We’re so proud of our class of 2020. They've overcome enormous challenges to graduate, but at the same time they've been determined to make a difference - helping others, grasping opportunities to develop their skills and showing their Essex Spirit in so many different ways. Now we're taking the chance to celebrate their achievements.
Wed 22 Jul 20
A passion for righting injustices attracted Abena Prempah to a law degree but it was this desire to help others that led her to volunteer as a Wellbeing Ambassador too.
“I hate the stereotype and the stigma around mental health. Being part of the wellbeing team allowed me to explore the subject of mental health and how I could better serve students and myself by being a representative,” she said.
Abena, who is graduating with an LLB Law, was responsible for coordinating communications to volunteers. It’s a role she says has broadened her horizons about student mental health.
“Students are drawn away from home, from our families as we pursue our dreams. During such a time in our lives we have so many challenges. Being able to volunteer with a team that stands to reassure students that we are there for them was very rewarding,” she said.
Abena, who chose to study at Essex because of its diverse community, was also able to develop her skills and experience through an internship in her native Ghana during her studies.
Working at Keystone Solicitors, she rotated around teams researching cases, attending client meetings and drafting and proof reading legal documents.
“I was fortunate to work with an amazing and supportive group of individuals,” she said.
“Liaising and having to understudy senior lawyers was the most rewarding thing as I have not only gained on field practice and experience but have formed long term relationships.
“I have gained skills in professionalism, employability and commercial awareness. It taught me discipline, perseverance and has aided my decision to pursue law further,” she added.
It didn’t come without challenges though: “Although UK and Ghanaian law are similar there are distinctive features of the law that set them apart which I struggled with initially, but eventually with the guidance of my supervisor I managed to understand it.”
Abena is joining the University of Law in September to study the Legal Practice course and an MSc Business and Management.