I also assisted the crime court and family court’s facilitator, and sat in the free pro-bono sessions held by CJC. At the very end of the internship, there was an appreciation tea for all the interns and some of the judges were invited to speak. I had the honour of emceeing for the event, and it was such a good way to tie up the excellent experience I had during this internship.

DJ goh!

A quick shot with District Judge Christopher Goh, who sits on the helm of the SC's criminal court 26, and is also one of the jolliest people I’ve ever met! According to him, the biggest challenge of being a judge is that “you need to have a large bladder, you don’t get many toilet breaks!”. (Kidding) Obviously the job of being a judge is so much more than this, but somehow DJ Goh is excellent in injecting a light-heartedness to each and every conversation he engages in, despite the serious nature of his career.

I loved my experience in this internship and I felt that I managed to learn so much. There’s a theoretical cap to how much you can learn in school, and this internship really taught me about the practical and procedural manner in which a court takes on cases. Additionally, I managed to refine some of my knowledge of the Singaporean justice system. Singapore is a commonwealth country, and thus shapes its legal system similarly to the English legal system. Regardless, there are still some finer procedural differences and reforms Singapore has made to its local law that I would never have known about, if not from the exposure of this internship. For that, I am really grateful for all I’ve managed to learn.

Alongside this internship, I took on the role of being an orientation group leader with Warwick’s Singaporean Society! It was quite exciting being able to form the fresher’s first impression of Warwick. It didn’t feel too long ago where I was one of the fresh faced freshers, excited for my own experience to begin. It was really nostalgic, carrying out the activities I did with my group last year.

MY OG!

Following the state court internship and the singsoc camp, I spent 5 week interning in Oon & Bazul, a mid-sized law firm that specialises in maritime law. I was in the Restructuring and Insolvency team, a really small team of 3 and was led by a partner, Tan Meiyen. Meiyen is a Warwick alumni, so it was really inspiring to see the excellent career and name she’s carved for herself and it was an honour being her intern.

I’ve personally not studied Restructuring & Insolvency nor company law, and I came in really unfamiliar with Singapore’s Companies act and the Model Law’s UNCITRAL Cross Border Insolvency - all of which are key pieces of law and are at the heart of her practise. Having said that, 5 weeks is a long time and the associates were really patient in explaining to me bits of the law that I found difficult to digest. My unfamiliarity with this area of the law did not prevent me from getting my hands dirty in the grit of everything and working on the cases alongside the team. Towards the end of the internship, I realised that I had schooled myself in Restructuring and Insolvency such that I could understand most of the jargon and was able to comprehend most things and this is a stage that I am really proud of myself for getting to. Although I found it really intimidating at the start, I didn’t let that get the better of me and trudged on. I’ve learnt the importance of being able to think on your feet and constantly learning, and I understand now this needs to continue even if you're deepin in your career - learning doesn’t end in school. Since the law is constantly progressing and being reformed, it’s so important to make sure your knowledge remain relevant.

I was the only intern in the firm for the time I was there. One of the advantage of that is that I was able to do such a wide range of work - for example attending court sessions, doing up a bill of costs for one of the firm’s recently completed cases, draft a settlement agreement contract, work with the associates in editing an article for the Global Restructuring Review, draft legal articles updating clients on reforms made to Singapore’s Restructuring and Insolvency Laws and attend tele-meetings with lawyers from other jurisdictions such as the US and UK who were also representing the same clients (since the insolvencies took place across borders and hence involved multiple jurisdictions). I also did some really exciting legal research involving issues that has never been addressed by the Singapore courts, since it’s only been recently (2017) that Singapore adopted the UNCITRAL Model Law.

A further advantage is that I spent all my time with the associates and from there I partook in so many insightful conversations and was able to gain a better idea of how the daily life of a lawyer is like. I used to be really intimidated by the idea of corporate law, and was convinced that family or criminal law is where my calling lies. While I still think this might be the case, I’m not closed off to the idea of trying out something new. Having done this internship, I know I can do it if I put my mind to it and I’m so much more open to different practises within the industry. This internship also gave me a realistic view of what my working life would be like in the near future, and it made me start thinking seriously about the kind of career I want for myself. I really enjoyed the culture of the firm, and everyone was really nice and approachable and I’m hoping to be able to find a firm in the future as accommodating as this. In all, this was the most challenging and intensive internship I’ve ever taken part in, but it was also the most rewarding and eye-opening.

Moving on, I also attended the annual scholarship dinner! It’s always an honour to meet the trustees, and I also got to meet this year’s scholar, Jade. The dinner is proving to be a good checkpoint of my Warwick experience, for I managed to reflect and share on my university involvements. It also always humbles me that the trustee sees the potential in me and chose to invest in me, which further fuels my motivation to do well.

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After my second internship, I only had a week to say my goodbyes before I left for for the UK.

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Spending a meal with the family!

The view when I landed in London. What a pretty sunrise!

The view when I landed in London. What a gorgeous sunrise!

It’s been almost a week since I got back, but it’s already been a busy blur. The day right after I landed, I had my first societies’ event - the fair! The societies fair is crucial as that’s when you attract the fresher’s, and I’m glad it went well! We’re jumping right into planning events, with the first being a meet-the-exec tomorrow and a 5k Charity Run next Saturday. We’ve been planning these events from summer and it can be really time consuming but its for a cause I love and support, so that alleviates all the stress and makes everything so exciting.

Women for women

It’s quite crazy to think that I’m already a year 2, but I know for sure that year 1 superseded all my expectations and I’m sure year 2 will do the same. I’m so excited for what’s in store me, and I am ready to give it my all!


July 03, 2018

Year 1, conquered.

One of the highlights of my easter break was a day planned by the university for its scholars. The day started off with us getting on a coach to London, after which we caught a theatre performance titled ‘old fools’, and then we proceeded onto the main part of the day - a networking session in The Shard. It was an amazing opportunity to interact with professionals from different industries whilst simultaneously being able to soak in the novelty of the experience myself, as I had personally never been to the Shard before or caught a theatre performance in that particular space or by that company. So I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and revelled in it. Aside from that, I also spent a day in London visiting firms such as Slaughter & May, listening to talks held by their senior lawyers broaching upon the various niches of their practise, and via these events I got to deepen my understanding regarding the different career options available and which of them could potentially be of interest to me.

Knowing term three was going be incredibly stressful given the exam crunch, I took a week long getaway right before term started to Paris and Belgium with an old friend. It was a short but intensely memorable trip, and some of the things I managed to do was seeing the Eiffel towel, spending a day in Disneyland and walking through the famed les catacombs.

Polaroids of the highlights of my trip

The Eiffel tower in all its spring time glory

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After spending a week in Paris, we spent the weekend in Belgium and although I was only in Brussels for 2 days, it was more than enough to experience the sweeter side of the country. Belgium’s main attractions lies in its dessert industry and we just spent the weekend relishing in the desserts available. They are also known for their mussels and fries!

Dinner with an outdoor view!

A typical sight in Brussels!

The plethora of Belgium waffles available at the corner of almost every street.

Coming back to campus after my week long break, I was rejuvenated for the long term ahead. In term 3, I only had lessons for the first few weeks and subsequently my days were completely freed up for studying. One of the main challenge I faced was studying throughout the Ramadan period, as fasting in the UK lasts for up to 19 hours due to the long summer days. To counter this, as I did not have any lessons and had all the hours in the day to myself, I switched my sleeping schedule around such that I was sleeping in the days and working through the nights and mornings. Being someone who is typically more productive at night anyhow, this worked to my advantage and allowed me to escape being sluggish whilst studying. It also helped that the library was open 24/7, and it quickly became the place I spent most of my time in term 3. Some things that really got me through this exam season were my group of friends, as we formed a study group and accompanied each other throughout. It also made it easy for us to bounce questions off each other and clarify our doubts between ourselves and make the learning more engaging. Aside from helping each other in terms of the content, it was also nice having a group of friends to take refreshing breaks with and to enjoy the summer sun, after many months of frosty gloom. Constant studying makes it easy to feel down and burnt out so I found it really important to find comfort in my support system. We would have picnics and bask in the sun during our lunch breaks, and these moments quickly became my most anticipated times of the day.

One of our lunches!

After months of winter, we

We also celebrated one of my friend's birthday in the peak of studying - we were all going slightly stir crazy and we needed a good break and so we jumped at the opportunity to celebrate my friend's birthday. She didn't want to do anything, understanding that it was the exam season and we were all busy but we planned a surprise nonetheless and it was amazing to just come together and have a good laugh and stress relief. In moments like these, I am reminded and am truly grateful that I've built such a strong and loving support system here for myself.

Birthday surprise : Success!

One of the scholarship related events I attended in term 3 was a goodbye dinner for the academic year where Chandra, Iffah and I got to catch up amongst each other, interact with other scholars and even some fundraisers and it was a great way to tie everything up for the year. It was heartwarming to hear the finalists broach upon their university experience and it was also motivational and reminded me to push myself to the best of my abilities so that I can maximise the opportunities available to me across these few years.

Group picture!

As a whole, whilst writing this entry in the comforts of my home in Singapore, it is quite incredible to think of the journey the past year has taken me. I don't think its possible for me to imagine how I would have turned out otherwise, given the experiences of the past year have now formed such an integral aspect in my sense of self. With that said, I am basking in the experience university has afforded me, and while I have looked forward to getting some rest and meeting my friends and family in Singapore, I am also very much excited to return to the UK to restart the year afresh and make more memories.


March 16, 2018

Term 2 in a nutshell

One of Warwick's attraction is its wide range of societies and at the start of term, I wanted to challenge myself in picking up something completely new to me - and I did! I picked up horse riding, I stuck with it and dedicated myself to weekly lessons for the whole term and I absolutely love it. Aside from the taster session last term, I had never rode on a horse in my life so I had to start from scratch. Besides that, everyone else in the beginner's class already had a term to work on the basics of riding so I was lagging behind. Despite being clueless and terrified of falling off the horse, I kept coming back for classes and a term later, I can now confidently say that I have made a world of improvement. I went from not even being able to steer the horse accurately to cantering confidently. One of the reasons I kept coming back was because of the escapism horse riding provides. The horse feeds off your energy as a rider, so you have to be completely calm and channel your entire focus on nothing else but the horse. Its incredibly destressing and as an animal lover, its amazing being able to create a bond of mutual trust with the horse. Cantering also feels extremely exhilarating as the horse goes fast enough that it almost feels like flying.


Meet Sammy, your everyday British horse waiting for his tea to cool down!

Meet Sammy, your everyday British horse waiting for his tea to cool down!


Beyond horse riding, I have made a conscious effort to invest more time in a society that has piqued my interest from the very start - Women for Women International, Warwick (WFWI). WFWI is a platform that aims to campaign and fundraise to help female survivors from war-torn countries rebuild their lives through training them with marketable job skills, educating them with knowledge about their health and helping them realise their rights as women. I went for a few of their fundraising events, one of which was a Valentine's bake sale!

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Standing by the president & treasurer of WFWI Warwick!


I also attended their conference on international women's day where they invited various guest speakers to share their triumph in situations of adversity. I love the message of this society and I wanted to contribute much more than I already was. I have been constantly involved in volunteering exploits all of my academic life, but they have always been at a somewhat micro level and the impacts of my volunteering are not necessarily lasting. For example, in 2014 I spent 10 days in Vientiane, Laos, volunteering at a local primary school where we gave English lessons and worked closely with the kids throughout the trip. In 2015, I did the same but in Baray, Cambodia. Last year, in 2017, I did the same once again but in Kathmandu, Nepal. Across the last 2 terms, I have also been involved with Warwick Volunteers' program named Conversation Club where we tutor refugees living in Coventry on their English and I get to see individuals improve over the course of the lessons. While these involvements were each nothing short of amazing and I could see the impact I made immediately and tangibly, I feel that it's time to step it up and help on a wider and institutional level that will facilitate long term and sustainable results. Through the greater platform of WFWI, sustainability is assured. Beyond that, the specific aims of WFWI - fundraising and campaigning appeals to me because it does not simply benefit the women we are fundraising for, but also helps to spread awareness of the society’s message to others within my immediate community.


One of the reasons why I took a heightened interest in this society, is because it is an intersection between all of my interests and I resonate with its message and goals. I stand for women empowerment and I love volunteering and participating in charity fundraising efforts. My mother is a single mom, and growing up we got a lot of help from different foundations for which I am eternally grateful for. Even just by being on this scholarship, I am receiving the opportunity of a lifetime from the goodwill of others and I want to reciprocate that altruistic spirit and give back in all the ways I possibly can. While the circumstances of the women benefitting from the WFWI is clearly different- the ethos remains and I want to extend a helping hand, the way my mother and I were given help when we needed it. As such, women empowerment and betterment is near and dear to my heart, and I knew I wanted to be a substantial part of the movement. Hence I decided to run as president of WFWI, and I am pleased to say that I got the role! So for next term and the following academic year, I will be leading my new executive committee and be very much involved in the progress of WFWI and I am so thrilled and excited for what's going to come next.


One of the fun things I did whilst participating in the law society this term was to attend the law ball held at the Belfry Hotel in Birmingham! It was a good opportunity to dress up, have good food and bond with my course mates over a casual setting.

Law ball!Startersdessert!

Part of the spread made available to us!

The past academic year has been my first experience dealing with seasons and what a year it has been! The UK was hit by a sudden snowstorm, Emma, at the start of March - just as everyone anticipated Spring to begin and the weather to heat up. Lessons were cancelled due to the university's adverse weather policy and it got as cold as -7 degrees at one point. Despite the weather being really harsh, it was actually such a magical and fun experience and it brought out the kid in me!

Meet Bob!

Meet Bob! :P

Thankfully, the weather has since cleared up and Spring is in full bloom, making the campus look so vibrant and pretty!

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This Easter holiday I don’t plan on doing much travelling - instead I will be spending some downtime from the intense term and preparing for the summer exams ahead. I can’t believe the bulk of my academic year has flown by, but at the same time it has been an immensely satisfying and novel experience and I am so appreciative of the opportunity to experience this.


January 23, 2018

Term 1 : It's a wrap!

Upon hindsight, it’s unbelievable how much has happened over my first term in Warwick. In the first few weeks, the University held a Welcome Reception for its scholars. There, I had the opportunity of listening to the guest speaker, Zeena Islam give a talk - she is a Warwick alumni who graduated with a law degree and is currently an exceedingly successful barrister and she was sharing about her experiences as an ex Warwick student and the reality of the industry. As a woman from a minority race with a really strong and powerful character going down the career path I aspire to be in, she was highly inspirational and reminded me to keep my goals in clear view and work towards it with fervour.


Another event that I attended as part of the University’s scholar programme was a pantomime of Cinderella performed in the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. Even though I have an immense interest in theatre, I have never attended a pantomime before and was completely taken by the novel experience. It was an immersive and wildly engaging performance and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. (Cues the pantomime chant: *No you didn’t! Oh yes, you did!*).


The efforts of the university in coming up with events for scholars is indicative of their commitment in making sure their student are constantly engaged. One of my favourite things that Warwick has to offer all of its students is the portal called ‘myAdvantage’, where free events and workshops centred around self-improvement are constantly being held. One of the events that I attended was an inspirational talk by Dr Gillian Mara – a world class athlete. She sustained life-threatening injuries from falling off a cliff and spent the night, heavily wounded, in the valleys of a mountain whilst suffering from severe hypothermia. Although she was told that she would never recover enough to continue competing as an athlete, she took that as a challenge instead of a limitation and persevered forward with her recovery. Since then, she has represented Europe in multiple national competitions and even recently completed an expedition where they set a new record and became the first women’s crew to row the North Atlantic from west to east. From the talk she gave, she thoroughly blew me away with her dedication and ‘never say die’ attitude, and further inspired me to make the best of any situation and always to see things in a positive light. Aside from that talk, I also attended numerous beneficial workshops via myAdvantage – all of which were hosted by professionals sharing tips ranging from how to ace interviews and also how to improve on time management in being as productive as possible. Making time to improve on these skills are a priority for me, and I am so glad Warwick has a portal in making it easy and accessible for its students to sign up for such classes.


One of the things that I have been immensely enjoying is the accessibility of interaction with current practitioners from the law industry. Employers are constantly on campus giving insightful career talks. Aside from that, I also attended the Warwick law fair where there were representatives from every major law firm in the country, and most of the representatives were Warwick alumni's themselves. Hence they were able to provide highly tailored advice to me as a current student. Even on a day to day basis, I get to interact with highly qualified practitioners – for example one of my seminar tutor sits as a judge in London whilst juggling being a professor in Warwick. Having the opportunity to learn from him and listening to his personal experiences makes for a really rich learning opportunity and I constantly count my blessings for being able to learn from some of the best in the industry. One of the things that I also signed up for and am looking forward to this coming term is a Crown Court visit in Leamington Spa, where I will get to experience a full day of trials and I feel that this experience will be essential in contextualising all the theoretical knowledge I have been learning. While the academic learning curve has been steep over the past term, the experience has been wholly stimulating and engaging and I am looking forward to learning about the law in greater depth.


Beyond the academic front, one of the main highlights of the past term and the Christmas break were the travelling opportunities available to me. Since arriving in Warwick, I have been to Netherlands, Spain and Morocco. I visited Netherlands during the Dutch Design Week to visit a friend who is currently studying product design there and it was such a whimsical, fun and interactive experience. The highlight of that trip had to be one of the Design Week experiences, where we got to take a free canal tour down the famed Amsterdam canals. The floor of the boat was completely covered with a deep layer of coloured plastic balls – creating a ball pit within a boat and the objective being to recreate something akin to a playground for adults. It was so creative and I had an absolute blast, ending the last night of my trip on a great note.

Pretty view of the famed Amsterdam canals

The next destination was Spain, which is currently in a relatively volatile political state. Yet when I visited Barcelona, I never felt like I was in danger - instead, it is an interesting period to be there as I got to see from afar some of the protests that were taking place and I got to experience how invested the locals were in the county’s political exploits. Spain has so much to offer –historical sights, the expansive natural views, majestic architectural feats but my favourite part of Spain was of course, the best seafood dishes in the world.

Beautiful view of the architecture in Madrid


The striking sunset in Madrid

Waves crashing into the coast of Barcelona

Where Spain was a relaxing and comfortable destination, Morocco was a completely adventurous and culturally immersive ride. The main spoken languages are French and Arabic, of which neither of us could speak so even getting through everyday situations such as navigating a map, or reading a menu was a challenge. However, that did not prevent us from experiencing the best of what Morocco had to offer between Rabat, Fez and Marrakech. The highlight of my trip had to be night trekking in the Saharan desert on a camel in pitch black darkness, and the only source of light being the most extensive blanket of stars I have ever laid my eyes on. That view was absolutely magical and unforgettable, and I was completely mesmerized. Some of the other highlights of the Moroccan trip includes marvelling at the intricate designs of the country, getting lost whilst exploring the veins of Morocco – the narrow alleyways of the old medinas, and haggling in the souks.

The Hassan Tower in Rabat

Intricate Moroccan tiles

Bounty of the Moroccan souks

Berber looking out into the Saharan Desert

Trekking into the sunset on camel-back

After the hectic period of travelling, I spent some downtime over Christmas with my cousin, her husband and his family in Durham which is where he is from. It was my first time celebrating Christmas, and I definitely got the full experience. I went for a Cathedral visit where I go to listen to Christmas carols, I opened presents in the morning of Christmas, had a full roast dinner and I even sat through the Boxing day shenanigans - all whilst looking out at the blanket of snow and frost outside. It was a lovely and comforting way to wrap up the wildly exciting year that I have experienced thus far, especially in the embrace of family.

My cousin and I in our family

After spending a full Christmas break away from the University, coming back felt oddly warm and comforting. The university has truly become my home away from home, and while the new term has picked up its pace and things are getting hectic on the academic front, it’s useful to look back and realise no matter how stressed I may be during the term, I will eventually pull through and come out having developed even more as a person. I hope the new term brings about more challenges and experiences, and I can’t wait to immerse myself fully in them.


May 2022

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  • Looks like you're having a great time, I must say that photo from law ball is exceptional! by Seneba on this entry
  • It is good to see that you are having fun! xo by Alicja Lysik on this entry

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