Rebecca Worrall is a graduate recruitment adviser at Herbert Smiths Freehills in London. She joined the firm in January 2019.
The best part of my job is seeing the end products of the recruitment campaign – I spend months helping to design the brochure and website, so seeing this receive positive reviews out on campus is really rewarding! I also love meeting people at our events and (hopefully) playing a part in why someone has chosen to join Herbert Smith Freehills.
We run four vacation schemes throughout the year – winter, spring and two in summer. Our spring and summer schemes are for penultimate-year students, finalists and graduates while our winter scheme is just for finalists and graduates. We recruit solely through our vacation schemes as we feel this allows students to build stronger connections with the team across the two or three weeks that they're with us. We also offer all vacation scheme students the opportunity to apply to another vacation scheme in one of our international offices - previously students have gone to Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, Paris and Brussels.
For first-year students, we run two first-year workshops in the spring. The two-day workshops are held at our London office and are essentially a mini-vacation scheme. There are lots of interactive sessions, insights into our pro bono initiatives and the opportunity to work shadow a trainee. They're a great way to start building your professional network early on.
When applicants rush to submit their form, it tends to be obvious because there are spelling and grammatical mistakes. It’s worth knowing that we have pulled together some hints and tips on our website on completing the form – we even tell you what questions to expect, so you can think about how you'd like to answer them in advance. Another common mistake is people who don’t connect their own experiences and interests to us as a firm and submit a very generic form that could be sent to any firm. Really think about what it is about us as a firm that appeals to you – whether it's the fact we're the market leaders in disputes, that we have 27 offices across the globe or because of our inclusive culture.
All work experience should be included on application forms – including non-legal experience. When thinking about what examples to use, students should think about what experience best demonstrates that skill or competency rather than focusing on whether it is legal. Remember we're looking for evidence of how the skills gained are relevant to a career at Herbert Smith Freehills.
Commercial awareness can be demonstrated in a number of ways, through keeping up to date with the news and looking at different angles in order to form an opinion, to understanding our clients and how what's going on in the news affects them. We work on high-profile cases so we'd expect students to have done their research and be able to articulate why working on matters like these appeals.
We hold assessment centres from November to March, the timings depend on which vacation scheme you've applied to. This is the fourth stage of the recruitment process following the online application form submission, online test and application form review. We're aware that assessment centres can be really daunting so we are as transparent as possible about what to expect – we've even put together a short video to dispel the myths and offer some top tips! The video can be found on our website.
We go to 36 law fairs so autumn is a very busy time for the graduate recruitment team. One of our aims is to awareness of our brand to students who might not have heard of us – we know it's a competitive environment so this face-to-face interaction can make all the difference when students are weighing up their options. Secondly, we want to be on hand to answer questions to students who are really considering us as their future employer.
Lie ins - I'm not a morning person at all!