Ojeda Smith
My advice to other students about to start at NTU would be to always be open-minded and take advantage of any opportunity presented to you.

More about Ojeda

1. Tell us about your experience at Nottingham Trent University (NTU):

I was welcomed as a student at NTU from September 2015 and received my Bachelors in Criminology in July 2018.

As I am from Bermuda, I travelled to the UK to visit different cities and universities. After visiting all of them, NTU was my favourite. Visiting NTU and Nottingham as a whole gave me a sense of warmth and a “home away from home” as it felt like the best student orientated city for studying and of course, the occasional student nightlife. Bermuda is a very small island, only 21 square miles, with a population of approximately 65,000 people; therefore, I felt Nottingham was the easiest city to adjust to because I come from such a small world over in Bermuda.

NTU offers great opportunities and in my second year I was selected to be a part of the ‘Learning Together’ Programme which aims to ‘bring students in prison and university together’. This initiative required us to study alongside eight prisoners from HMP Lowdham Grange to learn together, covering topics centered around stereotypes and prejudices regarding prisoners and prisons as well as talk regarding punishment and education in their role in shaping our society. It was a 10 week prison education course which took place at HMP Lowdham Grange. Lowdham Grange is a category B male training prison, with approximately 900 men, roughly about 30 minutes away from NTU. I was able to listen and emphasise with individuals from across a spectrum of backgrounds and I believe this opportunity presented by NTU, improved this ability of mine. Only 12 students within the Criminology and Education course were selected, thus, after receiving the news of my successful application; I was in shock. It was a rewarding feeling knowing that my hard work had paid off and that I would be representing my University.

Nottingham Law School is a faction of Nottingham Trent University; therefore, this will be a suitable transition for me. I recognise that Nottingham Trent University was named ‘University of the year 2017’; therefore, this gives me good faith that undertaking the GDL at this institution would be extremely beneficial. Additionally, Nottingham Law School has relationships with many law firms throughout the UK, which will increase my chances of securing potential work experience and building my network.

2. What made you want to study law?

I have decided to study Law and undertake the GDL, as I am captivated by how inter-connected it is with our ever-changing society. Towards the end of the second year of the criminology course, I had a strong desire to help people. Naturally, I gravitated towards a career in law.

3. What advice would you give to other students about to start studying at NTU?

My advice to other students about to start at NTU would be to always be open-minded and take advantage of any opportunity presented to you. I believe university is all about finding yourself and finding what you are passionate about and I believe taking risks is the best way. No outcome is 100% certain; however, without taking risks such as different opportunities/programs which NTU offers, you may never find out what you are truly capable of. So go for it! Even if its joining a society or getting involved with NTSU or even volunteering programs within the Nottinghamshire community; make the most of your time at NTU and I am certain it will make you grow as an individual.

4. Tell us about your experience working in a law firm in Bermuda and the scholarship you have been offered:

I was awarded a summer internship opportunity at one of Bermuda’s leading law firms, Wakefield Quin. This experience has afforded me the opportunity to obtain useful skills, such as good communication skills, time keeping, judgement, analytical skills, and insight into Bermuda’s court system by being present with a managing partner of the firm regarding various court matters. I recognize that studying law is much different than practicing it, therefore, by being taught the skills which can not necessarily be taught in the classroom is essential and I believe this will enable me to make the most out of the GDL programme.

Since 2015, I have applied for many scholarships; all of which were denied. I lost hope at some points; however, I am a true believer in that everything happens for a reason. Wakefield Quin offered me a Legal Scholarship Award to fund my studies from the 2018/2019 academic year. The Scholarship covers the full tuition which is an incredible honour to my family and I. Wakefield Quin, through its affiliates, provides a full range of legal, fund and trust administration, corporate, secretarial, and accounting and management services.

5. What are your plans for the future?

I recognise that pursuing a postgraduate degree in law will always challenge me; however, it is equally rewarding; emotionally and intellectually. In the future, I would like to support people and provide the best legal expertise and services where possible, with a specific focus in Corporate/Commercial Law. I believe the GDL does a fantastic job in preparing me for this challenge. Law offers a wide selection of career options; with the possibilities being endless. I expect that enrichment experiences like this will benefit me by affording me the opportunity to connect with experts in the law field, exchange personal in-sight with my peers and have hands-on, real world experiences, which will provide me with the building blocks for my career.

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