Shearman & Sterling blog

News and views, thoughts and discussion points

5 minutes with Alicia Loh, Future Trainee

15th June 2018

What University did you attend?
University of Cambridge

What subject are you studying?

When do you join as a trainee?
Summer of 2019

How did you hear about Shearman & Sterling?
I first heard about Shearman & Sterling when I started looking into the law firms that do the kind of work I’m interested in.

What made you apply?
I attended an event hosted by the firm at the University of Cambridge where we got to learn more about the firm and speak to the trainees and graduate recruitment team, which gave me a positive insight into its work and culture.

Shearman & Sterling’s international presence and the fact that it often has deals in multiple jurisdictions was very appealing. Furthermore, I was attracted by the firm’s relatively small trainee intake and the higher level of responsibility that I would have early on.

How did you approach the initial application form?
My first step was to do lots of research! I looked into the kinds of work the firm does alongside recent deals that piqued my interest. To gain more knowledge about the firm, I also used sources such as Shearman & Sterling’s own graduate recruitment website (of course) and Chambers Student.

Once I formed a solid understanding of Shearman & Sterling, I worked on my application form and ensured it was specifically geared toward the firm. I included my relevant experiences, including how they were relevant to my application, and tried to highlight why I was interested in joining the firm.

What made Shearman & Sterling different to other firms?
I did a vacation scheme at Shearman & Sterling, and found it very valuable, both in terms of what I learned about commercial law, and as an insight into the firm.

I appreciated the fact that during the two weeks, I was given interesting and challenging tasks. At the same time, I was assured that I could ask my mentor and supervisor if I had any questions. When I did, they were genuinely interested in sharing their knowledge and ensuring that I understood the work. The people I worked with were also great at providing feedback, which was very helpful as a student trying to learn more.

Something else that I found unique about Shearman & Sterling throughout my application process was the fact it takes a personal approach. A specific example is the fact that they called to give good news alongside feedback (and sent a lovely postcard!).

What made you accept?
During my two weeks at the firm, I experienced first-hand its collaborative culture, and felt confident that it is a place where I can learn and do my best work. My entire application process and the vacation scheme were positive experiences, and the latter confirmed that I wanted to work at Shearman & Sterling. I was impressed both by the calibre of its work and the culture at the firm.

What advice would you give to others who are interested in Shearman & Sterling?
Learn about the work the firm does and what makes it unique. If you can, attend on-campus events or career fairs where it is present. Shearman & Sterling’s graduate recruitment website is a fantastic resource, along with its Facebook page and newsletter. Be sure to keep tabs on the firm’s latest work as well.

In terms of your application, make sure to explain why you’re interested in Shearman & Sterling specifically, showcase why you think you would be a good fit, and check your application thoroughly.

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