Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Undergraduate of the year awards: the application process

Robin, 2012 Law Undergraduate of the Year, unveils his final two tips for making it to the top

Step Four: The Interview (Sometime during March – April 2013)
If you make it to the interview – congratulations! You’ve been short-listed to the final 12 candidates. At this point, it’s all about how you present yourself in person. Interview techniques will come into the fore, but beware also the ‘trial by sausage roll’ (the informal part of the day which takes place over drinks and a buffet). Don’t forget, the interview starts the moment you walk through the doors of the firm and ends the moment you leave the building. The firm doesn’t just want to know if you’d be a competent employee; they would quite like to get to know you as a person too.

My top tip: if you have a buffet lunch, be sure to position yourself near a table. Trying to introduce yourself to a partner with a drink in one hand and a plate of the mushroom vol-au-vents, salad and olive canap├ęs is not a good look. At least at a table you can put your drink down and have one free hand when the time comes.

Step Five: The Awards ceremony (19 April, 2013)
If you’re short-listed to the final ten candidates then you will be invited to a gala dinner held at Canary Wharf along with over a hundred other people involved in the other Undergraduate Awards. It’s a great day and if you win you’ll be presented with the award by a senior partner and this year the Rt. Hon Michael Portillo. At this stage there’s really nothing you can do since the decision has already been made as to whose won – just sit back and enjoy the food and drinks!

My top tip: remember that you’ve done exceptionally well to be shortlisted for the award. There’s much more to life than winning. Whatever happens – give yourself a pat on the back and make the most of what you’ve learnt from the experience.