She was one of five students chosen from applicants at eight schools and colleges after attending two workshops including an online panel interview. Elisa is studying A Levels in French, Politics and Sociology at our Sixth Form College and hopes to go on to study History and International Relations at university next year.
On getting a place on the scholarship, she said: “It’s incredible. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime and will really open doors for me.
“I am so excited, not only to work at such a top law firm, but also to be able to learn from the people who work there and speak to other students with similar ambitions.
“I remember when they told us about the scholarship. I immediately thought I had to apply for this right away. It will be an amazing experience. It will give me people to talk to as mentors and networks that will help me find out where I want to be in the future and help me get there.”
Elisa hopes to eventually work in the City and is looking towards a career in law but is keen to learn about other areas of business on her scholarship.
“I’ve a long way to go. Being able to speak to lawyers about how they made it to the position they are in will be amazing,” she said.
“I want to talk to as many people as I can in the company in case there is something else I might want to do in the future. A lot of people my age do not have this kind of opportunity, and I intend to take it. I want to take everything in like a sponge and make the most of the experience.”
Herbert Smith Freehills is one of the world’s leading professional legal services businesses and started its Networked Scholarship in 2010.
The scheme is not aimed at training lawyers but equips students with a range of business skills including teamwork, communications and presentations.
Many students who have completed the scholarship have gone on to gain roles in professional services, investment banks, marketing and technology.
Elisa said: “I have enjoyed my time at CANDI. It’s very different from secondary school. I have a lot more independence, but the support is there if I need it.
“It’s been quite difficult during the pandemic and we’ve all had to adapt. My teachers have been very good at getting things up on Google Classroom and online learning, which a lot of my friends in other schools have not had. It’s given some semblance of normality.
“We’ve also had speakers come and talk to us about the law industry and I got this opportunity through CANDI, and I am incredibly grateful for that.”