I found the CMS Academy very enjoyable. The first week in particular, which was the Business Week, was very interesting and insightful. We took part in a range of activities to build up our business knowledge, our knowledge of the legal industry and about CMS in general. During the following two weeks we spent time in one particular department. You were appointed a supervisor, mine was a Senior Associate and she was very helpful throughout and gave me meaningful and interesting tasks to complete. Everyone else in the department was so friendly and inclusive - I was invited to attend meetings, sit in on telephone conferences and I went to court twice. Overall, I had a great time on the scheme.
I was made to feel very valued on the scheme. It was incredible that so many senior members of the firm (partners and the CEO) took so much time out of their schedules to take part in the scheme and to spend time getting to know us. We were taken to meet clients of CMS, which showed how much faith the firm had in us in putting us in the same room as them and letting us run the meeting.,
You are given a trainee buddy before you start and I was able to meet my buddy for coffee before the scheme started so that I could ask her questions and get to know her. I met with my buddy several times throughout the scheme and it was useful to have someone to talk to about things. As well as having a trainee buddy, you have a supervisor in the department you are placed in. My supervisor was great and was willing to take time out of her day to sit down with me and talk to me. My supervisor invited me along to her meetings and included me in the work she was doing, as well as giving me interesting pieces of work to do. Graduate Recruitment were also there throughout your time if you are worried about anything and they were very approachable and were more than happy to answer any questions you had.
I learnt so much, particularly in the first Business Week, that I will use in the future. Also during the next two weeks I gained great insight into the work you complete as a trainee.
The vacation scheme was very structured, we received our timetables well in advance so we could plan ahead. The whole of the first week was filled with structured activities, then the next two weeks were more flexible. We still had sessions throughout those two weeks, as well as social activities.
Very positive and welcoming
The firm heavily invested in your personal development. We were assessed throughout the first week and then received feedback on this the week after so that we were able to see ways in which we could improve for the rest of the time. I found this incredibly useful.
We got to meet a range of different people at the firm, from very high up to those working in business support functions.
Very valuable - the three weeks we spent there reinforced my decision to pursue a career as a lawyer
We had several social activities throughout our time with the firm. A lot of members of staff attended and it was refreshing that they were so interested in getting to know you. As well as that, other members of staff in your department will come and speak to you to find out more about you as well, which makes you feel very welcome
Grad Rec organised a number of great activitied for us. We had a number of drinks evenings, at Madisons in St Pauls, we had a cooking evening (similar to Masterchef!), we were taken out to the theatre as well.
There was a dinner with the different charities CMS works with and they explained the different pro-bono activities you can get involved in.
I would definitely recommend it to a friend