BBS Alumni talk about themselves: what was before, what came after and the memories of the student’s life, to offer a personal story and a narration of one’s own professional experience. For a history of our Community. The protagonist of the XIV episode is Francesco Sansone, Vice President Europe Regulator Technologies at Emerson Process Management, EMBA VIII, 2009-2011.
Francesco’s soundtrack is: Sunday Bloody Sunday (U2).
In eight years I changed eight positions, it was a continuous challenge because the company gave me the chance to grow fast. The interview with Francesco is a superfast race through events, a constant acceleration that never loses sight of the obstacles to overcome.
The story so far
Francesco changed four companies in eight years before landing at Emerson Process Management, as Application & Project Engineering Manager.
At the time of his first career advancement, in 2008, he started thinking about a master. “After my degree in Chemical Engineering, I had been following a rather standard path, from being a chemical process engineer to project manager. I ‘woke up’ and it lead me where I am now: Vice President of a business worth $150 million.”
Right when the choice was about to be taken, and not just toyed with, an important period of crisis began. Indeed, between 2009 and 2010 the whole market started experiencing the economic crisis, multinationals included.
The company was undergoing a complete reorganization. What to do, how to grow, how to react to the situation?
The first encounter with BBS was in 2010, with the EMBA VII, but because of family issues, Francesco didn’t enroll. He did it the following year. “The Master was a rebirth after the degree in Chemical Engineering, it simply boosted my career. It’s also thanks to the Master if I’ve become an executive and then vice president”.
When he joined Emerson, Francesco was dreaming of leading the company, but he couldn’t manage to have a full view.
“I didn’t have all the necessary skills and tools. Nowadays you get nowhere if you’re just a good engineer, if you’re good at one thing: you need to be able to do at least three or four things and understand the functioning of almost all departments.”
“I had many interviews in many different Business Schools and I chose BBS because it was the one that could connect me more with the real corporate life. I could talk face to face to CEOs and general managers. I realized that doing certain things wasn’t impossible.”
Horses in my dreams
I have a small passion: horses for jumping. If one day I’ll retire, I’ll devote myself to raising horses. For the time being, my weekends are spent with them and my family. Francesco says he applied what he learnt at the EMBA to this aspect of his life. He made a small investment, together with a partner, an Italian jumping champion, thinking about a specific target, “because the horse market is rather large.
We raise Holsteiner horses. We chose a segment and we try to achieve excellence, working on two precise bloodlines.
In equitation, jumping is made up of four stages. I ask Francesco to tell me more about it, but the most urgent moment of his description is the final stage.
The rider needs to look ahead already, because the horse needs to land its hooves and get ready for the jump that will follow.” This could be his metaphor of choice: jumping, doing it and making someone else do it, whether it is the first or hundredth of a rapid sequence.
The vision beyond the immediate obstacle gets extended also to his private life, when he talks about his daughter. “She’s my inspiration, I was handed my university degree diploma as I was holding her in my arms. She’s a creature who’s growing up, she’s teaching me that one day day she’ll find her way and I’ll have to be there to support her. For the time being, I can still dare to be close to her, holding her by the hand.
A piece of advice to a student
If you’re wavering about whether to do the Master, be aware of the fact that it’s a life-changing experience and you must be ready to face it. The effects can be seen afterwards, not while you’re attending it. You’ll need at least one, two years of incubation.
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