Hello! My name is Aisha, a Londoner currently living in a little city just outside of Brussels called Mechelen, in Belgium. After studying law in London, I decided to embark in an LLM in the Netherlands. Since then, I haven’t been back home! I am currently working as a legal counsel for various companies throughout different sectors but Life Sciences/Pharma are my specialty.
My working hours are very flexible, especially since I am a new mum, I take my son to day care in the morning (if I have the morning shift or no meetings planned at 9am) and usually I am in between working in the office or from home. In additional to meetings, most of my time is spent reviewing contracts and advising clients on a number of legal issues/risks for their bussiness. I really enjoy it! We are also a fast growing legal start-up, so there are other tasks to be done – I am also the company’s Happiness Officer. I also find non-legal stuff fun (surprise surprise), and I help with the onboarding of new collegues, making the office a fun place to work as well as organising both internal and external events.
How I chose my career…To be honest, it was completely random but at the same time I feel that this was written for me. I took a year off in between A-levels and university to really figure out what I wanted to do. I had a mentor in Year 11 who was a lawyer, I interned during my gap year (by accident) at law firms..so in the end I decided I wanted to pursue a career in law – like I said, fate!
I got to where I am now whilst facing challenges. Of course, first of all being a woman of colour, I rarely saw anyone who looked like me, so it was really difficult to picture myself as a lawyer. After many years another challenge that I faced was navigating a new country and language (Dutch). Luckily as a native English speaker this hurdle was quickly overcome.
I would definitely say that my mum is one woman that has impacted my life, she is also the main reason why I am driven and determined to suceed. My mum is a very positive and warm person, she has also been my biggest supporter (alongside my dad – but this question is about females 😉) and she has always encouraged me to give everything I love 200%. It came with such ease and even if there were times that I felt bad about something or had not gotten what I wanted, she always had a way of being in my corner, so there was no pressure.
Outside of work, my favourite hobbies and pastimes are spending time with family and friends. Alongside yoga, travelling and reading ficton books.
The mantra I live my life by is: Don’t worry about something that hasn’t happened yet and enjoy the moment. Too blessed to be stressed is also a good one, it makes me appreciate everything I have and not to linger on the things I don’t.
The top three tips I would give to young females starting their careers would be: