The End is Nigh
As my gap year placement in the Birmingham Pinsent Masons office draws to a close this blog may prove the most fitting way for me to review the past eight months. So much has happened and so much has been learnt that it must be impossible to fit into one entry. But I’ll endeavour.
Revisiting the first day- arriving in one of the London offices (this was before the firm moved to 30 Crown Place), listening to the managing Partner David Ryan (among others), mingling with trainees over a scrumptious dinner and staying in a top quality hotel – I can truly say that I cannot believe I am the same person I was then.
From day one I was treated as a trainee by everyone, including the trainees. The social events are never ending, from the formal (the highlight being the Birmingham Trainee Ball) to after-work Friday drinks. The friendly atmosphere I experienced at the beginning culminated at Christmas as my calendar was inundated with events like a team canteen Christmas lunch, trainee netball team drinks and, of course, the much anticipated office Christmas party. After this, it is inevitable that you find yourself harbouring a fierce loyalty for your department and a pride for the firm that creeps up on you after such a short while.
You may be worried about the complexity of work you do as a gap year student, but rest assured, it is stretching but attainable. The intensity of working a real 9-5 job has been challenging, tiring and satisfying. Although the late nights of Thai take-away and a taxi home are few and far between, they prove that the job you have done has really contributed to the work of the firm. I have learnt to appreciate the bigger picture encompassing my work; if a piece of research I have done is returned to the client but is not thorough or I have not completed a task to the best of my ability, someone else will have to do it again. This reflects badly and will impact on the service we provide the client. On the flip side, it is immensely rewarding to sit in on a client call where the partner trusts your work enough to have only your file of research to go by.
I have been slightly relieved to find that “office life” by no means stops in the office. I have taken part in many corporate responsibility, school and careers events; where we often have more to say to some of the children then the solicitors do! There are also Spanish language classes, wine tasting events, football and netball teams to name but a few of the out of office activites on offer.
What about life after Pinsent Masons?
In the coming months I am going to Bolivia to intern for a newspaper. The skills of research, ICT, communication and the general work ethic that I have learnt at Pinsent Masons no doubt contributed to me obtaining this internship. Further afield, I am excited to apply the invaluable lessons and perspective I have acquired in my Law degree and throughout my life. If anyone out there is thinking about taking a gap year after school my advice would be to think carefully abou what you want to achieve, do your research to see if this is feasible and if it is go for it!