I was fortunate enough to complete a six month secondment with the Capital Markets team in London as part of my graduate program. The experience has given me a strong sense of personal and professional development. To be working at the headquarters of the international firm and to see the people that make up our global network was truly unforgettable.
The city itself had an amazing cultural atmosphere with endless museums, shows, sites and history. It also embraces technology to an extent that I had never experienced. From fully digital bank accounts, automated transport networks to towering skyscrapers, the love of both the old and new is something to emulate.
This ideal of innovation was reflected in the complexity of work within the Capital Markets team. The team engaged in a wide breadth of work, including both traditional and, as it was described to me, 'alternative' methods of financing. Over the months, I was able to grow my skills in both of these areas, experiencing first hand, DLA Piper's market leading legal work in the Fintech industry as well as a broad range of other finance work including securitisations, leveraged finance and bond issues. Some of the work also reflected market reactions to the threat of Brexit. This in particular highlighted the ways in which businesses reacted to drastically changing circumstances and involved tough legal questions and work. London, being a financial capital of the global economy, was preparing for this change during my stay and the lessons that I learned during this time was invaluable.
The most significant part of the secondment was the people that I met and the relationships that I built. From the moment that I entered the team, I was offered close and detailed guidance. The work ethic of the team, and the dedication that its members had in cultivating the skills of others, allowed for me to navigate and learn in a complex environment. In part, due to being able to travel to culturally distinct places within hours, one of the best experiences was travelling with the team to Val D'isere, France. The trip was the inaugural capital markets team ski vacation, and was part of a wider set of European weekend trips for myself.
While London faces many challenges and uncertainties ahead, looking back at the people I have met during my time there, I believe that it will pass each and every hurdle before it.