Vacation Scheme Student at CMS

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
London Central London and City
Review Date
£18,000 - £19,999
Administration/Secretarial Legal/Law Administration/Secretarial Legal/Law


About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

I really enjoyed meeting employees at CMS and learning more about the firm. Sometimes I did not have very much work to do, and I feel that I could have done more with my time. My buddy was very busy and occasionally it was important for her to get her work done instead of passing it to me. I think this was just the nature of my department which I understand. However, occasionally I had nothing to do.


2. To what extent did you feel valued during your time at the company or firm?

I felt quite valued during my time at CMS. My Budddy and supervisor were friendly, as were the people who sat in my pod. However, I would have prefered to sit closer to my supervisor as they were the other side of the office, and I occasionally felt like I was imposing.


3. How much guidance/support did you receive during the insight?

My Buddy and supervisor were fantastic. They constantly checked in on me and made sure that I was okay, and to check whether I had any questions. Their support during the two weeks made my time at CMS seamless and enjoyable. They also took me for feedback coffees and for lunch.


4. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and information you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?

The Business week was fantastic. During the other two weeks, I learnt some good research skills, and interpersonal skills but I do not feel that the level of work I was given would have provided me with more skills as it was work for a vacation student. I understand that CMS can only give vacation students a certain level of work.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

The business week was very well structured: there were breaks and a lot was packed into one week. However, sometimes the days went on too long. The 2 week placement was less well structured, but I was not expecting structure as it is uncertain what work will come in etc.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

Due to the fact that I did not always have a lot of work, sometimes I found my Vacation Scheme a little dull. I am also aware that the nature of some of the work that trainees and vacation scheme students do can be boring, and I enjoyed a lot of what I did.


7. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?

The initial week that CMS put on for us was incredible. WE were allowed insight into their clients and many innovative speakers. CMS could not have invested more time or money into the vacation scheme students and that week was well structured . The following two weeks helped me also develop.


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?

It was useful to see how other members of CMS were. Watching how other lawyers were working was insightful and we were able to see the types of work they did. Spending time in the offices also gave me other insights into how the firm was run and what it might be like to work there full time.


9. How much did the insight help you in understanding the company culture?

I think that you can gage the company culture only by meeting the people who work there. Whilst CMS did give us talks on their culture, it is only visible through the people. Through what I saw in the 3 weeks, I was able to see the culture of CMS, but this is a short amount of time and difficult to know exactly the culture.


10. How valuable was the content in helping you to decide on your future career path?

I have a lot of experience in law already, and I have known for a long time that I want to be a lawyer. nothing in the 3 weeks changed this decision, so the content of the day was useful and what I expected. The low mark reflects the fact that I knew what I wanted to do already, and a few weeks were not going to change that.


Other Information

11. Were you paid or reimbursed adequately for this experience?

We were reimbursed well for the 3 weeks we worked. the CMS vacation scheme is difficult for those already with a job as the amount I ended up being paid was less than my rent for the month. Most companies will also not give you the time off as unpaid leave, so you have to take it as holiday or quit your job and live on the amount CMS pay.

12. Were there opportunities for networking and meeting other employees of the company or firm?

Apart from the people I met in my pod, and my supervisor and buddy, I did not meet many people from the firm. During the first week we met some people who were helping on the business development week, but since then I think CMS could have had another networking opportunity, maybe with trainees.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

The networking event on Tuesday was lovely. I liked the fact that it was not assessed and we were able to just spend time getting to know each other. I would have preferred for the social events to be outside of CMS, as it was hard to get into a social mindframe when still in the building. It was hard to change from business to social!


14. Did you find out about activities that employees can get involved in outside of work?

I asked some of the people I met about these activities, and whilst we were there there was a cricket match. I think there could have been a talk on the activities that CMS hold and the sports societies they run. I would have liked more information on this topic.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

THis insight provided me with a good overview of what work CMS do, how they function as a firm, what the people are like and many other questions I had. The whole insight, and particularly the first week was invaluable, and something that no other firm is offering. I enjoyed the 3 weeks and would recommend!