Slightlly unusual question but seems more suited here!(21 Posts)
Ds starts Law in September and has been chatting to lots of people online doing his course and last night the subject came up as to if students need a suit , opinions seemed to be divided as to if this was necessary. Any one able to advise and if so what sort of thing are we looking for. Forgive my ignorance but other than school uniform ds is strictly a jeans t shirt and hoody person!
DS1 hasn't used one at all during his first year, but other friends of his have. Maybe the ones more likely to want to go to balls and posh nights out! DS also a jeans and t shirt type! Maybe your DS could ask someone from the uni on TSR? Or maybe wait and see, then he could buy one if and when he wants one.
Have just noticed that he's going to do law, I would say he's probably likely to need one, but I have no experience here! And if he does, a smart pair of shoes to go with it!
He might need one if he gets involved in mooting/mock trials. He will need one if/when he gets involved in internships. For the rest of the time, normal student uniform is all that is necessary (i.e. jeans and tee shirt).
At some universities it helps to have a DJ as well for posh dinners. Mine had their DF's old one. Certainly not worth paying out for one
as they usually get trashed
DS needed one (reading economics) to be able to access breakfast talks held by big firms/recruiters. Wear a suit, bring a CV, get to hear a talk on some aspect of the economiy and...be fed.
He decided that the NPV of a cheap M&S suit was sufficient to justify the outlay.
Soory wrong way round. Should have been NPV of free breakfasts. I don't know if he factored in any value for the talks.
If he needs one, he'll find out. And then: Charity Shops.
I'm a university lecturer in law. A suit is a good idea, both for extracurricular things (mooting, client negotiation) and for employability/recruitment events (yes these may well happen in the first year). Also useful for internships/work experience.
He will need one for work experience and interviews but I would not see it as necessary for campus recruitment events. I'm a lawyer at a City law firm and often helped out at law fairs etc as a trainee. We really don't make notes about all the students - haven't got time to do it. Therefore even if he rocked up in holy jeans (not that I'm recommending that) it wouldn't really negatively impact him as we wouldn't put that face to the application months later. The trainees who he meets at law fairs won't be the ones reviewing his applications in any case. It's mainly a way for the students to gather information. Most people at these events are smart casual and definitely not in suits. The trainees themselves who already have the jobs won't even be in suits!
Our campus law fair definitely isn't smart casual. It's business dress: for students and firms. And the recruiters always tell me they do make notes on candidates they meet at that kind of event.
Even business dress these days doesn't necessarily mean suits though.
Any notes taken at these events will be pretty minimal, honestly. Stalls are mostly manned by trainees who do not generally take notes about students. They are too busy talking to them and answering their questions. Members of the HR team might note a few more things down but not much and in any case most of the interaction is just between students and trainees.
DSS1 (20) did a six-week internship at a management consulting firm in June/July. He managed to kit himself out in a perfectly acceptable suit, with five white shirts, in Zara for €300. And he'll use it again (though we might buy him a suit in Kooples which will cost more/look better) for interviews now he is entering 3rd year.
M&S start at £59 and seem fine, and allow you to buy replacement trousers, though agree that charity shops in affluent areas often have very good suits for £20 or less. (I assume Bonsoir's DSS has a Parisian sense of style, and that the French Government is more generous in its grants/loans.)
I'm with Furry Giraffe. DS was clear both suits and CVs were required. Events are billed as "networking" and are seen as an important first step to landing a summer internship, which in turn is important for landing a first job. DS did not get an internship this summer, and so says he is going to have to do a lot more "networking" in his second year, not least because we cannot offer his the same connections are some of his peers have access to. He will need to do it on his own.
That said, he is in London and at a University popular with City recruiters, so there are probably more events held by individual recruiters, rather than large recruitment fairs.
Sadly no grants or loans in this household though the cost of the outfit was more than met by the €2000 per month he "earned". I'm sure that the initial outlay on a suit is necessary if you want a properly paid internship (or, indeed, job).
Thinking a bit more about the suit issue: over the years we have bought quite a few suits for the DSSs which they inevitably grow out of after a couple of wears. We have passed really rather nice suits and shirts on to cousins etc. Always worth asking round the family? IME boys carry on growing/changing shape at university so buying a suit "ahead" of need isn't a good idea.
Needmoresleep, CVs are unnecessary as hardly any firms require CVs. There is the odd exception such as Slaughters but you'd still have to submit it online. Generally students fill in the firm's application form, even when applying for a vacation scheme. There is no benefit in handing a CV out at a recruitment event and IMO it actually can look a bit desperate and like you don't know the system. If we were given a CV we would make it very clear to the student that he/she has to apply through the appropriate channels.
If your DS is under the impression he didn't get a vac scheme because he doesn't have connections and didn't network enough, he's misunderstood the system. That's really not how it works. He needs to look at the quality of his applications, his grades, his commercial awareness, his understanding of the job etc and how he has answered the questions. That's what it comes down to. Who he knows is absolutely irrelevant. Hopefully that will be reassuring to him.
In answer to the OP though, sure, your DS should get a suit and it will come in handy at some point.
I would agree that networking doesn't get you jobs in financial/legal sector. DS2 is doing an MSc Economics at a university outside London and his friends (many of whom are outside the UK) have picked up London internships throughout their undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the major investment banks in London.
Don't think it works in legal sector either for any major firms - all application based with several assessment stages.
StingStinging. These are not recruitment events as such but talks given by big banks and other institutions. They seem keen to keep tabs. Though this is banks not law firms.
One lesson from this year was that he really needs to play the game more if he is to get an internship next year. However not helped by hearing that someone who got the one he really wanted had a dad who is very senior in the same firm. Asian friends tell him that this is standard in Asia. You put your family first. They don't really understand why the British are so squeamish.
In the scheme of things it's fine. He got really good first year results which should help and unlike many of his peers is not completely sold on the idea of a banking career. Still a suit means he has some exposure and the odd free breakfast.
Sleep, I know the type of event you mean. Agree they are slightly different to the fairs and banking ones may well differ from law! All the best to your DS anyway. He sounds pretty driven and I'm sure he will be fine!
A law student will have occasions to wear a suit. Students in other disciplines may be able to get away without one.
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