I had a fantastic experience on my two week vacation scheme at Allen & Overy. It served as a great introduction to the firm and its people, and I found that everyone was very interesting and had a lot to talk about (both the vacation scheme students and A&O people).
Despite the short time I spent at Allen & Overy, I did feel very valued - mostly because everyone was friendly and helpful. What also particularly made me feel part of the firm was that I got the opportunity to get involved in volunteering/access initiatives even though I was only here for a short time - I helped out with two SmartStart events, and both of them were very enjoyable.
I always felt very well supported and Allen & Overy managed to achieve a really good balance whereby we had autonomy and were encouraged to seek out other trainees to arrange individual coffee sessions to ask questions and also to seek out work by introducing ourselves to others in the department.
I am hopefully that all the skills and knowledge I developed will help me in the future. Sitting in the banking team, I was tasked with reading documents maybe twice or thrice over to make sure that there were no errors or duplications. I will certainly use this attention to detail in my degree and other jobs going forward.
The insight was incredibly well structured - we were given iPads with a timetable planned and we knew clearly exactly when events were. Other information was well communicated to us. Moreover, we sat in one seat for the duration of the two weeks. This was a good structure as it allowed you to get good insight into one department and to get to know the team rather than moving around and only getting a brief introduction to the work the department engages with.
The general atmosphere was very warm and friendly; people really aren’t exaggerating when they emphasise the accessible and amazing culture of Allen & Overy. Everybody has time for you (even if you have to fit in between a few meetings!) I never felt uncomfortable in the office nor awkward to walk in and ask someone a question if I was unsure.
I found that Allen & Overy invested a great deal into our personal training and development. This ranged from IT sessions to understand the software that the firm uses, to talks and presentations from senior staff, which aimed to improve our own presentation skills. I feel that I have come away from this vacation scheme more confident and prepared for the next steps in my career.
The insight was really useful in understanding what a full time role with the firm would be like. This was through formal opportunities such as talks about training contracts, practice areas, and other presentations for instance on pro bono work. Also, the desk work was clearly useful to getting an understanding of what it would be like to be an Allen & Overy trainee.
The insight at Allen & Overy gave me a really great understanding of the company culture - although nobody shies away from how hard they work and at times the work can be stressful and challenging, everyone was very friendly and approachable and happy to help out with any query.
I found the content of this vacation scheme very valuable. I'm still not certain what type of law I would like to specialise in, but I do have more of an idea of what interests me. I am told that many don't make up their mind till they start training anyway.
I was paid a weekly sum for the time I spent at Allen & Overy.
There were many opportunities for network and meeting other employees of Allen & Overy. This was through more formal opportunities - for instance in the team that you are sitting in, various talks, and also through more informal opportunities such as chatting to people at events. Generally, almost everyone was happy to spend some time having a chat.
I really enjoyed the social and networking events at Allen & Overy!
Yes, I found out about lots of activities that employees can get involved in.
I would 100% recommend this insight to a friend. Really enjoyable and insightful two weeks!
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
12th June 2018