My name is Isabelle, and I am one of the Student Fellows working for BILT, where we are undertaking various projects pertaining to important and pressing topics. I am very excited to be working with Carla on the theme ‘Research-Rich Education’, responsible for the delivery of the Undergraduate Student Festival and the fifth edition of the Student Research Journal.
I am in my fourth year of my undergraduate degree, Law with Study Abroad LLB. I have recently returned from Sydney, Australia, where I studied during my third year. Other than adjusting to the change in weather, I am excited to be back in Bristol and embarking on this exciting project!
Accessibility and collaboration are themes that underpin BILT’s priorities, as demonstrated by the themes for this academic year and opportunities presented through journal publication and the Student Research Festival. Throughout my time at the University of Bristol, I have been interested in creating accessible forums for collaborative discussions and events.
During my second year at University, I was heavily involved in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) initiatives as President of Unity and Diversity in Law Society. During my tenure, we organised various weekly events, including networking sessions, career workshops, and social activities; during these events we aimed to collaboratively approach the goal of destigmatising the legal sector through increasing representation and promoting the value of diversity. The annual landmark event, ‘My Diversity is My Strength’, attracted over one-hundred attendees. It featured a panel discussion of esteemed individuals from the legal industry, all from and representing diverse backgrounds. The panel anecdotally recounted the challenges they had faced and need to actively pioneer change, which instigated the much-needed discussions about progress during the networking sessions. Understanding the enriching qualities of discussion and collaboration has provided valuable insights that I will embed into the organisation of the Student Research Festival.
I am incredibly excited to help provide students at the University of Bristol the opportunity to present their research within an academic conference setting. This experience will not only demonstrate the value of students within the academic community, but also bolster self-confidence and enrich their academic experience at the University of Bristol. My hope is that such an experience can help students expand their skillset, improving their future employability beyond university. Creating a collaborative, inter-disciplinary space for the voice of student researchers to initiate discussions about issues prevalent in the world today is something I feel very privileged to be involved with.
My other interests and passions, outside of my degree relate mostly to travel, culture, and food! I am passionate about travelling to different countries and exploring new cultures, hence why I chose to go to Sydney on my year abroad. This facilitated travel around Australia and New Zealand where I was able to explore the histories of colonisation, understand more around the traditional custodians of the land, and the current issues relating to decolonisation, which I look forward to discussing with Ethel. Also, I was fortunate enough to spend time travelling in my gap year, visiting countries such as India, Nepal, and Myanmar. Culturally immersing myself, overcoming linguistical differences, and trying different cuisines really excites me. Bristol has amazing cultural offerings, including hundreds of restaurants and exhibits! If you want any recommendations or would like to chat further about my project, please do not hesitate to contact me via LinkedIn.