When I found out I had received a training contract with Michelmores back in 2018, I envisioned how life would be as a Trainee: meeting new colleagues, networking and collaboration and lots of after work events. Fast forward two years and COVID-19 was drastically altering the face of office work. As trainees, we were concerned that a national lockdown would prevent us from meeting colleagues and being able to get involved with the fantastic social side of Michelmores we had all heard so much about. In the grand scheme of things, these worries were far from important, but they were concerns many of the new trainees shared.
Michelmores quickly dispelled any concerns we had. Before we had even started, there was a clear emphasis on ensuring we felt welcomed and part of the firm. It really helped mitigate any isolation and loneliness felt working from home. By way of example, here are a few socials and events I have experienced since starting with the firm:
In anticipation of starting our training contracts, we were invited to take part in a virtual escape room with the existing trainees. We were split into mixed groups and had to work together in a race against the other teams to crack the puzzle. This was a great way to meet the trainees and get to know some friendly faces in a dynamic and fun setting. It was great to feel part of the firm already and it set an exciting benchmark for what was to come.
The Bristol office hosted a brilliant cocktail making workshop. We each had a box of cocktail/mocktail ingredients sent to our homes complete with garnishes and funky straws! Turning my desk into a bar, we were put into randomised breakout rooms where we followed the cocktail tutorials together. We had a chance to review them with our team – some delicious and some (namely the blue glittery one) not so!
As the world began to open up again, different teams seized the opportunity to have in-person get togethers to welcome new joiners and catch up with colleagues. The Employment Team held a brilliant event at a lovely vineyard in Exeter, where we had our own personal mixologist serving us. This was my first experience meeting my colleagues in person, and in such a relaxed environment it was the perfect opportunity.
Other teams engaged in a range of activities from bowls to clay pigeon shooting.
The Trainees were tasked with running an internal charity fundraising event which also promoted wellbeing. We came up with the challenge “Making Strides for Wellbeing” which saw teams race to collectively cover the equivalent distance between Michelmores’ four (now five) offices. With distances being updated and published on a weekly basis, competition was in full flow! Collectively over 150 of our members covered a whopping 12,579.53 miles during the month-long challenge -that’s over 33 round-trips between the Firm’s offices (not incl. our recently acquired Cheltenham office). We also raised £1,181 for the Charlie Waller Trust, our Charity of the year.
A new trainee cohort joined us in September 2021, and we welcomed them with a cream tea afternoon and a virtual murder mystery evening. With COVID-19 cases on the rise, socialising from our homes was the safest option, but through these events we were still able to meet and get to know our new colleagues. The cream tea sets and sparked heated debate over the order of jam and cream! It was a delicious end to a day’s work.
The murder mystery evening saw existing and new trainees join forces to crack a hilariously acted out murder case. It was the perfect icebreaker as we all donned our detective hats for the night.
As you can see, Michelmores is a fantastic place to work both professionally and socially. There is a clear importance placed on collaboration and being able to socialise and relax with your colleagues. As a trainee it’s important to get involved with as many opportunities and events as you can. It’s the perfect opportunity to get to know colleagues, network and become more confident in your work environment.