Say hello to our Birmingham Gap Year Students

September heralds the new intake of trainees and gap year students – the latter hoping their eight months at the firm will enable them to gain invaluable work experience and an insight into the inner workings of a commercial law firm. This year, there are four gap year students in the Birmingham office; they introduce themselves below… Name: Jon Allen Department: Commercial Property School: Oundle School, Northamptonshire A-Levels: History, Politics & English University: University of Edinburgh – History and Politics How does working as a Pinsent Mason’s Gap Student compare to school? Life working at Pinsent Masons is a world apart from what you experience at school.  Working within the firm allows you individual freedom and you are expected to complete tasks independently.  Of course when you first start there are many helpful people around for a bit of guidance; however, working independently is important.You also get a real sense that the work you are doing is important and appreciated.  While at school you are working very much for yourself, for example revising for exams, working in a large law firm like Pinsent Masons your work is part of a combined team effort.  The work is on real cases and you gain a certain amount of satisfaction from helping the fee earning lawyers with their tasks.  Everyone has to work effectively as a team in order to allow matters to run smoothly and efficiently.Finally, you are working in the real world!  This is the biggest difference as you work with a variety of different people from varied backgrounds. Name: Richard Assheton Department: Commercial Property School: Rugby School A-Levels: Maths, History, Latin, Spanish University: TBC – History What has been the highlight of your placement so far? Meeting Paralympic gold medallist Mickey Bushell at the Cycle for Life drinks was a great privilege.  He’s clearly got loads of talent but was really humble too.  It was a successful day for the Property department as ‘Hot Property’ proudly brought home the Cycle for Life team trophy, obliterating the previous best times of the IT department earlier in the afternoon.  But I have to say that my highlight was getting my hands on Mickey’s medal, if only for a second before it was snatched off me by someone else!  Name: Ifeanyi Chukwulobelu Department: Corporate School: King Edward’s School, Edgbaston, Birmingham A-Levels: International Baccalaureate: HL – Philosophy, Maths, Chemistry. SL- French, English, Economics University: York – Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) How have you found the office environment? I’ve found the office environment strikes the perfect balance between being relaxed and formal – at least that’s true in Corporate!  If you need to get your head down and complete some work it’s perfect.  But equally you find yourself having a laugh, a joke or a good old fashioned catch-up with your colleagues over a mug of coffee.  I think one thing Pinsent Masons prides itself in is how approachable and sociable all the employees are which makes working here a treat. Name: Rachel Harris Department: EU & CompetitionSchool: Stratford Grammar School for GirlsA-Levels: French, German & History University: Law What were/are your first impressions of Pinsent Masons? Pinsent Masons makes a great first impression.  I remember coming for my interview and being struck by how friendly my interviewers were: it made me want to join the firm even more!  So far, this impression has proved to be enduring.  Everyone – whether it’s others in your department or those you meet for the first time in the kitchen – is approachable and happy to help with any queries you may have.  I think that welcoming atmosphere is a major element that sets Pinsent Masons apart from other firms, and it’s also one of the best things about working here – you’re not just an employee, you’re an important part of the firm.