Where the Rubber Meets the Road – Jade & Fiona
Jade and Fiona are two young legal minds, both at different points in the journeys. But the resemblance between their work ethic, ambition and openness to discovery is uncanny. Let’s start at the very beginning…
Fresh out of high school, Jade Makory thought she wanted to study medicine; perhaps it was one to many episodes of a medical show, but her initial inclination was to healthcare. While she took time to decide, she took an International Computer Driving License (ICDL) certification here at Strathmore, and got the chance to hear Dr. Franceschi, founding dean of Strathmore Law School, talk about the undergraduate program. She was sold. A few years down the line, there was Fiona Mwaura, similarly finding herself at the crossroads of choosing an undergraduate degree. With solid advice from family and friends, and a few episodes of Suits (an American legal drama television series) to back it up, she settled on law. Their two individual decisions set them on a similar path.
Right off the bat, they threw themselves into the extracurricular activities that the University had to offer. A common thought to both was to expose themselves to as much as they could, and in doing so, discover where their strengths lay. For Fiona, a mock moot during a Communications Skills class sparked her love for mooting. “The experience was hectic, you had to learn how to work with others, go through the moot process and practice how to speak. After that class project, I decided to do the Cindy Wakio moot”. The mooting experience opened her eyes to other options. This was an experience Jade shared when she participated in the Children’s Rights Moot Court. For her, however, a truly influential experience was her internship at the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law (CIPIT) and her experience working at the Microsoft Policy Innovation Centre. While juggling school, extracurricular activities and an internship, Jade found her passion in business and tech related law. So much so that her dissertation was on cyber warfare.
There is a season for everything. In the journey called life, as well as that of law, it is important to know what to prioritize when, so that you don’t drop any of your glass balls. For Fiona, knowing when to step back from a moot or a law clinic exercise and really focus on her academic work has been an important element of university so far. Some seasons clash, but sometimes everything falls perfectly in place – knowing when you need to prioritize earns you awards such as the Best Overall Female student at the annual Strathmore Law School student excellence awards. An award that Jade received at the end of her four years in Strathmore, and one that Fiona, as the 2022 Outstanding Female First year, is potentially on her path to achieving. “Always remember to listen to yourself and slow down as needed, a healthy mental state goes a long way in helping you achieve the things you are working towards”. With experience, Jade has learnt to reflect on how opportunities fit into the bigger picture, how to seize the right opportunities and push herself while still maintaining her mental wellbeing.
“As a woman, every time you enter a room, people will form biases based on your gender, age or any number of things. It takes patience and humility to break down the walls and create opportunities for the women who come after you. Remember, your journey as a woman is not yours alone”.
Those who come before pave the way for others, through their own examples or even mentoring. For Jade, being a little further in her career offers her a clearer view on how to be deliberate in seizing opportunities and owning your career. One of her greatest life lessons so far is to always stay hungry. For Fiona, a little way back, passion is a driving force; be passionate, speak with conviction and give your all in whatever you choose to do.
It’s not often that we get to look into a two-way mirror of the past and the future, but when we do, we see the overlying experiences and the gems we can learn from them.
This article was written by Celia Kinuthia.
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