Despite the internship being online this year, I found it very enjoyable! The graduate recruitment team thoroughly planned our days, so we had a good balance between hearing talks from different people in the firm and completing group work. There were opportunities for networking and we were able to interact with other interns frequently.
The zoom calls often consisted of the graduate recruitment team and 99 interns, however we all got the opportunity to introduce ourselves and talk with each other. Graduate recruitment also gave us JustEat vouchers so we could buy food to eat in our teams. Current trainees also made a quiz for us, which was fun and an opportunity to bond with new people.
Graduate recruitment offered us a good amount of support - we received booklets before the programme started, so we had a rough idea of the activities we would complete. We were told early in the programme about the group presentation we would be completing later in the week, so we had plenty of time to prepare.
It helped us to learn how to navigate zoom and have online meetings effectively, which is likely to be helpful in the future. We were also able to practice our presentation skills by presenting to partners, which definitely felt less daunting over zoom than in real life!
There was a clear itinerary, which we were made aware of before the start of every day. Codes for different zoom calls were given in advance, and we were given our presentation date and time in advance.
The atmosphere was really good throughout the programme - the Graduate Recruitment team were very positive and high energy (despite being online), and everyone on the programme seemed excited to be there!
During the internship, we had to work in teams to create a pitch to present to partners; we were given questions and feedback, which was useful.
We were asked to complete a written assessment; following this, we were given a 1-1 interview with a partner, where we could discuss the exercise and how we found the programme.
It was helpful to hear first hand from the trainees, as well as being given a trainee buddy about what it is like to join DLA Piper. Following the internship, I have a good understanding of the type of work trainees carry out, and how they are supported throughout their training contract.
Every speaker we heard from, including the CEO Simon Levine and all the trainees, emphasised how inclusive the culture is at DLA Piper. Whilst the internship may not have been in the office, it was still made very clear to me over Zoom that DLA Piper values its people and embraces diversity; this is very important to me when determining where I can see myself working.
The virtual internship has been fundamental in solidifying that DLA Piper is somewhere I can see myself working, and somewhere I feel I would be valued. It was very helpful to hear from other trainees who had been in the same position, and to learn of their success and how they are appreciated by the firm.
Networking on Zoom was naturally more difficult that it was in real life, however given the circumstances, the Graduate Recruitment Team made sure we could interact with other interns and people at the firm; we completed a quiz provided for us by trainees, and there was a networking session on Zoom.
The networking and social events were enjoyable and useful, despite being made more difficult over Zoom. In the networking session, we were put into 'Break Out' rooms on Zoom, and speakers would rotate every 15 minutes, so there was a good amount of time to ask questions.
We heard about the diversity networks which trainees can get involved in, as well as the social events which are laid on for trainees in offices across the country.
Despite the programme only being for one week instead of three, the Graduate Recruitment Team still provided us with an enjoyable and engaging programme. There was the perfect balance between hearing from a variety of speakers (with plenty of time for questions) and working in teams to complete our projects.