The Induction week and Bedford Training

After several years wait, we finally made it into Pinsent Masons’ new, glass clad building (Crown Place – of “Spooks” fame), full of anticipation. An onslaught of experiences followed – meeting new people from both London and other offices (hello!); seeing the magnificent views of the London skyline from the 16th floor (ooooh!); finding our desks (aaaah!) and enjoying the different food and nights out we were treated to (mmmm and wa-hoo). While there was a lot of listening to be done initially, it readied us for when work actually began. When it did, it was a sizeable relief to realise how exceedingly friendly and welcoming everyone at the firm is. As a bunch of newbies, there was little else more important.

A week gone, and it was time to visit the (in)famous Bedford! The firm’s annual, residential week there is primarily a training opportunity but also offers us a chance to really get to know the other trainees, firm-wide. We spent each night bowling, in some kind of fancy dress or simply enjoying each others’ company. Creating these lasting friendships comforted us; that the corporate world we were entering would be enjoyed in the companionship of likeminded peers who are, simply, good fun to be with.

Incidentally, the food in Bedford was amazing – you are guaranteed to put on at least a stone – and don’t kid yourself (like Emma did) that you will be using the gym facilities on site!

For March starters like Pete, Bedford was a perfectly-timed excuse to get out of the office and have some fun with the trainees, new and old; away from Crown Place’s great restaurant and local pubs. After six months together, the first-seaters in London had already formed some great friendships; but after the brief induction in March, the wider team in the regional offices had been missed. The LPC was a distant memory and the prospect of being in a classroom once again wasn’t hugely tempting, but for the already seasoned trainees, being out of a suit and back into civvies came as a welcome change. One thing’s for sure – Pete will greatly miss having a week away at the end of his next seat!

Of course, aside from all the good times, there is some actual work to be done at Bedford. Part of the reason we all arrived home in an exhausted stupor was because training began bright and early each day; no matter how late we’d all been up, (or how many extra free drink tokens Meg had managed to appropriate).

Fortunately, the training team are real pros. With plenty of course materials and interactive, laid-back lessons, it was all enjoyable and interesting. Most of the classes centred on financial planning and accounting, on which we took a straightforward exam the following Monday. Almost without noticing, we learnt a lot throughout the week, and it will all be extremely useful over the next two years.

Good times…Good times indeed.

Written by Peter Allott, Emma Dawe, Megan Gray & Neal Gruer