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Smart Start work experience at Allen & Overy for Year 12 Students

Applications now open for 2021

Allen & Overy launched the Smart Start Experience in 2009 with the aim of giving young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds access to high quality work experience in the world of business.

Since its launch, the Smart Start Experience has supported over 1,500 young people. As the recipient of many prestigious awards, the Smart Start Experience was the first work experience scheme in the legal sector to receive City & Guilds accreditation. As the programme in 2021 will differ from previous years, please note that City & Guilds will not confirm the programme is Assured until its annual renewal process has been completed after the Smart Start Virtual Week has taken place.

 

The programme

By participating in the Smart Start Experience, young people gain a real insight into the world of work and learn about the wide range of careers available within a global business such as Allen & Overy. The closing date for Smart Choices (part one of the programme) is 26th Feb.

The Smart Start Virtual Week

The Smart Start Virtual Week provides young people with a five-day timetable of interactive online workshops and group tasks to engage in. Applicants who successfully gain a place on the Smart Start Virtual Week will build on what they learned in the Smart Skills online course and develop essential attributes required to succeed in an international business like Allen & Overy. Successful applicants will be set an overall challenge to complete for the week which will be divided into a series of daily challenges, allowing them to showcase their teamwork and time management abilities. During the week, successful applicants will also understand the importance of building a network of professional contacts with their fellow Smart Start participants. 

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Smart Start 2021 at a glance

 

How to apply?

Smart Start

Eligibility


Find out what the requirements are to secure your place on the programme.

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Smart Start

Application process


The application process for the Smart Start Experience is comprised of two stages. Both stages of the application process must be completed in order to gain a place on the programme.

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Support beyond the Smart Start Experience

Smarter Futures

Smarter Futures provides Smart Start students with a greater insight into life in a City law firm. Smart Start students involved in Smarter Futures will also receive guidance and support on aspects of higher education and employment. The programme will run for the duration of Year 13.

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Once students have completed the Smart Start Experience programme, they are invited to apply for our e-mentoring programme, Smarter Futures. Smarter Futures provides Smart Start students with a greater insight into life in a City law firm. Smart Start students involved in Smarter Futures will also receive guidance and support on aspects of higher education and employment. The programme will run for the duration of Year 13. 

Scholarship

For those Smart Start students going on to study at university and who have participated in Smarter Futures, Allen & Overy offers a scholarship programme to a select number of students who meet both our academic and social mobility criteria.

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Successful applicants will be awarded £15,000, paid in instalments of £5,000 over a 3 year degree. Along with the financial support Smart Start Scholars receive on as part of the scholarship programme, they are also given access to a dedicated mentor and provided opportunities to attend exclusive events delivered by our Graduate Recruitment Team.

UpReach

Allen & Overy’s partnership with UpReach, a social mobility charity, provides Smart Start students attending university with the opportunity to participate in a tailored programme offering careers and employability support.

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Eligible students benefit from support including: a dedicated programme coordinator to help students explore career options, access to work experience opportunities and internships, and a professional mentor from one of UpReach’s partner employees.

Smart Start students’ acceptance on the programme is subject to UpReach’s eligibility criteria. A successful applicant’s place on UpReach’s programme is fully funded by Allen & Overy for three years. Only students who have completed both Smart Start and Smarter Futures will be invited to apply.

“UpReach has been hugely important to my professional development journey. Since joining I was given unparalleled support in completing applications for first-year schemes. I don’t know what I would have done without UpReach this year, thank you so much!”

Vinay Naik, A&O First and placement on Winter Vacation Scheme A&O (2020)

Once students have completed the Smart Start Experience programme, they are invited to apply for our e-mentoring programme, Smarter Futures. Smarter Futures provides Smart Start students with a greater insight into life in a City law firm. Smart Start students involved in Smarter Futures will also receive guidance and support on aspects of higher education and employment. The programme will run for the duration of Year 13. 
Successful applicants will be awarded £15,000, paid in instalments of £5,000 over a 3 year degree. Along with the financial support Smart Start Scholars receive on as part of the scholarship programme, they are also given access to a dedicated mentor and provided opportunities to attend exclusive events delivered by our Graduate Recruitment Team.

Eligible students benefit from support including: a dedicated programme coordinator to help students explore career options, access to work experience opportunities and internships, and a professional mentor from one of UpReach’s partner employees.

Smart Start students’ acceptance on the programme is subject to UpReach’s eligibility criteria. A successful applicant’s place on UpReach’s programme is fully funded by Allen & Overy for three years. Only students who have completed both Smart Start and Smarter Futures will be invited to apply.

“UpReach has been hugely important to my professional development journey. Since joining I was given unparalleled support in completing applications for first-year schemes. I don’t know what I would have done without UpReach this year, thank you so much!”

Vinay Naik, A&O First and placement on Winter Vacation Scheme A&O (2020)

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