Before starting law school at the S.J. Quinney College of Law, Amanda Gray had a job she enjoyed at Vista Outdoor Inc. So, when the opportunity to return as a summer legal intern came about, Gray was thrilled. Her previous experience at the company and her strong reputation as an excellent employee made her an easy hire for Vista Outdoor Inc.
“My prior roles gave me extensive knowledge of the company and made it easy for me to jump right in and get to work without needing a ton of new training,” she said.
Vista Outdoor Inc. is a leading global designer, manufacturer and marketer of consumer products in the outdoor sports and recreation markets. The company specializes in products like outdoor cooking equipment, hydration systems, ebikes, footwear, safety equipment, and more.
Gray’s biggest project has been preparing Vista’s Annual Proxy Statement, which was recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This important document contains all the essential information that shareholders may need for decision-making. She also has the opportunity to gain experience with mergers, acquisitions, contracts, intellectual property, and much more.
But, perhaps even more important than legal skills, Gray is discovering what kind of workplace she thrives in. She describes the culture of Vista Outdoor as supportive, encouraging, and enjoyable.
“The best thing, to me, is that I’ve learned the importance of finding a job where you enjoy being around your co-workers and where you believe in the goals of the company,” she said. “The company encourages learning and has always supported me in getting to where I want to be in life. They are extremely supportive of their employees. I think I have the best boss in the world.”
Learn more about Gray and her summer position with this Q&A.
Why did this position at Vista Outdoor Inc interest you?
Vista is an amazing company that I have had the privilege to work for since it spun off from ATK in 2015. I worked there for just over 5 years before I decided to stop working while I undertook my first year of law school. When the opportunity to work with them again as an intern for the summer came up, I jumped at it. I already had a great connection with the company, and this was an opportunity to work under the General Counsel and really start to learn more of the legal technicalities that keep Vista running.
Why do you think you were selected for this position? What made you a good fit?
My prior experience in working for the company and the reputation I earned there made me a good fit for this position. My prior roles gave me extensive knowledge of the company and made it easy for me to jump right in and get to work without needing a ton of new training.
What type of work are you doing on a day-to-day basis?
So far this summer I have assisted with the preparation of Vista’s Annual Proxy Statement which was recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and am now working on some legal research regarding warranties, assisting the Board of Directors in preparation of the Annual Stockholders meeting, and taking over the management of Vista’s legal entities . Day-to-day I have collaborated with legal and other internal teams to make sure the correct information got into the Proxy, tied-out numbers and information, ensuring that the Proxy met specific SEC criteria, among other things. For the Proxy that meant lots of emails, lots of reading, and using my Excel skills to build tables and charts. For the research I am doing I get to utilize the research skills I learned in my 1L year. For the Board, I am using both my executive assistant experience as well as my legal knowledge to help organize the Annual Stockholder meeting but also ensure that we meet the legal requirements for that meeting. Lastly, for managing the legal entities, I work with both internal and external teams to ensure that each entity is and remains in legal compliance in their respective jurisdictions.
What has been the best part about working at Vista Outdoor Inc?
The best part about working for Vista is the culture within the company. I enjoy working with everyone there. The company encourages learning and has always supported me in getting to where I want to be in life. They are extremely supportive of their employees. I think I have the best boss in the world.
What is something you’ve learned while working there?
I have learned so many things at Vista. I’ve learned how to maintain multiple legal entities throughout the US and the world. I’ve learned how to interact with people at all levels of the company. I’ve learned about SEC requirements for publicly traded companies. The best thing, to me, is that I’ve learned the importance of finding a job where you enjoy being around your co-workers and where you believe in the goals of the company.
What are your future career goals? How does this opportunity prepare you for your future?
I want to do transactional work when I finish law school and this internship gives me a leg-up on a lot of different kinds of transactions. I’m currently learning about the requirements for Vista’s SEC filings and I will also have the opportunity to research rules and regulations that many of Vista’s products are subject to, possibly work on contracts, learn about intellectual property rules, and even mergers and acquisitions.
What is something you’ve done this summer besides working for Vista Outdoor Inc?
I am a mother of 3 children who just finished up their school years as well, so we are just getting settled into summer and haven’t gotten to do anything crazy yet. We did have a backyard campout because we were too busy to actually go camping; that was fun. We also took a quick weekend trip to see my best friend and her family and had a great time there as well.