Three former BCU International College Law students are celebrating huge Supreme Court success. Khalid Okpede Muhammad, Shamsiya Ibaku Mohammed and Rolake Mary-Anne Akintelure have all been called to the Bar as Barristers and Solicitors of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
After graduating from BCU’s School of Law in 2018 and 2019, Khalid, Shamsiya and Rolake all went onto pursue further study at Nigerian Law School before qualifying earlier this year.
We caught up with the successful law graduates to see why they chose to study at BCU, and what advice they have for current Law students.
Rolake Mary-Anne Akintelure
“I chose BCUIC and BCU because it is a large and diverse place to study. There were various opportunities such as career fairs, workshops, mentoring programmes, student placements and free career advice which helped me a lot. Also, Birmingham is one of the best places to live in the UK! It is a lively city and has a friendly atmosphere.
“My experience as an international student was nothing short of amazing! Living and travelling on my own gave me a greater sense of independence and expanded my views of the world. The top quality education I received made me progress in achieving my goals of becoming a Lawyer.
“My advice to current students is to never procrastinate. Whenever it feels overwhelming, take a break but never give up. Always visualise the success you are aiming for and remind yourself of why you started in the first place.
“Also, try and engage in other recreational activities such as mock trials, debates and take advantage of internships in law firms. This will make you stand out and increase your legal knowledge.”
Khalid Okpede Muhammad
“I chose BCUIC and BCU based on both its reputation and the opportunities it offers. It was like a home to international students because it offers all the necessary skills and support you need to excel in our future endeavours. Equality and diversity was also well supported by BCU, which provides intercultural understanding and positive relationships between students from all cultural backgrounds. As a result, I was exposed to multiple perspectives and world views.
“The day I arrived at BCU, everything about life was different from what I had experienced in Nigeria, from the climate to the food. I feel blessed to have been part of such a diverse environment. Teaching methodologies and systems were very different for me versus how I was taught at home. Orienting myself within the system was difficult in the beginning, but there were always people around willing to help.
“My advice to current students is that you must dedicate yourself and have passion for whatever you’re studying. As a law student, one should apply self-discipline by attending lectures and seminars. Also, avoid using encyclopaedia and Google! Instead, develop the habit of using West Law and LexisNexis.”
Shamsiya Ibaku Mohammed
“I choose BCUIC and BCU mainly because of the diverse student body and networking opportunities available. BCU has a very efficient structure, a broad academic curriculum and a diverse environment.
“My experience as an international student was so different to anything I had known before then, everything was new to me. I was scared I would not meet people who look like me or like the same things as me. I am happy to say that because of the diversity on campus, it wasn’t hard to make friends.
“In my second year at BCU, I was finally settled on campus and I was looking for a community to get involved with. My good friends then founded the Nigerian Society and I was privileged to be selected as the secretary of the society, which was a very interesting experience for me. I also got to travel to Brussels as part of our International Human Rights Module which was an amazing experience. My university experience was so different but I wouldn’t change any bit of it, I got to learn a lot and experience life in a whole new country. I certainly made the right choice.
“My advice to current law students is to always ask questions, be curious, do you research and read. You should also find a study pattern that works for you and take advantage of the facilities available both online and offline.
“University life is crazy and it gets overwhelming, so take care of your mental health and don’t abandon your personal goals. Engage in activities outside of law school, continue to reflect and focus. You are not alone in this journey.”
Source: Birmingham City University