Commercial law: tried to build up my extra curricular activities over the last year Watch

politicsobsessed
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Basically after getting interested in commercial law a year ago, I realised my weaknesses were my lack of extra curricular activities (and commercial awareness). I've built up my business/economic knowledge by reading the relevant sections of a decent broadsheet every day.

Are my extra curriculars alright for when I make my applications shortly?

(1) Volunteering: with my student union and Pro Bono work.
(2) Sport: joined a hockey club and play matches/attend training every week.

Is playing a sport quite important? Noone else I know applying to city firms seems to play sport, but city firms seem to have a lot of sport organised. I really enjoy hockey, so I'm doing it for the fun, but do you think firms like people who are part of sports teams and play regularly?
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chalks
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(Original post by politicsobsessed)
Basically after getting interested in commercial law a year ago, I realised my weaknesses were my lack of extra curricular activities (and commercial awareness). I've built up my business/economic knowledge by reading the relevant sections of a decent broadsheet every day.

Are my extra curriculars alright for when I make my applications shortly?

(1) Volunteering: with my student union and Pro Bono work.
(2) Sport: joined a hockey club and play matches/attend training every week.

Is playing a sport quite important? Noone else I know applying to city firms seems to play sport, but city firms seem to have a lot of sport organised. I really enjoy hockey, so I'm doing it for the fun, but do you think firms like people who are part of sports teams and play regularly?
The questions you need to ask yourself are:

- what skills do law firms look for in their applicants/trainees?
- do you have those skills?
- if not, how will the ECs you're doing develop those skils?

It's helpful to list out the skills you think you need to be able to demonstrate and then tick them off by reference to what you've done in the past, are doing now.
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jasonm
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Join the relevant Business/Investment/Finance Society. Generally I've felt that you only really get asked "What ECs do you do?" as a token question when an interview nears the end, by this stage it probably doesn't matter. I'd recommend getting involved in one of the above commercial-esque societies which could help you prove to your interest.
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pleb1
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(Original post by politicsobsessed)
Basically after getting interested in commercial law a year ago, I realised my weaknesses were my lack of extra curricular activities (and commercial awareness). I've built up my business/economic knowledge by reading the relevant sections of a decent broadsheet every day.

Are my extra curriculars alright for when I make my applications shortly?

(1) Volunteering: with my student union and Pro Bono work.
(2) Sport: joined a hockey club and play matches/attend training every week.

Is playing a sport quite important? Noone else I know applying to city firms seems to play sport, but city firms seem to have a lot of sport organised. I really enjoy hockey, so I'm doing it for the fun, but do you think firms like people who are part of sports teams and play regularly?
I'm not belittling sport in itself. I played a good deal of sport at uni myself. I think it's great and is seen as a positive by firms. It can also give you rapport with your interviewer if they share your interest. However, you have to distinguish between things that are just that - a positive, and things that are actually going to get you a training contract. Playing sport regularly is not one of those things in my experience. Obviously, if you are club captain, secretary etc. then that is a different story.
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politicsobsessed
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(Original post by pleb1)
I'm not belittling sport in itself. I played a good deal of sport at uni myself. I think it's great and is seen as a positive by firms. It can also give you rapport with your interviewer if they share your interest. However, you have to distinguish between things that are just that - a positive, and things that are actually going to get you a training contract. Playing sport regularly is not one of those things in my experience. Obviously, if you are club captain, secretary etc. then that is a different story.
Hmmm interesting perspective! I actually lived with a second year last year who had 'average' commercial awareness, average grades, did no extra curriculars except play rugby every week and he got a training contract with Bakers, as well as a vacation scheme on their international placement!

I think sport might be more important than you suggest - I was speaking to a trainee from a firm the other day (which I shan't name!) who said ''we don't want geeks, at the end of the day.''

My economic awareness is pretty good, I have improved it over the last year like I said. I also do an enterprise related activity in my spare time at my university, so it's not like I'm doing nothing business related. I just hope sporting puts the cherry on the top, essentially. I have a lot of friends who are going through the process, and seem to think playing sport is irrelevant and a waste of time and hence don't play it themselves. It does make me wonder whether I should continue (which I will because I love it) or whether they are just jealous they can't fill that gap in their application/CV?
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Clip
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I played hockey because there were loads of girls.
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pleb1
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(Original post by politicsobsessed)
Hmmm interesting perspective! I actually lived with a second year last year who had 'average' commercial awareness, average grades, did no extra curriculars except play rugby every week and he got a training contract with Bakers, as well as a vacation scheme on their international placement!

I think sport might be more important than you suggest - I was speaking to a trainee from a firm the other day (which I shan't name!) who said ''we don't want geeks, at the end of the day.''

My economic awareness is pretty good, I have improved it over the last year like I said. I also do an enterprise related activity in my spare time at my university, so it's not like I'm doing nothing business related. I just hope sporting puts the cherry on the top, essentially. I have a lot of friends who are going through the process, and seem to think playing sport is irrelevant and a waste of time and hence don't play it themselves. It does make me wonder whether I should continue (which I will because I love it) or whether they are just jealous they can't fill that gap in their application/CV?
Yes, that is what I am trying to imply. Obviously it can be a help. Shows that you are not just a nerd to firms who don't want them.

I think that the example of your friend is, with respect, quite tangential to the fundamental point. He probably had other personal qualities to recommend him aside from 'commoditised' assets on his CV. I am sure rugby helped, but I doubt it got him the job or vac scheme. To put it bluntly, obviously sports team membership shows commitment, but any idiot can turn up and play every week.

I may have over-stated myself a little, so I hope this does not draw too much flack and I am not trying to put sport down. I just think it would be misleading to the post creator and anyone else reading this if they came away thinking that playing sport alone is a knock-out blow to strike on a CV. I think that in the majority of cases, given the choice, other things would look a lot stronger.

So politicsobsessed, it seems you are doing the right things (if you believe by theory) - having sport as a supplement but not the main feature of your extra-curriculars.
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avocat
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agreed, i don't think going to play a sport once a week is any particular feat. at my uni, pretty much everyone did that. you should carry it on though, but is there any opportunity for you to be part of the exec/run training sessions/organise tournaments? i think those kinds of things give you so much more than just training once a week.

i personally played two sports at uni, trained 6 times a week sometimes, gave up whole weekends to compete, coached the junior team and marshalled at events. it's probably one of the best things i have on my CV to talk about.
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politicsobsessed
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Thanks for all the responses
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