Our students from Mauritius
Student name: Deepti Thakoor
Course title: LLB Law and Bar Professional Practice Course (BPTC)
Year of graduation: 2014 and 2015
Current employer: Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Tell us about yourself...
I am from Tombeau Bay, Mauritius. I read the Bachelor of Laws (LLB (Hons)) course from Cardiff University. I first graduated in 2014 and then went on to do the Bar Professional Practice Course (BPTC) at Cardiff Law School. I technically “graduated” a second time from Cardiff University in 2015, although no ceremony was held. We are called to the Bar of England and Wales at our respective inns of court. I belong to Inner Temple.
What are you doing now? Tell us about your career journey after graduating from Cardiff.
I am currently a State Counsel at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. After completing the Bar course in July 2015, I returned to Mauritius and started my pupillage in August 2015. Pupillage lasts for 12 months and includes three months’ training under an attorney (solicitor equivalent in UK). In Mauritius, we are called to the Bar after our pupillage (as opposed in UK where we are called after completing the BPTC).
While still in pupillage, I had two job offers. I joined the office of an attorney-at-law as soon as I was called to the bar of Mauritius in September 2016. I worked there for two years until August 2018, where I was appointed as Temporary State Counsel at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. I now intend to pursue my masters, probably in international maritime law, but I am still considering my options.
Why did you choose Cardiff University?
I applied quite late and Cardiff University was still open for applications. The University was also offering scholarships with the possibility of increased scholarships in subsequent years based on performance, which was very attractive to me.
I was also very influenced by the fact that Cardiff University had an all-female residence, and that too in Gothic/Victorian Architecture. I am talking about Aberdare Hall. I must say that for someone who comes from a tropical island, it is a dream to live in a Victorian era house. The all-female residence is a facility which very few universities offer and it was very important to me for cultural reasons.
Finally, the fees and cost of living in Cardiff were much more affordable than any other city.
Tell us about your course. How was it different from studying back home?
To start with, the syllabus is not the same. The LLB course being offered in Mauritius is adapted to the Mauritian context and contains elements of Mauritian law. However, the core difference, to me, is the focus on research.
Cardiff University emphasises on research. We are taught about research skills and techniques and the modules specifically train us to assess a question critically and present the information in a clear, logical and concise way.
I remember how during my pupillage, my pupil master commented on this particular research presentation skill and stated that there was clarity and flow in my ideas.
Cardiff law school gave a lot of emphasis on the practical advocacy training, alongside lectures for knowledge aspect of the law. The level of training was very good and the advocacy sessions were filmed so that each student could review and assess his or her own performance or learn from the peers.
We were given regular feedback on our work and we had mock examinations. There were proper and comprehensive revision sessions and the School organised for work experience for us. I could not ask for a better support from the lecturers, both in terms of academic and pastoral support.
What did you enjoyed most about studying at Cardiff University?
The opportunities. I had the chance to participate in a number of activities at University as well as do part-time jobs. I do not think I would have had the same opportunities elsewhere. I went out of my comfort zone and grew as a person.
Were you a member of any clubs or societies?
Yes, the Chaplaincy and Aberdare Hall Common Room Society.
I was actively involved with the Anglican Chaplaincy where I participated in their weekly activities and prayers. I made a lot of friends there and grew in my own faith. I was also part of the inter-faith panel and was the only Hindu representative.
Aberdare Hall Common Room Society - I was the Deputy Senior Student on the Executive committee. I organised inter-cultural activities for the first time at the Hall, such as Divali and Chinese New Year. The initiative was well appreciated and I was awarded the Joan Buckhingham Award for promoting community life at the Hall.
How did the university support you during your time here?
- Scholarships - I was fortunate to be awarded scholarships for £1,000 and £3,000 support me with my studies.
- Part-time work and a Student Warden - while studying I worked as a Student Support Worker and a peer trainer at the Skills Development Service. In my third year I worked as a Student Warden which meant I had free accommodation and greatly helped with my fees.
- Chaplaincy and student support - For emotional and spiritual support, I turned to the Anglican Chaplaincy who has always supported me.
Tell us about your most memorable experience at Cardiff.
There are so many good experiences but my most unique experience would be the day I met two police officers at Costa coffee. We had a nice chat and I wore their amazing tall hat for a picture. I felt so welcomed and connected that day.
What would your advice be for prospective students thinking about coming to Cardiff?
Cardiff has a lot to offer, much more than can be stated on paper. Living in an in city campus can only be an advantage with the proximity of shopping outlets, banks and work places.