Being a Curious and Friendly Intern

(*Filmed on ZOOM / May 2020)

Student Intern Profile

Name:
Mingli Huang
Country:
Taiwan
Major:
International Affairs
Internship at:
Vanguard Lawyers Tokyo

—Please describe the internship program you participated in.

In Fall 2019 I did an internship program at Vanguard Lawyers Tokyo, based in a busy area in Yuraku-cho.
They deal mostly with business-related cases such as employment issues and contract negotiations for multinational corporations, some of them are actually quite large.

—What were your responsibilities and projects at the internship?

At the firm the associates and partners have communication with clients, often times these letters exchanged between the different offices are written in English. So my task mostly was proofreading these exchanges between the associates and clients.

—What did you enjoy the most at the internship?

I think it would have to be the professional atmosphere that I was exposed to. Thanks to all my co-workers and superiors at Vanguard, I had a great time understanding what it takes to become a lawyer here in Japan and perhaps lawyers everywhere around the world.

I think something that jumps out to me about this professionalism would be the document that I was asked to draft for an associate.

This would have to be something that they presented the clients directly or after they proofread. Starting out with just a blank piece of paper, I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to try to do my best to represent Vanguard to the best of my ability.

—How did TUJ’s education and your experiences contribute to the success of your internship?

I’ve studied Japan’s history a little bit in Professor Kingston’s class and this is my personal opinion, but I think every country’s laws are more or less based on its history. And given Japan’s history with lifetime employment, I think learning about that at TUJ and understanding the reasons behind it helped me understand what some of the documents are talking about and understanding that gave me a better idea of how to proofread the article in terms of representing what the associates and partners wanted to say and to produce a better result.

My major coordinator at school, Professor James Brown, who was also my supervisor in this internship, helped me a lot throughout the internship, specifically when I had questions regarding work or how to present myself. I would always go to him and he gave me great advice on how to solve these potential issues.

—If you were to give advice to prospective interns, what would you say?

Talking to people, be active, don’t be afraid to talk. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Just try to be as curious as possible, be as friendly as possible.