NW Staffing Stories: An Interview with Maya Lucas
Last week at a busy coffee shop in downtown Portland, I sat down with Maya Lucas. Maya came to NW Staffing when she was just in middle school, through a community outreach program, Girl’s Inc. and is now a Legal Assistant who was connected to her current position through Legal Northwest, the legal branch of NW Staffing. I asked Maya to chat about her experience with NW Staffing over the years from her time with Girl’s Inc. to working for Legal Northwest.
Maya, how did you get connected to NW Staffing?
I was a part of the Girl’s Inc. program in middle school. Girls partnered with different companies and we would get mentored through the program. After I graduated that program I went off to college and in the summer, I would come back and temp with Legal NW, the Legal Branch of NW Staffing. I worked at the Law offices of Chernoff, Vilhauer LLP for three consecutive summers. I was a receptionist there and also helped with a large scanning project while they were in the midst of an office move; it was a really great experience! Then, after I graduated from college and moved back to Portland, Anneke -who manages the recruiting for Legal NW- was great about keeping connected to me and staying on the hunt for a position for me. She called me one day and asked if I could go into a law office to help with their reception desk, and I’m still there now with a full-time job!
Tell me more about your time in Girl’s Inc. and how NW Staffing partnered with you—specifically who were the key people that you met with?
There were a lot! Anneke, Kristen, Jennie, Molly and Amy were a part of the program and helped. They all got along with each other and from the moment I walked in the door, it felt like family. It was really cool to see how an office environment worked, I had no real gauge for what that looked like before coming into NW Staffing and that was really valuable for me.
Do you feel like NW Staffing helped prepare you for the workforce? What did you learn?
Yes! Sometimes I would be thrown into jobs and the work environment and it was very much of a sink or swim experience. This really helped me to adapt to different work environments and personalities at those jobs as well as learn how to respect them. One thing that was super helpful for me, was that Anneke sat down and helped me with my resume after I graduated from college. She helped me change it to make me stand out in the working world.
Maya, from what I hear, you’re an amazing volleyball player! Do you feel like you’ve learned skills in volleyball that have transferred to the workplace?
Absolutely. “Adaptability” comes to mind first. Volleyball is a sport where you are always adapting to change to play your best. Teamwork is also another big thing in volleyball and the workforce. Learning how to work with people that are different than you and understanding each person’s strengths and weaknesses.
Lastly, tell me what you’re currently doing for work and what your aspirations are for the future!
I just got promoted into a Legal Assistant position at my current company, the Multnomah Defenders Office. I’m supporting two attorneys and really getting an understanding for the how the courts work. I am currently studying for the LSAT and plan to take the test in January. I am looking to go into Civil Rights and Public Interest Law. Knowing the civil climate that we live in I am drawn to this sector of law!
If you, like Maya have an interest in law, our Legal NW Branch would love to work with you. Please reach out at email@example.com for more information.