I found this vacation scheme at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to be very enjoyable. The vacation scheme provided me with a fantastic insight into life as a commercial lawyer at an international law firm. The work was interesting, and I felt that I was given the chance to contribute to real cases.
2. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?
Throughout my time at the firm I felt very well valued. The 3 week vacation scheme was firmly set around us as interns and all employees at the firm took time to see how we were getting on. Trainees right through to partners were there to give very sound guidance if it was required.
3. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?
The guidance was superb if you needed help anyone was on hand to give you advice on what you needed to do whilst leaving you enough room to figure it out for yourself, which was important on this scheme. I was surprised by the level of autonomy we were given on this scheme.
4. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
The nature of the scheme required efficiency, good organisation and determination - skills which are vital for success in later life. The scheme also provided me with an excellent insight into commercial law. I will certainly use the skills I developed on this scheme within my degree and my future.
5. How well structured was the insight?
I found this scheme to very well structured. The firm achieved a good balance between giving us an appropriate level of autonomy to find our own work and arrange our own meetings alongside pre-planned graduate recruitment talks and social events, HR sessions, as well as talks from partners and training sessions on business development and presentation skills.
6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?
Consistently friendly and open, being told from the first day that there were places for everyone provided we met the required standard went a long way to prevent there being any competition between people on the scheme and fostered a far more team-centric atmosphere in which we were all more relaxed and better able to get to know one another and develop together over the course of the week. With fairly limited assessments (we had a written task and a presentation) there was not the feeling you might expect of being constantly examined and tested.
7. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
The firm invested a great deal into our personal development. There were events almost every day - often more than one event a day, where there would be a range of speakers talking to us about other aspects of the firm or trying to hone our skills. The fact that so many people were willing to take time off to meet with us and answer our questions was very heartwarming and allowed me to learn a lot.
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 feel that we got a good understanding of what it would be like to have a full time role. The work was challenging but was reflective of the work given to trainees. A lot of our time was spent in our departments so we got a unique and invaluable chance to observe, take part and understand the genuine work that lawyers at the firm undertake every single day.
9. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?
The vacation scheme gave me a thorough understanding of the company's culture as I was able to see the day to day work of the firm and the working culture of the firm which was relaxed yet very professional!
10. How valuable was the content of the day in helping you to decide on your future career path?
It confirmed to me that I wanted to go into commercial law - The work was interesting, the firm has a lot of international links and the people were genuine and friendly. The content of the day was diverse and this helped me to realise that I would like to work for the firm in the future.
11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?
I was paid a salary of £275 per week throughout the vacation scheme.
12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?
I found the social events to be really outstanding and exciting, ranging from drinks in the evening, to cultural activities in London. These events demonstrated the extent to which the firm was prepared to invest in my training and personal development. During the time, I had the opportunity to speak with informed and interesting people.
13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?
I found the networking and social events to be really great!
14. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?
Through talking to trainees mainly you found out a lot about activities outside of work which varies from sporting teams in competitions, social events and cultural activities which provides for great entertainment outside of work.
15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?
Yes, absolutely! This was a really enjoyable and informative experience.