This scheme provided me with a fantastic insight into commercial law. This insight was well balanced between getting to know the firm's culture, its departments and my potential future cohort! The scheme was filled with networking opportunities with current and future trainees and also dinners with partners and council who were able to answer questions about long term development and progression at the firm.
I felt very valued throughout my time at Allen & Overy. The scheme was well organised (we were given our schedules on the first day) and was jam-packed with events to ensure we made the most of our week at the firm (winter vacation scheme). We also had personalised chocolates which were a lovely touch.
As the vacation scheme is there for you as a candidate to impress the firm, the support on the work was not bundled, as you are expected to use your own initiative. However, the support with regards to my queries on the firm was massive. Every question I had was answered. The firm went above and beyond to ensure that we had everything we needed for both the vacation scheme and to ensure that we were making the right decision with regards to our TCs.
I don't think the skills I gained on this scheme will benefit me in my degree. However, as commercial law is the area of law I will be going into, and as I will be a trainee in a few years time the scheme provided me with a real insight into what I will be getting up to daily.
The scheme was very well structured. We were given our schedules on the first day and everything ran like clockwork. The schedules also made it very clear what was going on that day, so you could prepare for particular areas if needed. The graduate recruitment had clearly put a lot of effort into organising the scheme and this really showed throughout.
The atmosphere was great throughout the scheme. Allen & Overy made it clear from the beginning that our fellow vacation schemers are not each others competition but potentially each other's future cohort. This meant that there was no competitiveness between the students on the scheme as there was a place for everyone.
The department I was in invested a significant amount of time into me. I was sat in corporate pensions (an area that I was not overly familiar with) and my department took the time to explain what their role was within the firm, and what kind of tasks they do on a daily basis.
As this was only a week in duration I don't think it was a real insight into what I would be doing as a trainee at the firm. However, it was a very good insight into the firm's culture. As a student on the vacation scheme, you are able to apply for one of the international vacation schemes in the summer; the combination of the two schemes will provide me with a better understanding of what it is like to work for the firm.
This insight provided me with great insight into the company culture. Every department I had exposure to were lovely (even though some hadn't gone home in 30 hours). The firm wants you to have a good and realistic experience during your time there. Therefore, although everything is packed into one week, you get to see a lot of the firm.
I already knew I was going to go down the solicitor route and therefore it hasn't changed that. if anything it has solidified my interest in commercial law. Since I was offered a training contract off of the back of this scheme it has given me a path to go down to achieve my future career goals.
I was paid £450 for the duration of the vacation scheme. However, tax is deducted here which averages out to about £390. The firm offered financial support to anyone that needed it on top of this. However, I found that this covered the costs of living in London for the week.
Yes, there were plenty of opportunities to do this. We had networking drinks with trainees and future trainees on the first night. On Thursday we had a partner dinner at the Ritz (it was beautiful and very Christmassy). We were also given buddies with a commonality to us (same uni etc) who were helpful in connecting us with people in the firm that are involved in various groups. For instance, i am interested in a particular area of DR and my buddy found a trainee for me to have a coffee with in that area.