A Growing Start-up in the A.I. Realm

This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2021 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.

This entry is by Eleni Pisinos, COL ’23

This summer, I worked as a legal intern for ROBOCITI, an A.I. and robotics start-up based in Tsinghua University in Beijing that offers courses, competitions, and other services to people all around the world. Through the GRIP program, I had the opportunity of interning across the world and directly helping ROBOCITI by drafting international contracts and creating my own course for the company. However, since I was home, I had a few setbacks that made it difficult for me to decide if I could accept the position.

Growing up, I spent the majority of my time in my family’s restaurant and rarely anytime at home, and because of that, we did not even have WiFi at home and had to commute back and forth for school work. I also earned my own money by working for my family, and accepting a full-time internship would make it very difficult to also earn that expected income. Through the aid of the Summer Funding Grant, I am very thankful that I was able to experience an internship during my freshman summer without worrying about financial complications.

My internship has been an immersive cultural experience from the comfort of my hometown, pushing me to try my best for my team and slowly learning Chinese. From the first week, I worked directly under the CEO and founder, reporting daily to him with updates on my tasks or any questions I had. I conducted legal research in intellectual property, specifically reviewing our current Terms of Use and Privacy Policy documents and researching similar contracts in A.I. and Robotics educational platforms to bring ours up-to-speed. I delved into international law and data protection policies and worked with my supervisor to integrate U.S., Hong Kong, and international laws into our contracts.

As a growing start-up in the A.I. realm, it was important to incorporate courses, blog forums, virtual robots, and online programming competitions. To ensure that ROBOCITI was thoroughly protected, we needed an agreement outlining our potential partnerships with individual teachers or major corporations, such as Google. I spent several hours conducting research into indemnification clauses, data protection guidelines, arbitration agreements, pricing policies, and safeguards for our intellectual property rights. I am very grateful to have received first-hand experience in the legal realm and specifically contract law and international law.

I have honestly never felt more rewarded or proud of myself. Coming from a multicultural household, I have always been fascinated by the nuances and similarities between polities. Interning with ROBOCITI has given me unforgettable experience in a field I hope to pursue one day and one that is rapidly changing in response to technology. Navigating a legal virtual internship from the back room of my parents’ restaurant was reminiscent of my first semester at Penn, but it offered me the best of both worlds: professional experience and quality time with my family. Bonding with my family and getting to know the ROBOCITI team in Beijing was a unique summer, and I am excited to build on those experiences in the future.

By Career Services
Career Services