“The most rewarding experience for me at UTS Law has been learning different skills such as critical thinking, creative problem solving and negotiating, and I believe these skills are things that are universally applicable to any situation in that even if I decide not to practise as a lawyer in the future, I can still utilise these skills in a variety of different contexts and I still do.”

My name is Fatima Shafaie and I’m currently in my final year of combined law and journalism degree here at UTS. I’m a Hazara by ethnicity from Afghanistan and I have been calling Australia home since the last nine years. The scholarship that I received was the $5000  Ezekiel Solomon Scholarship and for me that scholarship has meant that I can put my studies before any financial concerns. Through that scholarship I was able to purchase essential items such as a laptop, my law textbooks which can cost quite a bit, and also work apparel because I was constantly worried about turning up at interviews and opportunities without looking like I was prepared.

I also got to meet Mr. Solomon and hear from him about his journey which was really inspiring and it was delightful to hear some of the similarities in where he came from and where I am right now, so that gave me a confidence boost. The most rewarding experience for me at UTS Law has been learning different skills such as critical thinking, creative problem solving and negotiating, and I believe these skills are things that are universally applicable to any situation in that even if I decide not to practise as a lawyer in the future, I can still utilise these skills in a variety of different contexts and I still do. These are some of the skills that I apply now in my personal life, in my professional life, in employment positions that are not necessarily legally related.

For me, these skills will remain with me for I guess the rest of my life and I’m happy that they’ve come from my experiences at UTS Law. UTS Law for me means opportunities, the opportunity to be able to study at a reputable university which is not only dynamic but it’s also an emerging university which really appeals to my generation. The skills that I have learned as part of my law degree here at UTS has given me an exposure to the workplace and not just the constant I guess standards at workplace, but the ever-changing ones as well. It has kept me up to date with what’s happening outside and how I can utilise the skills that I have gained here in the workplace.

My plans and aspirations for the future are not yet set in concrete because I have been doing a combined degree but from the law side of things, my interests are in the migration refugee law, and also recently in medical law. I am hoping to, by the end of my degree, secure hopefully a graduate position in one of these fields and start my career professionally. Currently I’m taking steps to make that a reality through work experience and I’m going to be doing my placement very soon, so hopefully the aspirations come true very soon.