Highly enjoyable two days. It was packed full of useful / interesting / fun events and games, with a lot of focus on the intern's getting to know one another and other members of the firm. I particularly enjoyed the team building games and of course we were put up in a very smart hotel.
I felt highly valued. Every individual put in significant effort to approach me and take an interest in my career path, uni life and work interests. My trainee buddy was particularly considerate and left an excellent impression of the firm. It's the attitudes and behaviour of the worker's that really creates value, but of course A&O were willing to spend significant resources for the hotel and food.
I would split this in two. For most of the two days, we were being examined and evaluated - so support or guidance would be limited to the amount necessary. During the time spent work shadowing, I received plenty of support and guidance, and my trainees were very enthusiastic about both their work and the firm, answering all my questions and giving me an accurate feel for the work at A&O.
Phenomenally well organised. It was of course an intense scheme, but I felt there was the appropriate balance between active and passive events (for example, a talk on Brexit vs negotiation workshop). From organising travel reimbursements, food and the day's plans, graduate recruitment executed things very smoothly and the firm appeared very polished,
Very pleasant and welcoming. It was certainly a culture of asking questions and pushing oneself as much as possible. During any kind of social event, such as evening drinks or speed networking breakfast, I felt very comfortable and never felt that trainees were putting on a display for our benefit - they were naturally talkative and approachable.
I believe I experienced a tangible improvement in relevant skills, competencies and knowledge. The negotiation competition and mock interviews were very useful in improving my communication skills. We were also given interesting talks on the firm's strategy, Fuse space (this was excellent) and the effects of Brexit. Having the oppurtunity to talk to genuine experts in their field gave me an unparalleled depth of insight.
Credit must go the to work experience afternoons where I sat in two different departments. Even a few hours performing the work of a trainee in the department was crucial to giving me an accurate representation of working at A&O. There is a danger at these events (as I have witnessed at other firms on multiple occassions) of talking about yet around the substantive work of a trainee - A&O First did not fall victim to this.
Due to its intensity and the periods of work experience, this was very useful. There was exposure to the substantive work and culture of A&O. However there was also a lot of information about the future of the legal industry, the viability of commercial law firms, the impact of Brexit and how the industry is changing to use technology. So after the scheme, I felt more prepared and informed about career paths.
Plenty - that took up a large amount of the scheme. There were evening drinks, lunches with various trainees, a speed networking breakfast (where trainees and associates from different departments and areas sat with you for 5 - 10 minutes and gave us a brief summary of their work) and it was easy to ask any questions you had.
Without doubt. A&O First was an in-depth and carefully structured scheme. It immersed me in the culture of the firm without the pressure and expectations of a vacation scheme. I came out having made a good group of friends and with a significant amount of knowledge. I also had a lot of fun! The scheme was designed for first years, with our enjoyment in mind.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
14th October 2017