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"I want to represent my country internationally in environmental law"

Annika Bellot came to Birkbeck as a Chevening Scholar, to study LLM Environmental Law, Policy and Governance. She aspires to represent her home country, Dominica, on the international stage in environmental law.

Annika Bellot on her Graduation day

Natural disasters have shaped my career decisions 

I was born and raised in Dominica, an island in the Caribbean. The island was severely devastated by two hurricanes in 2015 and 2017. This propelled me into wanting to pursue a career in environmental diplomacy, where I can make meaningful change by working in law. 

Expressing my views was encouraged growing up 

I’ve always been a very outgoing person and I think that stemmed from my Mom, Camilla Bellot-Williams, who was a journalist. She inspired me to get into public speaking because of her drive to get down to the heart of a story and speak for others who do not have a voice. My Mom and I always discussed topics at length, expressing our views openly - at school, I realized that not every person had that opportunity. I want to be working in a position where I can do that for others 

My first job was in a call centre 

After working at a call centre for a few months, I then switched to working in a bank for three years.  After this, I studied my undergraduate degree in Economics and Law at the University of the West Indies in Barbados and then pursued law school at the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad & Tobago before I went to study my Master’s at Birkbeck.  

I wanted to study in the UK as its known for having outstanding academic institutions 

I've never lived in the UK, so I saw it as a great opportunity to expose myself to a completely different culture and lifestyle. When I arrived, I loved that it challenged me in many different ways, including navigating the underground – I got lost a few times! Moving to London brings you into a world where so much is possible, it’s a city that's just bursting with probably every culture, cuisine and experience. It challenges you to meet people and in a cultural way, visit the entire world, without even having to spend that much money! I was out of my comfort zone, and it made me a stronger person all around.  

Birkbeck’s campus is located in the heart of everything 

Birkbeck is in the perfect location in London because it’s so centrally located. I stayed in student halls throughout my degree which meant I met students from Birkbeck and other universities. Birkbeck also organised group meet ups with other international students and the Chevening scholars which was great for my social life. I loved going to the gym and visiting theatres and pubs - I had a lot of fish and chips and also tried a Sunday roast!  

Exploring the rest of the UK and Europe 

It was exciting to take day and overnight trips outside of London. I really wanted to challenge myself and have fun in the process, so I ventured to Brighton, Oxford, Cambridge and Manchester, as well as travelling to other European cities 

It was a really practical degree 

Studying at Birkbeck really exceeded my expectations and it was an incredible experience. The lecturers were amazing, and the degree content was just so meaningful. There are many things that I have already begun applying practically to my career, including my current work looking into governmental environmental policies. 

My goal is to represent my country on the international stage 

In the future I want to represent my country at major meetings and in international dialogues surrounding the climate and the environment. I’m already making inroads by working on changing pieces of legislation and policies in Dominica and I’m planning to carry these out into the wider Caribbean. 

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