My Story, Our Story: Loredana Banci

20 September 2016

BBS Alumni talk about themselves: what was before, what came after and the memories of life as students, to offer a personal story and a narration of their professional experience, for a history of our Community.
 The protagonist of the XXV episode is Loredana Banci, Product Development Manager at Benelli Armi S.p.A, Executive Master in Technology and Innovation.

“All the challenges I had to face, the initial difficulties to find a job are complex experiences that allowed me to learn”. Sacrifice is discipline, the hard part of life is intimately part of the meaning of life itself. “This is why I chose Thanks to life, a song that’s always been with me, written by Violeta Parra. “Parra is a Chilean singer who’s made the individual’s redemption her poetics.”

The story so far
Fano, Germany, Fano. Loredana’s journey has recorded a hike when she had to face the German language and the dull, grey Northern climate. “My experience in Germany made me understand that Italy is marvellous, because the sun and the sea are very important for a better quality of life.” And the quality of life, it’s well known, affects your job. Let’s rewind, back to Loredana’s time at university: she received her degree with honours. “I tackled university head-on choosing mechanical engineering because I really liked the idea of maths being applied in practical terms.” Her determination lead her to a scholarship in Germany. Six months devoted to writing her final dissertation, at the same time working manually on a welding machine. “Unique in its field. A technological welding system, ‘friction-welding’ able to work on materials as different as steel and ceramics.” From the Italian university, all focused on theoretical learning, Loredana found herself in a sort of learning laboratory. “At that time, the machine on which we were working was already obsolete, but it had been devised based on such a brilliant idea that it has been recently rediscovered through new modified patents.”

The innocent abroad 
“Don’t you worry, go to Germany, they all speak English there.” I wasn’t the case: they all spoke just German at the University Loredana attended. Thus, an intense period started, Loredana applied herself to study German, although she could only express herself just using the present tense. Tricks to survive. Then it became urgent to learn it in order to read the user’s manual of the welding machine. “This is the machine, this is the manual, you need to make these pieces”. Dictionary in hand. “I had to take the pieces, cut them to the required measure, saw them in the right way. Something unthinkable here in Italy. Such a formative practical experience that, when I joined Benelli (the weapons company for which Loredana is currently working, Ed.), in the prototype department, it was very easy to understand the idea of the product.”

Steel flowers 
Once her experience in Germany was over, Loredana immediately started looking for a job. “I would read in the job ads that they were looking for an engineer. Only later I would discover they preferred a man.” What saddened Loredana more was that during the interviews she wasn’t asked technical questions, but “how many children do you intend to have?”. Three months of relentless search and she found nothing. In the meantime, she prepared her State exams and she enrolled in a course with the aim of finally joining a company through an internship. “If they see how I work perhaps they’ll appreciate my real skills and my professionalism”. She joined a service company of the Association of Industrialists in Ancona, for which she dealt with the ISO9001 certifications of several associated companies. “I had the chance to familiarise myself with different sectors and firms, getting to know a lot about them, from the design stage to customer care, through the certification process activities.” And while she was getting in touch with so many different businesses, she got a telephone call from Benelli Armi. “They found me through my résumé, requested at the university. They were looking for the best students who had graduated in the past two years, able to do structural calculations. At last I was being assessed for my knowledge.”

At Benelli Armi, Loredana finally got to the working experience she’d been waiting for. “My technical skills concerning structural calculations are constantly growing. It’s a rare thing, as not many companies have an in-house calculations office.” With her professional growth, having other colleagues in her team, Loredana developed the need to receive training on managerial aspects. “My children were a bit older and I understood I had enough time to devote some to my education. As I’m an engineer, I did my own benchmark of Italian Business Schools. I chose BBS because it had two interesting features: attention to innovation in Project and People Management, a field I felt I was not familiar with, and the university structure, with a series of exams that contribute to confirm, thus to consolidate, what one learns. Something you can’t find in other Master’s courses. If you already have a job, a family, without a final assessment you run the risk of underestimating the time you need to study and so there’s the risk to postpone your commitments and thus to delay the results.” Loredana brought the Master’s syllabus to her Boss, who immediately approved her proposal. “The growth process and the ensuing career improvement had already been foreseen by my company, this is why they willingly accepted to invest in my growth and knowledge.”

A piece of advice to a student
“The experience at BBS is a must and I suggested it to my colleagues as well. In general, I suggest to get a specialization with an executive Master’s because when you attend it, you’ve already achieved, because of your age and experience, a different degree of awareness, if compared to the time spent at university.” According to Loredana, it’s a framework of professionals that makes the exchange of ideas with the other course participants very fruitful. “Participating to and living in a community characterised by very different skills is an added value. If you always remain within the same four walls, always relating to the same people, it becomes hard to find new ways of solving problems. Thanks to the experience at BBS, I brought to my colleagues a series of knowledge tools that have become operational toolkits. Just to mention one: the surprising discovery of Open Innovation, a practice I brought into Benelli from BBS. And this innovation, applied to my company, is providing important results”.


Do you want to read more stories from the BBS Alumnae and Alumni Community? Click here.



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