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We asked Trainee John Porter to tell us how he got on in his internship, and about the opportunities gained along the way. John completed his internship in 2019 and is now completing his traineeship with us.

My background

My internship with the firm was in June 2019 (luckily back in the days when we could all be in the office). One month before starting the internship I had submitted the final version of my PhD dissertation on twentieth century Irish history. I had been working on the dissertation for over four years so the move into law was a significant departure, but I decided that academia was not the direction I wanted to go down. I was attracted by working in law and believed I had the right skills to be successful working in a large commercial firm.

I previously decided to apply for the internship after seeing it advertised on social media. I didn’t think that I would be accepted onto the programme, because I had no previous legal experience and hadn’t sat any of the FE-1s at that stage. Thankfully through the interview process MHC must have seen something worth investing in with me. The firm is keen to attract trainees from a diverse range of backgrounds and not solely with legal degrees to provide different perspectives and skill sets.

My experience

During my internship I worked in the Corporate department and had great exposure to some interesting transactions. Afterwards I sat the FE-1 exams whilst working full-time in an interesting position in An Garda Siochana. This was challenging, but I was encouraged by the offer of a trainee contract to start in May 2020 that MHC had made after I finished the internship. Unfortunately, this had to be postponed due to the pandemic. I went straight into PPC-1 in September 2020 and started my first rotation in March 2021.

I started in the Commercial department, where I gained great insight into technology and data protection law. The skills I developed whilst studying history have been a great asset whilst working in the department. I have been able to translate my historical research and drafting skills to commercial law, while at the same time developing new skills. I was slightly apprehensive about starting in a new position while working from home, but the Commercial department is such a friendly environment to work in that I immediately felt at ease.

Looking back now I am so glad that I decided to apply for the internship programme. Mason, Hayes & Curran is a fantastic firm to work for and I am looking forward to gaining experience in other departments.

Head over to our Graduate Hub for more information.

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