My international secondment: Paris

by Manon Sel, trainee solicitor

Manon Sel, trainee solicitor

Manon tells us why she believes her secondment will give her a new perspective on the firm's work, as well as the opportunity to broaden her horizons and develop her international outlook.

Why did you choose to apply to Stephenson Harwood?

I choose to apply to Stephenson Harwood because it has plenty of exciting opportunities to get involved with international work, including the chance to work in one of the firm's many international offices.

Why did you want to join an international law firm?

It was important to me to join an international law firm for a number of reasons. First, being part of a worldwide network: this provides the opportunity to interact with different cultures and working styles from other offices, increasing your capacity to adapt and broadening your horizons. Second, exposure to cross-border transactions/cases involving different jurisdictions (and, thus, involving a higher complexity). Third, opportunities to travel: an international law firm presents you with opportunities to work from one of the firm's international offices.

What made you want to apply for an international secondment?

I've always embraced opportunities to study and work in different countries where possible. I spent a year studying in Hong Kong as part of my undergraduate degree and I've also travelled during my training contract, visiting clients in Rotterdam and Berlin. I'd love to develop my international outlook, which I think is an important development point for a trainee at a firm with clients across the world and with a strong record of advising on multi-jurisdictional transactions and disputes.

What did you choose to apply for the secondment in particular? What made this location stand out? What made the opportunity stand out for you?

I'm keen to put the skills I have learnt so far from my training contract to good use by working in Paris across a mix of practice areas.

As I've lived and worked in France already, I have an understanding of the French way of life. I have an aptitude for learning languages and hope to build on my French language skills. Also Paris is a fabulous city so it's fantastic to be able to discover its treasures in my free time.

How do you think the secondment will contribute to your career development and future career progression?

An international secondment is a chance to learn new skills and access new experiences and opportunities that the London office might not be able to offer. I'm really hoping that it will provide me with a network of international contracts who I can work with in the future, as well as provide me with a new perspective on the firm's work.