Melisa Martinez Delgado
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
I am from Argentina and I also hold an Italian citizenship due to my family’ origins. I graduated from University of Buenos Aires with a bachelor degree in Law and Social Sciences and I qualified as a lawyer. In Argentina I worked in a law studio specializing in insolvency and as a legal advisor in the government both in the City of Buenos Aires. I moved to London in 2013 and I also gained legal work experience in the Commercial and Corporate areas working in places like Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and The Serious Fraud Office. During my free time I enjoy reading, playing sports like paddle, badminton and swimming, playing chess, travelling and socializing.
What motivated you to apply to study your chosen course and why did you chose Leeds?
The University of Leeds was my first choice for many reasons. Firstly, I found the programmes very interesting in content and structure. Secondly, the teaching staff are of high quality. All of them are recognised professionals and expert researchers in their fields. I was sure that these conditions would highly enrich me as a student. Third, the University is one of the leading schools of law in the UK and highly recognised for its research. In addition the student satisfaction rate is very high in the rankings and that influenced my decision as well because I realise that I would have an enjoyable time while learning at a top university. Finally: The fact that the University is based in a vibrant city as Leeds is as influential as well.
Furthermore, I always knew that I wanted to study a masters’ level course in the area of corporate and commercial law to develop and enhance my understanding of this fascinating discipline gained during my undergraduate degree and subsequent professional career. This was a dream for me. What I did not imagine in the past is that I would have the fantastic opportunity to complete my masters in the UK. After working in London for three years and reaching the economic conditions to afford the course I was determined to make my dream come true. Having previous work experience in the area by the time that I started my course, helped me to be more critical about the theory and I enjoyed each seminar more than when I was an undergraduate student.
What do you think of your course, have there been any particular highlights for you?
My course is very interesting and because of that reason I have never missed any seminars or lectures. I really enjoyed going to seminars and participating in class with the Professors and working with my fellow international students. The best part of the seminars is that most of them really encourage you to critically analyse the law and its consequences in practice, not only learning about the theory but questioning it. The course really encourages you to research, something that I realise I am very passionate of and I am sure will help me for my future career.
How would you describe the help and guidance provided by the staff within the School?
The academic staff are friendly, approachable and collaborative. The Professors were always happy to clarify doubts regarding their courses and to provide advice and support. The fact that the course has had such supportive and kind postgraduate tutors has really made us feel part of a big family of students. Administrative staff have also been helpful with everything I needed. Now I have the privilege of working alongside Professor Gerard McCormack, an expert in International Banking and Insolvency Law and who is very supportive guiding me for my dissertation on International Insolvency and Sovereign Debt Restructuring. Overall the academic staff are all excellent.
How would you describe the facilities at the University?
The School of Law and wider University facilities are great and exceeded my expectations. There are a variety of fully equipped libraries, clusters, many cafes, one supermarket, restaurants, the language zone, many societies and activities, bars, a gym (including a swimming pool, climbing wall and sport halls and camps). The University also offers support for careers and mental health. Laidlaw library provides a series of useful and free courses and seminars to improve students’ academic skills for exams and essays which I really recommend. The University also offers vast resources to work from home through the portal online. To sum up the campus is like a small city.
Have you been involved in extra-curricular activities, such as societies, summer placements etc?
I have enjoyed my role as Postgraduate Corporate Representative (PGR) within the School of Law. This experience gave me the opportunity to interact more with my fellow master students, raising my voice about their concerns and ideas in committee meetings with administrative staff, academics and head of school. In addition, during the last semester I enjoyed my role as Language Leader as part of a Programme offered by the Language Zone in which I had to lead a conversational course for ten undergraduate students of an advanced level (B2) in Spanish. These experiences have enriched my university experience and developed my personal and social skills.
Any other comments you would like to make?
I want to encourage everyone considering Leeds as a place to study a master degree to go for it! My experience of studying at the University of Leeds has exceeded all my expectations.