Inside Intelligence and Investigations: Life as a Graduate Analyst at Schillings

Jason MacCarthy 28 Oct 2021

What’s it really like to work in Intelligence and Investigations? We’re lifting the lid on life at Schillings, and first up, a graduate analyst is sharing their experience of applying for, and working within the I&I team.

June 1st, 2020. At noon I submitted my dissertation to UCL’s School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies and already by lunchtime I was anxiously thinking about my potential career paths, wondering what the future may bring in the context of the Covid-19 crisis. 

As someone with limited technical skills in an increasingly digital world, certain jobs were completely unavailable to me. Soft skills and language skills, as well as my experience working with large sets of information during research for history papers, were things I could offer to an employer and capitalise on, at least theoretically. 

After months of discussing and exploring almost every possible route I could take, in November 2020, I sent a job application to Schillings. Not having any experience in the legal sector and not understanding all the terminology on the job advertisement, the application process was slightly terrifying but also very intriguing. 

To my surprise Schillings were quick to contact me and explain the procedure of the selection process. The steps were straightforward and unique, and it was clear that no time was to be wasted. First, I had to complete a language test as well as a 3-hour long “practical test” to examine my critical thinking, the results of which determined whether I progress to a video interview with members of the Intelligence & Investigations team

During both interviews, my approach was to imagine that the people on the 2-D screen were already my colleagues, to try to be as authentic as possible and to assess the third (and fourth) dimension which the screen may not convey. After each interview, while rewinding the conversation in my head, I became increasingly curious about the “I&I” team’s line of work.

A few days before Christmas, less than a month after I received the first email from Schillings, I was offered a Graduate Analyst job, meaning the new year would truly be a new beginning, despite the difficult circumstances that Covid-19 brought with it. 

And now, after nine months of working at Schillings and absorbing its energetic atmosphere, here are the questions which I encourage all potential candidates to ask themselves while applying for a position within the Intelligence & Investigations team:

  1. Can you handle pressure?

As you may gather from the Schillings lime-green aesthetic, zest is a common trait among all our colleagues. It makes the collaborative process more enjoyable, but it can also add intensity to the flavours each day brings. Being able to multi-task and re-arrange priorities quickly will be useful at Schillings; both internal and client deadlines require cerebral agility and concentrated effort.

  1. Do you have natural curiosity?

The love for learning is what unites the Schillings Intelligence & Investigations team; there are no certificates that may reflect a certain level of knowledge due to the unstoppable nature of the industry and the constant evolution of tools and approaches we use on a daily basis. There is a niche for everyone – you may enjoy certain aspects of client work or be an expert in a specific region of the world.

  1. Are you a team player?

Individual talents and interests are always taken into consideration at Schillings but it is also important to be able to adapt to different tasks and personalities when working with team members and colleagues across the firm. Communicating clearly to facilitate coordination of work is essential to ensure creative ideas are heard, support is provided when needed and expectations are managed. We try to have as much fun as we can in the process, so a sense of humour is a must!

If the answers to all three questions are affirmative, we look forward to hearing from you and potentially welcoming you to our diverse and growing team! Click here to take a look at our open roles.