"IE is heavily involved in approaching students to prepare them for the working world with internships and summer programs".
At IEU, we are always celebrating the magnificent accomplishments of our students. We sat down with Marie Trapet Llamas, a 3rd-year Dual Degree BBA and LL.B student, to talk about her experience applying for the Summer Associate Program at Cleary Gottlieb, and what IEU did to help her get there.
How did you find out about this job opportunity?
I found out about the Summer Associate Program at Cleary Gottlieb when one of my professors kindly recommended me and some other of my classmates to apply for this opportunity. The following day, we met the people from the firm that were in charge of the recruitment at the Law Talent Forum in Madrid that IE University organizes for its students.
IE is heavily involved in approaching students to prepare them for the working world with internships and summer programs. Thanks to this encouragement, I found out about the opportunity. As I mentioned, it was an IE professor who told us about the internship offer, and the talent forum organized by IE, that got me into the recruitment process.
The fact that IE University is so international, both in its staff and its teaching methodology (for instance, studying comparative law instead of national law), has helped me a lot when it came to getting this internship because Cleary Gottlieb is a very international law firm. At IE, we are also encouraged to be adaptable and dynamic, which are qualities highly valued by this firm.
Tell us more about the recruitment process.
After my professor told me about the opportunity, I immediately sent the contact person from the firm an email with my CV and my transcript. Even though it wasn’t required, I added a brief paragraph showing my interest in the position along with a request for an appointment with the contact person the following day at the Madrid talent forum.
Once they saw my documents, the person in charge of the recruitment sent me an email asking me to meet them the following day for a personal interview. Although all time slots they had available that I could attend to were already taken, they kindly told me to pass by their stand upon arrival.
The interview was held by two young lawyers from their Brussels office. They asked me questions related to myself and IE University, with no specific knowledge-based questions. The situation was a lot more relaxed than what I had expected. I talked about my own limited knowledge of law, being a 3rd-year dual degree student, and asked them a few questions about the master’s degree they completed, since I am interested in doing that in the future.
One month after doing the interview with them I received an email saying I had been shortlisted and they would be in contact with me to update me on the status of my application. About three months later I received the thrilling news of having been offered a one-month internship at the firm.
Would you like to share any tips or advice with current students interested in applying to Cleary Gottlieb?
As cliché as it might sound, try to be as confident and sincere as possible during the interview. Don’t panic about your own lack of knowledge. To use my case as an example, the fact that they chose me even after I shared my limited knowledge and experience shows that they weren’t looking for specific knowledge in an area, but rather for potential.
I would recommend that you don’t focus too much on memorizing specific details and awards the firm has won to mention them in the interview, but rather to ask them intelligent questions and, above all, to show them how interested you are in what they are offering you. After all, it’s you who wants to work for them. Make it clear why you want it.
Marie has made us very proud with her IEU success story. She shows that the talent and potential students acquire at IEU is a fast-track to success in the best firms all around the world.