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Life as an Exeter Trainee - Matt Damant

Having to relocate from the other side of the country gave the start to my training contract an added sense of occasion. Brand new job, brand new flat, brand new list of financial responsibilities…

Exeter wasn't new though, I'd spent five years here as a student, graduating in 2016.  So after a two year break it felt good to be back in the beautiful Devon surroundings. My seat on the third floor affords me a lovely view of the local hills, while also conveniently keeping Honiton Road out of eyeline! Being at the 'mothership' for my first seat is definitely a nice way to get my bearings. The large open-plan floors give you a sense of community and being part of a bigger movement. Although I get a nice contrast with the fact my first seat, Public Sector, is only a small team.

Headed by Partner Liz Gibson, the Public Sector team have been very welcoming and supportive of me during my time here so far. Incredible to think it's coming up to two months already. The work is nothing like what I encountered on the LPC or LLB, but it’s a refreshing challenge. Lots of legal research and article writing, all on new and interesting matters.

The team sits within the CoComm (Corporate and Commercial) Department on the third floor, so it's interesting to see how the various commercial mini-teams interact together. The atmosphere is very friendly, with a strong shared interest for baked goods. I have already made a contribution to the CoComm Cake Protocol for my birthday a few weeks back, which I'm sure will do harm for my firm profile. On the topic of food, chatting to Steve, Maddie and Dom in the Exeter office café doesn't hurt either (friends in high places and all that).

A big plus for the Exeter office is having the majority of my training intake all under one roof, making it easier to build those early connections. The wider networking opportunities are also readily available. An XYBC end of summer dinner was a great chance to meet other young professionals in the area over a lovely meal. This was despite my embarrassing wardrobe malfunction of forgetting my bowtie and having to sport an 'open collar' black tie attire. Trendsetter perhaps?

Given how quick the time is going, the rest of my seat will no doubt fly by. Then who knows where I'll end up next.

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