From July 19th to August 13th, I took part in the 'BUILD @ Shearman & Sterling' scheme. BUILD in this context stands for 'Black Undergraduate Internship and Lawyer Development', and the internship was aimed at improving access to the legal field for black students and graduates. Over the course of the scheme we were integrated into two practice areas within the law firm and required to complete tasks set by our supervisors and a presentation which we had to present to Chevron, one of the firm’s key clients. We also had several networking and social events and opportunities to meet people within the firm, from trainee level right up to partners.
One of my favourite parts of the internship was our social trip to Duck and Waffle in London. Besides the spectacular views and good food, it was a fantastic opportunity to chat with employees at the firm on a more casual basis. I also got to know the other interns a lot better, and I am still close to them to this day!
I also enjoyed working within my practice areas. I was placed within the Investment Funds and the Finance departments over the course of my four weeks at Shearman & Sterling, and I loved the hands-on experience that I got. As a non-law student, it was great to be able to complete tasks that lawyers are assigned, and to further my understanding of what a career in law entails.
One of the most challenging parts of the internship was learning how to juggle various priorities. I had several tasks to complete, a presentation to organise and the opportunity to network with people across the firm. Therefore, it was vital that I was organised and managed my time well to ensure that I got everything done on time and to the best of my ability!
My key takeaways from the internship were to be proactive, brave, and patient and to ensure I was managing my time well. It is easy to feel intimidated when completing an internship, but it is important to remember that you were selected for a reason, and to take every opportunity that comes your way. You never know where each new connection will take you in terms of your future career. One piece of advice that I would give is to put yourself out there. Everyone is unique and there is no point in pretending to be someone that you aren’t. Everyone’s personalities shine is different ways!
Undergraduate student, Geography