As excited I was for the new learnings, new challenges, a new exposure to the Italian work culture, the same excitement was there in me to experience the new traditions, new lifestyle and most important the delicious food at Sicily.

Sicily is the largest and one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Getting a Project Work on this island during the summers of 2018 was a bonus for me. I got the opportunity to work with FIRE SpA – Consulting and Debt Management at Messina, Sicily for three months from May to July. Not only I enjoyed the time I spent at work and the enormous learning with it but I got a very good exposure towards the different lifestyle that people followed in this part of Italy.

Choosing a right project work could be a heavy task when you have gone through the rigorous classes and bootcamps during the MBA program and you find yourself interested in many different domains of the business management. When FIRE SpA came to MIP for the project work presentation, I was pretty sure that I am going to apply for it. The presentation about the project work was explained in very much detail by Mr. Valerio and Mr. Francesco of FIRE Group.

Though the project work demanded a detailed knowledge about supply chain management, lean management and Operations and machine learning, I was confident enough to be able to carry it out, owing to my previous knowledge about Lean Management and the new learnings about Machine Learning and Statistics at MIP. I, therefore, applied for this project work and was offered this Project Work by FIRE Group after a round of interviews.

I joined FIRE Spa at their Messina headquarters office in May. FIRE has appointed a “buddy” Mr. Silvio to me and he was there to guide me and help me even before I arrived in Messina. The accommodation and travel were well taken care of by FIRE and it really eased my transition to Messina. I was introduced to the different departments in the organization and a brief presentation about the company’s operations was given to me on my first day. The second day, I was already a part of the team at Lean Office and discussed the project work strategy and planning with Mr. Giuseppe, the Head of Lean Office at FIRE. The entire team at the Lean office was very supportive and welcoming. I was surprised by the helping and courteous behavior of the people at FIRE. Everyone made sure that I do not face any problem due to the language. Even though my Italian was weak and the English of the people at FIRE was weak, we made a strong bond in a few weeks and started communicating in a mix of English and Italian.

The project work in itself was very intense and demanded a lot of data analysis and lean management tools to be employed together. The first few weeks were spent on data collection and data assimilation. I was constantly supported by the team at Lean Office for whatever requirements I had during the project work. For almost a month, I had a very hectic schedule testing and running the various methods. I failed a lot of times during analysis but also learned a lot from these failures and finally, well before the deadline of my Project Work, I was able to develop the model as required by the organization.

I presented this Project Work at MIP on 27th July and then at FIRE on 31st July where I was praised for the efforts that I had put in the project work. I also shared various other inputs on the topic with the senior management at FIRE Group and as a reward for the hard work I was offered a full-time job with FIRE by the CEO of FIRE, MR. Claudio Manetti.

Needless to mention that the learning by doing approach during this project work boosted my confidence and I learned a lot about Big Data Analysis, Statistics and Machine Learning. I also learned to use the softwares such as Orange, Minitab and XLSTAT.

The three months spent at Messina with FIRE SpA really helped me a lot to test my existing knowledge about the concepts but it also subjected me to the Italian work culture and the people. This project work will remain as a big milestone in my career.