For jet-setting Georgia, the potential of working abroad was one of the most attractive aspects that drove her to apply for a training contract at the rapidly expanding, global law firm, Clyde & Co. Learn more about her journey and discover how you too can launch your career at Clyde & Co.
What attracted you to Clyde and Co and the trainee role?
As I had come from studying Geography at UCL, which had involved two months as a legal intern in Ghana, eight months studying in Perth, Australia, and a week studying the post-Panamax era of shipping in Florida and the Panama Canal, a truly sector-focused firm was my initial attraction. From this I knew that commodities, energy, infrastructure & projects and shipping would be my interests and Clyde & Co was an ideal fit for this.
The other attraction to Clyde & Co was the opportunity to spend six months abroad, and Clyde & Co offered the Tanzanian office; I had always thought I would want to work back in Sub-Saharan Africa in the Energy/Infrastructure/Projects space after my time spent in Ghana.
What did you find hard about the application process personally?
I was studying abroad in Australia and our exams were in October/November when the applications opened so I was studying for finals whilst trying to ensure my applications were completed as close to the opening date as possible so that I stood the best chance. In addition as I was travelling around the country during the second and third stages of the application process, I had to complete many of my video interviews in libraries across Australia and New Zealand which was interesting in the rural parts to say the least.
I also found the group activities tricky to manage at times, as the overly competitive individuals at some firms would be off-putting as they would attempt to bring other people in the team down, whereas I flourish most in a supportive team environment.
Was there a highlight to the process that you specially remember?
The female Senior Associate and female head of Senior Personnel and Partner recruitment created such a lovely environment in which to formulate my answers so I could prove myself with ease in my interview at the end of the vacation scheme. It felt like a conversation and because I was not anxious the analysis came naturally and we spoke much of my travels and my volunteering experience around the world, because we finished the prescribed questions so quickly. They were also very empathetic to a bereavement during my A-levels which influenced why I did not to attend Cambridge University despite various scholarship programmes I had completed there.
What tips would you give to members hoping to follow in your footsteps?
- Take every opportunity you can to learn about the different parts of the industry and prepare for the future of Law, as there are many niches in law and the list of specialisms is growing with increasing technology. For example, coding has been a useful skill which I have developed, with Clyde & Co creating 'Clyde Code' as a legal tech in recent years, so I am now looking into skills labs to create mobile apps from scratch for the benefit of clients.
- Push yourself to embrace and undertake different, forward-thinking experiences. For example, my summer as a legal intern in Ghana pushes aside my year as a paralegal at a local family solicitors oftentimes in interviews as it has always intrigued interviewers or peers at networking events. It is now a springboard into my application for a seat abroad in Tanzania.
- Integrity is key so ensure you are offered roles on your own merit. Build your own network and aim to create a new generation without bias or reliance on parental connections. It is important to ensure you help create a diverse hierarchy in the business you work for by encouraging and supporting all colleagues, embracing diversity and nurturing innovation.
How does Bright Network help you?
I received the Legal Update from Bright Network each week whilst at university, as well as the Banking and Finance Update as I wasn’t sure which route I wanted to take in first year. After making this decision, I attended a couple of their events at law firms prior to my Vacation Scheme/Training Contract applications. In addition, Bright Network Ambassadors were proactive in reaching out to me with potential career opportunities based on both my degree and my engagement with the Bright Network opportunities.
I have also been fortunate enough to attend Bright Network’s International Women’s Day event now as a Trainee Solicitor. It was great to be part of such an empowering day, as it visibly gave all the women in the room comfort and confidence to ask questions of other women in various industries. The event also clearly advocated for diversity as I had many conversations about how I had felt through the process as a woman, from a working class background, being the first in my family to attend university; the day thereby created a space to discuss and hopefully take action to bridge the diversity gap in law and across the city.
To find out more about Clyde & Co and to view their opportunities, click here.