Work experience at CMS

Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
London Central London and City
Review Date
Less than £ 10,000


About You
The Organisation
Everything Else


About You

1. To what extent did you enjoy the insight?

I loved it. Everyone at CMS was super friendly and welcoming and the programme was very well structured. We got to experience such a variety of activities, ranging from the simulation challenge to client visits and then actual work for 2 weeks. The mix worked really well because we were never doing the same thing for too long - kept it exciting which brought out the best in people.


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

Definitely felt very valued - this is probably my highest 10 of the 10 ratings I have given. From the outset, the heavy involvement of the partners, Duncan and all the guest speakers made it clear that the firm was willing to invest in us. As the first week went on this became even clearer through how much they valued our opinions and ideas. The very nature of the challenges and what they were asking of us made it very clear they valued what we had to offer.


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

The trainee buddy and supervisor system worked really well for me. Both were very helpful and super friendly - made me feel comfortable about asking questions. A lot of guidance in the first week as to how we were going to progress. The grad rec team also very approachable - feel you can ask them anything at any time.


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

I think the skills I have gained from this experience are invaluable. I have finished my degree, but I think this practical experience will really help me with the day to day activities of being a lawyer. The business law week at the beginning also just taught me so much about technology and business - it was stuff I probably otherwise would not have known because it was the comments of the guest speakers that really taught me a lot and stood out to me.


The Organisation

5. How well structured was the insight?

VERY well structured for the business law week - every minute was planned out. You could tell how much thought and effort had gone into it. Everything ended up feeding into each other, even if you did not realise it at the time. For example the MBTI exercise came before our simulation challenge, which allowed us to know our working tendencies better and adapt accordingly to perform well in a group.


6. How was the general atmosphere during your insight?

Overall great - during my time in the department I am working in everyone is very chilled and friendly. I do not feel pressured but I feel like the work I am doing is being valued - I am being treated as almost an equal which makes me want to try even harder to ensure the work I am producing is of great standard. The first week (business law) was very intense and I learnt a lot and thought it was structured excellently - but there was just a slightly more tense and stressful atmosphere about it. Still great overall.


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

The firm invested heavily in our personal training and development. They provided us with extensive, invaluable information in the first week and had come up with exercises designed to bring out the best in us. We learnt many skills and top tips for how to become the best lawyers. The work I was given personally in the two week internship was really helpful as it was the sort of work I will one day hopefully be doing as a trainee.


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?

Definitely helped with this - obviously you can never fully know until you are actually working in a role, but I feel like I really gauged what it would be like. The atmosphere was welcoming and just generally seemed like a happy place to work. Everyone I spoke to loved working here and it really helped being in the same desk for the 2 weeks because I got a real feel for what it would be like.


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

Helped me to understand the culture a lot - it is all well and good to read about a company's commitment to its people, to diversity and to CSR, but you cannot truly know this until you work at the firm. My time at CMS made it incredibly clear to me what the culture is like here - and the talks from all the staff and just generally chatting to the people who work here really helped me to understand.


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

I was given proper work that trainees were doing which was really helpful. I was also put in a department that I would not necessarily have thought I would have liked, but actually ended up loving it and finding it really interesting. So it has definitely helped me discover another topic that I would be keen to explore further in the future.


Other Information

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

Paid £350 a week for 3 weeks, plus holiday pay. Really good that they pay you - could easily not as many companies do not pay this well for such a great experience. Kept forgetting that I was being paid while I was there but it will definitely be a nice surprise in a few weeks!

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

Yes plenty - many many networking opportunities. Member of faculty on our table at all times during the first week and we did a speed dating exercise which allowed us time to ask them all questions on one of the days. Lots of opportunities to just have general chats with them as well.


13. How were the networking/ social event opportunities?

Great - mixture of casual ones and slightly more formal ones so got a real feel of what they would be like in the future. Sometimes slightly forced but was definitely good practice and the more you do it the more comfortable and natural it becomes. We had a lot of social events with just the vac scheme people as well which was really fun.


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

Yes - a lot on CSR and diversity networks. Had a CSR dinner and a lunch as well where we learnt about these activities. We were also all invited to the PRIDE march which I thought was great. We learnt a lot about the networks mentioned above, but could maybe have learnt more about the networks that aren't related to diversity and CSR.


15. Would you recommend this insight to a friend?

Yes definitely - to anyone studying law. I think it stands out from other vac schemes that I have heard about. You feel very valued and they invest a great deal in the 3 weeks - really makes you want to work at the company and is also just a fun few weeks. Would definitely recommend.