1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I was a work experience student, which does not really have a fixed definition. But I was very impressed with the large variety of tasks that I was given. Although there were times where filing was the main point of my day, I never felt like a 'skivvy'. I had a large level of responsibility across a great number of projects, for example, I translated an article from Spanish to English while in the corporate scene, but also helped prepare an index for a research project for a trainee who was going on secondment to the Falklands. It was very agreeable that I never felt like I was in some workhouse.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Due to its length, we could not gain any real qualifications, but I was definitely exposed to an increased level of networking and social interaction. It was great to talk to the trainees about why they wanted to do what they did and especially find out their thoughts on what a scheme like this would have in store for us.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
The programme was tough, starting at 9 isn and often finishing at around 5:45/6, but I did really enjoy the experience. I really felt appreciated, some trainees went out of their way to help me or to start the awkward first interaction of a conversation. The people I met, both who were responsible for me and just those in the building were all very welcoming.
4. How valued do you feel by Pinsent Masons?
The people genuinely seemed interested in me, rather than seeing it as a continuous stream of work experience students. I felt like they wanted to genuinely understand why I was interested in Pinsent Masons, rather than try and end the conversation and get back to their colleagues.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
We were given welcome packs with minute by minute details on our role. The only thing that threw me was the fact that we were not given instructions on where we were each day. But seeing as we were in the same room each day, this problem was resolved.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I must say that I felt that I was allowed to do things at my own pace. At no point did I feel that I was being spoon-fed, nor did I feel like I was being left to my own devices. We were allowed to learn new ideas and tasks at our own pace, and I think this really paid off.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
As I have said before, i felt that the support I received was very thorough, without being overbearing.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
We did not receive any payment for our attendance, something which I never expected. I do know that some people spent a lot of money on travel, which I think would have been nice to at least have been subsidised. There was no reimbursement for food, but I was more than happy to pay for my own lunch given the quality of the facilities.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
I think that there could have been many opportunities, but seeing as we were in a period of little legal activity, I presume that we were not really involved in anything out of the office. Also, we were only there for a week, so I was not expecting to become best friends and start going out to restaurants with my supervisors.
9. Would you recommend Pinsent Masons to a friend?
The firm is so welcoming and innovative for designing a scheme like this for young people. It is one of the few, if not only firms that has work experience programmes for those still in school, which really helps you find out what you want to know before you are at university. An incredible eye opener. The experience was so varied, so challenging, but ultimately so rewarding.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Pinsent Masons?
I think that you should really plan your application thoroughly. Obviously, it helps not to have spelling errors, and my advice is not to rush in answering your questions.
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