Our people

Mar 8, 2024

Reka Juhasz: When humility meets ambition

womensday24 image na 1200x628 Reka (1)

As Operation Manager Reka Juhasz, 29, appears on the screen to start a video chat about her three-year career at Wolt, it’s hard not to think that maybe, just maybe, all those people out there who believe in fate might actually be on to something.

After all, how else can you explain how someone who started an award-winning business and was runner-up for female entrepreneur of the year in a four-country competition is now leading a multinational team in Oslo for Wolt.

It turns out that the details of her career are quite similar to a lot of Wolt peoples’, in fact: starting off outside the business, but with a strong appetite for change, growth and adventure. 

“While I was studying international business in university in Budapest, I was keen to do something else as well. I started a business in my second year in short-term accommodation, and we were responsible for managing all of the apartments, organizing the check-ins and check-outs, customer support, cleaning and so forth ,” Reka said.

“We started in 2015, and at our peak we had around 40 employees and more than 400 apartments in both Hungary and Czechia. In 2019, we won the best start-up award for all the Visegrád countries (Hungary, Poland, Chechia and Slovakia), and I was the runner-up for the best female entrepreneur award.”

“Unfortunately with Covid we could not keep operating, but the start-up was excellent training for Wolt, and I joined the company in 2021 as an operations manager for Hungary. Covid actually meant insane growth for Wolt in Hungary, and at one stage I had 15 people in my team and more than 6,000 courier partners.”

“Wolt’s working culture really resonates with me. My mom brought me up to be humble and always aim to be the best – but never think you’re the best! That’s like the culture here. People keep their egos in check, and that’s a really good thing,” she said.

“After Hungary, I moved to Oslo to take on the role of Operations Manager for Norway, so the same type of role I was doing in Hungary. We have a smaller team here but are now scaling up operations and processes. My team has roughly doubled in size since I joined.”

While the scenery may have changed, Reka says the things that she loves about the job haven’t.

“It’s challenging in a really good way. You never get bored. Every time I think I’ve mastered something, something new comes up. It’s a dynamic environment, you always learn, always improve. I started in Hungary, helped scale up the business and then moved to Norway. It’s been constant change.”

“There have been the usual challenges of relocating, both from a personal and professional point of view. You have to adapt to a different working culture and learn how to handle problems in the local way. Then there are more local factors, like snowstorms – people still expect to get their order on time!”

Breaking the mold

Given the rapid speed of her career development, it’s worth asking if Reka’s experiences in Wolt match the expectations she had before joining.

“I thought Wolt would be a good match for my skill set. The brand is very cool in Hungary, and it’s not common there to have young female leaders. I wanted to apply to a company where I would be accepted for who I am. I wanted a dynamic environment where things were scaling up and happening fast,” she said.

“I don’t think any of my impressions before joining were wrong. No one here asks about your age or gender, and everyone is given a fair chance.” 

“I’ve only had positive experiences in being a female leader in Wolt. It’s the most qualified people here who get the roles. At one point, I was the only female leader in a group of 22 other men. Now we have more women in operational management roles, and the number is growing. We have a place at the table and can bring a different perspective.” 

Reka says one of the best things in her role is her international team, which includes people from Norway, France, Greece and Hungary, and the spirit they have built both inside and outside the office.

“We’re really close, like a family. We hang out outside of the office, spend weekends together and celebrate things like birthdays.”

When her laptop is closed for the day, she lists a couple of favorite activities that help keep her mind off work. But it’s fair to say that even outside the office, her competitive spirit and drive don’t totally turn off, either.

“When I’m not working my go-to thing is baking, and I also like to run and go to the gym,” she said.  

“We have a running race coming up in Oslo where we will have both fun and competitive teams. Right now I’m training to make the competitive team – and we really want to beat our competitors’ team!” she laughed.