We caught up with Amelia to see how she secured her fantastic vacation scheme at the CMS Academy! Here she gives her top tips on how you can follow in her footsteps and get your dream role!
Why did you apply to CMS?
I applied to the CMS Academy because I was intrigued by their highly innovative, dynamic and forward-facing culture. They use some incredible legal tech and have a flexible approach to working - everyone uses Microsoft Surface Pros. Despite being the world’s sixth largest firm by headcount, I was impressed by the level of support and development given to vacation scheme students/trainees as well as the opportunities for secondments in a different CMS office or with a client.
The CMS vacation scheme is different because it consists of a week of ‘Business Law Training’ in London followed by a 2-week internship at your chosen location. For me, this investment in students was encouraging to see and distinguished CMS from other global firms.
What was the hardest part of the application process for you?
In my opinion, the online testing was the most difficult stage of the application process due to a combination of time restraints and difficulty of the questions. I’d strongly recommend doing some practice tests and finding practice guides online! It’s easy to become flustered and panicked during the test so try and keep some water beside you to sip on every now and then! Make sure there are no distractions during your test!
How was the process overall and what was your favourite part?
After the online testing, there is a video interview and an assessment day. My favourite part of the process was, surprisingly, the assessment day. This consisted of a case study, presentation, interview, group exercise and speed-networking. The Early Talent Acquisition team and interviewers made me feel incredibly welcome and it also gave me an opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the firm’s culture and ask any further questions.
What are your top 3 top tips for students to apply?
- Research the firm you’re applying to. Know their practice areas/sectors, their clients, and visit open days/firm presentations. Attending such events and speaking to partners, trainees and the Early Talent Acquisition team is the best way to learn about the firm’s culture and what they can offer you as a candidate.
- Be commercially aware. These are dreaded words but incredibly important. You need to know how the firm, or its clients, may be affected or influenced by what is going on around the world. Download the BBC News app for updates on areas and follow the firm’s social media (especially LinkedIn) to keep up with their work!
- Practice, practice, practice. Onine tests are not easy. Doing a video interview for the first time can be daunting. The only way to get around these hurdles is to practice. Seek out practice guides for the tests and fully utilise the practice time you are given at the start of video interviews. It’s worthwhile filming yourself answering a mock question to pick up on any distracting habits, e.g. fidgeting, playing with hair, losing eye contact, before going ahead with the video interview.