Anu Yusuf is a second-year LLB (Hons) student at Birmingham City University’s School of Law.

I came to the UK starry-eyed and a bit mindful about my different background. Before my arrival, my thoughts were centred on my course of study and not how to cope with other environmental issues. Coming to study in the UK from Nigeria was a huge milestone but I did not anticipate how different being in the UK would be.

At first, I was intimidated by everything even boarding a bus. I felt I would make mistake in everything I say or do. When I go to shops and I can’t find what I need, I would be so timid to ask the staff questions but I got to realise that I can’t live like that. I have learnt to work my way around situations and use them for my benefit.

I spoke with my personal tutor about it and she gave me tips and hints on how to get around easily and make use of opportunities around me. Even though the most natural thing would be to keep to oneself, we still have to go out there and make the best of the opportunities available to us.

Birmingham City University is resourceful in helping students to network and enhance their employability. I started networking in my first year even though I had no clue what it was about or what to say but continual attendance developed my confidence and before I know it, I could ask questions, get speakers’ contact details and so on. It was through networking that I got my first mini-pupillage in a Chambers at Liverpool.

BCU provides jobs on campus, too, where students are literally treated as part of the staff, you get to work in an office environment and do major things. Besides the attractive salary you’ll get, it also promotes your values and qualities to future employers. It helps you to build your ability to work professionally and makes you proactive makes you proactive whilst still a student.

My first job was as a student ambassador (subject-talks). Despite still struggling with my confidence, I carried out presentations about university life to students in college. With each presentation, I developed my communication and persuasion skills which is a huge achievement in my aspiration to be a lawyer.

Anu’s top tips for students starting at Birmingham City University

  1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, it is an opportunity to learn.
  2. Do something out of your comfort zone so you can get the best value out of your time here.
  3. Be willing to learn and ask for help.
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