Recent law graduate and recipient of a Think Big about Global Justice Scholarship, Kudzi Manase, explains how she came to study law in the first place and what inspired her to apply for the scholarship to kickstart her career.
I was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe, where I completed my IGCSE’s and A-levels in Maths, English Literature and Biology. I particularly enjoyed the last two because of how much reading was involved and was inspired to study law as a result. I chose Bristol for a number of reasons, one of which was the city’s reputation as a lively and welcoming place. More importantly, I was looking for a university that would provide me with the skills and experiences that would allow me to complete my studies as a highly employable graduate. Bristol was, and still is, ranked very highly for employability.
Figuring out my path
Before studying at University, I felt I wasn’t provided with as much careers guidance as I would have liked. Students were expected to follow very traditional career paths, but I wanted to explore things that were a bit more creative. As there wasn’t much guidance for this, I created a website where I interviewed successful Zimbabwean women based across the world in a wide range of professions. I asked them about their roles and to explain what their processes were, why they chose their specific paths and what students who wanted to go into something similar would need to do to get there.
Making my application
When I applied to Bristol, I also applied for the Think Big about Global Justice Scholarship. The scholarship is specific to University of Bristol applicants and involved writing a bit about myself, what I wanted to do once I graduated and why I chose Bristol. I also had to outline something that I had done within my community that I felt was of importance and helped as many people as possible – see above! Thankfully I was successful in gaining the scholarship which was helpful during my studies.
“When I found out that I was successful in my application, I was very excited as I’d always known Bristol was my first choice. Receiving that email only cemented my decision to study there.”
I felt that I had worked very hard in my academics and various projects, so it was something that made me feel good about all the work that I had put in up to that point.
What it was really like
One of the ways that the scholarship did push me was the requirement to maintain a certain grade level throughout my degree. I like to think that I am self-motivated, but that was definitely a nice, additional motivator! I always felt that there was support whenever I needed it at a number of different levels. At the closest level, every student is given a personal tutor – that’s someone that you can talk to about your academics and extracurricular activities whenever you need to. Just knowing that person was there whenever I needed them was amazing and a very big help! Beyond that, thinking about the law school more broadly, I always felt that whenever I had a query or an issue and reached out to someone, it was dealt with quickly and well.
There was a very diverse range of units offered by the Law School. From my own perspective, I always gravitated towards units that would allow me to go into a more corporate environment. Some of the units I took, as a result, were things like commercial, banking and corporate law to name a few. That said, for students who aren’t interested in that sort of thing, there certainly are many other units available, such as Human Rights Law, Medical Law and Land Law to name a few.
Tailoring my degree and specialising
In my final year, I decided to study IT law. There were a number of reasons for this, the first of which was the novelty. A lot of my units were very much tailored towards going into either banking or corporate law, but IT Law was more diverse and covered a lot of different areas. We studied how IT features in the work that the police do, in medicine and social media, to name a few. The other reason I chose the unit was because of how inescapable information technology has become. It made sense to be able to understand how the law in this space was evolving as a result and the impact it could have on myself and others as consumers.
“My experience at the University of Bristol was amazing. Being able to learn alongside students who are very ambitious and who expect great things in their future really does encourage you to continue working hard. Bristol provided me with an environment where I felt encouraged and able to achieve my ambitions.”
My experiences at the university of Bristol have been incredibly helpful in helping me settle into my role as a graduate analyst and are sure to continue being useful as I progress in my career.
Find out more
Applications for the Think Big about Global Justice Scholarships are now open. The first deadline for applications is 28 March 2022. Find out more about the scholarship on the Law School Funding webpage.