As a way of boosting the career aspirations and ambitions of LUG law students, the Law Faculty and Careers Department organised a maiden conversation evening on 21st November, 2018.
The Law Conversation Evening, hosted by the Programme Coordinator, Kenneth Ghartey, had Ms Cynthia Quarcoo as the guest speaker. Ms Quarcoo is the founder and managing partner of CQ Legal and Consulting, as well as the founder of Africa1 Media.
With a career spanning over 20 years in both the UK and Ghana, Ms Quarcoo spoke to the students in an informal question and answer session about her personal and professional journey. In this session she shed light on some challenges that she had faced, and the importance of persistence and perseverance in order to dispel the notion that women cannot successfully balance a career and a family.
In response to a question from one of our students, who asked for Ms Quarcoo’s advice for up and coming lawyers, she said, “For young law students, get as many mentors as you can. Put in the time, and learn the trade. You may end up working as a lawyer, or working in industry, but you will be of value. The fact that you don’t end up in court does not matter. Wherever the path takes you, don’t worry too much. Build yourself and the rest will follow.”
Ms Quarcoo’s professional journey has been an unusual one, and she shared that she had not always aspired to be a lawyer. She has some experience working in retail, and spent years working in Economics and Finance, but felt that this diverse background ultimately worked in her favour. “I got my interpersonal skills working in retail. I learnt how to relate to customers, and I use those skills daily now in my line of work. One thing to get at this stage is good time management: make sure your deadlines are met.”
The importance of networking, excelling in the class and developing skills and talents outside the classroom was also emphasized by Ms Quarcoo. “Maintain your relationships, start building your networks now. Don’t forget your lecturers. Stay in touch with people who influence you. Your grades open the door, so it’s important that you make good grades. Equally important would be extracurricular activities. People are looking for individuals they can get along with, who fit into the organisational culture” she said.
In conclusion, Ms Quarcoo shared these wise words with our Law students: ‘Be the best you can be. We all know what that is. The success comes when you lay the right foundation for yourself. Invest in this time: don’t cut class, make sure your assignments are perfect, put in all your effort. Build yourself, work hard and the rest will follow.’
It was an evening of real and insightful conversation. Students who attended gave positive feedback, and expressed how glad they were to be able to be able to hear truthful and real responses from someone who had first-hand experience of the studying the LLB.