Featured Training Contract Success Stories

Discussion in 'Applications Discussion' started by D.Cole, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. ftxx

    ftxx New Member
    Future Trainee

    Messages:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    17
    TCLA Credits:
    32
    Such BRILLIANT news!!! 100% agree on your three points, particularly the last two. Having that confidence in front of partners really helps in presenting you in a positive light as ultimately they want to see you in front of the firm's clients with that much confidence. Also feel the luck element comes through even at the application stage, genuinely not sure why some firms have liked my application rather than others.

    All the best for the future, I'm sure you'll go very far with that determination!
     
  2. Camilla

    Camilla Active Member

    Messages:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    22
    TCLA Credits:
    57
    Thank you for this great advice. I have just ordered a copy of the book you suggested. Unsuccessful round for me this time but I have a lot of hope for next round, especially after reading your post :)

    Time to celebrate!!!!
     
  3. Daniel Boden

    Daniel Boden Legendary Member
    TCLA Moderator

    Messages:
    412
    Trophy Points:
    209
    TCLA Credits:
    170
    What brilliant news to read this morning! Absolutely delighted for you mate and couldn't agree more with the points you made, particularly the confidence and luck parts which I think many people forget or don't place enough importance on. One of the best pieces of advice I've ever been given is that people don't remember what you say or do, they remember how you make them feel which I think for interviews is incredibly underrated. If you can come out having built a genuine rapport with a partner/associate then I'm a firm believer that this could go a long way to having success! Many congrats again - hope you're able to enjoy a glass of champagne or two! :D
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Fezan

    Fezan Standard Member

    Messages:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    13
    TCLA Credits:
    21
    Really inspirational! Thanks so much for sharing!
     
  5. wwood

    wwood Star Member
    Premium Member

    Messages:
    42
    Trophy Points:
    37
    TCLA Credits:
    91
    I love this thread! Congrats D Cole for getting a TC!!!!
    Replying to Daniel - this is so true, even for Vac Schemes. The lawyers don’t don’t really remember what you said sometimes. Perhaps they’re too busy! So yeah after that I stopped being anxious. Guess you gotta impress them, be polite and make them feel good.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Arun Wagle

    Arun Wagle Standard Member

    Messages:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    12
    TCLA Credits:
    64
    Hi guys,

    I have just secured my training contract and I wanted to share my story here, in hope I can inspire others on the same journey!

    I think I perhaps have a different story than some others in that since embarking on my mission to gain a TC I made 6 applications in total and from those was offered 2 TCs.

    I believe it’s important for me to say this because it highlights the truth that getting your TC requires a certain element of chance and luck. Many people have to go through numerous application cycles before securing their TC, and this is often not because they “aren’t good enough”, it’s because the number of candidates applying compared to the number of positions available means inevitably there are numerous candidates who are good enough that do not make the cut.

    I was prepared to go through as many cycles as it took to get my TC, and I believe it’s imperative to have this mindset. The fact I was able to secure my TC with a relatively small amount of applications was not just down to the amount of work I put into those applications and preparation for the interviews/ACs. It was also down to a certain element of good fortune.

    Another reason why I felt the need to highlight the number of applications I made is because it shows strategy I took in securing my TC. I know a lot of people do +10 applications each cycle and there is no doubt that works for many and increases your chances to a certain degree. For me however, I wanted to really dedicate a lot of time to each application and make it as perfect as possible, and when I got to the interview stage I wanted to really be able to dedicate substantial time to preparing for each interview specifically. That’s why I chose the approach I did and it worked for me, so my advice to others would be to choose a strategy you feel comfortable with and that works for you! As different people will recommend a different number of applications you should make.

    Another part of my story I wanted to share was that I studied my law degree at a non-russell group university. This was a result of me not getting the A level grades I could have if I had worked harder and not putting much effort into getting into a Russell group or red brick university. This certainly presented challenges. I personally did not know anyone else at my university who was applying to the same level of firms as I and the law school really did not have the experience, resources or opportunities to be able to aid me in trying to achieve my goal.

    This meant I felt alone on my journey to a certain extent, however this led to me really making the most of the networking opportunities that I could find. Through attending firm insight events held at other universities and participating in opportunities like Aspiring Solicitors’ commercial awareness competition, as well as connecting with others through LinkedIn and the forums here at TCLA, I was able to build a network with others on the same journey. I believe this really helped and to anyone in a similar position as I was I would say think outside the box and build as many connections as possible.

    So that’s my story, and really hope it helps inspire others- especially those at non-russell group universities. Keep going, because you really never do know when your TC is just around the corner!
     
    • Winner Winner x 9
    • Like Like x 4
  7. Camilla

    Camilla Active Member

    Messages:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    22
    TCLA Credits:
    57
    Congratulations Arun! Great news and very inspiring!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Jaysen

    Jaysen Legendary Member
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,815
    Trophy Points:
    204
    TCLA Credits:
    1,564
    From anonymous :)
    --
    Hi all,

    It’s been great to read about everyone’s success stories- what a nice way to keep candidates motivated!

    I agree with a lot of what everyone has said here that there definitely is an element of luck. While it’s easy to feel disheartened, you do need to remember (and I actually read this on a TCLA forum!) that it only takes one firm and one offer. I was lucky enough to secure a TC with PwC only on my third cycle of making applications. Prior to this, I’d never gone past the HR interview stage- my assessment centre with PwC was actually my first and only!

    I was studying the BPTC when I was on my third cycle of applications. I never wanted to become a barrister- I applied for the BPTC purely because it would help me qualify back in my home country, and my intentions were always to be a solicitor.

    Nonetheless, I found myself at a disadvantage while making apps- the consensus seemed to be that recruiters might have doubts about my commitment to the profession unless I was successful in convincing them of my reasons for doing the BPTC, as opposed to the LPC. From my perspective, this meant that I had less success getting past the application sift, despite getting better at writing these applications. When I received my AC invitation from PwC this February, I had applied to 8 firms and received 7 rejections. I was incredibly stressed and had a massive case of imposter syndrome- never in a million years would I have expected to get through and receive a TC offer.

    It’s been quite a journey, but I cannot emphasise enough how rewarding it is. Looking back at the process, here’s what I wish I knew earlier:

    1) Networking

    I only really appreciated the importance of networking in my third cycle, and it’s definitely easier said than done- as an introvert, I completely understand that networking can be painful. That being said, I wouldn’t have secured a TC offer with my dream firm without the help of a lot of amazing people. By networking you’ll also learn how to adapt to different people and social situations while improving your conversational skills- so important for building rapport with your interviewer!

    2) Preparation

    Think about why you’re applying to the firm you’re applying to, and avoid taking a scattergun approach, despite how tempting it is. Look at a wide range of resources while doing your research so you get a comprehensive view of things, and make use of your university’s employability service.

    The TCLA courses have been an absolute godsend- so easy to understand and really helped put whatever I read on FT into perspective. I’ve used bits and pieces in my AC and interview, as well as while preparing my case study during my vac scheme. The mock interview was really helpful as well, and I received a lot of positive feedback because of the last minute tips I learned from my mock interviewer.

    When in doubt, ask- something might seem really complex, but someone would have gone through the process before! We were asked to prepare a bail application during my vac scheme and I had near-zero experience in this area- I reached out to a classmate who was applying for the Criminal Bar, and she was really helpful in helping me prepare for this.

    The City can seem quite intimidating, but there are a lot of places where you can get support. Consider initiatives such as SEO, Aspiring Solicitors (AS) and Rare- I personally found AS’s Springboard event super informative and it really got me into the right mindset for my vac scheme.

    3) Self-care

    Surround yourself with a good support network you can fall back on when things get stressful, as juggling the application process with studies and/or a job can be incredibly tough. Be kind to yourself! It might not seem like you have enough time, but sometimes the best thing you can do is step back and give yourself a rest- you deserve it.
     
    • Winner Winner x 2
  9. HenryGirton

    HenryGirton Active Member

    Messages:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    42
    TCLA Credits:
    140
    I recently gained TC offers at a SC firm and US firm during my second cycle of TC applications. I thought I would share what I felt personally helped me out the second-time round and what improved my application to interview ratio.

    Applications- I really really hope this does not come across boastful!! but during my second cycle of applying I became quite good at applications and always did progress to the next stage after submitting my app. Some of the errors I have noticed in my 1stcycle applications were that they consisted of waffle and overuse of the theasurus! I also used to write my ‘why law?’ answer with a focus on my ‘journey’ opposed to succinct reasons of why I liked commercial law. Moreover, I also spent a lot of time writing about firm awards and deals which I do believe was a complete waste of words. BTW I do not have stellar academics, I have 2.2s in both Tort and Contract yet have interviewed this year at notoriously academic firms such as Slaughter and May. I believe what really helped me in my second cycle was that I became extremely concise. I focused on what specifically made the firm unique and more importantly why those unique aspects of the firm suited my career desires. In addition, ‘why should we hire you over anyone else?’, is a question I forced myself to answer and interweave throughout my application form.

    Quality AND quantity- I have to confess I am not a huge believer of the quality over quantity theory when it comes to applications. Ultimately, the more firms you apply for the better your chances are and more offers you get. This strategy was the key factor which improved my success rate. I applied to 11 firms and received 6 interviews at 1 US, 1 MC and 3 SC firms (plus I still have post app outcomes pending). Whereas last year I applied to 5 firms and got 3 interviews, which obviously just meant less chance of obtaining an TC. Overall there are so many strong corporate firms out there that offer great training, good clients, quality work etc. so there is no reason to put all your eggs in one basket (firm).

    Confidence- improving my confidence was the real key thing for me in interviews. I used to get imposter syndrome and this left me being very timid. Once I recognised my strengths (my ‘USP’s) it really helped me answer perceptively to competency questions and pushed me to speak up in group assessments. I began to tell myself beforehand that I was a strong candidate that had unique experiences that only I could offer and I had skills that I knew would benefit the firm- this strengthened me mentally going into interviews. I also found not rehearsing my answers truly helped me not sound robotic.

    Luck- I believe this has been touched upon before in this thread but I really would like to reinstate the significance of luck. You should never forget that your ability to obtain assessment centres, vacation schemes and training contracts is sometimes completely out of your control. For instance, you could be given an awful supervisor during your vacation scheme, you could have a rude interviewer (I once had an interviewer who looked out the window throughout my interview), you could have a dominating person in your group assessment. So if rejections do come, please do remember this.

    Don’t compare yourself! - Comparison really destroyed my self-esteem. If you have just been rejected post-interview or vacation scheme it might helpful to take yourself off LinkedIn which is essentially a corporate Instagram where people post only their successes. Focus instead of attacking new applications with even more resilience.

    I wish you all the best with the upcoming cycle and please don’t ever give up! I literally was in tears the day before my TC offer thinking it would never happen. It may take a few cycles but once you obtain that TC you will have access into a legal career that will last you years and years. Every rejection is a re-direction and if you were rejected from your ‘dream firm’- I can guarantee that firm most likely was never for you anyway! :)
     
    #29 HenryGirton, Sep 14, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
    • Winner Winner x 9
    • Like Like x 5
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Julian Ng

    Julian Ng Active Member
    Future Trainee

    Messages:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    32
    TCLA Credits:
    75
    I recently received a TC offer from a leading international law firm in the City after 25+ TC/vac scheme applications over three recruitment cycles.

    The journey definitely had its challenges along the way. I completed a winter vacation scheme with a top US firm in 2017 that felt incredibly promising but ultimately did not convert into a TC offer. The following recruitment cycle I sent off 10 consecutive applications without receiving a single interview invite.

    TCLA has played such a key part in my eventual success and I'd love to share a bit about what I learnt along the way. Having reflected on my journey I've decided to focus on aspects around mindset/attitude rather than technical aspects of the recruitment process such as commercial awareness/application technique (which are incredibly important too!).

    Building resilience and a growth mindset - one thing that really helped me persevere through each rejection was building a growth mindset. It took me a while, but I eventually got to a place where I wasn't as phased by a rejection email. I began to see each stage of the application process – whether the form, psychometric exercise, interview or AC – as an opportunity to learn and develop skills that would help me be a more effective trainee in the future. Of course, having that individual mindset is easier said than done and I found building a strong network of friends and peers really important here. As time passed I learnt to be more open about my failures and disappointments with fellow law students friends who understood the TC hunt grind. I also found the TCLA forum – and this very thread! – really helpful in terms of realising I wasn't alone in my journey. Lastly I also really want to credit the Trainee Talk podcast as an excellent resource for building resilience: I'd particularly recommend Episode #8 on building confidence and Episode #9 on the principe of 'sweat equity'.

    Becoming more teachable/coachable. One thing the TC hunt has really taught me is to learn to ask for help. That's been especially clear this last recruitment cycle as I benefited so much from reaching out to two career counsellors at BPP and to Jaysen for application help. This has been invaluable in terms of helping me write better applications and learning to give more structured and confident answers at interviews/ACs. I will shamelessly plug the value of a TCLA Premium subscription too: there's some excellent material in the commercial classes and having Jaysen review my application forms has really helped me improve my writing over time. Looking back – and it pains me to admit this – I was guilty of having a rather stubborn lone-wolf mentality with some of my earlier applications and I wasn't as receptive to getting feedback on my applications. It took me many rejections to get to a point where I was more teachable and this was definitely a blessing in disguise. I've learnt that it takes a village to succeed and I definitely want to bring that lesson into my future career.

    Be conscious of your limiting beliefs. This may come across as very self-help-y but I do think there is merit to understanding your limiting beliefs (i.e. narratives about yourself that are actually creating artificial barriers to success) and not letting them box you in. As a personal example: it took me a while to come to a decision that commercial law was what I wanted to pursue and throughout my time at university I found work experience in other sectors e.g. charities, a government legal department. Rather than being insecure about whether this showed sufficient interest in commercial law, I reflected hard on these experiences and learnt to explain in an interview how these experiences actually helped me understand what was unique about a training contract in the City. Similarly, rather than being insecure about whether my status as an international student would detrimentally impact my applications, I learnt to talk about my international experience in interviews and also took confidence from success stories from other international students.

    Big shoutout once again to TCLA! Thank you Jaysen for setting up this forum where candidates can find inspiration, encouragement and advice from each other! And thanks to those who've shared their stories on this forum: they really helped me persevere!
     
    • Winner Winner x 11
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page