I joined Hogan Lovells for a vacation scheme in the summer of 2015, shortly after completing my second year of university. While at the time I was determined to pursue a career as a solicitor, I recognised the scheme as an excellent opportunity to ensure that Hogan Lovells was the right fit for me. The scheme was a chance to see and experience the culture of the firm, but also to understand how the firm operates as a business. This knowledge really helped me later to focus and strengthen my training contract application. <br><br>As a vacation scheme student I joined the Construction Finance, Product Liability Litigation and Pensions departments. I was given a variety of tasks generally completed by trainees such as drafting contracts and facility agreements, completing research tasks and preparing case summaries for internal circulation. I also had the opportunity to write the first draft of an article on the expected implications of the GDPR, which was later circulated to clients for business development.<br><br> I also experienced the other aspects of the daily life of a trainee, such as the thorough training itself and the positive work environment. In all the departments I briefly joined I was welcomed as a genuine member of the team. This is something which I continue to experience every day as I constantly feel that my contribution and opinion are valued by the senior members of the team. At the same time it is easy to detect, throughout the firm, the palpable effort to always produce the best results. While there is certainly not a single type of person who works at Hogan Lovells, most people at the firm tend to share certain characteristics. The most prominent among them seems to be the eagerness to go above and beyond in order to ensure the possible outcome.<br><br> The vacation scheme at Hogan Lovells was an invaluable experience and a determining factor in deciding where to complete my training contract. My advice to someone about to begin their vacation scheme would be that while dedication to the assigned tasks is paramount, it is just as important to take the time to explore and understand how the firm operates and how people interact. Deciding whether the firm is an environment in which you would be happy to work should be as much a priority as making a good impression. You should make the effort to discuss with various people and to try to get involved in as many projects and events as you can in order to ensure that you get the most accurate impression of everyday life at firm. Ultimately, if you enjoy what you do, you are significantly more likely to be successful at it.