On Monday 15th February undergraduate law students in years 1 and 2 at City will get the chance to find out all about a brand new opportunity: Micro-placements.
A collaboration between the City Law School and the Careers service, this new pilot scheme aims to boost student employability skills by offering 32 short-term work placements at a range of organisations located in Central and Greater London.
I spoke to Employer Engagement Manager within the City Careers service, Mona Vadher to find out more, asking her where the idea came from?
A starting point was that the career destinations data shows that less than half of LLB students decide to pursue a career in law, so there’s a great appetite for alternative routes with a law degree. She wanted to give students a chance to build on their core employability skills (opinion writing, negotiation, public speaking) by utilising them within non-legal fields. It was felt that by providing these micro-placements, the experience gained would not only enhance student CVs with valuable transferable skills, but also give a much-needed confidence boost ahead of vacation scheme application deadlines.
It’s an ideal way of getting that much-prized commercial awareness – not some abstract concept that you get by reading the FT, but actual experience gained within a commercial organisation that will open your eyes to all kinds of issues and practices.
So what type of student should think about applying?
Mona makes it clear that the scheme is ideal for those who really want to get some experience, regardless of the sector – who recognise that having an interesting business experience to talk about is key, even if it is not within the law. Being a good communicator will stand you in good stead, as will tenacity and a clear drive to succeed. These tasters for industry will most likely be within SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), rather than multinationals. There will be law firms on board, but the micro-placement would be non-legal in nature.
We’re particularly keen to encourage Widening Participation students to apply for this opportunity.
This opportunity is open to LLB1 and LLB2 students only.
How will the application process work?
Students will be asked to make an expression of interest via the CareersHub, before being invited to attend a mandatory and tailored 2 hour workshop to cover CVs and application forms, as well as interview guidance. This will provide attendees with a strong base for writing their application for these micro-placements.
What is particularly exciting about this scheme is that after submitting the application they will receive feedback from CityCareers consultants, before getting the chance to tweak before presenting their final application.
Those shortlisted will then be invited to interview, before those selected begin being matched with their organisation.
What might a placement look like?
Students will be given a defined project to complete within the timescale of the micro-placement –you’ll see a project through from beginning to end. The range of projects might include (not exhaustive list):
- Development of prototype
- Research and production of an impact framework for a community-run project
- Data presentation and illustration
- Production of reports
- Development of the host organisation’s social media presence
- Internet-based research
- Reviewing communications and the organisation’s website
- User surveys
- Research into target clients and markets
Micro-placements will last for a minimum of 2 weeks.
Prior to beginning a placement students will be expected to attend a pre-placement workshop in order that they make the most of the experience.
Still not convinced non-legal experience can be that helpful?
The micro-placement will offer students:
- Training and constructive feedback in preparing CVs, job application forms and attending interviews
- A better understanding of industry
- A concise insight into a particular sector
- The opportunity to gain new transferable skills
- A chance to enhance commercial awareness
- A way to improve and build upon your self-confidence
- A chance to begin building a network of industry contacts
A final word from Mona!
I think this scheme is a significant complementary opportunity for students who want to enhance their legal skills in transferable sectors, build confidence and develop commercial awareness. Micro-placements will boost their CVs – the EU employment survey rates study abroad, placements and internships of whatever duration highly. I think this is a great opportunity for our students.