I was an intern at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors in Leeds and spent 8 weeks at the firm.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
I thoroughly enjoyed my 8 week internship at Irwin Mitchell. I was able to get a real insight into the working day of a solicitor, and was able to confirm to myself the areas of law that I want to go into. I was given a good amount of responsibility and was allowed to draft important documents and attend client meetings etc.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
I felt valued by my colleagues as they consistently thanked me for my hard work and were very grateful when I completed a task for them. Additionally, they asked me to do many different tasks and jobs which made me feel that they needed me and that I could really help them reduce some of their work load.
They welcomed me to their team and made me feel a part of it!
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
I would not say that I got a vast amount of support/guidance from my supervisors although I did not feel that this was necessary in the circumstances. If I completed a good piece of work, I would be told of this and if my work could be improved, they would tell me this also.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
For the majority of the placement I had things to do, however some times I would find that I did not have much to do, but at these times I would always ask all members of staff if they had anything they needed me to do and they would usually give me something. I was never rushed off my feet and never felt as though I could not handle the case load.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I was given a good amount of responsibility and felt that this was at the right level. I was able to attend client meetings and different presentation, and was trusted to write up the notes of these meetings. I was also able to draft letters and emails to different clients and other firms.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills I developed will be invaluable for future employment and also for interviews. I do not think it will assist me in my degree studies at it was extremely practical rather than academic. Although I did have to complete some research which gave me my idea for my dissertation.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
The atmosphere in the office was great, everyone was extremely friendly and did not take the working life too serious. Although, when the work needed to be done my colleagues would get on with it. We also had various lunch time events such as summer BBQs which the majority of my colleagues would attend.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
The internship was organised in the sense that I had a formal meeting before hand to talk through what I would be doing and had health and safety talks etc. I was treated as a real member of staff which I felt was very organised for example I had my own key card, email address and printer ID.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I would say that this question is not really applicable to the type of internship I completed. I got this internship through my university and not through the firm itself, so in a sense the firm was not recruiting me to train me and invest in me. I did not get much personal training but I was able to attend training sessions with other solicitors.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
I am definitely going to apply to this organisation and will be starting the application process shortly. I really enjoyed my time at the firm and would not think twice about applying there. I can definitely see myself fitting in with the dynamic of the firm and getting on well with all the staff and the way of working.
I did not get a job with the firm but I am going to be applying and hopefully having this experience will put me in a good position.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
Another placement student was already my previous friend from university so we met on lunch times etc. There were also at least 3 social events whilst I was there so the social scenes at the firm with fellow colleagues was very good. It was a lot better and a lot more frequent than I anticipated.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
As I am a student in the area that I worked in I stayed in my university flat which is relatively cheap. The food in the area and around the office was quite expensive for a student although luckily the office had its own catering department which was very cheap and worth the money!
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
The nightlife in Leeds is excellent (I am a student in Leeds). The office was very close to the town centre were the main bars and restaurants were. So for example, after work one night we walked into town to go four our team night out which was very ideal and convenient.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There were various opportunities to get involved in different activities such as the social ones mentioned above. Other than social activities, I was not aware of any other activities to get involved with outside of work, although the full time colleagues did partake in many charity fundraising events and other events.