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summer vacation scheme – more than a 9-5

3 July 2019

When I nervously arrived in Manchester for my summer vacation scheme placement on Tuesday morning, I became quickly aware that this placement would be more than a typical 9-5 legal experience placement.

Whilst my first day on Monday was filled with induction sessions and an enjoyable interactive game explaining how law firms make money, I thought that come Tuesday morning when I arrived for my first day in the office, I would be given regular research tasks and set assignments. But oh how wrong I was.

One of the first things I was asked to do on Tuesday morning was confirm my place on the office ‘away day’ scheduled for the next day. At first I thought I had been sent this by mistake, that my name had been added to an office wide list, and the invitation wasn’t actually meant for me. However, after responding to the email with confusion, it turned out I was wrong, and I was in fact invited to attend the yearly office away day with the rest of the Browne Jacobson Manchester Office.

The coach left Manchester for Stockport at around 11:15am, and the activities planned for the rest of the day included; a presentation on the firm’s achievements and plans for the future, a canoeing activity, an archery session and finally, a BBQ. Although I naturally felt slightly nervous about the prospect of getting into a canoe with people I had just met (and of course wanted to impress), I was also excited about the opportunity to learn more about the firm and the people who work for Browne Jacobson.

The presentation about the firm’s strategy moving forward was both interesting and exciting. It gave me valuable insight into how the firm operates and the positive and innovative steps Browne Jacobson are taking to improve their business and make it an even better place to work. At the end of the presentation everyone was asked to give feedback and ideas. Although at first I felt that it wasn’t my place to contribute, I was encouraged by others around me to give my suggestions and consequently, first thing Thursday morning I sent an email to the senior management team with a few ideas. Being able to contribute my ideas gave me confidence going forward that my opinion would be valued and respected by Browne Jacobson staff at all levels.

Going canoeing and doing archery gave me the perfect opportunity to meet everyone in the office and really get to know people. What better way to learn about someone than by being pushed out to water in a canoe, or by learning new archery skills? Everyone in my team was supportive and welcoming, and I was made to feel like a team player as soon as the activities begun.

By the time the BBQ was going, I felt comfortable chatting to members of the team who I had had no previous office interactions with. I got to know people from different departments and had the opportunity to ask questions in an informal setting.

Overall, the day made me aware of the expectations and achievements of Browne Jacobson, as well as an opportunity to meet new people, understand how the business works and importantly, have fun with the people who I would be spending the next two weeks with.

Of course, I have spent plenty of time in the office completing tasks and learning about my department and the type of work they complete on a regular basis, but it’s safe to say that my experience on the vacation scheme has been more interactive than I could have anticipated and certainly more than a normal 9-5.

Written by Georgia Kingsnorth.

summer vacation scheme

If you're looking to get a head start on your legal career, our summer vacation scheme gives you the opportunity to experience life and work at Browne Jacobson.

Find out more