My First Few Weeks at A&O…

Life as a first seat trainee is dynamic, exciting, fast paced and, at times, a little bit complex! My first six weeks were fantastic; they gave me the opportunity to familiarise myself with the work done here  and to get to know the team around me. Since my last post, I have been busy to say the least. Here at Allen & Overy, your responsibility is very much driven by how much you can take on and, as a first seater, I have found myself meeting so many different people, all of whom carry out a broad variety of work. Every day has brought a new element to a deal, which in itself brings a new challenge.

 

I have many memories of sitting in LPC classes and whenever the word ‘derivative’ would come up everyone would frown slightly and turn to the teacher with a puzzled look. The DSF department is sometimes seen as the ‘Google’ of Allen & Overy, and having spent three months here now, I can definitely see why. The people are at the forefront of the derivatives field and the work is truly cutting edge. What’s also interesting though is the range of hobbies that people in this department get involved in outside of work. During my time here, I have met a partner who is a keen marathon runner, a senior associate with a real passion for the guitar, and individuals with interests ranging from politics to drama to golfing. It’s a really interesting group.

 

The level of responsibility I have has risen since my last post, as we enter a busy ‘update’ season for the structured finance team. I have been given the task of running with several submissions to various listing agents, alongside updating and drafting supplements and amendments to base prospectuses for the issuance of securities, which has been exciting and at times nerve-wracking! My trainer is of the firm belief that the best way to learn is by doing, and I have certainly been testing out that theory.

 

What’s more, my vocabulary has definitely expanded: I’m quickly becoming familiar with the technical jargon of securities law, abbreviations such as PoA and CLOs which are no longer foreign words, but everyday technical terms which I catch myself using.

It’s not all work, however, as we have our vacation scheme students in the office at the moment. Lots of social events have been organised to welcome them to the firm, and this evening I will be at a bbq hosted on our lovely terrace. Our trainee ball was also an event not to be missed. It was held in the beautiful venue of RSA house, and this setting combined with delicious food and refreshments made it a night to remember. All in all, DSF has been a fantastic experience and one I would highly recommend.