How Griffith University propelled a student’s career in Queensland
Jermaine finds a new future in Queensland by studying Bachelor of Laws at Griffith University
A common concern for international students studying abroad is developing professional relationships that lead to long-term employment opportunities.
Before arriving in Queensland to take up a Bachelor of Laws degree at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus, Zimbabwean Jermaine Rusike had never set foot in Australia.
An aspiring lawyer, he also had ambitions to secure qualifications abroad at a globally-recognised institution. He had extended family in Australia, but – apart from the sub-tropical climate – that was the limit of his knowledge.
"There’s one university in Zimbabwe which is universally-recognised, so there isn’t as much choice for tertiary education at home as there is in Queensland,” the 23-year-old said.
“The Griffith Law School is an excellent law school – amongst the top law schools world-wide. So, when I received an opportunity to take up a First-Year Academic Excellence Scholarship, I started to prepare for life in Queensland.”
Without the connections of close family or high school alumni on the Gold Coast, Jermaine needed to be proactive in developing relationships beyond his tutorial rooms. Queensland universities – like Griffith University – are highly engaged with the spectrum of professional sectors, introducing students with local business leaders across broad disciplines.
“I chose to study law in order to help people access justice,” Jermaine said. “I am especially interested in commercial litigation because of the opportunity to use critical thinking to solve complex matters. In my view, lawyers are professional problem solvers.”
“I realised I had to build a strong professional network early on in my degree as I didn’t have the advantage of local contacts a lot of my colleagues had. In my third year of university, I began working as a legal intern – an opportunity that arose through networking.”
Four years after arriving in Queensland, Jermaine has graduated from Griffith University with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours. And after two years, he has progressed to become a Legal Trainee at Cronin Miller Litigation. Cronin Miller Litigation is a boutique commercial litigation firm on the Gold Coast that specializes in resolving commercial disputes, as well as providing results for people who have a claim of a commercial nature.
As a Legal Trainee, Jermaine undertakes a wide range of duties including drafting legal correspondence, researching case law and legislation, and communicating with clients.
His qualification is a milestone for his proud family back in Zimbabwe.
“I’m the first person in my family to go through university and graduate.
“I’m now undertaking my Practical Legal Training. Thereafter, I hope to gain admission to the Supreme Court of Queensland.”
As an international student in Australia, Jermaine has said the Gold Coast community has been very welcoming. In 2018, Jermaine was appointed to the Queensland International Student Advisory Panel. The panel represents the interests of international students to the Queensland Government.
“From work to university and the wider student community, everyone is very warm and friendly on the Gold Coast. I feel at home.”
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