Worried it's all work and no play as a Burges Salmon trainee - fear not!

In this blog, trainee Natalie Mackenzie-Spooner provides an insight into some of the virtual social events she has attended during the first year of her Training Contract

06 August 2021

By trainee, Natalie Mackenzie

I received my TC offer in the summer of 2018 with visions of eventually showcasing a new suit and heels on my first day, learning from my supervisor in our shared office, meeting new colleagues and making new friends, eating lunch at Glassworks, going for drinks and dinner after work and getting involved in all of the firmwide social events Burges Salmon is so well known for (I was particularly looking forward to Burges Salmon's Strictly Legal!).

Roll on two years later and the COVID 19 pandemic has changed the whole world and shattered my TC visions. Firstly, some perspective, with many loved ones lost to this terrible virus my dream of showcasing new heels around the office is far from important. But initial worries of feeling isolated and lonely working remotely from a new city and trying to impress in a new job, really made me appreciate the virtual social events individuals in the firm made such an effort to put on.

For anyone worried about missing the social side of starting a TC virtually at Burges Salmon, I'm going to run you through some of the events I have attended during the first year of my TC, including some I have unfortunately missed!:

VIRTUAL Scavenger hunt

The Tax, Trusts and Family Department held a fantastic team social which involved running frantically around to collect specific items in our respective homes. Getting back to the screen in time really brought out the competitive side of some team members and this game was a great way to get to know colleagues on a more personal level. The Tax, Trusts and Family team are an incredibly friendly team and it was great to see that colleague’s family and friends also got involved!

Cocktail/ Mocktail masterclass

To toast to a fantastic week of events celebrating International Women's Day, the firm's BBalanced network hosted a cocktail/ mocktail masterclass. Together we learned how to make a Cosmopolitan or a Cos'no'politan. The masterclass was a great way to successfully round up an incredible week celebrating gender equality and to mark the achievements of women throughout the years. I was pleased to be able to add ‘making a delicious Cosmopolitan’ to my list of achievements throughout the years!

Chocolate truffle making workshop

A fellow trainee organised a chocolate truffle making workshop for the members of the BCultured network. Raanan, co-founder of R&M Fine Chocolate helpfully took us all through the steps to make delicious chocolate truffles. We were sent all the ingredients needed to make the chocolate truffles in our own homes. My chocolate truffles were not the best looking, but thanks to the delicious ingredients, they tasted incredible!

Virtual Cook along

To celebrate Diwali, the BCultured network teamed up with the charity, 91 Ways and taught members how to make Oven-Baked Gobi Aloo and Rajma Masala. Attendees were also encouraged to donate to 91 Ways. The charity works in partnership with communities to make better decisions about nutrition and wellbeing, and provides opportunities for groups from BAME backgrounds to become part of the wider community, share their food cultures, and develop skills to help them pursue catering careers.

Murder mystery

BCultured organised a fantastic murder mystery social. We were all split into teams and collectively used our detective skills to find out who the murderer was. The social was a great opportunity to get to know people from across the firm and share some laughs. The team really demonstrated their acting skills and some even pulled off accents when playing the suspects!

Wine tasting

Alongside my fellow trainees in the Tax and Trusts teams, we organised a wine tasting social event for the department to get together before the Christmas break. We sampled 6 different wines and took turns guessing which was which. As with most wine tastings, people came out of their shells more and more as the drinks were flowing.

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