George is currently a first seat trainee, sitting in Commercial Construction. He studied Philosophy at Kings College London before studying the GDL and LPC and commencing his Training Contract in September 2020. Here, George discusses how he has found commencing his Training Contract during Covid-19.
Why did you choose BCLP?
The friendliness in the firm was really important to me. I experienced this during the vacation scheme (I was lucky enough to be there a week before Christmas!) and it’s been reinforced as I’ve started my training contract. Everyone I’ve met is very friendly, which makes it so much easier to ask for help or work together on matters. I was interested in Real Estate and Development, where BCLP is one of the best firms globally in this area. It’s important to have an interest in Real Estate if you want to apply. BCLP however, extends far beyond Real Estate and has a variety of really interesting departments (from Technology & Commercial to Energy Environment and Infrastructure, for instance).
What was your virtual induction like?
Interesting! Obviously it’s not like being in the firm, and it’s a bit odd to be there two weeks and not have met your department, but I felt like a lot of useful information was provided in a friendly way, which made adjusting to starting much easier.
How has the support been? How have you built relationships with your fellow trainees?
I know all of my intake through doing the LLM last year (some even before that!). I think BCLP is excellent in that regard; it’s really easy to build a support network and make friends amongst your trainee intake as you all know each other through the LLM.
How have you settled into your new seats and gotten to know your new team?
Baptism of fire but very enjoyable! Commercial Construction is very transaction heavy and client facing, which is something I’ve really enjoyed. It’s been great so far. I’ve also been heading into the office regularly so have met a lot of the team. They’re very friendly and very impressive. It’s a great environment to be in.
What has been the most challenging part?
Definitely adjusting to the seat. The handover (where the outgoing trainee gives you the work they’ve been doing) was really intimidating at first, and receiving emails and phone calls from clients when I was very unfamiliar with the matter was daunting! But then as time goes on you get more and more comfortable, and some things that took ages at the start then become very easy. It’s really rewarding to get more confident in the seat as time passes.
What are the best elements of WFH?
Truth be told I’ve been in the office every day since starting as my internet from home is very bad. I’d say WFH is good from a comfort level – but personally I feel more comfortable and productive in the office. Probably the best thing about working from home is no commute!
Has there been anything unexpected? Or anything you would have done differently?
The sheer level of organisational skills you need as a trainee! Obviously you expect it, but I don’t think you truly appreciate how organised you need to be until you start. Luckily when you’re working, the need to diarise everything/update trackers/bill time comes very naturally and easily.
As for doing something differently – of course! Everyone makes mistakes, and there has definitely been moments where I have completed work, sent it off internally, then face-palmed as I’d see a very minor typo. But without mistakes you never learn, so you just have to take it on the chin and move on.