Winter Vacation Scheme - I worked for a week at the firm.
1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?
I really enjoyed the insight. I was kept very busy which meant that it was challenging and tiring at times, but the department I was in was incredibly friendly and happy to help if I had any concerns or questions.
2. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?
I came to the department at a very busy time, as they were trying to close a lot of matters before Christmas. This meant that they were very grateful to have another pair of hands to assist with outstanding work. Therefore, I did feel valued as I felt that I was really contributing to the firm.
3. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?
The HR team were fabulous at providing clear instructions and sessions about the firm. I had an excellent trainee buddy who helped me at all stages of the scheme and my supervisor was so approachable. I was fully supported.
4. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I was learning new skills the entire scheme and I know these will be helpful when I do my law degree and go into a law career. They are specialist skills that I don't think you would necessarily learn through being lectured - you have to experience the work to gain them.
5. How well structured was the insight?
There was a really good balance of information sessions, networking and time to work in the department. This meant that you got a good oversight of what the firm was like.
6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?
Everyone was so friendly and willing to help me with any of my tasks. I thought that the atmosphere might have been a little stressful, as it was so close to Christmas and a lot of work needed completing, but the whole department I worked in was in a very festive and cheerful mood!
7. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
We had the experience of attending one of the Compass training sessions on how to build your Personal Brand. This showed how the company tried to invest in us. It was hard for them to do more, as the scheme only lasted a week.
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?
The work was 'real' work which meant that it was easy to see what it would be like working for the firm. A week was long enough to get a good insight into the culture of the firm and how it operated.
9. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?
It really helped. I was able to see how people operated and how people interacted with each other. Overall, the culture is incredibly collegiate and social, which I found very necessary when the work is so intellectually challenging.
10. How valuable was the content of the day in helping you to decide on your future career path?
The work was 'real' work which meant that I could easily see what a career at the firm would be like. However I was not put in one of my preferred departments and I know that each department is very different, so I was still left a little unsure as to what a career in a certain department would be like at the firm.
11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?
We were paid very well for the week's work, especially considering some of it was made up of networking and information sessions!
12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?
HR had organised many networking events, like Speed Networking and a Partners Brunch which allowed us to meet other employees of the firm.
13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?
I found these events really good for meeting a wide range of people at the firm from a variety of different departments and this meant that although you were only experiencing working in one department, you could gain an insight into what it would be like working in another one.
14. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?
The trainees were particularly useful for providing information about extra-curricular activities and events. They mentioned a range of sports clubs that were open to all abilities and also talked about the networks, like the Number One Club, which is the women's network.
15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?
Yes I would. It is really welcoming and provides a good insight into working at the firm. Often people find law vacation schemes highly stressful experiences, but I would say that the firm really recognise this and try to ensure that you are as relaxed as possible so that you can really enjoy your experience.