16/6/2017 by Katherine Memery
As Realm are proudly sponsoring The Manchester Trainee Solicitors summer balllater this month, we decided to catch up with the trainees in charge of organising the event for June's edition of Realm Hotspot. We sat down with Nikki Hussey, Aisling Bassett and Charlotte King to hear all about their MTSG experience, their plans for the summer and their advice for aspiring trainees.
We’re really looking forward to the summer ball later this month, you must be excited to see all your hard work pay off - why did you decide to get involved with the MTSG?
Nikki: For me, I moved to Manchester and I didn’t know anybody. I saw it as a great opportunity to meet new people and widen my network and I haven’t looked back since. Not only have I met some great colleagues and peers from other law firms but I’ve made genuine friendships too that has only made Manchester better.
Aisling: I was similar to Nikki in that I moved to Manchester for my training contract and joined a small firm with only one other trainee so the MTSG was the perfect way to meet other young people in the same position. In particular, MTSG has FELT for trainees in firms with fewer than 8 trainees which puts on some great events to support this. Being a member of the committee has been a brilliant experience and has allowed me to make some amazing friends and get to know many people from the wider legal network in Manchester whilst enjoying some of the best places around the city.
Charlotte: I’ve always loved organising events; I’ve organised balls at school, university and I also hold a charity black-tie event every 18 months or so. I thought joining the MTSG would be a perfect opportunity to organise some more at the same time as meeting new people and getting involved in some really fun events! I’ve loved getting to know people from firms all across the city, and I have made some great friends that I would never have even met had it not been for being part of the MTSG.
What advice would you give to aspiring trainees?
Nikki: Don’t be afraid to ask anyone for help, whether it is to review your CV or to bounce ideas off about the profession. So many people have helped me along the way and in return, you will find, most trainees would be happy to take the time to help anyone else get to where they want to be.
Charlotte: Don’t give up! It can be really disheartening to not get a training contract straight away despite having a really strong CV and skill set, but you will get there. I think everything happens for a reason, and when you do manage to secure a training contract it will be at a firm that’s right for you. I also think it’s so important to find a firm that you want as well as a firm that wants you. However tempting it is, don’t ‘mass apply’ in the hope that it will increase your chance of getting an interview – you need to make it clear you are passionate about getting a job at the firm you are applying to specifically, as opposed to just being passionate about getting a training contract in general at any firm.
Aisling: I agree with Nikki and Charlotte, my advice would also be to persist and if you are really serious about getting a training contract your hard work will eventually pay off. It can be so disappointing especially when getting down to the final stages of an interview process but even when you are unsuccessful, it is all good experience that will help you get the job at the firm that is right for you! I would also say do not underestimate the value of paralegal work as most of the trainees I know entered the profession through their paralegal experience either at the same firm or using this experience at interview elsewhere.
Where do you see yourselves in 5 years’ time?
Nikki: I hope I will have qualified into a top Commercial Litigation team, not only doing headline work but working with a team who I respect and can continue learning from.
Charlotte: My plans are to stay in Manchester for the foreseeable future; I love working in the city centre at the moment so hopefully I will have qualified into a firm located as such. I’d like to think I will have learnt to control my payday spending splurges by then, but I’ll probably not have changed and still see payday as an excuse to treat myself!
Aisling: I am hoping to qualify into Commercial Property and would love to be involved in property developments which will benefit people and improve areas around the North West.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Nikki: Buenos Aires! It is my favourite city and if I could, I would spend the rest of my life drinking red wine, eating steak and tango dancing. What more could you ask for?!
Charlotte: Somewhere hot - I am forever forgetting my umbrella, which isn’t ideal with Manchester’s tendency to rain!
Aisling: Ireland, where my name is very common unlike in England! (FYI it’s pronounced Ash-ling)
What do you like to do to unwind?
All: We tend to unwind together, with a nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and gossip to disperse our trainee stresses!
Where’s your favourite place to eat out in Manchester?
All: As we all work in the Spinningfields area, we always pick Fazenda as our go-to meeting venue – we have discovered ball planning meetings go perfectly with a bottle of their Lorosco Sauvignon Blanc – and it would be rude to turn down an opportunity for some yummy food! We have been known to feast from their all-you-can-eat meats main menu (yum!) or when we are looking for a less filling accompaniment to our meetings, a plate (or 3!) of their Pao de Queijo and Bauru Sandwiches go down a treat!
Any exciting plans for the summer?
Nikki: On my birthday in August, I am flying to Spain to unwind with the girls before starting my NQ job in September!
Charlotte: I too am taking a girlie trip to celebrate my birthday at the start of summer, and in September I am going sailing around the Greek islands with the friends I lived with at University. I have my fingers crossed for some nice weather here in Manchester in-between my trips away – but I’m not holding my breath!
Aisling: I have just returned from Singapore and Bali so my holidays are done for the summer. However, I got engaged whilst I was away so plans are in progress for an engagement bash!
Are you ready to take the next step?
Whether you're a trainee solicitor looking for your first NQ role, or an associate solicitor eyeing up progression opportunities, Realm Recruit can help. Our specialist legal recruitment consultants have contacts across the North West, Midlands and Yorkshire and can connect you with law firms across the regions.
Check out our latest legal roles by visiting our jobs page. Alternatively, get in touch on 03300 245 606 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a discreet chat about your circumstances.