A two-week placement.
I carried out research, did insolvency searches on companies and drafted correspondence with clients, among many other things.
The placement was packed with informative talks and opportunities to socialise which was great. The work itself was good, especially in the last week. The people were friendly and welcoming. all in all, I really enjoyed my time at Gateley.
Everyone made the effort to say hello and get to know us placement students. Even the head of Corporate (where I was sat) invited me into his office for a chat, despite the fact he was clearly busy.
I was sat with a Solicitor, with a Senior Associate as my supervisor, they were both very supportive, as were most members of staff. Lots of people from across the floor made a point of popping in to see if I needed any advice or support, and everyone was very willing to support us. HR were just a email or phone call away and very happy to deal with any queries.
Gateley made a point of putting on workshops to accompany the assessments (for the training contracts) and generally to help during our time with the firm. For example, we had a talk on drafting skills, negotiations skills and presentation skills, the latter of which is very, very useful.
The scheme was very well organised and structured, with general talks as well as more specific activities depending on the department you were sat in. There were the odd talks that were rearranged, but generally it was well structured, especially considering some firms do talks last minute rather than pre-plan them.
The atmosphere was very good, with the working environment being relaxed yet hard-working. There was an impressively supportive and friendly atmosphere, showing how enjoyable it would be to work there full time.
As previously mentioned, there were many workshops and tasks with the view to provide development opportunities. For example, on the first day we had to give a presentation. The following week we received a workshop on presenting and individual feedback on the presentations we had given. We then had to do another presentation, with limited preparation time- it was surprising just how effective and improved the presentations were this second time around.
Other than the CSR opportunities, we were given an insight into nearly all aspects of working full time at Gateley, from the working environment, to the social events and development workshops.
All staff seem to work in line with Gateley's friendly and supportive culture. The firm really feels inclusive and an investor in their people.
The scheme reaffirmed my desire to work for Gateley in the longer term. The atmopsphere, quality of work and levels of responsibility awarded to even the lower level employees was very impressive, and would therefore promise a rewarding and enjoyable career.
I was paid well for this scheme, although less than for similar schemes. However, for the size of Gateley compared to other firms who pay for schemes, this was expected. Those placement students from other offices who had to travel to the Birmingham office for the induction day and the assessment day were also reimbursed their travel expenses.
There were plenty of chances to meet other people on your floor and department, although perhaps opportunities to meet employees from other departments would have improved the scheme slightly. There were members of the main department giving talks on the work that they do, however an informal networking event might have been a useful addition.
The social events with the trainees were very enjoyable. There were not that many trainees in attendance, but being an small group meant that everyone really let their hair down so we all had a good laugh and really enjoyed ourselves.
Whilst we couldn't get involved ourselves, there was much talk on the CSR and the events that the trainees get involved with which was useful to know.
I very much enjoyed my time at Gateley and would definately recommend the vacation placement scheme to anyone looking to decide as to if Gateley is the firm for them.