Meet Rosana: Legal Practitioner and Chevening Scholar!
Where did you grow up?
What was your childhood like?
I was a very bookish child and I enjoyed reading anything I could get my hands on!
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to be a psychiatrist, as Dr. Huang was my favourite character on Law & Order: SVU.
What do you do now?
I'm reading for my Masters of Law in Environmental law and Policy at University College London.
What drew you to this field?
My degree focuses on regulatory responses to environmental problems. I am particularly interested in Climate Justice. Grenada, as a Small Island Developing State, contributes very little to global emissions, yet is disproportionately vulnerable to the effects of Climate Change. It is very important that we have strong policy, legal and institutional frameworks in place to mitigate against and adapt to the environmental challenges ahead.
What educational preparation did you have to do?
In terms of my general legal education, I completed my law degree at the Cave Hill Campus of UWI. I then did my Legal Education Certificate(LEC) at Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad. In order to earn the LEC, I had to fulfill 10 weeks of practical training. I was fortunate enough to secure an internship at the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Headquarters in St. Lucia. I also had to do Legal Aid. I chose the Environmental Law specialist Clinic .
How did/do you fund your studies?
I funded my legal studies through a Grenada Island Scholarship and my current postgraduate degree through a Chevening Scholarship.
What is a typical working day like?
As a legal practitioner, my day tends to be very unpredictable as I go to court and also do office work. Currently, as a postgraduate student my days are more flexible as I have very limited contact hours and spend most of my time engaging in independent study.
What do you like the most about your current profession?
I like the breadth of practice areas that I am exposed to and the feeling of satisfaction from a client when the adoption of their child is completed or they get the keys to their dream home.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your current profession?
As a legal practitioner, it can sometimes be difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance, as clients do not expect you to just be their lawyer between 8-4 on weekdays.
Who are your role models or who do you look up to?
My primary role models are my parents. They have taught me the value of hard work, sacrifice and discipline and also of being respectful to others despite their race or creed.
What motivates you?
We all have lazy days, however I am principally motivated by the fact that my actions and inactions affect others. Too many sacrifices were made and too many resources were spent on me, for me not to be great! It is my duty to give back! I also taught at my alma mater, St. Joseph’s Convent, for one year prior to starting my legal journey and several of my former students have remained in touch with me and look up to me for encouragement.
What are you most proud of?
So far, I'm most proud of having of having obtained a Chevening Scholarship on my first try. I intended to apply for quite some time, but kept putting it off. The process is quite rigorous, hence I'm proud that I carved out the time, settled myself and just did it!
What are the biggest obstacles/challenges you have faced so far in pursuit of your goals?
It was always a goal of mine to pursue postgraduate studies, however once I started working, I got very comfortable with my lifestyle. Nevertheless, nothing grows in comfort zones and I have to consciously keep encouraging myself to push new boundaries.
What is the best piece of advice for someone wishing to enter your field of study/work?
At the risk of being slightly controversial, we're often sold the notion that if you find something that you love, you'll never work another day of your life...to me that's not always the case (I've not been able to find a way to monetize napping)! I wish I had some magic formula to give, but in my experience it all boils down to putting in the work, despite what your endeavor may be.
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
I enjoy being in the outdoors and my interests include landscape photography and hashing (a type of hike).
Anything else to add?
I derive some of my guiding principles from the poem Desiderata by Max Ehrmann. Some of my favorite lines are: "...If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. ... Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy."
CariScholar Q&A with Rosana John - Attorney-at-Law and Graduate Student at University College London.
This CariScholar series aims to give a glimpse into the professional journeys of some of the most accomplished academics and professionals.
Find out more about CariScholar by visiting our website.