Nóra Szilvia Petrik
“Drawing her own path“
Born and raised in Hungary, Nóra Szilvia Petrik is a lawyer at BonelliErede law firm, in Rome.
Before that, however, she was expected to become a doctor just like her parents. Acceptance letter in her hands, she felt the need to pause everyone else’s expectations and understand herself better before going to university. So, she froze her admission to the Medical School of Budapest and went for a gap year abroad. After one year spent working in Italy and Switzerland, Szilvia understood what she wanted to do in the future: become a lawyer, in Italy. “When you start working, it will be for a long time, so you’d better love it and make sure you get to be in the right place for you”, Szilvia learned thanks to her gap year.
As a student at Tor Vergata University in Rome, she went with exchange programs and internships in Hungary, Belgium, and Russia. After attending a job fair at the age of 21 during her Erasmus stay in Belgium, she landed herself an opportunity to intern at the law firm Baker McKenzie, thanks to her ambition and willingness to challenge herself. The teaching here? What matters most at a young age is attitude and motivation.
Szilvia is an example of how we write our professional path since university: “If you stay inside the comfort of your house, you do not grow. Not enough, at least. University is a period of freedom, of travel and challenges.” Szilvia is convinced that university should be the time to take advantage of all the opportunities it offers and to create new ones too, to travel and develop professionally and personally. “But mostly, you can do what YOU want for your future – it only depends on how many sacrifices you are ready to make”.
After graduation, she spent 2 years with Baker McKenzie, in M&A, before she joined BonelliErede thanks to a cold call application. Working in the legal field, which is strongly characterised by the absence of foreign nationals, in a traditionally more male-dominated branch is just a dare for Szilvia as she is set to write her own story; being a woman, lawyer, in Italy, from a foreign, not-widely-known country, became, along with her life experience, her distinguishing cards.
Asked for her definition of a successful woman, here is what Szilvia answered:
To me, a successful woman is one with a clear vision of where she wants to go professionally, equipped with a great dose of ambition and boldness to achieve her goals.
She discovered PWA Rome while she was looking for other women operating in competitive sectors, eager to learn how to excel. In an environment where doing your best is not always enough to advance your career, Szilvia is aware of the importance of women networking and supporting each other’s careers. “I am not alone”, she thought as she met here women with diverse experiences and expertise and exchanged advice and laughs alike.
Szilvia strikes as a young and tenacious woman, proud of her Hungarian origins and in love with Italy. We talked about culture and how her origins might have impacted her mentality and attitude and Szilvia is convinced that it gave her the mindset of working hard and not giving in to difficulties. She is always accepting new opportunities to prove herself and her award as a winner of the Nova 111 List in “Legal Services” category shows she’s on the exact right path.
Italians call it “grinta”: Szilvia’s determination transpires from her gestures, words, and looks. She is convinced that the younger we are, the more we should focus on finding our vocation without the fear of changing a path already assigned. Going against prejudice seems just another challenge she’s willing to take while she is aware of the importance of surrounding herself with people who support the dreams and ideas she has.