I really enjoyed my week at Shoosmiths, from the minute I got there I felt like one of the team! I loved getting involved with everything given to me and meeting lots of new people.
I felt completely at ease in the office - everyone was so friendly and welcoming and went out of their way to help me with any questions I had or when I wasn't sure about something!
My host was always on hand for me to ask questions - no matter what time of day or how busy he was! As well as this, other colleagues came up to me telling me that if I needed to, I could also go to them!
I developed invaluable time managing skills (I was surprisingly busy!) As well as better confidence in myself - I surprised myself with what I did and this will really help me beyond my degree. I also developed my public speaking skills through the presentation.
I felt there wasn't a certain "structure" - I was given work as and when it needed done. But in saying that it wasn't all up in the air so I knew what needed to be done and when it needed completed by.
The atmosphere was great. Everyone was friendly and chatty, I sat with a different person everyday at lunch! Everyone was so welcoming and genuinely wanted me to enjoy my week.
I think the fact I was left to do work by myself was a way of the firm investing in me - it developed my confidence and analytical skills so there was definitely some personal development. I was also invited to attend a masterclass online of a certain area - it was really interesting!
Whilst I was told that it was a quiet week, I definitely felt the pressure and was busy. Some mornings I came in early and left late - this really gave me and accurate representation of what a full time job at the firm would be like. But I also found how helpful everyone is - even when I was busy people were more than happy to help!
Shoosmiths is exactly what everyone says it is - friendly, ambitious and generally a really great firm! I felt so welcomed and part of the team and everyone was interested in my ideas and what I had to say! It was great to be a part of a firm that genuinely cares for everyone.
It was invaluable. I did real work and had my own desk so I really felt like the real deal! It made me realise that this type of career is definitely what I want to do and I'm so glad I had this opportunity.
I think being paid is a great bonus. As mentioned before, I did real work and sometimes came in early and left late - I think being paid is a great way of acknowledging that the week isn't just a "watch and learn" week - it really is like starting a full time job!
There were great opportunities for networking. I was invited out to lunch on 2 occasions and even for an after work run! Whilst I couldn't run, it felt great to be invited and meet other colleagues on the lunches. Even in the lunch room when I didn't go out I got to meet and network with so many people - everyone was more than happy to speak to me.
The social opportunities were great. I felt a bit more at ease and relaxed and could just have general conversations with colleagues without having to be conscious of a formal setting. It was nice to get to know how other people came to a career in law and how they felt it was a good choice for them.
Yes - I was told about a running club once a week that colleagues do after work as well as charity events.
I couldn't recommend the vacation scheme enough. It was invaluable and a really good indication of what it's like to work within the office full time! The only thing I wish could have been different was the length of time I was there!