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Taking an Alternative Career Path: Academia

Different path

I completed my law degree in December. In my last semester I could not find the floor of my room and had not left the house in ages – I thought I would never make it. During that semester I also started applying for jobs. At first I did not have many bites, and I was a little scared at the prospect of becoming a waitress with a law degree.

I eventually got offered two part-time jobs. Interestingly, these jobs were not offered to me from filling out an application form or submitting my resume. They were offered to me by contacts that I had made during my studies. These contacts were aware of my potential and interests, and they offered me work in areas that I am passionate about.

I am working this year as a tutor at university, something that when I started my law degree would have never crossed my mind!

In my final semester I wrote my thesis on the obscure and complex area of comparing Cuban and Chinese Internet laws. As I wrote my thesis a professor took note of my acquired knowledge and love for politics and laws in developing nations. This professor has subsequently offered me a tutoring position in politics in developing nations. There was a reason behind my obscure and complex thesis topic after all. I am so glad that my thesis won’t just be collecting dust on my bookshelf, and will actually be put to good use!

During my internship at legal welfare another professor took note of my passion and interest in assisting victims of domestic violence. I was then offered another position at uni for a subject that focuses on the relationship between women and the law.

I was in shock (and still am!) that my hard work and ‘eager-bevearness’ has paid off not only through my academic result, but now also through being paid to educate people about what I am most passionate about.

Whether this is your first or last year at uni, get your head out of the sand and get involved. Your professors will notice if you are a hard working student and if you love a subject. You never know, if you are an ‘eager-beaver’ high grades might not be your only reward. There may be a career in academia waiting for you!

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