I very much enjoyed my insight into Simmons & Simmons. I felt that there was a good combination of interesting work, social activities and informative events. I felt that a true effort was made to allow students on the insight to understand what life at a commercial City firm is like. I really enjoyed the department I was placed in and overall I felt that everyone was incredibly friendly, welcoming and supportive.
2. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?
I definitely felt valued during my time. HR and Grad Recruitment made an effort to make us feel valuable. Also, in my department I was given real work to do and I could see how it was helpful. It was also an amazing experience because I was able to experience a broad range of work. I did several research tasks which will be valuable in upcoming work and that made the scheme more interesting.
3. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?
I received quite a lot of guidance and support. Efforts were made to give me very clear instructions and support. I felt that I could approach anyone in the department to ask questions. Both Associates and Trainees took the time to help me work through any questions that I had and that was invaluable as a learning experience. I really appreciated that people took the time to make an effort.
4. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I think that there was an effort to ensure that we learned about the firm but also began developing our soft skills. We had a personal branding workshop that was helpful as it allowed us to understand the importance of brands, but also gave an insight into how the Compass programme works throughout the training contract. I think these skills are relevant in every day life.
5. How well structured was the insight?
I think the structure was excellent. I felt that there was a good combination of spending time in the departments and feeling more comfortable around your colleagues, but also of spending time with fellow vac schemers and interacting with people throughout the firm. There were quite a few events, and potentially they could have been spaced out throughout the days and not be so concentrated in the first three days, but I felt that it was well structured otherwise.
6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?
Excellent. I felt that the true culture of the firm shown through and I felt that everyone was very friendly and truly made an effort to make us feel welcomed and supported. I think that even though they don't like being defined as 'nice', they is a very good general atmosphere in the firm. Also Grad Recruitment held several events that were very fun, like dinner at Sky Gardens.
7. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
They definitely invested in all of the vac schemers. They took us out on the town to Sky Gardens which was a very nice dinner. They also invested time in helping us develop and learn skills and you can see that that support continues on throughout the training experience. Furthermore they made efforts to give us as interesting work as they could, and gave us insight into the cases and deals that were being worked on.
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?
I think it was very clear what it would be like to have a full time role with Simmons & Simmons. People there work incredibly hard but seem to have a passion for what they do. Therefore while the hours are those that you would expect from a city firm, the collegiate environment and the passion of the people you work with make it a very pleasant experience. Also I feel that unlike some other city firms, when you work long hours it is appreciated and for good reason.
9. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?
I think it provided amazing insight into the company culture. Quite a lot was mentioned about how the firm has a reputation for being 'nice', but people don't like to use that word. However, they are a very friendly firm that really draws you in. I think people appreciate their colleagues and everyone works in a very collegiate manner, supporting the people they work with and I think this was very evident on the scheme.
10. How valuable was the content of the day in helping you to decide on your future career path?
Incredibly helpful. Though I did know that I wanted to work in a law firm, this experience cemented that knowledge. It also made me incredibly excited to start my career. I think that the experience was insightful as to what kind of work exactly trainees and above do in a city law firm. I think it also made me appreciate the differences in culture between small law firms and larger ones. I would absolutely consider a career at Simmons & Simmons after this scheme.
11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?
I felt that I was reimbursed adequately for this experience. While it may be a bit lower than some other firms, I think it absolutely fair.
12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?
Yes, there were many opportunities for networking. We had brunch with some partners, we had speed networking to allow us to find out more about the different departments within the firm, we had drinks the first night with our supervisors and trainee buddies and grad recruitment and we had a final farewell lunch where we again were given the opportunity to spend time with our supervisors and trainee buddies.
13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?
I thought that the networking and social event opportunities were perfect. I think there was a good balance that was not overwhelming and also allowed you to spend quite a lot of time working. There was a social event or networking opportunity every day of the scheme and we also went out of the office to drinks on the first day and to Sky Gardens for dinner for our farewell event.
14. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?
I think that Simmons & Simmons is known for the activities that employees can get involved in. I think that we found out quite a lot about the different opportunities. I think for me the most interesting were the art group as well as their women's group. But they also have lots of sporting activities and others. I think we were very well informed on the different opportunities.
15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?
Absolutely - It was my first experience in a placement and from day 1 I felt that it was an amazing experience. People made the effort to make it as non-daunting as possible, through the friendly and supportive culture. My department also made the conscious effort to give me interesting work and I truly felt valued during my time. I think that it seems like a wonderful firm to work at and I would absolutely recommend this insight to a friend.