Nicole Ciferni, an alum of IE University, stands as a testament to the power of seizing opportunities and honing one's skills. Completing a Dual Degree in Laws & International Relations, she made the most of the university’s resources and ventured into the professional world with an internship, bolstered by experiences such as participating in the Legal Clinic, the Policy Lab, Law Without Walls and an exchange semester in Italy.
Why did you choose to study at IE University and how did it lead you to pursue this internship opportunity at Ashurst?
Choosing IE University was largely driven by my international background and the allure of a Dual Degree in Laws & International Relations. The global environment and comprehensive curriculum at IE University allowed me to meet people from many different backgrounds and engage in a multitude of experiences. As for my internship at Ashurst, my first introduction to the firm was at the IE Careers Forum. The potential of hands-on experience at such an esteemed international law firm was very appealing. During my interview, I was particularly intrigued by the vast cultural diversity among Ashurst’s employees, making me even more eager to intern there.
How was the recruitment process for your internship at Ashurst?
The recruitment process was both challenging and enlightening. After submitting my resume and cover letter, I encountered the game-based online assessment. It was designed intricately, aiming to test a wide spectrum of skills from attention to detail to complex problem solving. This modern approach to evaluation was not just innovative but also reflective of Ashurst’s forward-thinking ethos. The final round, the HR interview, was intense yet informative. It was a blend of personal introspection and technical understanding. Each stage of the recruitment was a learning curve, shaping my professional approach.
Can you tell us about a typical day during your internship at Ashurst?
Each day at Ashurst was a blend of learning and application. I began at 9:30 a.m. navigating through different tasks until 7 p.m. My supervisor would provide daily guidance and feedback. My tasks varied widely – from intricate case law research and preparing summaries to contributing to English and Spanish legal documents. I was also involved in delivering presentations on the latest tax juridical updates, allowing me to truly understand the dynamic world of international law.
Beyond tasks, what genuinely made my time at Ashurst special was the work culture. Despite being an intern, I was treated just the same as everyone else. The highlight wasn’t just the work I did, but also the warm environment and kind people who ensured I never felt out of place.
How did IE University support you in obtaining the internship at Ashurst?
IE University’s influence on my professional journey is immeasurable. Apart from the robust academic foundation, it was the support from IE Talent & Careers that truly made a difference. They offered personalized sessions, understanding my aspirations and aligning them with potential opportunities. Their proactive approach, be it through revising my resume or organizing mock interviews, instilled in me the confidence required for real-world interviews. The team’s genuine investment in my growth ensured that when I stepped into Ashurst, I was not just academically prepared, but also professionally.
Do you have any advice for future students who are interested in an internship at Ashurst?
First and foremost, be yourself. Whether it’s an interview or a group task, authenticity shines through. I believe that my candid approach, discussing both strengths and challenges, was a crucial factor during my interview.
Also, at IE University, I would stress the importance of a holistic perspective and a confident attitude. Academic excellence is crucial, but so is personal development. Engage in activities you enjoy including clubs, attending seminars, volunteering, and taking on leadership roles, even if your classmates aren’t as interested. Each experience adds a facet to your personality and broadens your perspective.
Lastly, cultivate a strong sense of self-belief. The journey, whether at IE University or at internships, will present challenges. It’s essential to remain rooted in your capabilities, learn continuously, and always strive for growth.