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Allen & Overy Vacation Scheme Review

  • Work/Life Balance

  • Practical Skills Learnt

  • Live Up To Expectations

What was the application process like?

I found it relatively easy and simple to fill in the application. The application form included competency questions aimed to test the skills they look for in an ideal candidate.

This was followed by two interviews, one after another. The first was aimed to test my commercial knowledge and awareness whereas the second was with a partner at the firm and tested us on a case study that we were given to prepare before the interview.


What were the most challenging aspects of the interviews?

I found the interviews relatively challenging at time. One of the techniques they used was that they would ask relatively routine questions and then suddenly change it up and throw a curve ball. An example of this was when they were asking commercial questions and then asked me ‘What do you usually do on a Sunday afternoon?’ which throws you out a little bit and caught me by surprise.


How long was the Vacation Scheme?

It lasted three weeks, during which I worked in two divisions.


How many people were on the Vacation Scheme?

There were 26 people working across different departments and divisions.


What divisions did you work in and how did they allocate where you were going to work?

The first division I worked in was Corporate and M&A. I then worked in Bankruptcy and Insolvency on my second rotation. I was able to choose where what areas of the business I wanted to work within and then Allen and Overy allocated the rotations based on these preferences.


Were there any networking opportunities during your time at Allen and Overy?

Yes, for both rotations we were lucky enough to be assigned to a partner or senior associate. We shadowed them and during this time we were able to speak to them and network with them for a considerable length of time.


What did you think of the ethos and attitude of the organisation was?

You recognize instantly that they are doing everything they can to accommodate you and make you feel comfortable within the company. I really got the feeling from Allen and Overy that they were looking for individuals who were more entrepreneurial than I initially anticipated.


Was it a paid scheme?

No but we were paid for travel and other expenses.


What sort of hours did you generally work?

We were usually expected to be in the office from about 9.30am until about 6pm. I actually got in to the office for about 9am to avoid some of the mayhem on the trains and the extremely busy period of travel in the morning. I think because it wasn’t a paid position there wasn’t as much expectation to work particularly long hours.


How would you describe the offices?

I thought they were very nice; I particularly like the gym and the cafeteria that they provided to staff. The general feel of the offices were a bit more relaxed than I anticipated.


Do you feel as though the work they gave you was a good taster for what might be expected on a Training Contract?

Yes, I definitely felt as though there was a good taster of the sort of work I would probably be assigned as part of my Training Contract. I definitely felt as though the amount of work you were given was very dependent on how much initiative and drive you showed to go and find the work. If you went there with a real hunger then they would be able to give you more work to get on with.


Has your experiences on the Vacation Scheme made you more or less inclined to apply for Allen and Overy?

I am definitely more inclined to apply for them based on my positive experience during my Vacation Scheme.


What three words would you use the describe Allen and Overy based on your experiences?

Business-minded. Social. Learning






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