My Story, Our Story: Luca Buglione

21 June 2016

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 XXII episode is Luca Buglione, Head of Strategic Planning & Business Development at Manutencoop, EMBA Coop.

Luca’s soundtrack is: This Must be The Place of Talking Heads. 

Never for money, always for love. Cover up and say goodnight, say goodnight…”. It is a fragment of the song that can be heard in the background when young Bud Fox, the protagonist of the film Wall Street by Oliver Stone, gets to the top of his career as a broker and buys a penthouse in Manhattan.
Home, is where I want to be. But I guess I’m already there. I come home, she lifted up her wings. I guess that this must be the place”. This is the song Luca has chosen, as a reference to this movie, which while narrating the burning desire for success, at the same time chastises its lack of restraint, highlighting its greedy drift. Ambition must be fuelled by humility and sacrifice, Luca might say.

“I was the first in our company to participate in an EMBA, the one for Cooperatives. It was a sort of experiment. As I was the first, I had to work hard and do my best. I couldn’t make a fool of myself, I couldn’t make a fool of the company that had given me the chance to participate.” Since then, about a dozen Manutencoop managers, on average two per year, have trained at BBS. “The company has invested a lot in me and this gave me a strong sense of responsibility”. Luca deals with Corporate Development and Strategic Planning. “Acquisitions, divestitures, extraordinary operations on behalf of Manutencoop group, both in Italy and abroad.” His professional path started with an eight-year period as a consultant. Then he joined his current company, where he started working about seven years ago. “I have to deal with the CEOs of our group and also those of the companies we acquire or those who are interested in buying companies. Interacting with them allows you to learn speaking a certain type of language, with top attention to detail”. Negotiations where even one misplaced word may have a negative impact. “When I was a consultant, I represented the client-company for a period that was between three to six months, a year maximum”. A limited amount of time during which you can only have a partial and fragmentary view of the entire process. “While now at Manutencoop, I have the responsibility of the company strategic planning, and I have before me the whole industrial plan, from three to five years.” No more just a deal-maker, but the coordinator of a long-term project.

“Of all aspects, the relational and professional one was one of the most important.” This is Luca’s reflection on what remained in him after his experience at BBS. “There’s still the contact with the colleagues but also with the faculty. The network is the fantastic added value. And it’s a very varied environment. You may encounter chairmen of companies, general managers, or people in charge of company areas.” Despite the age difference among Luca’s classmates, a strong team spirit came to be. “It feels like going back to school, the difference being that now you can grasp all aspects of the training experience that once you weren’t able to grasp.” Ten, fifteen years of professional experience clearly make the difference. “I attended the Master’s course in a moment when my career was already growing, but it contributed nonetheless to give it a strong acceleration.”

“Actually I’d have something to suggest to the companies too: invest in the offering of advanced training for your managers.” Apparently, the magnificent Mannerism framework of Villa Guastavillani contributed to make Luca’s experience a special one. From his words, one can sense the awareness of the importance of cultural and professional growth, which became a personal and voluntary mission. “I do a lot of informal tutoring for those just out of university. Every year, I happen to guide one or two students towards more appropriate choices.” On the basis of this praiseworthy initiative, here is Luca’s expert advice for those who’d like to enrol at the EMBA Coop: “When you appreciate someone for the position they’ve managed to achieve, study their history. Study their path, read their biography.” For Luca, the first thing to be taught is a working and reasoning method. “It’ll be hard to get to find your own method, get ready because out there the world is very competitive”. Leave your comfort zone. “Having to make an effort is a manifest positive sign. If you’re not tired it means you haven’t worked well, you haven’t used your brain enough.” And finally an even more direct and practical piece of advice: “When you take part in a work meeting, you must get there knowing your interlocutor through and through. Study the right style to present yourself.” According to Luca, young people don’t do enough research. There’s ambition, but it goes decreasingly hand in hand with a deep analysis. “If you have an interview, you must know everything about the company you’d like to join”.

Discipline and creativity, intuition and perseverance.


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