7 simple ways to impress on a vacation scheme
A vacation scheme is a big step towards getting a coveted training contract and that’s because around half of all training contracts go to those who have completed a vacation scheme with the firm, and it can be as high as 70 or 80%. It’s imperative to make the most of your work experience placement at the firm.
You are going to be judged on what you say, what you do and how you act. It is, in essence, a one to two-week job interview. Here are AllAboutLaw’s 7 simple ways to impress on a vacation scheme.
1. Be punctual. It’s so simple, but be on time and if you can, be early. Ok, don’t be two hours early; that’s almost as bad as being late, but be there on time! When you are late, you’re basically saying that your time is more important than someone else’s and that is not going to impress anyone.
2. Ask questions. Be curious and find out things. Find out about the people you work with (the whole team, not just associates or partners), the firm and the departments that most interest you. And the only way to do that is to ask questions.
3. Research. Make sure you know about the people, the department and what they work on before you start. It will make people know you’re smart, you care and you’re informed. It’s all about demonstrating the key attributes of someone they’d want in their team.
4. Network. Everyone says to network, but what does it mean? It means building connections with people. The easiest way to start is to add everyone you meet on Linkedin, it gives you a long term connection to them and allows you find out things about them you can bring up the next day, such as where they went to university and what their interests are. You never know, you might find something you have in common on their profile!
5. Don’t let the work come to you. It may be obvious, but don’t sit there twiddling your thumbs. If you have completed any tasks you’ve been set, make sure you let whoever set them for you know that you’ve finished. And if you don’t have anything to do, make yourself useful. See where you can add value to any part of the team.
6. Work hard. Working as a lawyer at a top firm is hard work and any firm worth its salt will expect you to pull your weight. It’s all about attitude. Work as quickly, diligently and professionally as you can.
7. Keep notes. Each day of your vacation scheme you’ll be working on a variety of tasks for different people. Keep track of what you do and for whom. These notes will be really valuable to you at any training contract interview, especially if it’s at the same firm.
If you remember these key steps, your vacation scheme should be a great success for you and the firm. Remember: you deserve to be there. You’re a top, top candidate if you’ve made it onto the vacation scheme, so be confident in yourself. They want people just like you to work in their firm.
If you haven’t got a vacation scheme yet, keep your eyes peeled, make some applications and if they aren’t open yet make sure you register your interest with the firms you really want to work for, so you can apply as soon as they open. You can find all of that in the jobs section of the site. Good luck!