The Smart Start Experience feedback
Hear what past participants and volunteers thought of the Smart Start Experience
Smart Start Feedback
From the 2021 student cohort
“I have had work experience with other firms before and it in no way has compared to the amount of skills and knowledge I have got out of this experience but not only that I have made friends which I just wasn’t expecting so thank you.”
“Comparing myself at the start of the week to now I can see such a change. If you had told me at the start of the week I would be giving a closing speech I would never have believed I would be confident enough to do that so thank you. I hope the skills I have learnt this week stay with me forever.”
“To everyone who has worked on this programme, I appreciate the effort put into this one week as it was filled with useful knowledge about skillsets and about A&O as a legal firm. I think it was useful that there was a variety of activities, ranging from virtual networking to coming up with effective solutions. They helped to develop important parts of myself, such as individual skills and connecting with others to achieve the goal. Thank you for this valuable experience!”
From programme volunteers
"I thought the students were fab – very engaged and interested, asking mature and insightful questions. I really enjoyed taking part and think it is an invaluable scheme."
“I enjoyed the two sessions I participated in and learnt from them, particularly communication and thinking of ways to help the participants think more broadly."
Smart Start 2021
Smart Choices information webinars
Eight virtual Smart Choices information webinars were held via zoom in March and April 2021.
- “It was amazing - I loved the interactive element of it which a lot of events like this miss out.”
- “One of the best sessions/events I've ever attended - so insightful and fun.”
- “I thought the session was really well put together and useful, I've already learnt so much that I didn't know before today. I've learnt many new skills and a lot more about commercial awareness.”
- “Taught me the whole spectrum from finding opportunities to gaining them and then reflecting on them.”
Smart Start applicants
Over two hundred applications were received, of which seventy eligible students were selected to receive an initial offer of a place. All successful and unsuccessful students were given access to Causeway Education’s OSCAR platform when informed of the outcome of their application.
Smart Start 2021 virtual week
- “To everyone who has worked on this programme, I appreciate the effort put into this one week as it was filled with useful knowledge about skillsets and about A&O as a legal firm. I think it was useful that there was a variety of activities, ranging from virtual networking to coming up with effective solutions. They helped to develop important parts of myself, such as individual skills and connecting with others to achieve the goal. Thank you for this valuable experience!”
- “The notes I took from the session were so in depth I do not think I could get access to this type of information anywhere else.”
- “I feel that I learnt about many job roles that I had never even heard of, or fields that I had never researched before.”
- “I thought the experience was incredibly insightful and has definitely answered a lot of my questions and opened my mind to the variety of options within the law industry.”
- “The Smart Start week gave me an unabridged insight into the life of a solicitor in a top law firm. I learned a lot about the skills that I need to improve on in order to succeed, as well as making me feel comfortable entering the legal field, knowing that I am capable of success.”
- “Smart Start has had a great impact on me. It is a brilliant experience focused on skills that you can build, one of only work experience schemes to do so, which definitely sets Smart Start from any of the Programmes and Scheme that I’ve taken part in.”
Smart Start Impact
Students completed a baseline and exit survey to rate the confidence across practical applications of each of the 8 Skills Builder essential skills.
- In the exit survey over 92% or above of students rated themselves as ‘extremely confident’ or ‘quite confident’ in applying each of the Skills Builder 8 essential skill areas.
- Across all skills there was a minimum of 18 percentage point growth in students reporting themselves to be ‘extremely confident’ or ‘quite confident’.