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Interview with Wittenborg University guest Law lecturer Valeria Paganizza, from Italy.
This year, the Bachelor International Business Administration module 'World Wide Business and Law' has been given by Italian guest lecturer Valeria Paganizza, a Visiting PhD Researcher at Wageningen University. WUP took some time to catch up with her asking about her background and her experiences as an external lecturer and examiner at Wittenborg University.
‘My name is Valeria Paganizza. As you may know, I come from Italy, and grew-up at Sant'Urbano, a little village - 600 inhabitants - south of Padua. After completing my high school diploma at the "Liceo Scientifico G.B. Ferrari" in Este with scientific specialization, I decided to attend the Law Faculty of the University of Ferrara!’
‘Why? - In Italy is difficult, for people, to find a good, economically satisfactory job: at the time, there was the belief that the professions of lawyer or doctor were activities that could pay well. Actually, this belief still exits, however in my opinion, it is completely wrong. I got a Bachelor degree in Juridical Sciences, with a thesis on the European Parliament increasing role and then a Master Degree in Law at the Department of Rovigo (University of Ferrara), with a thesis related to European Law and Trade Law. Rovigo is a small town not far from where I live. To avoid asking my parents to help me out from a financial point of view, I worked in a restaurant from the beginning of University up to the beginning of my PhD (when I got a scholarship). A week after getting my degree, I started my traineeship in a law firm in Lendinara (little town near Rovigo), and formally became a legal practitioner from April 2008.’
‘I have been working there now for more than four years. I practice both in civil and criminal law and it’s a challenging job: every day you meet people with different problems who need, above all, someone ready to listen to them. Lawyers are not only people who deal with law: they must be able to understand what people actually need and try to meet their expectations or find the way to suggest them that those expectations are not worth-continuing.’
‘Whilst working, I took an exam to enter the PhD in European Union Law, passed it successfully and am now in the third and last year of this experience, struggling with food safety law: my topic of research is the RASFF (Rapid alert system for food and feed).’
‘Food safety is one of the sectors of European Law that is gaining more and more relevance since the disclosure of markets. My PhD module requires to spend some period of time abroad, to get in touch with different groups of research, experiences and with the aim to "look around" to find new perspectives of work. For this reason, last year I spent a short period of time in Belgium, at the University of Leuven (Belgium) and a week in The Hague, to follow the meeting of the Codex Alimentarius Commitee on Contaminants in Food. Through those experiences, I learnt of the University of Wageningen, in the Netherlands, and at the beginning of this year, I asked my supervisors for authorization to come to Holland. Of course, they agreed! I wrote an email to the Law & Governance Group and.... I am here, in this fantastic small town (Wageningen), with a funny, experienced and diverse team who is giving me lots of new ideas for my thesis and for my life.’
Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences
‘While being here, I received an email saying that Wittenborg University (of Applied Sciences) in Apeldoorn was looking for a guest lecturer for the World Wide Business and Law Module. What to do? Trying or not trying? I was struggling with the dilemma: trying would have meant - in the event of acceptance of my application - spending time preparing lecturers (and I needed time to finish my thesis) but, from the other side, gaining an experience unique for my CV and academical career. Not trying would have meant loosing an opportunity, but save time. I thought that I was here to do all possible experiences and trying to get the most from that...so I applied... and now I am here writing to you about me.’
My Experiences at Wittenborg University
‘What is my experience of Wittenborg University life like? Well, at the beginning, I could not understand why everybody referring to Wittenborg, used the term "family". But in less than a month, got the solution :-) It is amazing: everybody knows anybody and has a friendly approach, a familiar one. From morning to afternoon, you can breathe this atmosphere. It is great. And what about lectures? In the morning I arrive and ask myself: and now, what I am going to talk about? Of course, I have been preparing the lecture all the week long, to be sure to be able to face the challenge that the job of teacher offers, but as you can imagine, it is impossible not to feel anxious or nervous. Then I enter the classroom, and it is like to talk to friends of legal topics: words arise by themselves. And really, three hours can become a very short time indeed. Students are really easy going: they participate (though not always), pay attention, ask questions, sleep (ehm... or look as if...)... in other words, they are students (!) and I am trying my best to let them understand the importance of law in a business environment. Will I succeed? I think so.. maybe they will forget the definition of misrepresentation, but they will for sure remember that law is not something fixed: it changes every day, it changes from State to State, involving people, both as individuals and as groups. And you must be aware of this fact, if you want to know what your tomorrow will be like.’
Valeria Paganizza, Visiting PhD Researcher|Wageningen University, Law & Governance Group
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