City Lawyer Turned Poet – Orin Begum – S2E24

This week on the Legally Speaking Podcast, powered by KC Partners,  our host Rob Hanna was joined by Orin Begum.

Orin has attracted high profile media attention for her poetry work from the likes of the BBC. She currently works as a corporate finance lawyer for Clifford Chance in London.

Orin stumbled into poetry at the University of Oxford as a way to address her experiences of being a South Asian Muslim woman in a predominately white middle-class university.

Orin regularly performs at the Yoniverse Collective’s ‘Golden Tongues’ poetry night. Her poetry is inspired by the struggles and strength of South Asian women, her experiences with colourism and body shaming in her own community and the complications of growing up as a 1.5 generation immigrant in a council estate in East London.

Orin also works with various social mobility charities as a mentor to help increase access to the top jobs in the City for people of colour and those from less privileged socio-economic backgrounds.

Orin never for a single second thought that she would ever end up as an Associate at one of the leading international law firms. What Orin has managed to achieve is inspiring!


[0:00:00.1] Rob Hanna: Welcome to the Legally Speaking Podcast powered by Kissoon Carr. I’m your host, Rob Hanna. Today, I’m delighted to be joined by Orin Begum. Orin is a full-time lawyer turned part-time poet. Orin has attracted high-Profile media attention for her poetry work, including the likes of the BBC. She currently works for a Magic Circle law firm, Clifford Chance in London, sitting in Aviation Shipping in the Rail finance team. So, a very big welcome, Orin.

[0:00:29.9] Orin Begum: Thanks Rob thanks for having me.

[0:00:31.5] Rob Hanna: It’s an absolute pleasure. And before we go through all of that amazing work, we do have an ice breaker question here on the Legally Speaking Podcast, which we ask our guests to answer, which is around Suits. So, on a scale of one to ten, ten being very real, how real would you rate the TV series Suits in terms of its reality?

[0:00:52.6] Orin Begum: Is it bad if I say, I haven’t watched it?

[0:00:54.6] Rob Hanna: No, tons of our guests have said they haven’t seen it, so it really doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t matter. So, based on that, you can just give it a zero.

[0:01:01.9] Orin Begum: Yeah, I would say so. I mean, I always get the Suits reference whenever I introduce myself to anybody new and say I’m a lawyer and I just don’t get it. So, I would say zero.

[0:01:11.9] Rob Hanna: Okay, fair enough and that’s a wise answer. So, we want to go through so many things today. And I think you and I connected through an article you’re featured in by ‘The Lawyer’, but let’s start at the beginning. Tell us a bit about your family background and your upbringing.

[0:01:27.3] Orin Begum: So, I was born in a little village in Sylhet, Bangladesh. It is kind of like in the Northern region of Bangladesh, so it’s not in the capital. So, I was born there and, at the time when I was born, my dad was actually in the UK just trying to kind of gather up and save up enough money to kind of then bring over myself, my mom, and my little sister. So, we then moved to the UK when I was about three years old, neither of my parents really knew a single word of English. So, you know, starting off it was, it was quite difficult, you know, going to schools, having to learn English, all of that kind of stuff.

And then also having to move around a lot because obviously being an immigrant you just, you know, you have to go where work is and that’s what my Dad had to do, and we had to just basically follow him. So that meant before the age of 10, I had gone to five different primary schools and immigrant life like everywhere; it’s not easy, you know, we weren’t well off by any stretch of the imagination at all and, we were homeless at some points. So it was, yeah, it was a really difficult kind of upbringing. Because we just, you know, we didn’t have, disposable income. So, we basically were living like pay-check to pay-check really. And then obviously, more siblings came along. We finally ended up kind of settling in Tower Hamlets because we were given a council flat there and I went to a secondary school there and I finished my GCSE’s there. And it’s funny because – oh yeah, I still live in the council flat today, but the only difference is my parents have managed to gather enough money to actually buy it.

But the funny thing is, I’ve lived in the shadows of Canary Wharf for, you know, for all my formative years, since right out of age of 10 to 26 now. So, it’s funny because I never really thought that, you know, somebody like me from my kind of background going to a standard state comprehensive secondary school, whatever, could kind of really end up in Canary Wharf because there is a huge divide between the people who live in the Island and the people who work in Canary Wharf.

And I never thought I would be somebody to kind of bridge that gap. It’s almost been like the American dream in a sense like, you know, coming from practically nothing to now, you know, working for one of the biggest and best law firms in the world, it’s not something I ever thought would happen to me or my family even thought would happen. But, you know, I can only say, you know, I’ve been very blessed, and I’ve worked really hard to get to where I am.

[0:03:54.0] Rob Hanna: And that’s just such an amazing, inspiring story. The message I got from that, is that anything is possible, you know, regardless of where you start within reason. And that’s just such a, you know, it’s amazing how far you’ve come. So, let’s dive into that a little bit more. So, did you always want to be a lawyer? If not, what did you want to be?

[0:04:10.9] Orin Begum: I come from a South Asian background, so I guess my parents probably always wanted me to be a doctor. I mean, I was good at science, but I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed other things. I didn’t necessarily know that I wanted to be a lawyer from an incredibly early age. I just knew it was something I kind of enjoyed. So, when I was in year eight, so by the age of 13 or 14, I took part in a magistrates’ mock trial kind of competition thing to build my confidence because before that I was extremely shy. I really didn’t want to say anything in class so, my teachers encouraged me to do it as a kind of confidence building thing. I was chosen as the prosecution barrister. So yeah, I had to prepare a case, you know, cross examine witnesses, and do all of that kind of stuff.

I then presented it in front of real magistrates at the Bow Magistrates School. So, and it was like a whole interschool thing, I was up against other schools and other students, and then I won my case and I think that really gave me a kind of a direction to follow. Obviously, that was down the whole barrister route and I am clearly not a barrister now,but I think that was the first time I actually thought, wow, okay, this is something I’m good at and I enjoy, I like the skills involved, I like analysing things, I like questioning things, coming up with good logical, concise arguments to convince people, and all of that kind of stuff. I really enjoy doing it and I found out I was good at it as well. So, that really gave me a sort of direction to follow in terms of career.

Obviously, then things happened, and things took different turns. And I, you know, now I’m a solicitor not a barrister, but I think that was the first time I realised. So, it was quite early on, I guess, in my kind of educational career about, you know, when I was age of 13 or 14 that I thought, okay, this is something I’m good at so let’s see where this takes me. I don’t think it was until I finished my GCSEs and my A Levels that I kind of really started thinking, okay, well maybe it’s a possibility that I can actually end up somewhere, you know, with a lot of influence. So yeah.

[0:06:08.2] Rob Hanna: Great. Well, I think, you know, you’ve outlined that very, very well. So, the other question, you know, a lot of our listeners like to know is, you know, how hard did you find it actually securing a training contract? We know Clifford Chance is arguably, like you say, one of the best law firms in the world, you know, talk us through that journey.

[0:06:23.7] Orin Begum: So, I was applying for training contracts in, I think the Christmas of my second year at university. I mean, it was really hard on me. I understood, I guess like a lot of people, that I just underestimated how much effort and time it takes you know, to do a really good training contract application. I think I did seven applications, I got rejected from six. So, that was like a really big kind of reality check because it was, it, you know, they’re really competitive. And when you, haven’t grown up in the circles to know kind of what to say, how to say it, how to present yourself, you know, that kind of stuff and you haven’t got any network. It is really difficult when your kind of having to learn that kind of stuff from scratch. You know, you’ve got an empty slate and you have to be able to populate it somehow.

And yeah, it was really difficult, you know, I attended as many of the on-campus workshops at different law firms that had been put on and stuff, but I think there’s something to be said for having a network that is supportive and can actually give you the advice that you won’t necessarily hear from, you know, the mouths of recruiters or graduate recruitment or anybody like that. You know, I think there’s something to be said for that. So yeah, it was really difficult, I mean, I applied for a vacation scheme at Clifford Chance and I got rejected from Clifford Chance so that was, yeah, exactly. So that was really kind of, that was like, Oh great. Because I think I had Clifford Chance up on my list, from a very early kind of stage of my life.

And I think by the time I got to university, it was kind of, I just wanted to be at Clifford Chance because I felt that was where I would get the best training. And when I got rejected from them, that really hurt but I think one thing I’ve learned from my journey is to always try again. I don’t know what it’s been with me, but my entire life, anything I ever wanted, I’ve had to try twice. And the second time round, I’ve had better luck so yeah, so I applied for the vacation schemes, got rejected after the assessment centres, and well, that made me distraught. But funnily enough, I did a vacation scheme at different firm and I really enjoyed it as well. So, I did end up reapplying for the training contract at Clifford Chance. And then, you know, by having better luck you know, a second time round, I managed to get the training contract, which I guess is the more important one after the vacation scheme.

But yeah, it was a very difficult process applying for training contracts, you know, having not come from a traditional background in terms of I say in inverted commas because, you know, like I said, you don’t know the job, you don’t know what to say, you don’t know how to say it. You know, you don’t know the types of conversations you should be having necessarily with lawyers and things like that. So yeah, it was difficult, but I think what I got from it was perseverance and that, you know, you learn from the mistakes that you’ve made in the initial rounds. And then you, you improve upon them. And then you also pester graduate recruitment for feedback because you know, I believe a good graduate recruitment team does provide feedback. The Clifford Chance team does try their best to provide feedback and to see as many candidates succeed as they can.

[0:09:30.1] Rob Hanna: Yeah. And what I love about that is, you know, and it’s just the reality of life, you know, is if you’re gonna let knockbacks, get you knocked back down and out, then that’s just the way it’s going to be. You’ve got to get back on the horse and reapply, and that’s a great success story of you with Clifford Chance, tell us more about life at Clifford Chance, you know, what do you enjoy most? How are you finding things with COVID-19 and how’s that affecting you?

[0:09:49.9] Orin Begum: So, I mean, I’ll start with my training contract. I think my training contract was intense. I mean, I didn’t expect anything less, but yeah, it was, you know, when you first come out of university, your first real proper job is quite scary. I think I definitely got the kind of exposure to clients in really high-profile deals and really good work that I was expecting at Clifford Chance, so I definitely wasn’t disappointed. I think one of the highlights of my training contract was in the assets team itself working on a aviation finance for Bangladesh Biman so that’s the bank that was national flag carrier. And they were acquiring their first set of Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s out from Boeing and it was government owned, but essentially, so there were a lot of really high-profile people on board you know, working for the financier’s yeah, it was a really good deal. And I think when I did the closing quote for the first aircraft, we had representatives from Boeing, from Biman, the Bangladesh government and all that kind of stuff. It was amazing for me because obviously I felt like I was coming full circle you know, having come from a really poor background in a little village in Bangladesh to now actually kind of helping them do such a huge and historic deal for the country. It felt like I was giving back something to my community, and it felt really good.

So, and it involved a lot of drafting and a lot of, kind of, you know, communication with a lot of high-profile people. And I never thought I’d get that and that was only in my second seat. So I felt incredibly privileged to be on a training contract that gave me that kind of exposure and that kind of a freedom to kind of run a deal like that, so, I had a really good time doing that. So, my training contract was really good. I learned an incredible amount and then I did an international specialist convent in Frankfurt, in the projects team. And I had a great time there, it was a really great kind of training contract. I felt like I developed really solid skills I needed to kind of excel as an associate. And then, when it came around to qualifying, I was absolutely petrified because I was like, I was a trainee yesterday, now I’m an associate, now people expect me to actually know stuff. So that was quite a difficult kind of transition. And I started during the September to December kind of Christmas period, which was very busy. I prefer doing it that way, you know, throw yourself into the deep end, learn as much as possible and then go forward.

And now with COVID 19, I mean, it’s like an unprecedented thing. I’ve never experienced something like that. A lot of the partners, you know, I’ve spoken to, haven’t really experienced something like this either. So, I think we’re all kind of in the same boat. I think the thing about being in asset finance and, especially in aviation is that aviation obviously needs help right now. And so, there is a lot of work going around and a lot of people need our advice and our help. So, you know, I’m working from home since I think about two and a half months now. So, we’ve been busy, we’ve had work come through you know, even if it’s not our traditional kind of stuff that we’re doing, and it’s good because now is the time to see what, you know, all the drafting that we did, if it’s tight enough and, you know, if it actually works and that was the time to put it to the test, right.

So, yeah, it’s been a really interesting time to be a lawyer, especially so early on in my career, it’s been you know, speaking to the partners and stuff and they’re saying that, you know, it’s a really good time to actually develop really good skills and learn new things and it really has, you know, I’ve been dropped in government documents, I didn’t think I’d ever be drafting. So, it’s been a really great experience. Obviously, you know, I miss my colleagues, I miss the office, but yeah, it’s been interesting. And I think there’ll be a lot of lessons learned from this experience, both in terms of the work we do, but also how law firms function generally.

[0:13:38.5] Rob Hanna: Yeah. Do you see Clifford Chance moving to remote four day working for four days a week, or do you not see that happening ever?

[0:13:46.2] Orin Begum: I think, I mean, I can’t be sure, but I think the partnership or the leadership generally has kind of really seen how working from home is not a bad thing. And I don’t think they necessarily thought it was a bad thing before, but I think there was an element of uncertainty about how working from home would work. And clearly it has, you know, we’ve done as much work, if not more than we would whilst we were in the office and people have adjusted to it very well. You know, we’ve got trainees still and they’ve been adjusting to it as well. So it’s I think it kind of really opened up the eyes of a lot of, the more traditional kind of leadership that, you know, to show them that, you know, working from home, isn’t a thing, sort of you know, reserved for the trendy start-up type of type of company, even big traditional companies like Clifford Chance and like other magic circle firms and big law firms, we, you know, it’s completely possible as you know, and we’ve got really a good and strong IT team across the globe that are really supporting us and all the other business support staff, there’ve been really, they’ve working night and day to make it possible.

And, you know, here we are, you know, two and a half months, off the fact and we’re still doing really, really well. I can’t be sure whether there’ll be you know, the option for a four day week or whatever, but I think working from home, I think, people will be way more comfortable kind of with that concept now that we’ve been doing it for so long. And we’ve still been, you know, making money.

[0:15:13.4] Rob Hanna: Yeah, no, absolutely. And I think that’s, you know, an interesting debate that’s going to go on and on because certain law firms, you know, I think Dentons were announcing they’ve got a four day week till the end of the year. So, it’s just going to be interesting to see how different firms of different sizes will react. But look, it’s not all law in your world. So, I said at the start, you know, full-time lawyer, part-time poets. And so, you’ve done so much amazing poetry work. So, let’s start there at the beginning as well. What inspired you to start poetry?

[0:15:40.5] Orin Begum: So, I’ve always loved reading whether it be poetry or whether it be prose. So, I’ve always had my head in a book all the time and obviously studying poetry at GCSE. You know, I love reading it, but one thing I noticed was the lack of poetry from a person of colour’s point of view and point of perspective. I loved reading, obviously the traditional English classics and stuff. Why would I, you know, I really wanted to see people with my type of name, or my type of skin colour read, and liked to see poetry from their perspective. And I never got to see that in GCSE, or even after. I stopped reading as well and to see that I’ve never written poetry myself before until the final year of a university. I just picked up a pen and then I just had some really, I can say feelings going on and it’s just like, essentially it was like a world on a page.

And I had a really good time and then, you know, I just stuck it in the drawer. I never looked at again until I started my training contract and I’d realized one day that, you know what, I haven’t done something on a weekend for myself in a very long time, because I was just so tired from the week. So, one day I dragged myself and my brother out to [Shortage] where they were having an open mic night and I just wanted to go and see what it was about. And it was an open mic specifically for South Asian women and my brother was like, well, you are in the program and you’ve got a form. And I was like, no. And I was absolutely petrified to share something so kind of personal, but eventually I gathered up the courage to get up on stage and I shared my poem, it was the only one I’d ever written. And I got such a great response and people kept on asking me, you know, do you have any social media? Can I follow you anywhere? You know, all that kind of stuff. And, you know, a few months later, I had been to a few more of open Mic nights, and I started my poetry page and yeah, I think it just all went from there. I entered the Asia house 2018 Spoken Word Poetry Slam again, not thinking anything would come of it. I just entered a poem that I’d written and, you know, they’d picked it up and they were like, yeah, you’re one of our finalists. And then the BBC came and talked to me, and I was like, what’s happening? And they’re like, yeah, we’d love to cover your story, you know, about your poetry and what inspired it and, you know, things like that.

Yeah, I got coverage from the BBC and I was in one of their worldviews shows on their website. So yeah, it was a, it’s been a really interesting journey, a journey that I never really expected. I just thought that because, you know, it was something I enjoyed, it was something so different from work. I loved that it kept both things interesting you know, I had something really different from work. So, then when I went to work, it was, you know, work was still interesting. And then once I that finished work, poetry was interesting. So, it was just something I did because I enjoyed it. I didn’t think anything would come of it, but since then, I’ve gotten commissions, I’ve gotten, you know paid opportunities to be headlining shows.

So, I’ve had a really interesting journey with poetry, and it’s been great, especially through Instagram, you know, connecting with poets from not just the UK, but all of the world. And especially with the whole COVID-19 thing, you know, doing virtual open mic nights has been really cool because obviously you get to connect with people from everywhere, not just people from the UK or from people from London. So, it’s been a really great journey and, and I’m so grateful for it.

[0:18:51.3] Rob Hanna: Yeah, I mean, it’s gone and exploded for you, right? You’ve got thousands of followers, global audiences, and, you know, you’ve had so much success here from being modest in the way that you described that. So, let’s dig into that because you’re not shy of me or your appearances. You’ve had lots of exposure in the legal world, as I mentioned, you featured on ‘The lawyer’ recently and even broader than that ABC news. So, I think it was in fact through that feature, as I mentioned, we got in touch, but can you tell us more about that feature in the lawyer and what that was all about?

[0:19:20.0] Orin Begum: Yeah, so I think it was part of international women’s day. So, at Clifford Chance, we celebrate international women’s day, all month long, which is great. So, one of our custom communications officers got in touch with me telling me about the series that the lawyer has for international women’s area called women against adversity. And they were like, we’d really, you know, we know about your story and we’d really like for you to be featured as someone to represent Clifford Chance and I was like, yeah, of course. So, you know, I put together something and it got submitted to the lawyer and I was really surprised when it was chosen to be featured. And I think the, basically the article outlines, essentially my story from beginning to end, and I’m so early on in my career, I was surprised it was chosen.

So, it just, you know, outlines, like I say, from our conversation, you know, when I moved here first and then coming up against a lot of challenges, I, you know, I lived in the bar, of you know, one of the most private borrowers in the UK. So, there were a lot of issues, not just financially, but in terms of social issues, behavioural issues that were faced in school that have prevented me from necessarily getting the kind of attention from teachers I necessarily needed to kind of achieve my potential to even things like, you know, how finances almost stopped me from going to college. So, I went to college between the years of 2010-2012, between those years, the coalition government got formed. And I relied heavily on the educational maintenance, which gave me money to kind of travel to college and buy books and all those kinds of things I needed.

And when the coalition government came into power and they got rid of that. I really had to re-evaluate my choices because asking my parents for money just wasn’t an option. They had, you know, four other mouths to feed, a roof to keep over our heads, and bills to pay. So, I was just like, I have no one to ask but my parents for money, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. So, I decided to work three jobs over the weekends to pay my way. And I did that for two years and it was hard, it was really hard because obviously you work and you’re going to college. You know, my college was two bars away so, I’d wake up at 6:00 AM every day, go to college and then work until about nine or 10:00 PM at night, Monday through Friday, and then wake up again, you know, 8:00 AM on a Saturday and Sunday and work three jobs to kind of just maintain myself and be able to go to college, so that kind of stuff was really difficult. But looking back on it, obviously in hindsight, everything looks better, but at the time it was really hard, but now I realize it kind of really taught me the value of money, when you don’t work for your money, you kind of think it’s not really a real, tangible object, but it really is, it makes a huge difference to people’s lives. And it really made me appreciate how much work as I said, my parents had to go through to keep a roof over our head and food in our stomachs. So that was a big thing. And then it just outlined my journey into university. So I was at Worcester College studying law but before that, when I applied, I got rejected at the interview round and I was really upset like, I was telling you everything in my life I had to do twice to kind of get to succeed.

So, the first time when I interviewed, I got rejected and I was really upset because I had my heart set on it. And then at the same time, I’d taken part in a mooting competition with the BPP school of law. I think that’s when they were like first starting out, and the first prize was an all expenses and fees paid place on their LLB program, and I managed to win that competition and I didn’t expect that. So, I had, you know, I had a free ride to university on one hand. But in my heart of hearts, I knew I wanted to reapply to Oxford so, you know, everybody was telling me, don’t take this year out, take BPP up on their offer or one of the other Unis you’ve got an offer from, you know, don’t do this, you don’t want to risk it. And I didn’t want to risk it, I was petrified, but in my heart of hearts, I knew if I did it, I would regret it for the rest of my life. So, I was like, I’m not going to listen to anybody. I’m not going to listen to my parents, my teachers, and my friends. And I took a year out and then I reapplied to Oxford and, you know, the second time round I had better luck and I managed to get placed at the college of my choice and with a full scholarship. So, I was like, I really didn’t expect that and then I was like, I just want to go to Oxford.

I didn’t need a scholarship, but I got offered a full scholarship from the Oxford centre for Islamic studies. So, they paid all my fees and I got maintenance allowance, so I managed to leave university with no debt despite being the generation or the year that the coalition government increased the tuition fees. So, I was in a very blessed position when I got into university and when I left. So yeah, it just outlines my entire journey and it’s about women against adversity and there were so many barriers in my path, you know, my finances, my religious background, my ethnic background, all of that kind of stuff that, you know, in the various contexts were all barriers to me entering the law. But at every point I kind of took, I had to think about it and I was like, you know, why are you going to live the life that other people think you should live or you’re not going to live the life that you want to live and obviously the latter was going to be much more difficult, but I mean, for certain people in this world, I think you’re always going to have to take the path that is less  trodden and it’s going to be harder, but eventually you get to where you want to be.

And I think the whole point of my article was to say that even if you’re in a position where you don’t want to be in right now, and it’s going to be a tough journey to get to where you want to be, it’s always going to be worth it in the end otherwise when you look at yourself in 10 or 20 years’ time and say, you know what, if only I’d made a different decision at that point, my life would be something else and I never wanted to say that. So, you know, as hard as decisions can be, I took the more difficult decisions and travelled the less trodden paths and, you know, here I am today, I know only a few months qualified, so early in my kind of career that I know there’ll be difficult decisions to make in the future as well, but I’m just grateful in a way, for the hardships that did happen, because they taught me so much more than some of my counterparts would know at this point, you know, in terms of maturity, in terms of being able to deal with difficult situations, I think I’m in a very good position to do that going forward.

Having learned the lessons I have, it was a really great article. And then I got so much feedback and so many messages from so many different people who’ve read it and said, this has been so inspiring. It’s inspired me to continue my journey despite going through so many different things. And I was really overwhelmed with the amount of messages and emails I was getting and phone calls I was getting from partners from all over the network and I was just like, wow, I didn’t know so many people read ‘The Lawyer’. And yeah, it was a really great response to have because I felt really scared and I knew that was the first time I’d really outlined everything about my life in such a public way and especially in a publication that a lot of the legal world, a lot of them near people from work would be reading.

I’d never, you know, spoken about those kinds of things with many of my colleagues so it was a really personal article, but I’m glad I did it, because I feel like more of these conversations need to be had, especially when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the law. There are so many invisible factors, you know, it’s not just about gender and race and religion. It’s, you know, there’s so many invisible factors like socioeconomic background, you know, that affects people getting into law as much as anything else. And these things aren’t spoken about. And I feel like the conversation needs to be had. And, that’s why I was like, you know, as uncomfortable as it might seem I have to get it out; the article was a product of that.

[0:25:50.6] Rob Hanna: Yeah, absolutely. And that’s why, you know, we were keen to give you a platform to kind of build on that as well because I think it definitely is a conversation that needs to be had and just among the messages from that, I completely agree. I mean, you know you best, so not necessarily your parents or friends. You know me, I’ve taken, you know, a number of risks throughout my career that people have probably blinked or sort of thought or look sideways, no way.

I think you put that very nicely in terms of, you’ve got to take the less trodden path, because if you want to get to where your goals are, you’re going to have to take some element of risk and you’ve got to go all in and make it happen. So, I just love the fact that, you know, you’ve managed to get from your situation to where you are now, it’s a very commendable and inspiring story. So, thanks for sharing that. And just as a sort of wrapping up on that perspective, would you give us some sort of last piece of advice to aspirational lawyers or current lawyers or even partners just from your experiences that you’d like to share?

[0:27:39.0] Orin Begum: Sure, I get this question a lot and I come from a very normal background. I don’t feel like there’s anything necessarily like I’m no different from anybody else. So I think the only thing I can tell people is like; if I can do it, if I can literarily come from like nothing and still make it, I think anybody else can, it’s just a matter of really wanting what you want. I think when you want something bad enough that you will take calculated and educated risks, and you will work night and day to make your dreams a reality. And I think it’s really about asking yourself; how badly do I want this? And if you do want it bad enough, you will do what it takes to get to where you want to be.

And even if that means being uncomfortable, I’ve, you know, like I say, I’ve not grown up in the traditional circles, it was really uncomfortable for me to not, like learn how to network, or know what conversations to have with certain people, and it was a really uncomfortable journey for me. But it’s only in those kinds of uncomfortable, you know, coming out of your comfort zones that you’re going to grow. And so, I think my advice is be comfortable with being uncomfortable because that’s where the growth happens and that’s where your risks pay off. So just go out there and do whatever it takes to get to what you want. If you want it bad enough, that’s the main thing, if you want it bad enough, you will do what it takes.

[0:28:55.2] Rob Hanna: Yeah. It’s mindset at the end of the day, I think you just need to block out the distractions, block out the negative people, drop out the naysayers and just get on with it. So, I just love that, that sort of mentality. So, you know, you’ve got tons and tons of followers. You’ve got a massive online presence, but people who aren’t already following you or following your social media, how can they get in touch? How can they follow you? Do you want to give a shout out?

[0:29:15.2] Orin Begum: Yeah, sure. That’d be great. So, I’m on Instagram @poetry_by_oreenie, even if you type in my name “Orin Begum” it’ll come up. I’m on Instagram, I’m on Twitter, I’m on Facebook. So, feel free to follow me and follow my poetry and my journey. I do speak word pieces; I do written pieces. I do all sorts of different things so, get involved in the conversations that we’re having and let’s connect. I’m always up for speaking to different people with different perspectives. It’s a great platform; Instagram especially is a great platform for people to connect from all walks of life. So please do go follow me. And yeah, let’s join the journey together.

[0:29:52.9] Rob Hanna: Yeah. Great stuff. Well, thanks a million Orin, you’ve been a fantastic guest. It’s a real pleasure having you on, you talking through your journey truly was inspiring, where you’ve come from and where you’re still going. You know, you’re still very early on into your career, as you say. So, from all of us on the podcast, we wish you tons and tons of success with your legal career and of course, poetry work and look forward to seeing what else you are going to be producing in the future, so from all of us, tons of tons of success. And thank you so much.

[0:30:16.4] Orin Begum: Thank you so much for your time.

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