"When I look back at my time at AOC, I find myself wishing that I chilled out for a bit and took care of myself more. Mentally, it was a really difficult time for me due to comparing myself to my peers who knew exactly what they wanted to do. Keep your head up and remember that this is your path, and you have time to figure everything out!"
My career roadmap has been all over the place.
Throughout high school, I honestly had no clue what I wanted to do as a career. However, the one thing I always knew was that I care about people and wanted to help the community around me.
I found myself majoring in Psychology because of my interest in people, and believed this to be relevant towards any career path I would end up choosing. It was difficult because I received a lot of backlash from peers, however, I believed this major would be a win-win situation (and it was!).
After I graduated AOC, I attended CSU Northridge for a year. During my senior year of AOC and first semester of university, I was confident that I wanted a career in medicine. However, after taking upper division courses and doing a lot of research, I realized that my skill sets, interests, and goals didn’t align with this career choice.
Soon after, I discovered law. I realized this was perfect for me because I love writing, formulating arguments, and problem solving. I also have a huge passion for creating change. Thankfully, the major of psychology is actually widely encouraged for pre-law, so I didn’t need to change anything.
As a Muslim-Pakistani, I felt inspired to bring more representation into this field. Especially as a woman, pursuing a career like this wasn’t encouraged or common for me to see in my culture as I was growing up. To this day, I have never met a woman in my culture who is pursuing law. I really look forward to being some sort of inspiration to kids in my culture specifically, so that they know people like us don’t need to be pushed back, and can actually have a voice.
Due to many reasons, I transferred to UC Irvine for my final two years. The program I am part of perfectly aligns with my goals, and I was able to receive a lot of guidance and knowledge regarding my career path.
In Fall 2020 I interned at the LA District Attorney's office. I then would complete my bachelor's degree in December 2020. Recently, I began working full-time as a legal assistant at a personal injury law firm - Owen, Patterson & Owen, LLP.
I am currently in a Masters of Public Policy program at UC Irvine, while also still working remotely part time for OPO as a legal assistant.
Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway
DURING MY HIGH SCHOOL CAREER
Event Organizer for Project Linus — helped me realize I care a lot about helping communities & my passion for leadership.
Interned at a medical clinic — helped me see if this was really the correct career path for me.
DURING MY COLLEGE CAREER
National Writer for Campus Media
Pre-law Society at UCI
Founder of Desi Girl Academy — an Instagram page to create a community for South Asian women and support their different careers.
New Voters Project Internship with CALPIRG (Coordinated by UCLA/UCI chapters)
Hopefully an internship at LA DA this upcoming Fall (depending on the pandemic)
What I'm currently doing/hope to do
Right now, I am working on studying for the LSAT and creating a solid application for law schools. I plan to finish my degree in December 2020, so during my 8-month gap afterwards I hope to work full-time at a law firm. Hopefully I get into a good law school, and I’ll be attending in Fall 2021. I’m not sure which law I want to specifically go into, as I am still exploring (which is okay!).
How to maximize my time in high school?
Advice #1: Really focus on skill-building. Law schools want people who can write efficiently, think quickly, and communicate effectively.
Advice #2: Engage with your community. Go outside of the school atmosphere to find internships and volunteering opportunities. Gaining in-field experience is the most valuable thing you can do for yourself.
Advice #3: Make sure you do well in your COC classes, because when you transfer the credits they’re going to stick with you forever.
Advice #4: Don’t worry about being a specific major. The beauty of law school is that anyone can attend! Take the time to explore your interests. Plus, law school is all law-related courses (obviously), so I think it would be good to major in something else you want to learn because you’ll never get the chance to do so again. Knowledge is power!
Advice #5: When I look back at my time at AOC, I find myself wishing that I chilled out for a bit and took care of myself more. Mentally, it was a really difficult time for me due to comparing myself to my peers who knew exactly what they wanted to do. Keep your head up and remember that this is your path, and you have time to figure everything out! Just because you don’t know what your passion is yet, doesn’t mean that your value is less than anyone else. Have fun, explore your interests, and do some self-care!