The RBS Legal First Step program was a great way to get an introduction into both the legal, and banking industries. It was a great opportunity as an A-Level student to start building my network and get into contact with people in both professions to start to build an understanding of which career path would suit me most. It was also great to participate in many of the events put on by the firm which included insight days with partner firms.
In terms of the insight, I felt valued not as an employee but as someone who the company genuinely valued giving up their time for. Every day at the firm felt like everyone involved in the program was always willing to give up their time and effort to help me learn, and progress. And if I had any questions, there would be no hesitation when it came to giving me help. A huge amount of effort was put into the program.
During the program, we had various sessions and events throughout the week, and eventually, we were assigned a mentor. This provided us with a lot of guidance and support, with mentors guiding our learning, networking, and also our development. When we weren't with our mentors we had program coordinators who were always available to answer questions, help guide us in terms of the program, and also put us in contact with people to progress our learning.
The skills developed during this program were highly instrumental in assisting me in my degree studies and beyond. The RBS Legal step program taught me how to network, how to perform well in interviews, and also how to behave in a professional environment. This made me more successful when it came to future networking events, which later helped me secure further work experience in the form of spring weeks, summer internships, and eventually, a graduate program.
The insight was structured very clearly with a clear schedule given to us from day 1. We knew immediately what to expect in terms of our sessions, and which offices we were supposed to go to on which day. Every day had a wide variety of sessions with people from different partner firms, and each day had a set timetable. When it came to work shadowing, the program was structured well with mentors scheduling the day.
The general atmosphere was great during the insight. All the participants were highly motivated and willing to learn which led to a highly productive insight day where everyone was looking to learn from each other. The general atmosphere from the program coordinators was also fantastic. They were highly supportive, they constantly pushed us and encouraged us to learn, and reach out to the professionals to further our own learning. There was also a good social vibe.
The firm invested heavily in me in terms of training and development. During the Legal first step program, we were provided with various skill sessions including a presentation skills session alongside an interview skills workshop. We were also provided with a range of networking events which allowed us to expand our network. The training and development from this insight gave me the tools to gain and succeed in subsequent work experiences from spring weeks to summer internships.
This insight was very helpful in terms of helping me to understand what it would be like to have a full time with the company. The legal first step program gave us a very comprehensive view across the whole RBS group including Coutts, DLA Piper and Herbert Smith Freehills. The nature of the program, being a legal focused program, within a bank, gave us a comprehensive understanding of what it would be like to be an in house lawyer at RBS as well as other banking functions.
The content was key for me in determining the future of my own personal career. The program allowed me to explore the function of in house lawyers within RBS as well as other banking functions. The wide range of sessions and networking opportunities allowed me to determine what career path would be suitable for me. From the program, I determined that a career in banking would be a better path for me vs law due to the more mathematical nature of the job.
The Legal first step program at RBS did not come with pay, however, the program was designed in a way so that we did not have to pay anything out of our own pocket. All meals were provided, and furthermore, we were fully reimbursed for any travel expenses. This made the program highly accessible for anyone from all socioeconomic backgrounds, and I felt that the program was incredibly diverse and reflective of today's modern-day society.
There were plenty of opportunities for networking and meeting other employees. Throughout the program, there were opportunities to visit other offices within the RBS group. This included firms like DLA Pipers, Coutts and also Herbert Smith Freehills. At each of these events was a networking opportunity which allowed us to meet other people from across all these firms to fully understand how each business function across the group is integrated and how they work together.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)
9th October 2020