Birkbeck Inspires: Conversations with Alumni – Cynthia Chisom Umezulike

Cynthia Chisom Umezulike is an international human rights lawyer and associate lecturer in law. She is also the Policy Director and Co-chair of Hon. Justice Innocent Umezulike Foundation and recently completed her PhD in law at Birkbeck. In this blog she talks to us about her experiences of studying at Birkbeck.

·   How was your experience doing your PhD at Birkbeck?

At Birkbeck, I gained excellent time management techniques, problem-solving capacity, research information management and value-based competence in fulfilling complex tasks. My PhD supervisor, Prof Bill Bowring continuously challenged my writing and reasoning in pushing the boundaries of critical thinking to make a significant contribution to knowledge. Prof Bowring’s high impact contribution to my overall academic performance is a testament to the overall outcome of my thesis, which Gilchrist Trust Award especially noted as one of the most outstanding PhD thesis across Birkbeck, University of London. 

·   What were the benefits of doing a PhD?

Completing the PhD degree at Birkbeck, has equipped me with the fundamental competence and cognitive skills to make an immediate positive impression in advancing identified core values and objectives. Obtaining a PhD degree has provided an extensive range of career opportunities, and I am now able to compete in senior-level positions successfully. 

·   How did being at Birkbeck benefit your career?

I began my leadership and advocacy training at Birkbeck- awaking my passion and commitment for teaching, digital mobilization and activism, advocacy and human development. I have since independently founded two thriving NGO’s dedicated to advancing socio-economic and cultural rights while working as a human rights and policy director in a third sector organisation. Also, I currently teach foundation and undergraduate Criminal Law, Constitutional and Administrative Law courses at Birkbeck.

·   Why did you choose Birkbeck over other universities?

Birkbeck provided a conducive and vibrant environment for learning and conducting research. The quality of staff and independent program initiatives upholds Birkbeck’s long commitment to producing high performing doctoral candidates. 

·   How did you find the Birkbeck experience overall?

My overall experience at Birkbeck was very positive and has shaped my drive to maintain excellence in conducting high impact research and producing value-based results. I credit my strong academic background, especially the PhD process at Birkbeck for not only developing my critical analytical skills but also instilling the values of hard work, consistency, patience and perseverance. 

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Alumni & Student Ambassador Officer

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