There was a timetable for each day of the vacation scheme, with some days consisting of more timetabled sessions than others. For the most part, I spent 3-4 hours per day in 'Department' and then the rest of the day in various sessions and talks with different departments and individuals. We also had two social events during the week, which were great opportunities to meet trainees and get to know the vacation schemers better. All of my tasks were given by my supervising associate and my trainee buddy. Some of these tasks included writing case summaries or carrying out proof reading. I also took part in some cross-border work. As most the week took place online, Teams was very useful to get in contact with different individuals at Simmons.
During the week, we were given a 'Compass Scheme' taster session. This was really interesting and delivered by some of the grade recruitment team. Further, the vacation scheme was a great opportunity to develop skills such as commercial awareness, communication and also analytical skills due to the work I was completing. The week also helped me to improve my networking ability as there was plenty of time to meet new individuals who worked for Simmons. I was even able to spend some time with several Partners - this exposure was very beneficial.
This vacation scheme was a great opportunity to really understand what Simmons are like as a firm. I was able to discuss with multiple individuals the career development opportunities at the firm, and get a candid response in return. I was also surprised to learn that future trainees are offered work as paralegals etc if they are available to do so. The people who worked at Simmons were all very honest when answering my questions regarding the firm.
As a top international law firm, I was quite apprehensive as to what the culture and atmosphere would be like. However, every single person I interacted with, from support staff to Partners, were so lovely. The office itself was a very comfortable and friendly environment to work in. I arranged a few calls with trainees at the firm who were in different departments so I could gain an insight into them, and they were all very helpful and happy to help answer any questions I had.
The vacation scheme was a genuinely enjoyable experience for me. I think the reason it was so successful was partially a result of the there being 'Department' time scheduled into the timetable. I have friends who did placements at other firms, and their days were completely full, leaving them little or no time to meet new people and learn more about the firm itself (not just the work the firm does). I especially enjoyed the social events in the evenings - we were lucky enough to have 2!
The best advice I could give at application stage is to research the firm inside and out. It is really important to understand what the firm are looking for in their future trainees. You can never be too prepared, and practice lots for any interviews or assessment centres. If you then make it to the vacation scheme, the best advice I would give is to be proactive. While on the scheme, it is important to expose yourself to as many people possible.
Insight / Vacation Scheme (< 4 Weeks)