Is interning at an in-house legal team at AGCO worth it?

by Kye Li Ong, Final Year Law student 

I’m Kye Li, a final year straight law student from Malaysia who interned in AGCO Limited, an American agricultural machinery manufacturing company in the summer of 2021. I will be sharing some of my experiences of working at AGCO in the hope that this information will be helpful to some of you who might be keen to venture into in-house legal teams or would like to have a different legal internship experience!

My background
Prior to AGCO, I interned in a local and international law firm back in my home country, Malaysia and had a flavour of contentious, dispute resolution as well as transactional seats. As I thoroughly enjoyed my time working in those law firms, I had my reservations about interning in an in-house legal department, especially with its niche focus on the agricultural machinery industry as I do not have any background in farming, nor do I have a particular inclination towards the business of machineries. However, this concern was quickly eradicated after several days at AGCO.

Why you should give AGCO or in-house internships a go 

  • Variety of work, personal & international dimension
    Having expressed my interest in ESG in my application to AGCO, I was given the opportunity to assist with coming up with a first draft of a global modern slavery statement for the company. This reflected well on AGCO’s team who ensured I gained as much as I could out of the internship from the get-go. On top of that, I was given a variety of legal tasks to work on, ranging from legal research into data protection and employment to preparing company secretarial documents. This gave me practical exposure to a range of commercial legal tasks carried out by law firms, but this time, approached from a client’s perspective.

    AGCO’s large global presence is the ‘icing on the cake’. As AGCO has many subsidiaries, joint ventures, and partnerships around the world, it added an international dimension to the work I was given. 

  • Insight into in-house culture
    The impression that in-house legal teams are more ‘laid back’ does not apply to AGCO, the work that the small team of four lawyers undertakes is immense and does not stop. That said, the lawyers at AGCO always ensured that I was not overloaded with work, nor lacking in it.  

  • One unique aspect of working at AGCO that I did not experience in a law firm is the chance to attend meetings with a range of stakeholders. I was given the opportunity to sit in on a meeting with lawyers from AGCO’s other EMEA offices, joined business calls with AGCO’s clients, as well as attending discussions with individuals from other departments within AGCO. I found these meetings highly valuable as I was able to understand how different aspects of the business worked and learn the importance of being flexible in one’s communication style. 

Most importantly, I truly appreciated the time the lawyers took to explain and guide me on the key tasks I was given, filling me in on the technical or business aspects of the tasks as well as the constructive feedback that I was given from time to time and at the end of my time with AGCO. I learnt a lot from my internship with AGCO and would highly encourage anyone to apply and work for the wonderful legal team at AGCO!

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