CMS Academy at CMS

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
Bristol South West
Review Date
Less than £ 10,000


About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

Role Description

3 week vacation scheme in CMS Cameron McKenna.

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

I thoroughly enjoyed this Vacation Scheme. It was a perfect mix between getting stuck into real work in the office and then enjoying ourselves in the evenings!
I would say that this was more of just an 'insight', it was a learning experience and we were given quality work throughout to complete.


2. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?

I, among many, have really felt valued and that CMS have tried their best to put together a 3 week placement for us to get the most out of. This hard work from their part has really paid off, and I have felt part of a brilliant team in the office, and that my work really counted and was appreciated.


3. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?

We were given constant feedback (both good and what we can do to improve further). This is vital to the learning experience, and it was this aspect of the placement that I learnt and grew as a person the most.
There was constant support from day one, as there was always someone that you could have a chat with or ask any questions you have. Being assigned a trainee was ideal, as they are all so friendly and you can ask anything to them, as they know what position you are in.


4. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

This is such a pivotal point in my career progress, that this experience has been beyond amazing! I will continue to grow and develop, but will always know that these 3 weeks have been the beginning of this development.
We have had talks from panels comprisng of people from all over the world, which we learnt lots of interesting perspectives regarding the future of law.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

It couldn't have been any more structured and thought through. The first week was planned so well, that there was always something for us to do, and we were always busy and learning!
The Grad Rec team were there throughout, making sure everything ran smoothly (Which it did!). They did a great job and everyone on the vac scheme was very appreciative of this.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

Fun, upbeat, a great learning atmosphere and excited.
No one knew what to expect, but everyone fully emersed themselves in all the actvities, from client visits through to fitness in the morning!
Everyone had so much fun and got to know eachother really well. It was a great first week.

The second week was in the offices, which I have really enjoyed and learnt so much about how a law firm operates and the type of work they do. The atmosphere in the office is brilliant with everyone knowing and interacting with eachother. This is a perk of the open plan office.


7. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

The firm invested so much into our 3 weeks, and everyone was very appreciative of this. We were alongside partners and lots of associates and trainees throughout, and you could tell that all the CMS team were fully on board making this vac scheme as brilliant as it could be!
We have all said how much we have learnt has been incredible, and the time that they have spent with us is a direct correlation of this.


8. To what extent did the insight help you to understand what it would be like to have a full time role with the company or firm?

Significatly definitely! Especially in the 2 week internship, I was getting involved in real work and deals, and was fully involved. I sat in on calls, attended client meetings and felt trusted to draft letters, speak with various courts and much more.
This allowed me to understand what it would be like to work here, and I never felt like an intern, I just felt part of the team.


9. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?

The company culture here is great! We went on lots of socials and were invited to play football with their football team.
There isn't a heirarchy, I felt like partners talk to trainees all the time to help trainees learn, and trainees can talk to partners as well.
The culture is FRIENDLY and everyone gets on well.


10. How valuable was the content in helping you to decide on your future career path?

I know for certain that I want a career in law, and that I want to do my LPC, and hopefully secure a TC with CMS.
They gave us real inside information into what the firm was like, and also what a career in law was like which has enabled me to make the decision that it is the career for me.
This was great for them to do, as many of us are only 2nd years, and have now found out that we definitely want to start this path.


Other Information

11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?

£350 a week. With reinbursed travel for the first week.
Students were also offered studio acommodation for the first week, and grad rec were great and finding places for everyone and reinbursing all participants here.

12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?

We networked throughout the whole of the first week throughout the day, and also for all the socials. We met many members of staff from trainees through to the managing partner and was able to have talks and discussions with them. They all invested a lot of their time to make this happen!


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

In the first week in London we had lots of socials! Such as 'Chef's Challenge' and Charity Dinner Night, and also drinks in the office a couple of times.
In all of these, clients were invited and many employees from CMS so this was great to have a more informal chat to get to know people.

In the 2nd and 3rd weeks, we also had socials. I was in the Bristol office, and we went to 'Escape the Room', played football matches, went for cocktails, and also did pizza making. Lots of trainees came along and it was a fun and great experience!


14. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?

We attended the football coaching. CMS have a football team, where they play in the CMS championships each year in a different location. For Example they have played against other CMS offices in Barcelona and this year they are travelling to Amsterdam! This is a fun way to get to know colleagues better and enjoy spending time with them.
They also hold a pilates class in the Bristol office.

My trainee Buddy organises charity events for the office, and has just completed a long hike for charity. There is also a lot of pro-bono work to get involved with, one of which is helping in a primary school teaching children how to read.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

I would 100% recommend this CMS Academy to a friend. I have been the brand ambassador, but this will continue afterwards as I will keep spreading the word about how amazing this opportunity has been.
There is constant feedback throughout and it is a learning opportunity for everyone-very valuable and insightful.