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A passion for social justice

Sajda was looking for an academic experience that also incorporated global learning.

When Sajda Yakub was exploring tertiary options during her VCE year, she knew she wanted to study at a university that could offer her more than a degree.

A keen traveller throughout her secondary-school years, Sajda was looking for an academic experience that also incorporated contemporary, global learning.

‘After searching through different universities and the opportunities that each had on offer, I found that Deakin truly provided a ‘worldly’ experience, as promised. The offer of study tours, internship placements, international work experience, and industry-based learning were the highlights that stood out and essentially led me to choose Deakin,’ she explains.

Although she majored in science-focused subjects in VCE, Sajda says she soon recognised that particular stream of study wasn’t her real passion.

‘I soul-searched for some time and it wasn’t long before I realised that social justice and change, along with dissecting policies and cases, were the areas of study that I not only enjoyed, but was also enthusiastic about – that’s why I chose to study law and commerce,’ she explains

Now half-way through her Bachelor of Laws degree, Sajda is already notching up some valuable international study experience.

‘I undertook a team internship placement in Penang, Malaysia where I worked within an international company to solve a real-life business problem and I am soon looking forward to studying international human rights law at London School of Economics and Political Science,’ she says.

Sajda adds that the legal internships offered throughout the program – along with her highly- proactive approach to gaining hands-on legal skills – have helped her build a strong portfolio of practical skills and also boosted her employability.

For example, in the first year of her degree she volunteered as a law clerk with a small suburban firm which eventually evolved into a three-year job placement.

 ‘Through this experience, I’ve been able to work as temporary law clerk through a legal recruitment agency which has allowed me to undertake numerous contracts with a variety of legal firms,’ she explains.

Sajda also volunteers at the Women’s Legal Service and says this opportunity enables her to continue applying her paralegal skills and ongoing education in the real-life law work environment.

‘My career goals are quite open-ended, but they are directed towards practising as a lawyer. My passions lie in social justice and representing voices of minorities within the often-intimidating legal system. Whether I will go on to advocate for minority groups as a barrister or be a solicitor or a legal advocate, only time will tell.’

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