I really enjoyed the summer placement. I sat in the Commercial department and felt welcomed straight away. I was given real work to do along with tasks set by graduate recruitment. I went to lunch each day with trainees and got a real insight into Shoosmiths. The week provided me with an insight into the working culture of Shoosmiths and solidified my decision to work in a national law firm.
I was made to feel welcome on the very first day. I was greeted at the reception by the receptionist and by my host who was a trainee. I was walked around the department within the first 1 hour of my arrival. This ensured that I was able to ask anyone questions and did not feel uncomfortable approaching extended members of staff.
Throughout the week I sat with my host, of which I was able to ask questions as and when I needed. In addition to my trainee host, I was sat with 2 qualified solicitors of which they often helped answer any of my queries. At the end of the placement, I had to create a presentation, all those that sat with me helped me run through ideas and was very supportive.
I developed public speaking skills from doing a presentation at the end of the week. This skill will be invaluable going forward. I also enhanced my time management skills, ensuring I was always on time for the day and keeping on top of the work provided by graduate recruitment and my host.
The placement was not very structured. There were no set lunches or talks. During the week it would have been nice to have an organised lunch or social after work to be able to network with other members of staff outside of the department. However, there was a social organised by the trainees that I was able to attend.
Even though the department was low on numbers due to staff being away, the general fun nature of the department remained. I was able to get a true insight into the team and how they interact. I enjoyed the relaxed nature of Shoosmiths, whilst everyone is working hard they could still have a laugh together.
Graduate recruitment ensured to set numerous tasks. There was a presentation at the end of the week, testing our ability to go away and research, commercial awareness and our public speaking and presentation skills. There was also an in-tray exercise, testing our time management. In addition to these tasks, when provided with work by my host I was also given feedback on each individual piece of work I produced.
I believe the placement allowed me to experience the working culture of the Milton Keynes office. I truly believe if I were to work in this office doing a full-time role I would have the same experience as being on the placement. The staff were friendly and welcoming and when I asked questions I did not feel like a burden and I am sure this would continue.
The week gave a snapshot to Shoosmiths. However, I do believe that the core values of Shoosmiths are important to the company and the members of staff. Simple tasks such as coffee runs, asking all members of the department ensured that they are a true team and that nobody is left out.
The work I was provided throughout the week solidified that I wish to be a solicitor. the work given was both challenging and interesting and I left the placement intrigued as to how the cases would be decided. The experience at Shoosmiths was invaluable, completing the placement has confirmed my decision of wanting to work within a full-service national law firm.
The placement is paid.
There were no structured networking events or any pre-planned meetings. This side of the placement was heavily placed upon the placement student. Towards the end of the week, the placement students were asked to organise a lunch and invite those they wished to attend. It was a good skill to learn, however, as we were only there a week it was quite difficult to juggle diaries and get people outside of the departments we were placed in to attend.
There were no organised networking or social events. These events were left to the placement students to organise. This being said, there was an evening that the trainees organised to watch the football. I stayed for this and it was a nice evening to be able to socialise with the trainees.
I am aware that Shoosmiths have may volunteering and charity activities for members of staff to get involved in. The staff are able to get involved in away days and fundraising. Although, whilst I was there, nobody partook in these events, but there were lots of photos in the offices from previous events!
I would definitely recommend the Summer Placement to friends. If they are looking for a friendly firm with a good working culture, then I would be sure to point them in the direction of Shoosmiths.