Gaining real world experience with Mary Lyons: Summer Student Internship   

02 Nov 2023
Honours psychology student Mary Lyons was a legal assistant and program developer with Dixon Law Group this past summer through the Experiential Learning & Career Development Internship Program at Mount Allison. 

What did your day-to-day look like?  

When working at the law firm, I quickly learned that things could change from one minute to the next. Often, I had plans for a workday and overnight something happened and we had to switch gears. It could be a lot of cognitive flexibility, but I really enjoyed the fast pace. I also spent time drafting documents, working on payroll, and was able to attend some court hearings at the Moncton Courthouse. I tried to utilize my psychology background as well to help provide research on many different cases that came through the firm.

Honours psychology student Mary Lyons was a legal assistant and program developer with Dixon Law Group.

What did you enjoy most about your internship?  

I had no idea about the versatility of my degree. Coming into this experience I did not know that my academic background in psychology, commerce, and visual and material culture would be so beneficial to a law firm. I found myself using skills that I have learned throughout my university courses and incorporating them into my legal assistant position. I also really enjoyed that the job is fast-paced and never boring. I loved the idea that I had to go with the flow and take things as they come. I felt a sense of accomplishment when I pushed myself to learn and do things that I was not familiar with. 
What is your takeaway from this experience?

I learned so much about myself through this experience. Whether that be about my degree, where I want to be post-graduation, or about myself as a person. It was eye opening to see how much potential there is for personal growth that you may not know that you're going to receive from an internship position. I honestly had no idea how much this experience would shape me.

What knowledge and skills are you developing?

Since a law firm works at such a fast pace, I was working on my time management skills. Learning to prioritize the most important things and being able to let go of the ones that are not was a learning curve for me. I also tried to practice self-kindness as I found I could get wrapped up in the rapid pace environment and get down on myself. I am grateful that my employers were a great mentor on how to achieve this.

How has this internship impacted your university experience?

It has changed it dramatically in terms of real world experience. You can read as much as you want about what court will be like from a textbook, but until you’re actually there...you won’t know what it is like. I feel so grateful for this opportunity to get to receive real world experience in a field that I had no idea would be so interesting.

What has this experience shown you about potential career paths?

Law was not something I was considering as a career path before this position, but it has opened my eyes to the versatility of my education and my work experience. It makes me both excited and nervous that there are so many potential career paths I can take!

What have you learned about what fuels your fire?

I love the feeling of the unknown and that every day has the opportunity to be different. This experience has pushed me in ways that I could not have ever imagined and I cannot wait to see what other opportunities I will fall into.

Learn more about student internship opportunities at Mount Allison.

This internship is funded by ICTC and Future NB.

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