From Legal Briefs to Creative Prose: Anushiya Kesavan's Journey into Content Writing

Published by Afterschool.my on Feb 16, 2024, 10:24 am

Anushiya Kesavan’s path to content writing wasn’t exactly conventional. Initially nudged towards law by her parents, she navigated the rigorous field of legal studies at Multimedia University (MMU). While she excelled in the programme, her heart yearned for something more creative.

“Law was never my first choice. I initially wanted to get into something creative, but my parents insisted that I get a professional degree, which to them meant a degree that takes more than three years to complete. Think medicine, law, engineering and accounting.”

Undeterred, she embraced the challenge, immersing herself in MMU’s dynamic law programme.

Anushiya Kesavan is now a full-time content writer at Deriv.

Finding Her Footing in MMU

As the first private university approved by the Malaysian government, MMU adheres to the strictest requirements for a high-quality degree. The university’s Faculty of Law (FOL) students benefit from comprehensive practical training in mooting, mock-trial, drafting opinion writing and more.

For Anushiya, her time at FOL was marked with challenges and triumphs. She began her journey into this field by pursuing a one-year Foundation in Law at MMU Melaka. Later, she continued her studies there by enrolling in a Bachelor of Laws.

“When I first joined this programme, I was struggling because my memory is not the best. Thankfully, my degree was assessed through 50% exams, and 50% on coursework, which included mock trials, presentations and research assignments.”

Central to Anushiya’s success were the supportive environment and dedicated educators at MMU. The atmosphere there fostered a sense of community and inclusivity. Anushiya was surrounded by approachable peers, dedicated lecturers and supportive staff. “It was a warm and welcoming environment, and even though I didn’t know many of them here, I easily made friends.”

Anushiya praises the Faculty of Law and MMU Law Society for hosting various events that provide insights into the legal profession and facilitate connections with practitioners.

The faculty’s commitment to student success was evident through various avenues of support. Lecturers were accessible for consultations and also went the extra mile, conducting additional night classes to prepare students for exams. The pastoral support system offered guidance and assistance throughout Anushiya’s five-year journey, supplementing academic learning with practical insights and networking opportunities.

“The FOL and the MMU Law Society had organised numerous guest lectures, workshops, and networking events, providing valuable insights into the legal profession and helping me connect with many lawyers and legal practitioners,” Anushiya says.

Among the educators who left an indelible mark on Anushiya’s academic journey were Mr. Francis Augustine Soosay, who taught Environmental Law, Equity & Trusts, and Jurisprudence. She fondly remembers how Mr Francis blended entertainment with critical thinking, urging his students to explore paths beyond the traditional legal landscape. Dr Dennis Khong was also influential, who made seemingly dry subjects like Intellectual Property and Law & Economics come alive with real-world examples.

“Not forgetting my academic advisor, Dr Yang Chik Adam, who assisted me through my four years of degree life with her helpful guidance and advice,” she adds.

The Melaka campus provides ample resources for students’ needs. Two libraries, including one dedicated to legal materials, offered a wealth of resources for academic pursuits. Comfortable study spaces, 24-hour learning points, sports facilities and even a moot court cater to diverse student interests and activities.

Anushiya’s legal attachment with Messrs Bell & Lee during her third year exposed her to the realities of legal practice, albeit during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The third day of my attachment was when they implemented the first-ever Movement Control Order (MCO). So, we had to do everything online,” she says. “Once the MCO restrictions were loosened, I returned to the office for another 3 weeks before it was cut short by the start of the new trimester of my final year.”

Life Beyond the Law Books

Anushiya wasn’t confined to the four walls of the library. She actively participated in a kaleidoscope of clubs and societies, from badminton and OUTRECs (Outdoor & Recreations) clubs and performance-based clubs like MMUsic and MATA (MMU’s dance club), to language clubs like MMU Melaka’s English club and Japanese Language Society. These experiences were more than just recreational; they were bridges connecting her to diverse perspectives and forging friendships that would resonate beyond graduation.

“I even joined the Editorial Squad of MMU Melaka, or the student press. We were there for every event, reporting about it with pictures too. That’s actually where I rediscovered my love for writing.”

Her writing passion was further ignited during her stint as a student helper with the Marketing Department. That’s when she realised she craved a career that could positively impact people through the power of words and not just with legal arguments. This realisation, coupled with her innate love for writing, planted the seeds of her future as a content creator.

Anushiya feels proud to have done her law degree at Multimedia University.

From Law to Writing

The transition from law to writing wasn’t a smooth one. “I had to face a lot of rejections, mainly because I’m academically not qualified to be a writer,” she says.

The precise and formal legal writing style was a stark contrast to the engaging and conversational tone of content writing. Initial rejections stung, but Anushiya was determined to go after her passion. To that end, she devoured online courses and honed her craft through relentless reading and research. Her legal background proved invaluable, equipping her with exceptional research skills and the ability to craft persuasive arguments, skills that translated beautifully into the world of content creation.

It all paid off when she landed a Digital Marketing Executive internship role at CreateWills Sdn Bhd, which later became her first full-time role. Today, she is a content writer at Deriv Services Sdn Bhd and couldn't be happier.

“When I first joined Deriv, I was assigned to write mostly marketing communications like social media posts and promotional emails, in addition to blog articles and video scripts that educate the masses. Since then, I’ve started writing web and UI microcopies and recently initiated a monthly client newsletter.”

It’s common knowledge that a writer spends more time researching than writing. In that regard, Anushiya credits her research skills to her law background. “The whole idea of content writing is to sell your idea to potential clients, much like convincing a judge to hear your argument.”

Anushiya also sharpened her persuasive writing skills through her experience in law. Today, she is thriving as a content writer and is eager to continue learning.

Words of wisdom

For aspiring students, Anushiya’s advice is clear: embrace the unexpected, explore your passions and don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. She encourages students to use their university years to explore their passions, just like she found her love for writing amidst the legal textbooks.

“You may want to venture out of your field one day, and it would be good to know what you’re good at and what you’re passionate about. Better yet, try to find your ikigai (your reason for being).”

Though law wasn’t Anushiya’s initial calling, it shaped her skills and instilled valuable lessons that have been instrumental in her writing career.

“There isn’t a day that goes by that makes me regret pursuing my law degree. I’m also proud to say that I did it at MMU Melaka, where I was fortunate enough to have a rich social life even though I didn’t stay on or around campus. If I had a chance, I’d do it again.”

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