Reflections on Bolt’s Legal Internship Programme — meet Emilia, Roberta, and Nikita

May 17, 2022

Bolt legal internship

We recently hosted three new interns as part of our Legal Internship Programme. The paid, part-time internship ran from February to April at Bolt HQ in Tallinn and gave interns the chance to work in different parts of Bolt’s Legal team. 

Emilia Rauhala, who joined our Legal Operations team for the internship, will be graduating from Tallinn University of Technology this year with a Bachelor’s Degree in Law. Roberta Mark worked with our Insurance team and is in the middle of her Master’s Degree in Law from Tartu University. And Nikita Jefimov, who’s currently finishing a law degree at the University of Aberdeen, became a member of Bolt’s Procurement team for the programme. 

Today we’ll be hearing from Emilia, Roberta, and Nikita about why they chose to intern, what they gained from the programme, and whether the experience matched their expectations. 

1. What inspired you to apply for the internship at Bolt?

Emilia: As a law student, the internship was the perfect match for my studies. And in the future, I want to build a career at an international company.

Given that Bolt operates globally, the internship seemed like an excellent opportunity to work towards my goals. I also wanted the chance to learn more about legal operations.

Roberta: I’ve always been curious about start-ups — particularly in my home country of Estonia, where the scene is booming. And Bolt is a product that my friends and I use often. So when I saw that there was a chance to peek behind the curtains, I decided to act. 

Given my current employment position, I wanted to see how people with my education use their skills within a start-up structure.

Nikita: I wanted the opportunity to put my knowledge to the test and work in an international company. My experience and qualifications seemed like a good fit for the programme, so I decided to apply.

2. What do you remember about your first day?

Emilia: I was pretty nervous, but as soon as I met Paula, I thought to myself, “Okay, I’m going to be just fine!” My team was so welcoming that any stress I had about starting a new role disappeared!

Roberta: I remember lots of information being thrown at me, but Hannah, Paula, and the team made the process exciting. Before setting up my computer, I remember having to introduce myself by doing a mime of my hobby, which was very fun — especially seeing others do it. 

And some new people said that their job position is top secret, which made me feel like I came to work for MI6 or the FBI! The first talk with my manager Phillip was super exciting. He was so enthusiastic and welcoming that I felt so cared for. 

Nikita: It was such a warm welcome from the team, and I met lots of new friendly people.

3. Was the internship as you expected, or did something surprise you?

Emilia: I didn’t know what to expect, but the whole experience was amazing. I think the biggest surprise was how casual the working atmosphere was. I was also positively surprised by how well the workload balanced with my studies. 

Roberta: Honestly, I expected an internship to be much more boring. Traditionally, interns are given more menial tasks, but that wasn’t the case at Bolt. All my tasks were exciting, and I never felt second-rate compared to my colleagues.

Nikita: I was super surprised by my team — they were so welcoming and friendly. I had the opportunity to work from home, which was great! And most importantly, my work-study balance wasn’t ruined!

 4. What’s been the best part of your internship?

Emilia: I feel like the whole internship has been my best workplace experience so far. But to name a few highlights, it’s been fantastic to meet new people, network, and see the office dogs!

Roberta: The best part has been talking to different people at Bolt and hearing about their tasks and everyday life. 

Also, my manager Phillip Lowman is an extraordinary person — he has so much knowledge and wisdom that I always felt bad that I wasn’t a sponge that could immediately take in all the information he had to offer.

I enjoyed chatting with Phillip every week, and I learned a lot. He’s a testament to what great senior managers there are at Bolt.

Nikita: The best parts have been meeting new people, understanding how things work, seeing negotiations with suppliers, and learning how contracts are structured.

5. Tell us more about your team and teammates

Emilia: I’d describe our team as close-knit — everyone’s there for each other, and nobody’s left alone. As for teammates, everyone’s been amazing, immediately taking me into the team and appreciating me even though I was ‘just’ an intern. 

Everyone’s very easy to approach, and I feel I could talk about anything that popped into mind.

Roberta: My team consisted of one person, Phillip Lowman, who was always so kind, patient, and supportive. He has a fabulous sense of humour and a heart of gold, so we got along immediately. I learned so much from him — more than I can say. 

And although Paula Pihelgas wasn’t in the Insurance team, I felt that she was my teammate as well, because other than Phillip, I talked with her the most. She was always ready to answer my questions or listen to my concerns. She made me feel heard and supported.

Nikita: My team was hardworking, always ready to help, and were the ultimate smart professionals.

6. What have you learned or gained from the internship?

Emilia: I’ve learned what legal operations consist of and how to use the knowledge I’ve gained from my studies in practice. I’ve also become more confident in using English as a working language, and my legal and business vocabulary has definitely improved.  

Roberta: I’ve mainly gained insights into everyday life at Bolt. As my sub-department was Insurance, I can safely say that I’m far more aware of the risks and problems connected to that area. I also gained several friends, and you can’t put a price tag on that!

Nikita: I’ve learned that I shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes and that procurement is more than just purchase and sale — it’s a whole new world which consists of many, many unique aspects. 

7. How would you describe working at Bolt to someone interested in applying?

Emilia: From my experience, everyone is welcoming and helpful — I immediately felt like a part of the team. Many individual projects still include support from others, so you’re never truly alone.

It’s also very flexible, so you can balance working at the office and from home. Overall, I’d 100% recommend applying!

Roberta: I’d describe it as fun and colourful, albeit a bit chaotic — especially at first. The people are very friendly and forthcoming.

Nikita: You should apply no matter what! It’s good training, and you get to show what you’re capable of. You shouldn’t hesitate, because you won’t regret it.

8. What’s one thing for you that always beats a salary offer? What are the most important qualities you’re looking for when considering different job opportunities? 

Emilia: I think the actual work itself beats any salary offer. I’d rather have a smaller salary and enjoy my tasks than a higher salary and dislike my job. 

A few essential qualities in a job are meaningful tasks with variety, a healthy amount of responsibility, a good manager and team, growth opportunities, a salary that reflects my tasks and position, and useful perks like Stebby or Bolt credit.

Free snacks and hybrid working opportunities are nice but not necessarily a deal-breaker for me!

Roberta: A great manager is a given. I couldn’t work in a position for long if my manager wasn’t interested in my well-being, learning, and growth. A good manager is someone who would trust me, be there for me should I need it, and not micromanage. 

Other perks like flexibility, a hybrid office, and sports compensation are elementary things that a bigger company should have if it cares about employee well-being. A great office space makes people want to come to work, and for me, this is the second most crucial thing after colleagues and salary. 

All in all, I’d say that no perk can beat a salary that makes an employee feel like their time is valued. But perks and cool colleagues are the cherries on top that make a well-paid employee think that they never want to leave.

Nikita: It would be the opportunity to work remotely or have a hybrid work setup. Also, snacks at the office and a health care bonus.

Take your first career step with Bolt

Our next paid 8-week Legal internship takes place July–August 2022.

We’re looking for Law students who have just graduated with a bachelor’s degree or are actively studying for a master’s or have finished their master’s. 

We’re taking a class of 10 interns to experience day-to-day life at Bolt’s Legal department. Our Legal department consists of various teams that you have the chance to join on the internship: Procurement, Privacy, Product Team, HQ Team, Global Field, and Commerce/Platform. 

Want to take part in the coolest legal internship? Apply HERE!


Recent posts