Francesca Protano is the perfect example of a career managed with great care for the constant improvement of her skills. A rewarding approach, indeed today she holds an important role in a multinational industrial group, a leader in the capital goods sector. Her secret? Never being afraid of proving herself and facing new challenges, like she demonstrated when she decided to participate in the Executive Master’s in Technology and Innovation at BBS.
Tell us about your professional career.
With over 14 years of international experience, I had different roles in the R&D, Finance and Marketing sectors. Today I’m Director of Mergers and Acquisition for CNH Industrial. As a newly graduate, I started my professional career at the Fiat Research Center. At first, I received a university degree in IT and then a Master’s in Mechatronics and Innovation & Technology Management.
Why did you decide to resume your education and how did you choose BBS?
I firmly believe that in life you should never stop learning and proving yourself. Working in a company that offers you a thousand opportunities, I realized that in my role I could achieve more by expanding my knowledge. I started getting interested in BBS when in April 2011 Sergio Marchionne was a guest at the Bologna Business School, to share his thoughts and reflections on the main challenges our society must tackle: the European Union, the competitiveness of Italian companies in the global market, immigration and leadership. On that occasion, he said: “If there’s a piece of advice I can give you, is to never let the choices you made at a certain point in your life – choices about your studies, your work, your career path – leave everything else out. (..) There’s so much more out there, behind the door. Being really free means knowing that at any given moment you can choose a new direction, a new goal. There will be no-one pushing you out of your routine or the sense of safety associated to habit.” There you go, he convinced me!
According to you, what are the program’s strengths?
I’m a great supporter of multicultural and inclusive team building. A project is successful if the team that develops it has the spirit, the passion, and the collaborative focus. These points are included and strengthened by the educational path at BBS, as the course provides you with the essential tools to manage work groups and for personal development. Companies increasingly need to develop a collective, diffused leadership, able to combine the need to decide with the need to listen; the need to mediate effectively and quickly between different positions. Today’s world needs people who are more able to express themselves and more capable of being together.
What are the added values of belonging to the BBS Community?
The BBS community is a way to stay in touch with your former master’s colleagues and establish contacts with others. A space where you continue learning thanks to the possibility to participate in events organized with prestigious guests, on specific topics. Always in step with the times and the industrial evolutions we face month after month, it enables you to be constantly updated and it provides inputs to get better at work and improve yourself.
Francesca Protano – Italy
Executive Master in Technology and Innovation – Class 2012/13