Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Impact of a University Education

I am paid 6 pounds per hour for doing nothing but take people around the university and talk to them about the university in general and the law course. Excellent money for such little work :P

When I was talking to a few students and their parents about the course, I was reminded about myself. As I sat in the lecture room listening to a sample law lecture on European Union Law, I was reminded about how I used to doze off in that class or play "Snake" on my Nokia mobile. I still remember vividly my first ever law lecture. It was on contract and the lecturer gave out 2 bundles of notes for us to read. Thinking back now, it has been 3 years since that first law lecture. I've been through so many hours and sat through so many boring lectures. To walk that road again would be tortourous. It would simply be living hell. But in retrospect, as I told prospective students what I learnt from being a Nottingham Law student, I realised I told them the truth. Usually at such occasions, people tend to overstate things but not me. I told them every single detail of my life here. I shared with them the amount of stress I had to endure, how competitive it is to study here and etc. I shared with them how I learnt to think laterally and critically. These skills did not come overnight, instead it came gradually. When I was still sitting in that lecture room and struggling to finish up the tutorial questions, I never would have thought that I learnt so much other than the Law. But now, I am thankful that I chose this course and this university. It has taught me much more than academics. It has moulded me to be the individual I am today; someone who is independent enough yet willing to accept opinions and ideas from others.

When I shared my future with them today, they were surprised to learn that I do not want to pursue a career in law. To me, a degree is just a stepping stone to the working world. It gives you the extra edge to get the job that you desire. Even if I read law, it does not mean that I have to practice it. Law is narrow in a sense because it prevents you from pursuing a Master's in finance or accounting or economics but it does not close all doors to such career choices. You can read law yet be in the finance sector. Law is a versatile subject. Business revolves around the application of law. I don't see it as a waste of my law degree if I diversity into the commercial world. I see it as an advantage; a very positive and encouraging advantage.

Would I encourage people to read law?

I would only if that person has a very strong interest in law. Do not choose law if you do not have the requisite academic ability and the stamina to study long hours constantly. Do not choose law if your main reason is to earn big bucks at the end of the day. Read it because you are completely passionate about it. If you are not and you are not ready to put in the extra hours, forget it, law is not for the faint hearted.