I found this Winter Vac Scheme to be thoroughly enjoyable and I had the opportunity to become involved in genuine and meaningful work. I was consistently busy throughout my time at Simmons & Simmons, with each day filled with training workshops, in-department work and networking events. All of these events were genuinely enjoyable.
2. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?
I felt very valued by the team at Simmons & Simmons and left feeling as though I had made genuine connections with full time employees and interns alike. My team took the time to get to know me and where interested in my personal development, providing me with interesting and meaningful work.
3. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?
Throughout my time here, I received a good level of support and guidance from the team. My team spent time explaining the work and were happy to answer any questions I had. I found it very beneficial having both a supervisor and a trainee buddy, who went out of their way to ensure I felt well supported.
4. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The skills that I developed during my time at Simmons & Simmons will undoubtedly be beneficial to me in the future, namely research and presentation skills. There was a focus on developing the skills that will be needed when undertaking a training contract and I found it beneficial to identify where my strengths lie and what skills I need to improve.
5. How well structured was the insight?
I found the structure of this vacation scheme to be really excellent. Prior to starting, the recruitment team sent out frequent information, so I was clear on what was going to be happening when I joined the firm. There was a good combination of desk time and networking events. The skills workshops were well organised and tailored to our needs as students.
6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?
I found the atmosphere to be warm and welcoming. Employees were approachable and I always felt comfortable asking questions and contributing ideas. The environment was overwhelming supportive and there was an emphasis placed on inclusivity. I was made to feel like any other member of the team and I felt genuinely valued by my team.
7. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
It was very clear to see how much Simmons & Simmons had invested in us. We were provided with IT and library training, which enabled us to make the most of the facilities. My team took the time to provide comprehensive feedback on my work, which enabled me to identify areas I needed to develop. On the final evening, we were taken out for a very nice meal, which demonstrated how much the firm had invested in not only our personal development, but also valued us as individuals.
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?
This experience was very helpful in understanding what it would be like to have a full time role at the firm. The experience was incredibly insightful in understanding exactly the type of work you would be doing as a trainee and understanding the type of hours you might be excepted to work.
9. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?
Great insight to company culture!
10. How valuable was the content of the day in helping you to decide on your future career path?
I found the content to be really useful in determining my future career path and has cemented my intentions to pursue a career in the legal sphere, and more specifically in a City law firm. I found it particularly useful to be able to see first hand what type of work solicitors undertake on a day to day basis.
11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?
I was paid a generous salary for the week and this money covered my accommodation and travel costs.
12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?
There were lots of opportunities to network with a whole host of staff right across the firm. We had a networking brunch with partners, as well as informal drinks and Q&A sessions, which provided the opportunity to network with individuals working in different departments across the firm. We were also encouraged to interact with staff on our own accord and we were encouraged to set up informal chats and coffee meetings with partners.
13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?
I very much enjoyed the networking events that were organised during our time at Simmons & Simmons. There was a good balance between formal networking events and informal sessions and we were able to interact with employees of ranging seniority. Our final event was held at the Sky Gardens in Central London, which was an incredible place to have our farewell dinner.
14. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?
Yes, I was able to find out more about the activities that employees can get involved in outside of work and Simmons & Simmons was keen to emphasis the pro bono work that its employees can get involved in. There was also mention of sports teams and running clubs that staff can join.
15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?
Yes, I would absolutely recommend this Vac Scheme to a friend as it provides a very beneficial and concise overview of what it is like to work at the firm, and moreover, the day to day life of a City lawyer. I was able to develop a number of skills and feel much better prepared for attending interviews for training contracts.