Describing extracurricular activities and responsibilities

Discussion in 'Applications Discussion' started by Syafiqkay92, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. Syafiqkay92

    Syafiqkay92 Star Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I have been trying to draft an answer to the following question, which is one of the questions for Paul Hastings training contract application.

    The question is "Please give details of any extracurricular activities and responsibilities. Describe any personal achievements and your level of involvement."

    I am struggling to write an answer to this question because since university, I didn't do any extracurricular activities or take on any responsibilities. If I am not at university, I am mainly working and that meant I don't have anything to say.

    Now, I have considered talking about my part-time work but I didn't think there is anything impressive.

    So, the next thing that I do is to consider activities that I have done after university, i.e. while working. I attended law firms networking events, volunteered for Pride in London, but there is nothing substantial in that. It's mainly just me being an attendee with nothing much to contribute. I did joined the Aspiring Solicitors Commercial Awareness competition. While I did manage to get through to semi-finals, I don't feel that it is an achievement.

    I am doubting myself a lot and would be great if anyone could share how they would approach this question.

    There is one thing that I do two years ago that I learn a lot from. It's not a personal achievement but it is a valuable learning point and that is when I tried to set up a company but failed miserably because my business partner "socially engineered" me into transferring the money from the business to him, leading me in quite a financial trouble. There is no way to talk about this without me sounding stupid. What do you think?

    Any ideas, advice, comments or feedback will be appreciated.

    Another unrelated question, how do you deal with jealousy? I stopped checking in LinkedIn because I keep on seeing people getting a training contract. While I am happy for them, it makes me feel like a loser.
     
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  2. Jaysen

    Jaysen Legendary Member
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    I'll come back to your first question later but just to share some thoughts on your LinkedIn point --

    LinkedIn is a really great way for TCLA to connect with students and share our content with people we might not normally be able to reach. That said, I don't think the main news feed is very healthy for aspiring lawyers. If it was a thing back when I was applying and I could pass on some advice, I'd tell myself to only use it to follow a few pages (I don't think I'd have the resolve to get off it completely).

    As much as you want to be happy for people who have secured training contracts, I don't think you can escape feeling rubbish if you haven't secured a TC yet. The platform is designed for self-congratulatory posts and constant job updates, which may not be a bad thing in itself, but it makes it seem like everyone around you is securing training contracts (when the reailty is far from it).
     
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  3. Syafiqkay92

    Syafiqkay92 Star Member

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    Hi Jaysen

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I have no idea how you manage to respond to every single message on TCLA, as well as doing the course, law firms insights on top of your work as trainee.

    Well done for your hard work and excellent time management.

    I'm much more inspired to just keep on working hard.
     
  4. Jaysen

    Jaysen Legendary Member
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    I'm no longer a trainee so that does help!

    How long has it been since you were at university? I'd rate volunteering at Pride (just try to drill down on what you did), as well as the AS commercial competition. It's not so much about how 'good' your achievements are -- you can turn average activities into excellent answers if you provide specific details of what you did. For the rest, you can also focus on your activities within your current role.

    Setting up a company is an excellent experience. I'd suggest focusing on your experience setting up the company in this question -- I'm sure loads of skills were involved there. The scenario you mentioned would also be great for a competency question e.g., when have you had to overcome a difficult challenge?
     
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  5. Syafiqkay92

    Syafiqkay92 Star Member

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    Hi Jaysen

    Thank you for your reply. Good to know that you're no longer a trainee.

    It's been three years since I were at university. I suppose your advice makes sense. I might have been too critical about myself and reading this actually gave me an idea of how to approach the question.

    Thanks Jaysen!

    Best Wishes,
    Syafiq.
     

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