April 1 2021
How Flex helped Daniele secure a paralegal job with Ziglu
We were absolutely delighted to have the chance to recently catch up with Daniele Ponceta, a former Flex paralegal who secured a permanent roles at cryptocurrency platform Ziglu following a Flex placement there. Daniele is a fantastically capable paralegal, and gave us some great insights into his role with Ziglu, his experience onboarding with Flex, and even some helpful advice for anyone currently trying to find the right job to suit them.
Could you tell us a bit about your background and education?I was born in Italy, in a little town called Trieste, and I knew since a very young age that I wanted an international career. The idea was to travel, do exciting things and work with amazing people. My journey started when I was about 18 years old and from what may seem a quite unusual background. After completing my high school education, I worked as a lifeguard in a resort near Venice, where I met many tourists from all over the world. I then decided to improve my English skills and start my journey abroad.
At that time I left my home country with one goal: becoming an international lawyer. In order to achieve that I first studied a bachelor’s degree in International and European law in the Netherlands, and later, once I knew which field I wanted to specialise in, I chose to study a Master’s degree in Corporate and Financial law in the UK. I am currently applying for training contract positions in London and studying to qualify towards the new Solicitors’ Qualifying Examination taking place this year.
Could you tell us a bit more about your placement with Ziglu?Working with Ziglu has been an incredible and unexpected opportunity I couldn’t refuse. It happened while I was working full time in the in-house legal department of a biotechnology company. I was a bit unsure on whether I should have left a permanent position for a temporary one, especially during uncertain times like these, but I was confident that taking this risk would have paid off. In addition to that, I really wanted to find a job in financial law - a field in which I wanted to specialise in during work in the City - a reason which made me accept the offer.
Ziglu is a very exciting company to work for. It is a start-up, therefore as you can imagine it is incredibly fast paced, which can be challenging but at the same time it is an opportunity to have a variety of tasks to deal with, receive responsibility, learn and grow very quickly. In addition to that, joining the company at such an early stage also meant that I would have reported directly to the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel. I am deeply honoured I was given the opportunity to work alongside James Sullivan, an incredible mentor who was General Counsel at Monzo Bank, and who has vast experience in start-ups and high growth environments.
I joined the company as a Paralegal and I am in charge of assisting James and other members of the team with various tasks ranging from the creation of internal processes, to the management of shareholders, to the drafting and review of legal documents. Working as an in-house Paralegal means that you often help various stakeholders within the company, which makes it very interesting as you get to know the business itself (which in this case is digital banking and Fintech) and you have a chance to rapidly increase your commercial awareness and knowledge of that specific sector. I would definitely recommend anyone applying for training contracts to have some experience in-house as it gives a 360 degree view of what it means being the “client” for a law firm.
Where did you first hear about Flex Legal?The first time I heard of Flex Legal was on social media. There are many paralegals out there who posted their achievements on LinkedIn and Instagram, I was curious to find out what all that excitement was about and I discovered that Flex Legal is made of very friendly people offering a great service which allows aspiring lawyers to obtain that much sought legal experience and first step into the law.
Would you recommend Flex Legal to others seeking paralegal positions?I would genuinely recommend Flex Legal to anyone as the platform they offer is very intuitive and well-designed. As a candidate you simply receive job offers via SMS and email, which you can accept or decline based on your commitments and interest in the role. I found this feature of the service offered by Flex Legal very convenient and different from the usual recruiting websites. Flex Legal definitely offers concrete opportunities to be selected for a variety of roles, from short term to long term positions, which I believe to be a brilliant way to gain legal experience in a fast, flexible and straightforward way!
What advice would you give to those currently applying for jobs?Be consistent and persevere. As you may have heard many times, the legal career is a marathon, not a sprint. You will be rejected many times applying for paralegal positions or training contracts, but all you need is that one offer that will allow you to get your foot in the door. That is why I think the best approach is always to take rejections as opportunities to learn and improve yourself. Be positive. If you keep going there is no way you will not succeed.
Finally, do you have any general tips for coping with lockdown life?Be organised as much as you can and plan your week ahead. If you’re organised, you can manage to multitask much better and increase your productivity throughout the day.
For instance, my average day consists of 8 hours’ work, 1-hour training at home or outdoors (weather allowing), and studying for the SQE. Although I have got a very busy schedule, I always try to fit in some time for myself to unwind and relax. Physical activity and a healthy diet help me a lot in coping with lockdown life, mental health, focus and performance more generally. I would highly recommend it!
- Daniele’s LinkedIn profile - why not take a look at Daniele’s full professional summary over on his LinkedIn? He’s got an impressive and varied work history behind him!
- How Flex Legal helped Massimiliano land a paralegal role at Freshfields - Daniele isn’t the only person to have secured a permanent job following a Flex placement. Read more about how Massimilliano landed a dream role with magic circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
- Ziglu’s website - take a look at Ziglu’s site to learn more about Daniele’s new employer!