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Gap Year? – Watson Burton Graduate Recruitment
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October 19, 2018

Gap Year?

Catch up

Think that you won’t hear from us following your training contract offer? First year trainee Amy Mullen tells a different story …

I was offered my training contract in the summer of 2017 to begin in September 2018. With a whole year in between being offered the job and actually starting, my thoughts turned to all the things I could do in the time in-between (unfortunately my round the world trip didn’t materialise).

Although exciting, a year (or even two years in some cases) can be a long time and I expected to not hear from the firm until much closer to my start date, and for the contact to be about formalities and form filling. This wasn’t the case. The firm were keen to keep in touch with me year and organised various catch up days to touch base with myself and fellow incoming trainees.

Our first catch up was in January where a combination of poor weather, train strikes and a foot injury led us to lunch. We arranged to meet at Central Station, and I was apprehensive to meet everyone as I had no idea who else had been successful, however it was a great surprise and relief to see some familiar faces from different stages of the process there (and a mixture of both 2018 and 2019 starters). We mingled over some Mexican food and lunch was the perfect way to break the ice and get the awkward initial introductions out of the way in a relaxed social environment. Round two took place in April, and consisted of orienteering through Stocksfield and Riding Mill. A number of wrong turns, some sceptical directions from passers-by and one massive loop on ourselves later, we met with Sue and Claire for another well-deserved lunch.

Our final catch up took place at the beginning of August where the 2018 starters were delighted to be joined by 2 new recruits- Bronagh and Dillon. We met at Central Station with no idea what to expect and were greeted with a ‘Top Secret’ package containing train tickets to Hexham and a mobile phone. Throughout the day we received text messages and phone calls from mission control, i.e. Claire, who dropped us clues and it was up to us to find the correct location and take the required picture in order to move to the next location. It was a beautiful summer’s day and with Love Island in full swing, shouting “I’ve got a text” gave me a lot more amusement than it should have. Our efforts were once again rewarded with a spot of lunch and drinks.

With all the free lunches aside (although a massive plus), these days were a fantastic way for us to all get to know each other without the fear of your every move being assessed. It provided us with the opportunity to ask any questions we had, as well as learning a lot more about the firm and our training contract in the process. I’m sure many will agree that your fellow trainees are a huge part of your training contract and will be there to support you, to bounce ideas off or to tell you who to call when you lock yourself out of your computer in the first five minutes like I did and therefore making these early connections made starting a lot less daunting. Overall, these days were an invaluable way to get to know each other and the firm, whilst having a lot of laughs in the process.

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