Beata Sobkow (QMUL Student)
LLM Computer and Communications Law (2016-2017)
This little dot at the back with the microphone is me ‘Beata’ a QMUL postgraduate law student presenting at the Annual Privacy Forum an international conference in Vienna:
How did I get there?
How did I manage to suddenly switch from listening to a lecture to actually giving one?
Well, this is all, really, thanks to the Centre for Commercial Law Studies (CCLS – QMUL’s postgraduate law centre) and the amazing project they run for the postgraduate law students. Every year, CCLS hires students from each of the legal specialisms to act as a ‘Student Specialism Representative’. The reps organise various academic, professional and social events such as parties (obviously!) but also interesting lectures and meetings with professionals working in the specialist legal industries. For my specialism (LLM Computer and Communications Law), our lovely rep set up a dedicated Facebook page sharing upcoming events and external opportunities.
One of these opportunities was from the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) who focus on raising the awareness of network and information security. They were looking for submission of papers for their upcoming Annual Privacy Forum in Vienna. A bit overly enthusiastic and optimistic as I am, I edited one of my LLM essays on EU Data Protection and sent it out to the ENISA for consideration.
I managed to completely forget about my submission as I was focused on my upcoming LLM exams. How surprised I was to suddenly receive an email from ENISA congratulating me and selecting my paper to be presented at the conference in Vienna! This was to be an exciting opportunity to share my work and knowledge with reputable industry professionals.
After experiencing a mix of joy, disbelief and a huge amount of utter panic as well as receiving lots of encouragement from my university friends and “support” from my dad (‘There’s no need to worry, Beata. In the worst case scenario you’ll faint in front of everyone which means you won’t have to present your paper anymore’). I accepted the invitation and started preparing for the ‘big day’.
The conference took place between 7-8 June and it turned out to be one of the best memories from my LLM year. None of my imagined 99 possible catastrophes (including passing out in front of the audience or being electrocuted by the presentation pointer) materialised and, instead, I had an amazing time presenting my paper and discussing my presentation and the other topics with the inspiring attendees.
I even got to take a selfie with the data protection legend Max Schrems (calling all my fellow law nerds!)..
..attended a fancy dinner in a restaurant located in the Vienna city hall…
..and, staying true to my hipster soul, found some time to visit one of the local hipster cafes:
Overall, it was a truly unforgettable and fantastic experience. Currently, I am waiting for the publication of my paper and, encouraged by the recent experience, I am already looking for other conferences to attend ;).
This all would not be possible without our amazing specialism rep, QMUL and all the fantastic services, options and opportunities QMUL provides us with. As your LLM is really what you make out of it, make sure you make the most of QMUL’s services and thereby your year at QMUL!