Francesca Polignano: “Proud of Italian Enogastronomic Culture” at BBS to Kickstart Her Managerial Career

12 April 2024

Embarking on a journey that weaves linguistic education and a passion for eno-gastronomy, Francesca Polignano, soon to complete her Master in Business Management – Food & Wine has recently started working as a Food Marketing Trainee at Montenegro Group. In this interview, she shares the motivations behind her choice and discusses how the Master’s experience is shaping her professional future. A formative journey that, starting from a background in Foreign Languages and Literatures, crosses the need to acquire new skills in the economic field and projects towards the valorization of Italian eno-gastronomic culture.

You are one of the top students in your class for the Master in Business Management—Food&Wine, which usually indicates great passion, talent, and motivation. What was the main reason you chose this specific course of study, and how do you think it will affect your future in the sector?

To answer this question, it’s necessary to quickly revisit my study background. I earned a Master’s Degree in European and Extra-European Languages and Literatures in April 2021. A couple of weeks later, I started my career path at a company in Puglia, which lasted for more than a year. During this period, I realized the significant gaps I had in economics subjects, having never taken exams in economics, marketing, or finance during my university years. It’s also important to emphasize how crucial Italian SMEs are to the national economy and at the same time, remember that they are often family-run businesses, where essential skills to manage the company and support its development are frequently missing. This realization led to the necessity, or rather, the need to attend a Master’s program. I am an ambitious, determined, and pragmatic person: the Master in Business Management would allow me to learn valuable notions in various subjects quickly and then re-enter the workforce with new managerial skills. I chose the Food&Wine direction because during my experiences abroad, I became increasingly proud of Italian eno-gastronomic culture, so appreciated by my foreign friends. I could not have chosen a better territorial context than Bologna and Emilia-Romagna, with its significant agri-food realities.

During the Master, you could participate in various projects and initiatives. Which ones particularly impressed you, or do you think contributed significantly to your professional training?

Coming from a linguistic university course, all the courses and activities carried out at BBS were significant for my professional growth. Corporate projects are certainly the school’s flagship project. They allow you to test yourself by applying all the notions learned during the lectures and, simultaneously, represent a first encounter with various companies to be fully exploited for future work. Every month, there is a different company and a new project. Three different challenges to complete with teamwork. In these projects, it was essential to focus on team building and organization, dividing roles and tasks among colleagues. The inclinations and difficulties of each of us emerged throughout the different phases, but the goal was always achieved.

Given your excellent academic performance and the fact that you are about to start a new journey, how do you plan to apply the knowledge and skills acquired at BBS in your next role? Are there specific goals you would like to achieve during your next work experience?

The Marketing course was essential, making me fall in love with this subject, without which I probably would not be doing my current profession. A plus of the Master in Business Management is the theoretical and practical nature of the proposed courses. During the months of frontal lessons, we had the opportunity to test ourselves with practical applications of the teachings. Once I entered the corporate context, some fundamental aspects of Accounting, Marketing Research, and Digital Marketing have become integral to my daily work.

What advice would you give to those considering enrolling in the Master in Business Management – Food&Wine at BBS, especially those interested in excelling and getting the most out of their educational journey as you did?

The Master in Business Management has both a pro and a con: its duration. In a few months, you acquire the necessary notions to enter the world of work. Still, these months pass frenetically and too quickly. Take advantage of this experience. The Master is an excellent opportunity for networking, inside and outside the academic walls. Enjoy this exciting journey, which will ferry you into the world of work with greater awareness of your strengths and attitudes. You will be followed by efficient staff and highly qualified teachers. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and test yourself, but above all, trust them; you won’t regret it.


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