University of Manchester
What did you do while on the vacation scheme?
I completed Watson Farley & Williams’ one-week virtual scheme last Spring. It mainly involved various presentations from teams within the firm, which allowed us to gain an understanding of the different types of work carried out in each practice area and the day-to-day tasks of a trainee. There were also two assessments throughout the scheme – one group presentation and an individual research task.
What did you feel that you gained from the placement?
I gained further understanding of the practice areas Watson Farley & Williams focuses on, as well as the firm’s culture. When I was researching the firm during the vacation scheme application season I got a sense of the culture, but completing the placement meant I could really immerse myself in the firm. We were also assigned a trainee buddy to give us more of a chance to speak to trainees about trainee life, whether that was discussing seat options, overseas secondments or early responsibility.
Which were the most enjoyable – and most challenging – aspects of the scheme?
The group presentation was both the most enjoyable and challenging part of the scheme. I worked closely with the vacation scheme intake, which was great seeing as some of them are now my future colleagues. That said, it was daunting to be presenting to so many members of the firm, from associates to partners. It was quite easy to put ourselves under pressure in this scenario, but luckily my team and I were able to deliver the presentation successfully.
Did the scheme end with a training contract interview or some other kind of further recruitment process?
Other than the assessments during the scheme, there was a final interview with a partner and a member of the graduate recruitment after the vacation scheme. We were sent the name of the partner who would be in our interview beforehand, which meant we could conduct some research into their main practice areas. This of course facilitated the discussion during the interview. We also had a conversation about my background, my interest in the firm and how I felt having completed Watson Farley & Williams’ vacation scheme. My time on the scheme set me up nicely for the interview as I was able to talk about my direct experience with the firm and provide evidence as to why I would be a great asset.
What do you wish you had known before starting the vacation scheme that you now know?
While I was prepared for useful information about the firm during the week-long scheme, I didn’t realise the depth of the information I would receive. As such, I was constantly typing up notes during the presentations, for example, which meant I was better able to ask questions when the time came at the end of the presentations.