Campus Brand Ambassadorships are a great form of work experience and provide ample opportunities for networking. Chloe Birkett- a Brand Ambassador for Bird & Bird– shares her experience of working with the firm.
The Application Process
I applied for the role of Brand Ambassador at Bird & Bird when I returned from my year abroad in Australia in 2017. I knew as soon as I saw the opportunity that it would be a great way to build a relationship with the firm and strengthen my vacation scheme application. I submitted a written application and was invited to complete a video interview. After both rounds, I was delighted to find out I had been chosen as an ambassador!
The role of a Brand Ambassador
Our role predominantly involved creatively using social media to promote the firm, engaging with prospective applicants to the firm, and hosting a ‘pop-up’ event where students could learn more. In addition to this, we were on campus to give any advice or help to people that were interested in Bird & Bird.
We were invited to the offices by the graduate recruitment team to undertake some training and learn more about the firm. The offices are brand new and in a wonderful location, and arriving for our training day made me excited for the future. Alongside the other ambassadors, I had the opportunity to meet and network with partners, trainees and the graduate recruitment team. In my role, I have been in contact weekly with the graduate recruitment team, giving them a chance to see my work ethic and allowing me to build a strong, professional relationship with the firm. This is such an advantage, as the recruiters and partners can put a name to a face and see your personality shine, which makes your application stand out. Bird & Bird has a very inclusive and friendly culture, so attending the training day gave me a great insight into what to expect throughout the year. This further enhanced my application and interview as I was able to draw on my first hand experiences and interactions with the firm. This resulted in me being offered a place on the Summer Vacation Scheme at Bird & Bird.
Why a Brand Ambassador role is important
I believe engaging with law firms early is the key to success in securing vacation schemes or a training contract. I am certain that my role as an ambassador was a significant factor in being offered a vacation scheme at Bird & Bird, as I had spent six months working with the firm and demonstrating my capabilities. Law firms often ‘recruit to retain’, meaning they want to keep you once you have trained and qualified at their firm. Therefore, if you can show commitment to the firm in question before you are hired, that will stand out amongst the thousands of applications they receive each year.
Furthermore, developing your CV is vital to demonstrating you can undertake the responsibility of being a Brand Ambassador. Whether it’s getting a part-time job, (I worked at John Lewis for two years) or gaining work experience at a range of firms and businesses, it is important to demonstrate how the skills you have developed are transferrable to the role of a lawyer and your continued commitment to the profession. Each experience taught me something new, and has given me experiences to discuss during those notorious competency questions at interview!
My key pieces of advice!
Be confident in your own ability and understand your strengths. Recruiters want to see that you embody the values of the firm you are representing on campus, so show them how you live out those values. Develop your network, engage with people on LinkedIn and share your successes. If you are interested in doing something similar, then be proactive! I found out about the role at Bird & Bird through my Law Society, but there are many ways to get involved. If you already have Brand Ambassadors at your university, talk to them and find out more about the role and application process. Follow your target firms on social media, as they will often share roles through Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Lastly, look on law firm websites, or resources such as Lex 100 to discover more. Being a Brand Ambassador for Bird & Bird has been a rewarding and enriching role, and I would thoroughly recommend others to apply to the position.
The deadline for Brand Ambassador applications is 20 April 2018. Apply here: http://londongraduates.twobirds.com/apply/