I completely enjoyed the hands-on experience received during the vacation scheme. The scheme was peppered with an adequate number of socials at destinations across London that enabled social interaction with fellow vac-schemers, trainees as well as partners. In addition, the vac-schemers were offered orientation with respect to the various practice areas within the firm as well as other facilities offered to their employees.
2. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?
The firm places an extraordinary amount of trust and responsibility upon its vac-schemers and value every input offered by us. The vac-schemers sit at two different seats during the scheme and at both these seats, I was offered, the team members encourage you to participate in a variety of tasks and value the output of your work. Constant feedback reinforces this idea. However, we were not exposed to sensitive issues (understandably so) or work that involves tight deadlines.
3. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?
At both the seats during the scheme, each vacation schemer is assigned to a principal and a buddy. While the principal is responsible for your overall well-being and the tasks assigned during the scheme, your buddy is your go-to friend within the firm and will help you out with anything (no matter how silly it is). The principals and buddies assigned to me in each of these seats were friendly and approachable. They made the entire vac-scheme process a breeze to complete.
4. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
While the legal knowledge that you develop during the scheme will be limited, you will gain a crucial understanding of the skills necessary to work as a City lawyer, especially in a magic circle firm, and the skills required to fulfil your responsibilities. Few sessions during the scheme are aimed at developing your soft skills and is a step forward in transforming oneself into a client-friendly solicitor.
5. How well structured was the insight?
The scheme was very well structured. Initially, the socials predominantly occupy your schedule to enable you to ease into the firm's atmosphere. However, towards the end, it may seem like you are attending fewer socials compared to initial weeks. Presentations and other orientation sessions are spread throughout the day to ensure maximum retention from each of these sessions.
6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?
The atmosphere throughout the firm is friendly and seems very approachable. Anyone and everyone is willing to entertain a conversation and offer helpful guidance. While everyone is occupied with sufficient work (understandably so), it never hinders the overall ease that the firm exuberates. It won't take more than a day to ease into and amidst the people of the firm.
7. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
As you start the vac-scheme, you became aware of the time and effort put in by the firm's recruitment team in organising the sessions throughout the scheme. The firm considers each and every vac-schemer as a potential trainee and thus, invests excessively into us. Each of the session seeks to inculcate a specific set of skills or knowledge to enable us to tackle the TC interview towards the end of the scheme and career thereafter.
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?
A significant insight was offered into what a trainee does, specifically in each of the practice area that the firm offers. In addition, you have plenty of opportunities to speak with various trainees within the firm, who offer a complete picture of what they do, which completely match with glimpse offered by the scheme.
9. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?
The firm was very upfront of their culture since the graduate recruitment process and the vac-scheme stays true to such a representation. You will sense the culture from each solicitor in the office as well as from the support staff. The firm places a high value on its culture and derives pride from the same. Thus, the scheme offers a complete picture fo the firm's culture as well as assists you in determining if you will fit within the said culture.
10. How valuable was the content of the day in helping you to decide on your future career path?
As the scheme offers a holistic picture of what it takes to work at the firm and what a career at the firm entails, a vac-schemer will have all the information required to decide on one's career trajectory thereafter. The scheme exposes you sufficiently to the future developments within the legal field and the strategy of the firm to tackle such challenges.
11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?
£400 per week
12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?
Plenty of opportunities were available to meet other employees at all rungs of the firm, including partners. Such opportunities were available during the various socials planned during the scheme as well as during offers. Moreover, you may also speak to people when you are in the cafeteria etc. Also, since you will be sitting with two different teams during your scheme, you get to meet a lot more people than it is possible if you are assigned to a single seat.
13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?
The events were thoughtfully planned to range from team-building sessions to fancy dinners. The events not only enabled communication but encouraged communication with others.
14. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?
Yes, on the very 1st day, the firm shares with you all the activities that the employees engage in outside of the work. In addition, you get to learn about these various activities during interactions with a variety of people during your scheme.