Having 11 weeks off of school for summer may sound ideal to most teenagers, but not when you’re an international student attending school in Saudi Arabia. The summer of senior year is hectic. The pressure is on to fill our resumes with valuable experience that will look attractive in university applications, while maintaining our school workload, as well as fulfilling our community service requirements – all while vacationing around the world, visiting family and attempting to have fun. As I was to spend 4 weeks in the UK for my summer holidays, I decided to do something productive with my time and I applied to intern at Nayyars over a two week period.
Living in Saudi Arabia, in a gated community, it’s difficult to find opportunities for work experience that pertain to one’s future goals. I have worked as a summer camp counsellor and interned in a university alumni department. Whilst these experiences were beneficial in their own ways, they didn’t help me ascertain what I wanted to do after high school.
Whilst at Nayyars I have surprised myself as to how much I have managed to learn in such a short amount of time. From how to interpret a will, to writing memos and research notes on a variety of issues; to analysing police reports and exploring family law cases. Overall the things I’ve learnt in school and in other work placements, the knowledge and experience I have gained at Nayyar’s has been the most impactful and has pushed me into seriously considering a discipline I’d never thought myself capable or confident enough to pursue, Law.
The tight knit nature of the firm surprised me the most. I was expecting to experience what we all see on legal dramas like Suits and Law & Order….crowded and hectic space with interns getting yelled at to make coffee and male protagonists patronizing employees. This obviously wasn’t the case, as Nayyars is unique in the way its female dominated as well as an incredibly warm and inclusive place to walk into in order to access any sort of legal help. Since I’ve been here we’ve had a feast in celebration of Eid, enjoyed ice lollies in the office on a hot day, and celebrated a birthday. The sense of community and respect amongst the personnel is amazing and definitely is what made me most comfortable.
Prior to the work placement, I wanted to pursue a Criminology degree in university. However, upon arrival into the welcoming environment here at Nayyars, having been given a taste of various fields of law, sitting in on real consultations, and learning from such experienced professionals in the field, I now intend to pursue a qualifying Law degree with a minor in Criminology. Being given the trust, direction and inspiration from Ayesha Nayyar and her team to produce meaningful work has given me the confidence to push myself out of my boundaries and strive for higher goals. Thank you Nayyars for giving me this remarkable opportunity.
Zoha Qureshi, The KAUST School, Saudi Arabia