The Laurence Simons Search Talking Head series continues with an interview with our very own Amarachi Lorritta. Based in the USA, Amarachi is approaching the end of an internship with Laurence Simons Search, and is now looking for a new challenge.
Clare Beresford, CEO at Laurence Simons Search, catches up with Amarachi to discuss all things career, challenges, and diversity-related!
Clare Beresford: CB: Good morning Amarachi. Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today as I know we keep you extremely busy! Please can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
AL: I am Amarachi “Amara” Emeziem. I grew up in eastern Nigeria with my siblings. My undergraduate studies were in Computer Science, where I wrote an honour thesis on encryption algorithms. After my studies, I volunteered in the National Youth Service in Nigeria and thereafter became a high school teacher, this was a wonderful experience for me because it introduced me to the development issues in education and the many other challenges to women in STEM education.
With the support of my family, I was therefore committed to making a difference. Due to this commitment and my thirst for knowledge, I subsequently proceeded to Cornell University Ithaca, New York United States for my graduate studies. At Cornell, I pursued my studies diligently and have since bagged two master’s degree (a Master of Science in International Development (MPS) and a Master in Computer Information Science). Upon completion of my studies, I was lucky to have an internship program with Laurence Simons Search. This has helped me to acquire further experience and enhance my career development.
CB: Please can you tell me about the moment you decided to work in the legal industry?
AL: A friend, Madonna Okpaleke, who is an alum of Cornell Law School, and currently an MBA scholar at Said School of Business at Oxford University, drew my attention to the possibilities of an internship with Laurence Simons Search and the transferability of my experience, both in information Science and development, to the field of law. Her ability to also have the inter-disciplinary focus in law and business also inspired me.
CB: How have you found working at Laurence Simons Search?
AL: Inspirational, challenging, and worthwhile are the words that readily come to my mind. Working with Laurence Simons Search has been a great opportunity. The leadership and team are filled with people with a unity purpose. It is a collection of goal achievers, team builders, and easy collaborators. Though I was working remotely, I had no worries because I was continually encouraged and engaged in the policies and decisions affecting my work.
CB: What has been the most challenging aspect of your intern with us?
AL: The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted activities and working from home, and in another country with different time zone was a bit significant. However, it was a great learning experience, and we easily found a rhythm. Apart from that, there was no challenge.
CB: What has been the most enjoyable aspect of your intern with us?
AL: The Christmas online celebration with Laurence Simons Search was a memorable day. The Christmas secret Santa gift and all the Christmas gifts Laurence Simons Search sent to me. Thanks for all the good vibes!
CB: What are you most proud of in your career to date?
AL: I have made a significant leap in the last three years. Graduating with two master’s degrees, from a prestigious university, has been my proudest moment.
CB: What are your career aspirations after our internship?
AL: I am looking forward to a great future, filled with hopes and great achievements. I am currently seeking a full-time position in the industry. It is equally my passion to set up an NGO that will focus on girlchild STEM education. Through this, I hope to intervene in girl child STEM education opportunities in rural and semi-urban settings in Africa.
CB: If others were considering undertaking an internship in the legal profession, what advice would you give them?
AL: Law has many dimensions, and the clients can also come from many different areas. So do not think that law organisations do not have an opportunity for those who are not legal experts.
CB: What have you learned most about yourself by undertaking an internship with us?
AL: The importance of teamwork and communication. Even when some of my team members were in the UK, Germany, Australia, France, Switzerland, India, Dubai etc with different time zones we were able to set organisational goals and achieve them.
CB: Diversity and inclusion are very important to Laurence Simons Search. Can you please tell us what diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to you, and why they are important?
AL: Diversity and inclusion mean a lot to me because it affects me as a Black woman. What gave me much motivation while applying for the internship is the fact that the CEO of the organisation was a woman. Also, I noticed that other women in the organisation are also in good management positions. It made me realise that the organisation is sensitive to the diversity and intersectional issues that confront professional women—especially women of color.
The warm welcome and non-discriminatory working environment means a lot to me too. I hope every other organisation can approach diversity in the same manner as Laurence Simons Search. If I ever have the chance to lead an organisation, I will approach it with the same kind of diversity disposition.
CB: And finally, if you had an extra hour in the day how would you spend it?
AL: My free hours in the day are filled with great activities. I love singing, traveling, reading hiking, and cycling. I will use my extra hour to do more of these.
CB: Thank you Amarachi for your honesty and insightful answers. It has been a pleasure talking with you today and working alongside you. Good luck in your future career, you come highly recommended from us for your hardworking nature and ability.
AL: Thank you, Clare, for believing in me and for giving me this great opportunity to be part of your organisation. Thanks to all Laurence Simons Search employees. Though my time with the organisation was short, it was a memorable one. I will always be proud that I am a former Laurence Simons Search Intern.