LUC Italy: Pizza with Andrea Vigevani
07 Nov 2010 in Alumni by Andrea Floris
November 7, 2010: Milan, Italy
To give interested UNITECH students and alumni the chance to gain an insight into his exciting life and to ask some questions the local chapter Milan organized one dinner with Andrea Vigevani, Alumnus 2001.
He did his exchange at Paris Tech and his internship in PSA Peugeot Citroën. Graduated, he joined the Boston Consulting Group in Paris, and later in Milan. After 4 years as a consultant changed his direction and moved to an NGO. Andrea has been in the last 4 years Secretary General of ICU – Istituto di Cooperazione Universitaria (www.icu.it) –, an organization that runs development co-operation projects in Africa, South America and Middle east.
After a nice welcoming and first exchange of UNITECH experiences with the rest of the group Andrea began to tell us about his career and how UNITECH has contributed to it. Firstly he explained how and why – after his UNITECH year in France – he joined BCG in Paris, and he told us about the experience he gained there. Afterwards he described his change to the NGO: one day one friend suggested him to start working for ICU and to bring him his competencies and passion, he accepted.
The change to and NGO has been a big one: people might consider the sector like charity or voluntary work but it needs to be done in a professional way! ICU deals with local authorities an local citizens coordinating projects covering different areas, from agricultural activities to local trade support. The goal with this projects is to create a positive cycle that can foster the development of local citizens and a self-sustainable economic activity. At the centre of this activity there is people, human beings with their conditions, needs, dignity and value. In a project it is challenging to understand the social and political problems that hamper the desired development, then the technical solutions will usually be found. A continuous pressure comes also from fundraising and political relationships with governments and the European Commission, so that the new projects can be supported adequately. In this context Andrea says that his past experience helps him to manage daily work. Furthermore, he says “I don’t believe to be better than other people because of what I’m doing, working in for-profit sector – in an honest business – is not less good!”
It was very interesting to hear how his experience working as a consultant is now being used effectively in his position in the NGO: a career path which initially may have seemed discontinuous now has proven continuous!
Robert Riesebieter and Andrea Floris