Melissa Amato, Global MBA Food and Wine: “From California to Bologna, a true immersion into Made in Italy”

25 June 2019

My name is Melissa Amato, I come from San Francisco and I have 10 years of experience in the field of Hospitality and Tourism Industry. I currently work as Senior Manager and Partner Events at the San Francisco Travel Association, the Destination Marketing Organization in San Francisco, California. The Global MBA Food and Wine attended in 2014 at Bologna Business School was decisive for my professional growth.

I’ve always been passionate about food and travel, and fascinated by the weight that these two areas have on a global scale from all points of view.

So, once I completed my studies in Tourism Management with particular attention to the management of restaurants, and after having worked in the Hospitality area for five years, I wanted to consolidate my skills and have a complete picture of culinary tourism. I wanted to test myself and strengthen my professional profile through a more managerial focus. So I decided to continue my studies with an MBA, and when I examined the programs of some Business Schools, I found a specific address dedicated to food only in BBS, whose path is truly unique in the world.

My adventure in BBS

As an American and Italian citizen, I wanted to explore my area of ​​interest in the city, which is also home in the world of good food. This is how my adventure began in Bologna, the culinary heart of Italy and the ideal terrain to ‘absorb’ stimuli and skills to take with me to California and spread the culture of “Made in Italy” once back.

My time at BBS was extremely positive, and the network of connections created through the School was certainly one of the Master’s strong points, combined with a prestigious Faculty that shared its experience and know-how with us. During the Master we had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the big names in the Food & Wine sector, thus applying what we learned in class to the field. Extra moments of enormous importance were not missing, such as the visit to the Fico Eataly World site where we had the honor of meeting Massimo Bottura.

The post-BBS phase

Concluded the Master I returned to California where I did an internship at the Golden Gate Restaurant Association in San Francisco as Event and Sponsorship Intern. There I was able to gain experience in the Food Destination area and I participated in the organization of some related events.

I was lucky enough to find the perfect opportunity to direct my career towards the direction I had in mind, becoming part of one of the largest and most renowned associations in the United States. Learning about the Italian Food & Wine sector has been extremely valuable: I am currently working for the San Francisco Travel Association as a Senior Manager of Partner Events. The organization promotes the city as an ideal destination for business trips and leisure promoting international tourism in San Francisco: in this, the food component naturally has a fundamental role.

My advices to a future student BBS

In light of my experience, I would recommend taking every opportunity the school offers to a future student of the Global MBA. I recommend getting involved in all the initiatives, absorbing all the opportunities that arise and feeding the network with the connections that gradually sprout between the desks and outside the classroom. Establishing collaborations with teachers and students who could develop business opportunities in the future is the key to increasing the professional network over time. Last but not least, I recommend taking the time to discover Bologna in every corner: the city really has a lot to offer … even at the table!


Melissa Amato – California

Global MBA Food and Wine – Class 2014-2015


Back To Top