Everyone from all levels of the business went out of their way to make me feel like I actually worked there - from offering to chat over coffee to regularly checking that I had enough to do and was interested in what I was doing. The work they gave me seemed to be a genuine help to them and not just tasks they had thought up to keep me entertained.
Lots- everyone was willing to give up their time to explain things to me, particularly my supervisors. HR were always on hand with any questions and frequently came to visit just to check that we had everything we needed. The trainees especially were very supportive and offered their help if a task seemed daunting.
The grad team put together an incredibly comprehensive programme packed with workshops, networking events, social events, meet-and-greets and other activities; each event was well planned and clearly designed to help us get to know the firm and to ask questions off the record. Everything concerning day-to-day admin e.g. where to eat, how to get around, how to use the building, where all the resources were was all revealed to us via a treasure hunt on the first morning - a really innovative way to perform an induction!
Although some departments were busier than others, people were consistently friendly and seemed genuinely pleased to have us there. So many people went out of their way to talk to me about what I was doing, it was easy to feel comfortable and settled.
Through presentations, seminars and training sessions RPC really put effort into ensuring that we were equipped with the necessary skills to make the most out of the scheme. Supervisors were diligent in ensuring that we were given a variety of tasks, so we had the chance to learn lots of different skills.
Although it's hard to know for sure when you're aware you're being assessed all the time, RPC ensured that we were getting stuck in to the day-to-day work of its lawyers. I often found myself doing a task which was similar to one my trainee 'buddy' was doing, and via plenty of social events and networking opportunities, I got a really good insight into how different departments worked, rather than just the ones I was sitting in.
Through so many social events and networking opportunities it was made clear from the start that we would be fully immersed into the firm's culture. Some candidates on my scheme were invited to dinners with partners and clients, or football matches against other firms - we certainly weren't left out. The various workshops and presentations from different people across the firm really cemented the idea of a cohesive culture.
Very - I knew I wanted to be a solicitor and by giving us such realistic work and experiences RPC cemented this. It was particularly helpful to have so much contact with the trainees, since they could confirm that the kinds of activities we were doing were exactly what we could expect if we won a training contract. Furthermore, questions were strongly encouraged so I could ask as anyone about life as a solicitor and get honest answers.
So many! In total over the 2 weeks of the scheme we attended 2 'speed networking' events, a cocktail mixology class with trainees, a casual dinner with trainees, 2 networking lunches, various presentations and workshops, and plenty of 'coffee meetings' with different people who were just curious to know who we were!
It seems RPC has a vibrant social life. Everyone - lawyers, HR, business development, facilities- is sorted into a 'house' when they join the firm and takes part in a wide range of social events through that system, as well as there being lots of firm-wide clubs and societies such as a choir, football teams, darts leagues, charity work, book clubs, fitness groups etc.
Definitely - it was really comprehensive. It was by far the most organised vacation scheme I have attended and the firm goes out of its way to immerse you in their culture and to look after you. The supervisors in particular have clearly been prepped well - they were so accommodating and always happy, no matter how busy they were, to take the time to talk things through if I was unsure, or needed help.