We caught up with Fauzia, LLB Law 2013, to find out about where her degree at Essex has taken her.

“Since graduating from Essex I have worked in various HR consulting roles, and for the past 4 and a half years I've been at Google - starting in the UK and relocating to Switzerland. I am currently a Program Manager in the EMEA Engagement team and as a 20% role am the EMEA Chief of Staff for the Black Googler Network (our version of societies).

There's no such thing as a typical day in my job, as my role is building programs that engage external partners with Google as a brand. I am in a lot of meetings (internally and externally) and I can have up to 4 programs running at the same time that require my supervision and for me to ensure they run to completion.

In my 20% role, I oversee the operational rigour and maintenance of our Employee Resource Group BGN - for all of EMEA (1000+ members across 9 countries). As such, every day brings a new challenge and problem to solve.

If someone would have told me all those years ago, during freshers week, that I would be where I am now, doing what I do now, I would have laughed at how ludicrous and far-fetched it all sounds. Yet here I am, loving every second of the unknown!

My advice to current students would be to be proactive, look on the careers websites, utilise LinkedIn, have conversations with Alumni in roles you’re interested in and truly try to understand what their roles entail and if you could picture yourself doing the same thing.  Also immerse yourself in everything Essex has to offer, if something piques your interest, say yes! You won't regret it.

I chose to study at Essex as my course had a good reputation, I liked the fact that it's a campus university and it was far enough for me to feel like I was away from home, but not too far that going home for the weekend wasn't too much of a trek. What I enjoyed the most about Essex is that it truly is an international university, I made lifelong friends from a variety of countries. I also really enjoyed the access to high quality teaching and facilities.

The area of my degree I enjoyed the most was Jurisprudence. Having studied Philosophy and Ethics at A-level, it was great having the opportunity to expand and broaden my knowledge of the topic but from a legal viewpoint. I also remember having great conversations in EU law and Medical Ethics modules as well as the Moot competitions, they were a major highlight of my time at Essex.

I am so grateful for the fact that at Essex we had a careers centre, a well established Law society with connections and access to the working world. Knowing what I know now, I certainly would have utilised those services a lot more during my degree, but the foundational support and knowledge I was equipped with, helped to give me an insight into the working world.

My next steps are to expand my existing programs across EMEA as well as develop new ones and ensure the BGN continues to flourish and serve the Black Googler community.

Studying Law has really shaped the way I think, the way I approach a problem and has enabled me to remain objective in often tricky situations. I am also very grateful for the ability to think quickly on my feet, a skill I think was certainly enhanced during my mooting competition days."

Fauzia van der Leeuw