Our Question Time campaign answers common queries raised by Howard Kennedy Trainee candidates. So here's the inside scoop
Seat allocation: pot luck or carefully executed plan of action
Seat allocation very much depends on the needs and requirements of the various departments across the firm. In addition to this unknown factor, it can be difficult for a trainee to know from the get-go exactly what they want to do across their four seats.
Your first seat is allocated to you before you even start work in September - which means it's a bit of a pot luck. At this stage, in any event, you are learning the systems and getting to grips with how the firm and the relevant department operates in general. Then you start to get a better idea of the kind of work you may be interested in and what type of experience you are looking to gain. It is worth talking to the training principal about your thoughts so that they are aware of what you are thinking, and so that they are best placed to help you plan your next seats.
Second time's a charm? It may not be exactly what you are looking for, as the second year trainees tend to get first choice as they look towards qualification. What I can say is that the training principal really does try to accommodate everybody, and will try to place you somewhere that will be useful for your career and what you eventually want to qualify into. I have been fortunate in that I have had all of the seats that I wanted throughout my training contract; not that I knew at the beginning what I hoped to get, but as I have figured out my interests along the way I have been given the seats that I've wanted at the time.
It is of course worth voicing your thoughts as mentioned already but it isn't always that the loudest gets heard - you need to have well reasoned responses as to why you want to do something. Think about what you want to do and what you want to get out of your training contract, but ultimately remember that it isn't set in stone. As you progress through your training contract your ideals and interests may change - changing your mind is not that big a deal and people will do their best to work around this for you as much as possible, so that you are best placed for your future careers in whatever you choose to go on and practise!
Look out for next week's Question Time on workload versatility.