Summer Vacation Scheme Student
Although perhaps not originally intended, my assigned buddy was not in the office for the majority of my placement. However, I found this to be of great benefit as this made my two week vacation scheme incredibly "real life" as I was treated in the same manner a new trainee would be and was given similar tasks from many fee-earners as opposed to just one person.
My vacation scheme began a week earlier than the other students but from day one I was made to feel incredibly welcome at CMS Aberdeen. The work I was given varied in difficulty but I never felt that I was given something just to keep me occupied.
As previously mentioned my buddy was not in the office for the majority of my vacation scheme. This meant a lot of the time I was left to my own devices. Personally, this led me to gain far more out of the two week period than I had perhaps originally thought. I had to figure things out on my own, much like a trainee would have to do. In saying that, if I was ever in a position that I needed support, there was always someone available in the office to offer guidance.
The skills I developed will allow me to apply the knowledge gained from my studies in a practical way. For me, it cemented the shift of the law being an academic creature to a business creation. I believe that the skills developed over this vacation scheme will put me in a more comfortable position for when I begin the diploma in legal practice this September.
Again, at no fault of CMS, my placement had little structure. Beginning a week early coupled with my buddy being out of the office meant that my placement was very flexible compared to the one offered to the students beginning a week later. However, I found that this flexibility worked to my advantage and I throughly enjoyed feeling like a trainee in the office. In essence I was thrown in head first to the CMS world. Although 5 may seem a low rating, I've marked this down on the basis of the question as I wouldn't have had it any other way.
I was lucky in my two weeks that I got to experience two completely different atmospheres in the same office. In week one there was a complicated litigation case about to go to court so the atmosphere was tense and very high pressured. However, in week two once the paperwork had all been submitted it was a more relaxed atmosphere. This allowed me to catch a glimpse of both sides of life when working with high-powered clients.
A two week period is a short time for personal training and development investment. However, during my time I attended an oil and gas seminar hosted by one of the partners and was present at an office-wide team meeting.
The vacation scheme helped a tremendous amount in my understanding of what it would be like to work at CMS Aberdeen full-time. A traineeship is a two year commitment that can't be undertaken lightly and I feel the best way to understand where you are best suited is to emerse yourself in the firm, which is exactly what this vacation scheme offered.
Everyone was incredibly welcoming, friendly and down-to-earth. Had it not been for the insight I would have never truly understood this as admittedly I originally perceived that a high pressured environment would not have been as welcoming.
Before attending the vacation scheme I knew that I wanted to become a commercial lawyer: my views have intensified since completely the scheme. I am now even more focused to achieving my goal.
I undertook work from various departments allowing me to network with most of the office. The penthouse was also a great place to undertake networking as everyone came together for lunch.
Again, due to starting the vacation scheme a week early I missed out on the opportunity to attend the social event between the trainees and the summer students. However, I did my best to ensure I was included in all other aspects of social life in the office.
I heard a lot about the CMS World Cup that takes place every year and I know that everyone in the office is given the opportunity to play for the team.
Yes I absolutely would recommend this vacation scheme to a friend. As previously said, a traineeship cannot be undertaken lightly and for me, a two week vacation scheme is the perfect way to ascertain if you are a fit with the firm you aspire to work for.