BBS Alumni talk about themselves: what was before, what came after and the memories of life as a student, to offer a personal story and a narration of one’s own professional experience, for a history of our Community. The protagonist of the XVII episode is Marco Mazzanti, Technical Director PBM Group.
Marco’s soundtrack is: My Way interpreted by Elvis Presley.
Marco is discipline and organization, and sensitivity as well. He’s a free agent, an individualist, but without his wife and children closing ranks around him, life would be much more complex. Intuition and achievement with an acceptable risk margin. This is Marco’s philosophy, duality and opposites have become one of his existential features.
The Linkedin Group
It’s weird, for someone used at organizing his own time in full autonomy, ending up getting excited for network projects. Marco has created business networks but perhaps his masterpiece is the LinkedIn group gathering together BBS Alumni.
1827 members who actively take part in all sorts of debates. “Why an MBA today? “
“It’s not just a communication tool but also a business idea, a space where to meet and discuss, fostering the placement of professionals too. A single point combining school and managers who were trained in it, in order to promote the exchange and the debate with companies”. I did it my way. It’s the implicit value learnt at BBS. If need be, one must be able to come up with new entrepreneurial ideas, give birth to creativity to solve problems, take inspiration from the circumstances to give things a new shape.
The Story So Far
He wanted to be a civil engineer, but someone suggested electronic engineering, as there would be more jobs available. “In 1995, when I received my degree, there were many job offers for electronic engineers. In just about twenty years, things have radically changed. Technologies evolve all the time, causing transformations and crises inside companies.” Marco, fascinated by leadership, tries to interpret the Italian context to explain his idea of change. “In the ’60s and ’70s the entrepreneur was a lonely man at the helm of his business, the typical self-made man who didn’t need to mediate.” These figures, that still resist in some family-run businesses, are obsolete according to Marco. Structures have changed, complexity has prevailed. Organizations are blended and it’s important to leave space to specialized skills. Basically, delegating with trust to technical figures.
The printers project
This is what Marco demands: free space for talent, without intrusions, without compromises. Marco is someone one must accept for the added value of creativity and entrepreneurship. The complex emotional sphere is part of the full package. Take it or leave it. “After an initial experience as a designer, I joined a large company in the field of electronic manufacturing and I was entrusted right away with the project of a colour printer for plastic papers. Then a printer for badges and cards with microchips. “The company decided to take their chance in the American market. “They offered me to move to the States, but I refused. I was about to get married, to buy a house, moving was unthinkable. So, they suggested I trained engineers to continue with the production project in the North American plants. Once again, I refused”. It was a question of explaining to others a product Marco had worked on for a long time, day in day out, until 10 in the evening. He’d designed hardware, software, firmware. At the end the company decided to let him choose freely and the result was a technical team lead by Marco.
“Understanding entrepreneurs’ choices, their way of thinking, having the skills to be able to talk to them on equal terms”. What always attracted Marco is the development of competences. Creating new ones and strengthening those one already has. “It was almost Christmas and a friend talked to me about the EMBA at BBS. It was too late to enrol and therefore I took a year in order to decide”. What Marco remembers most is the sacrifice and the hardships: “When I started it I already had two small sons. I would go to the company canteen with a sandwich and the marketing books. I’d spend my evenings locked in the kitchen, at home, studying from nine till midnight”. That’s what the tutors kept on telling him: the EMBA is a management school that offers self-confidence, that strengthens the character. To use the words of one of the faculty members: “It’s an engine that starts up, an experience that makes you feel like the shirt you’re wearing is too tight”. So, the acquisition, besides the competences on how to lead a company, of a speed and a pace, between study and work, that will take you far, if you can keep them going.
A piece of advice to a student
“Being active, asking questions, all the time, without inhibitions. Experiencing the EMBA as much as you can, bringing back home all its value until your DNA will be transformed”. Marco has understood that there cannot be knowledge without curiosity and he uses the building site metaphor. “Never stop, always keep a constant pace. Never abandon the building site, never leave it alone. One has to enliven it with sensitivity, coordinating it with empathy, developing it with communication. Relationships count the most”. Marco remembers the project work as a pivotal moment “when, among friends, values such as leadership, collaboration, organization emerge”. The enthusiasm, years after that experience at BBS, is still alive. “I’ve given myself five years of time to develop two business projects, born thanks to the methodology learnt at the EMBA”. Work and study, being concrete and dreaming, elements to be brought forward at the same time. The pace Marco learnt keeps on pulsating in the right way.
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