Current Employer/Organisation Name
What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?
I went to London to study GDL after I finished the LLM at the University of Exeter in the end of 2020. The reason to go to London is partly because it seems that there are more opportunities for an international graduate like me in London. The reason to study GDL is because I want to apply for training contract once completed the degree. However, as a foreigner, I could only stay to look for jobs if I passed the degree I enrolled as required by the law here; it is after then that I could apply for a graduate visa which allows me to stay in London to look for jobs. I have done all this by March 2022, and now I have done one pro bono work with a law firm practicing prison law for a year, and a charity work with Care4Calais in asylum seeking/ humanitarian for a couple of months. I have just got offered an internship to do paralegal work in commercial and corporation law. My next goal is apply for summer vacation scheme with international law firms and then a training contract before the expiration of my visa (in March 2024).
Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?
Why I chose to work in humanitarian sectors was mainly because, firstly, I wanted to be of help to people in need by using the knowledge and skills I gained from my legal education. Secondly, as I have found that people I am similar to are most likely to be in humanitarian sectors, and that is important for me because I learn best in the environment I feel welcomed. Continuing with my second reason, I know myself well enough so that is why I knew I can best learn or perform when working with people I trust and enjoy spending time with. What I enjoy most about the work so far is finding myself growing not only the know how of doing the work, but also comprehension of the meaning to see people’s life got changed because of the work I do.
Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?
I was a member of a hiking society though I could not remember its name now. I went on hiking with the group for at least 5 times; the last time was in march 2020 before the national lockdown. I was also a volunteer with RSPB and a local community helping homeless and the immigrants during the year study at Exeter as well. I am still a friend s of a few living in Exeter serving the local community.
What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?
I really liked the modules I chose because of the interest in the subjects and also because of the width of knowledge my professions possessed in teaching that subjects. I felt relived to learn that no all modules required me to study for exams. It is not because I do not like exams, but I am of the opinion that writing a exam paper is more helpful in learning. In short, the highlight of the year study was to have my own time reading, doing research and writing, knowing that I could learn much from this process, and that I had a cute campus cat accompanying me whenever I went out for a walk and ran -he was the ginger cat often lingering at the bottom of the hill leading towards Forum. Another highlight of the time studying at Exeter was that I was admitted into a pathway programme organized by the University to intern with a start-up company making non-alcoholic drinks based in Exmouth. I gained a bit of confident whilst doing an internship, knowing that even as a foreigner, we are valued, too.
What did you enjoy most about studying here?
I enjoyed the fresh air and the frost on the grass in the morning when I walked out from the dormitory. I also loved the fact that we could purchase breakfast or dinners if staying at the campus. I ran a lot and the size of the campus was exactly the right size for a run each time -roughly took me 30 minutes.
Why did you choose to study at Exeter?
I chose to study at Exeter because I knew I would go to London at one point after a year study but I would probably have had little chance to visit Exeter or other countryside in England if not choosing Exeter for the programme. Going to Exeter was the best choice I have done to come to the UK for the first time.
What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?
I think work experience is the most useful so far -both legal and non-legal work. That is because at interviews they like to ask you competency questions based on the work experience you have had. It is also useful to note down the skills I have learned from studying and working. That is because some can be transferable skills which are helpful in securing a job you have never done before.
What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?
Every career is good as long as it fits your characteristics. So I would say try everything you can even though it means you may fail in the end, but never give up too quick because just remember that there is something good waiting for you in the near future.
What are your plans for the future?
I would like to stay in London to be trained as a solicitor. I am thinking to become a in-house right now and then take the SQE route to become a solicitor. The area of law for my legal career in London needs to be corporation, contract, IP, data protection, business dispute solutions and ESG because that is how I can keep my future job’ options flexible if I want to change to work in another country closer to my home in Taiwan. However, I would keep my mind open to any possibilities; My passions in law after all lie in something else which relates to making other people’s life better or to make a place more comfortable for living, but before dedicating myself to that, I would need the skills/ leadership and of course the money in order to carry out the obligations required for that bigger role. I may not know what that role is now, but I am on my way to find it out.