Vacation Scheme Blog – Networking and a smile goes a mightly long way!
The Journey to Coffin Mew
Attending Coffin Mew’s open day was my first physical encounter with the firm. First impressions honestly do count and I am so pleased to have experienced a fantastic event and what I now consider as a warm welcome to the firm.
The introductions and presentations were extremely informative and I noticed that all the people participating on the day, from first year trainees to partners, took the time to get to know the attendees and also answer all our questions.
HR did an excellent job with updating attendees about the training contract process and were very clear on what they were looking for. After already submitting an application for the summer vacation scheme and having the experience I had at the open day, I was compelled to get a taster of what life at the firm would be like.
The Vacation Scheme
As the vacation scheme lasted for a week, it was filled with a number of activities and presentations that made the week go by very quickly.
I sat in the Wills, Trusts and Probate team and was quickly exposed to non-contentious work, having worked closely with the team’s Trainee Solicitor. The firm was very strategic in placing you in departments that you had little or no prior experience in order to boost your awareness to that sector. It was fun to learn more about the sector by having conversations with the trainee, solicitors and partner in the team.
I enjoyed being given a lot of responsibility such as drafting Codicils, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Wills and Payment Schedules for client files. This made me feel like I was actually inputting something valuable into the team. We also attended the monthly breakfast Management Board meeting with the CEO, Miles Brown, where we got to hear the many ways the board aims to support the firm and increase its notoriety. During the meeting, we even provided ideas of what initiatives we would implement as board members.
On Monday, we had lunch with one of the firm’s entrepreneurial clients and he informed us of the company he started that was set up to find much-needed solutions to a specific problem. He then tasked us with, in groups, coming up with our own product that matched his values and vision. This project allowed us to demonstrate our commerciality and team-skills, as well as having exposure to engaging work with real responsibility. The client even told us that if he liked aspects of the projects, he would find a way to incorporate elements into his business!
Outside of working hours, Coffin Mew made a conscious effort to include socials and ensure that the vac schemers met up and got to know some of the current trainees and members of staff. We attended the South Hampshire Junior Lawyer’s Division Summer Rounder’s and BBQ Event. On the last day of the vac scheme, we even got to attend Goodwood Racecourse in the evening, where we got to enjoy a night at the races and a celebratory party with world-famous DJ, Steve Aoki.
Building relationships with people who have been in the same shoes as me and sharing experiences whilst getting some wise words of advice for the training contract assessment centre was priceless. I definitely felt like I was part of the firm already!
My Biggest Piece of Advice
Even though it sounds cliché, the best thing you can do is to be yourself. Honesty and sincerity always wins. Also, try to enjoy the process whilst you’re at it. And remember, networking and a smile goes a mighty long way!