Incoming Baker Mckenzie Vacation Scheme


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Sep 26, 2023
Hi - I have a vacation scheme with Baker Mckenzie coming up this Spring! I'm really excited to be able to have the chance to undertake the scheme at a world-class firm such as Bakers, and I've also heard historically there is a high conversion rate; however, I don't like to leave things up for chance.

I'm awaiting my seats, but I'd really appreciate it if I could get any advice on how to ensure I hit the nail on the head, as my exit interview will be about the work I've done. Would really appreciate if I could from @Aks.Khurana as I believe you did their scheme last year and was successful in securing a training contract :)
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  • Sep 13, 2023
    Hey! Thanks a lot for the post; I'm very happy to offer some insights.

    Indeed, Baker McKenzie is known to have favourable conversion rates. My scheme had 20 TC offers out of 21 schemers. They told us that previous schemes have had a 90+% TC offer rate. This isn't to suggest being complacent, but it certainly should be reassuring and alleviate some nerves.

    I'm happy to answer any specific questions, but if your questions are about succeeding on schemes more generally, here are my three top tips for excelling at a vacation scheme.

    Get the small things right. Throughout a vacation scheme, you are constantly making small decisions and faced with minor questions. While these seemingly small questions about how you conduct yourself may seem inconsequential, being consistent and organised goes a long way. Getting the small things right will mean you're perceived as reliable, diligent, and a safe pair of hands. How to implement this: Ask yourself: Are you showing up on time? Are you proactive? Are you managing your emotions? Are you taking on more than you can handle? Are you kind and respectful to everyone? Are you a supportive and collaborative team member? Are you showing genuine interest in people at the firm? Are you taking notes and responding well to feedback?

    Show an evolution in perspectives and motivations during your exit interview. Most vacation schemes involve an exit interview, which varies from firm to firm. However, two features remain consistent in strong exit interviews. First, ensure you're showing how your perspective on the firm has evolved through the scheme. Ensure you demonstrate that you've refined your understanding of the firm and its culture through your exposure during the scheme. Second, demonstrate genuine, persuasive motivations in your final interview. How to implement this: Keep a journal during your scheme, and write down the tasks you conducted, the talks you attended, and the conversations you've had. This will be vital when you reach the end of your scheme and are asked to reflect on what you've worked on, who you've met, and what you liked/disliked about the firm. While your assessment centre was built to assess general motivations, the firm is now looking to make a substantial investment by hiring you. Why is this firm the only place in the world for you to train? How can you show them this?

    Be prepared before and during your scheme. While I don't recommend going overboard with preparation, three areas you can research into are the firm's practices, practitioners, and deals. Each firm is different, and getting to know the firm better requires good research. During your scheme, researching matters and people you meet will go a long way in making a good impression. How to implement this: In terms of researching practices, what are the subtypes of work this practice takes on? For example, does the corporate team work on VC, PE, public M&A, private M&A, or any other form of advisory? On practitioners, who are the partners and associates at the firm, and what do they work on? Is there something you find fascinating about someone's work, and can you reach out to them? On deals: what are some recurring clients and deals in your practice area? What does your supervisor work on, and do you have any questions about a specific matter?

    I am happy to answer more firm-specific questions if I can help with anything. Good luck!

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