The scheme provides good opportunities for networking, learning more about the Compass programme, and good exposure to challenging work, with a good level of feedback on tasks completed. The working environment is very friendly and non-hierarchical, so even in a short amount of time you feel part of the team.
2. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?
I left having made very good connections with people, in the short space of only one week. I felt that colleagues were interested in me and my development, and gave me good tasks to complete. My trainee buddy was very friendly, supportive and helpful and my supervisors took a keen interest in me and my professional development.
3. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?
Having a supervisor and trainee buddy makes it easy to ask questions, and sharing an office with another lawyer means they can look out for you and see how you are doing. The in-house library is also very good. The library and IT training provided a good grounding. Guidance on future career progression was also very good through the extensive networking opportunities available.
4. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The scheme has given me a clear idea of what skills are needed, and helped me identify areas for further improvement through the stretching tasks given. Through speaking with my supervisors and trainee buddy I have been able to identify the core competencies which are required. The information provided also helps me see what areas of law appeal to me.
5. How well structured was the insight?
The scheme is very well structured and a detailed agenda is provided beforehand. Time in departments is balanced with networking and training sessions.
6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?
The atmosphere was very warm during the time I was there - colleagues were very approachable and friendly, and the culture is very much non-hierarchical. There was a real atmosphere of inclusion and support; even as an intern I felt a part of the team I was sat in, and a valued colleague.
7. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
There was IT and library training, and also a Compass training session. Tasks completed in the department were appreciated and almost immediate, constructive feedback was given. Colleagues were supportive and approachable, meaning I was able to ask many questions. Tasks were challenging and stretching.
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 inclusive environment meant I felt comfortable, and could imagine myself working there in a full-time capacity. The work and networking opportunities also gave me a good idea of what the work would be like day-to-day in both the department I was sat in, and other departments, both transactional and contentious.
9. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?
The insight was invaluable for understanding the company culture; by sitting in my department, walking around the firm and meeting colleagues I could see how they came across and how much value they placed on me as an individual.
10. How valuable was the content of the day in helping you to decide on your future career path?
The content of the day, which included designated sessions and work in the department, helped me see what it would be like to work as a solicitor day-to-day. In particular, I had a general interest and understanding of the practice area I sat in, but the experience helped me to specifically see what kind of tasks lawyers would complete and how they fitted into the bigger picture. As I am not sure whether I want to be a contentious or transactional lawyer, this is information that I would need to obtain from further experience, in order to further refine the direction of my career path.
11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?
Yes, I was paid very well for what was one week's work experience, and the costs covered much of my accommodation costs for the week.
12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?
Yes, there were opportunities to network with: partners over brunch; different departments through speed networking; colleagues (including a trainee buddy and supervisor) in the department and trainees through information sessions and informal drinks. Perhaps more could be facilitated so we could network with our fellow participants on the scheme.
13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?
The networking opportunities were very good. As an improvement, it might have been nice to have a speed networking session with trainees, and for the speed networking event itself (which was on the agenda) to include a representative from each sub-team of each department, to ask more detailed questions.
Similarly, the social events (drinks, lunch, and dinners together) were very good. A formal seating plan during the dinner helped socialise with more people.
14. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?
There was reference to pro bono and CSR, and sport teams, outside the workplace; although networking opportunities and information sessions provided a chance to ask further questions about this, more detailed information was not provided.
15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?
Yes, this scheme provides a very concise view of what it would be like to work at the firm. There is a good balance between information sessions, networking opportunities, social events and work in departments. The friendly, inclusive environment means you can adapt quickly to the working environment within a short amount of time and good feedback on tasks helps you understand both the skill set required and how you can further develop this. A good insight into life at a City firm.