When I reflect on my time as a Vacation Placement Student with Pinsent Masons (PM), the element of the firm that stands out most is the people. On my first day in the Edinburgh office, I opened my email inbox to an array of calendar invites, something which was not totally unexpected. What surprised me though, was that these were email invites addressed directly to me from my colleagues in the Banking team. Having read my CV, I was told, it had been spotted that I had played rugby at school – would I like to join the ‘Pinsents Piranhas’ touch rugby team for their league games on Wednesday night? Without hesitation, the answer was yes! Furthermore, the CV had mentioned my membership of my University’s ‘Entrepreneurial Society’ – my supervisor had, therefore, invited me to attend an Entrepreneurial Spark event in Newcastle as part of the team being sent by PM.
Entrepreneurial Spark is an organisation whose vision is to enable positive social change through the action of entrepreneuring. Pinsent Masons plays a role in supporting the organisation’s many ‘Hubs’ all across England, along with other corporate partners such as RBS, Natwest, Dell EMC and KPMG. It was an easy decision for me to say yes to this opportunity and it turned out to be one of the highlights of my Vacation Placement. I travelled down to Newcastle on the Train (with all travel organised by PM) along with Rachel Coleman (Solicitor, Banking team) and Graeme Stapleton (Associate, Corporate team). Upon our arrival we walked to the space provided for Entrepreneurial Spark in an office adjacent to the Tyne – it was my first time in the city and, I thought to myself, what a location to see it from!
The space itself is fantastic and the open layout encouraged collaboration and creativity. In the morning, we took the opportunity to chat to a few of the entrepreneurs, who gave us their ‘pitch’ for their business and then asked for advice regarding legal issues. In the afternoon I sat in on the ‘On the Radar’ meeting, where entrepreneurs can work through issues with their businesses with representatives from Natwest, Dell EMC, KPMG and Pinsent Masons.
The opportunity PM gave me to go and take part in their involvement with Entrepreneurial Spark showed me a different side of what the firm does and was one of the highlights of my Placement. While researching the firm during the application process, I learnt that PM has an excellent CSR record and this was one of the main motivating factors in my pursuit of a Vacation Placement with the firm. My experience in Newcastle, seeing the work PM does in support of an organisation like Entrepreneurial Spark, confirmed to me that the firm takes its CSR programme seriously. Beyond this, it was also just a really fun day out of the office!
Every summer, Pinsent Masons and Birmingham Law School welcome a group of first year students to our Birmingham office for an exclusive work experience programme. The participants spend 1 week in their dedicated department gaining hands-on experience, a chance to network with our lawyers and an opportunity to see what working in a commercial law firm is like.
We are Josiah Senu, Amelia Rawlinson, Edward Plaut, Katie Nicholas & Alice Cutler and we participated in the Pinsent Masons Work Experience Programme in London from 22-26 August 2016.
We recently spoke with three work experience students who are just starting out on their career path. They were based in the Belfast office of Pinsent Masons, and agreed to give an insight into the work experience programme and culture in the office.