'If you have a constant question, a curiosity or puzzling thought hovering over your head, believe in the relevance of it, and explore it deeply through a PhD.'
An international student from Brazil, Camila's interest in global public law, human rights and the organisations that engage in social policy around the world has led her to UC to undertake her PhD in Law.
The high achiever has earned degrees from three different universities in Brazil and the United States, was previously an Associate Director of the African-American Policy Forum and has recently been offered a Max Weber fellowship at the prestigious European Union Institute (EUI).
'I chose to come to the University of Canterbury for my PhD after it was recommended by a former UC Law professor, Scott Davidson, who writes on the topic of international human rights and saw potential in my project,' she says.
'My research has revealed a range of innovative ways by which public services are being designed and provided at international and global levels. It raises important questions about the legal and political consequences of the dislocation of public service provision from governments to global public and private partnerships.'
Camila wants to further develop this area of expertise and make it the focus of her career. She says that the multi-disciplinary aspect of her PhD, encompassing the areas of international law, social justice and global governance, will enable her to work on the consultancy projects, academic debates, teaching and writing that can be part of the fellowship at the EUI.
Camila says she is enjoying the Canterbury experience and the friendliness of her colleagues.
'I'm especially enjoying the supervisory experience here,' she says. 'It is informal and friendly without any loss of quality. In fact, I think it is this laid back approach that guides my supervisory relationship that has made it effective, since I feel very comfortable about articulating my arguments, and sharing anxieties and rough drafts with my supervisor. This open avenue of communication has helped us throughout the process.'
She urges others who are driven by an interest in social justice and governance to consider a PhD in Law.
'It is a large, challenging but super-important area, which helps us to better understand how welfare decisions are being made. It also helps to set us up as potential agents of these decisions, eventually contributing to making better global social policy and improving people's lives in different areas of the world.'