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  • Name: Henry Makings
  • Job Title: Patent Advisor
  • Location: Derby
  • University: Cambridge
  • Degree: MEng Mechanical Engineering
  • Areas of Specialism: Mechanical Engineering

Why patents?
I feel like the job of a patent attorney offers everything I was looking for in a career. It not only fits the analytical and problem-solving aspects of my personality but it provides a fast-paced and highly-varied environment where I’m working on inventions at the cutting-edge of technology every day. I was also drawn to the prospect of working for a wide range of different clients.

Choosing Swindell & Pearson
I wanted to work for a firm that provided personalised mentoring and support throughout my training, allowing me to develop in line with my ambitions, as opposed to merely being another fish in a sea of trainees. And S&P sounded like the perfect fit!

Practical learning is the key focus of the firm’s training. Trainees aren’t just given piecemeal items, they start real work right away and they’re given the responsibility to manage cases through the entire patent prosecution process. Trainees also receive supervision from the firm’s most senior attorneys.

Learning directly from someone with so much experience in this way is invaluable and it allows trainees to quickly develop their skills. The close-knit nature of the firm also means that trainees have a large team of additional mentors to help support them throughout their career.

As with many companies, the first stage of the process was a telephone interview. However, something which really struck me was that this call was with the firm’s managing director (now my supervisor)! For me, this was one of the best illustrations of the firm’s ethos. It showed the interest that senior attorneys take in the development of trainees and also gave me a great impression of what life would be like. When I hung up the phone, I knew S&P was somewhere I would be challenged and pushed to achieve my full potential.

The job
I’m coming to the end of my second year at S&P and I’m starting to see real progress with my professional development. I’ve taken my first steps towards qualification, having passed my first set of exams, and I’ve also begun to grow my own portfolio of clients. I’m really enjoying the greater independence and variety of work this brings and am keen to continue along this path in the future.

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