Before she started in the finance department at Mintz, Vivian Tran never gave much thought to the business side of running a law firm. The recent Boston Latin School graduate, who worked at the firm over the summer, knew they were big businesses with a lot of employees, but thought of the labor force as being made up of lawyers.
During her time as a summer intern through the Summer Jobs Program, however, Tran learned about the many moving parts in the finance and administration of a large firm like Mintz. She received instruction on why cutting checks in a timely manner is important, as well as keeping neat and detailed records.
Tran even helped the firm as they switched filing systems, in some cases transferring paper copies of records to an electronic recordkeeping method. Without the department that handles those tasks, Tran realized, lawyers couldn’t do their jobs.
She also got to learn firsthand from her attorney mentor for the summer, who offered advice on getting the most out of college and what to do if Tran is interested in applying to law school. Tran said all of the professionals she encountered at Mintz were happy to weigh in on different educational and career paths, and explain how they got to the point where they are in their careers.
“It was really helpful and interesting to get a lot of different opinions, and it’s helpful to keep in the back of my mind,” Tran said.
While Tran isn’t sure whether she wants to go to law school or pursue a career in a law firm, she picked up many administrative skills that are transferable to any office environment. Perhaps more importantly, Tran feels that she learned how to come out of her shell in a professional setting.
“Everyone talks about how important it is to develop relationships, so I’ve tried to really overcome being shy. Compared to when I started, meeting people is much less awkward,” she said.
Tran said she hopes to stay in touch with her colleagues at Mintz, who were extremely welcoming to her, as she starts college at Suffolk University this fall.