Next stop Dubai…

While working for the Corporate team in Leeds during my Gap Year Placement it became obvious to me that commercial law crosses borders and has an incredible international reach.  Whilst working on different projects in the UK I was able to see how Pinsent Masons’ teams in the Middle East, Asia and our alliances with Europe and the USA  all contributed to the outcome of deals, and I knew I wanted to get involved.I had always planned to go to Dubai after my placement at PM finished.  Having mentioned my plans to my supervisor we both decided that it would be worth asking if I could visit the firm’s Dubai office and perhaps do some further work experience.  I got in touch with the Graduate Team, who had discussions with the Dubai office, and they were able to offer me an extension of my internship to work for three months in Dubai.  This just goes to show that there are plenty of opportunities available at PM provided you take the initiative and are proactive.So, how is it going?I treated myself to a short break after finishing my placement at the Leeds office and arrived in Dubai a couple of days before I was due to start work.  I had visited Dubai previously and so was quite familiar with the local geography, but it’s very different going somewhere for a holiday and to work.  Trying to get used to going outside in a suit with 45 degree heat has proven a major challenge!Whilst I was nervous on my first day, there was still a sense of familiarity because I knew I was going to be in the Corporate department, so I had an idea of the work they do.  The Corporate team in Dubai is much smaller than the  Leeds team, in fact the  whole office is all on one floor as opposed to Leeds where the firm has an entire building, but everyone made me feel very welcome.  As the office has still only been open a relatively short period of time, my work focuses primarily on business development, which includes a lot research and know-how.  Whilst I’ve been able to apply the skills I picked-up in Leeds to the work I do here, there’s been plenty of new things to learn.  For example, the UAE comprises of Free Zones and Mainland so I had to learn how the legal system works differently here, but there’s always someone around to help!Work aside, the team here are very sociable.  We’ve had team lunches, a leaving do and have lots of other activities planned!  Dubai itself is an incredible place with lots of things to do, it’s been a great experience so far!  I ‘ll be sure to let you know what else I have been up to in the months ahead before finally returning to the UK and the small matter of starting my university degree.Maria