George Rickman, a Campus Brand Ambassador for Bird & Bird, explains why the ambassadorships are a great way to learn about the firm.
The Application Process
I applied for the campus ambassador role at Bird & Bird because I wanted to gain an insight into a fast-moving city firm, and wanted to help provide the students at my university with the same insight through the events I was able to hold on campus.
The application process was really straightforward; I probably spent more time worrying about it than it actually took to complete – so if you are nervous about applying, then I would definitely say that you should go for it! Essentially, I had to answer a few questions about myself, what I would bring to the role, and what I wanted to gain from the experience, and then conduct a short video interview.
This experience definitely helped me when it came to my vacation scheme applications, because I was already comfortable answering questions on camera, and I knew what was expected of me with regards to the written aspect of the application.
The role and why it’s important
The requirements for the role are really quite fun if you are an outgoing and sociable person! Essentially, it is your job to promote the firm to your fellow students through both social media and on-campus events. For instance, I would use Twitter to inform my followers about upcoming vacation scheme deadlines, and with my fellow ambassadors at the University of Leicester, I hosted a ‘Get To Know The Firm’ evening for prospective applicants.
The evening was a really fun and informal event, where the attendees gained a lot of information about the firm in a genuinely relaxed manner. Many students prefer the casual and friendly ambassadorial events to the more formal ones hosted by some firms, because they don’t feel the same pressure to ‘perform’, and thus gain more from the event as a result. From my experience, this is definitely true of students from a non-law background who are considering applying for the GDL, because they often feel that they are at a disadvantage in the applications process when this is not the case at all.
Undoubtedly, the most valuable aspect of the experience to me was the extent to which it allowed me to engage with the great team at Bird & Bird. It genuinely felt like a partnership where my ideas and thoughts were valued and appreciated, and I was in regular contact with all of the graduate recruitment staff at the firm. Not only did this provide me with a great insight into the inner workings of a top law firm, it also gave me an invaluable opportunity to develop my communication skills, both over video calls and email, which are increasingly vital in the legal sector today.
Although it wasn’t my primary concern when I applied, it is unquestionable that an ambassadorial role will not only provide you with insight and experience, it will also be a huge credit to your CV. It’s so important to think about this when you are still at university, because it will help to differentiate you from other potential Vacation Scheme/Training Contract applicants. Being a campus ambassador demonstrates your desire to work in the legal sector, and exemplifies your enthusiasm for the subject; the fact that you would take the time out of your busy university schedule to work with a law firm is testament to your character, and is looked upon exceptionally favourably by top firms.
If I were to offer any final words of advice to prospective campus ambassadors, it would definitely be to just go for it! It really is a great way to gain an insight into the workings of a top law firm, and will be an invaluable asset to your CV for years to come.