It has been four months already since I started my internship in Dublin at Intesa Sanpaolo Life dac. as Project Manager and Organisational Development Assistant. Dynamism and creativity, as well as method and assertiveness, are some of the pillars of this role.

The Irish company is part of Intesa Sanpaolo Group, which is Italy’s premier capitalisation banking group. Looking at the details of the business, it offers insurance-related investment products to Italian and international markets.

Deeply focused on a strategic project, through which the Company is opening a new extra captive market, my duties are to co-coordinate all the tasks and resources involved in order to accomplish milestones and deliver the project.

The wide range of aspects to be taken into account when managing these kinds of projects makes the work both varied and interesting.  One moment you are looking at a micro view, the next the strategic big picture; for example, while focusing on a particular technical aspect it is necessary to be aware of the cross-functional implications and any trade-off which might arise from certain decisions.

I also deal with a diverse range of professionals during my daily work. Having the opportunity to meet the company’s leaders and managers and to discuss with them the various topics related to the project is a marvellous opportunity to learn how to deal with factors based on different priorities. In the same way, I go into detail with various specialists in order to understand and design with them the path to follow in order to be aligned with the company’s vision. In other words, I am an active part of the breakdown process of the vision of the company, which happens when following both a top-down and bottom-up approach.

I have discovered that communication and the ability to meet the needs of the people you work with constitute the most important parts of the work. I organise an average of two meetings per day, which can be internal work progress status or external ones. Following my manager’s dynamic and proactive way of working, I have already managed several meetings and conference calls, taking the best out of positions and thoughts very far from the direction in which my team was heading. Definitively, an essential lateral thinking is developing within me and I can express my creativity thinking more and more out of the box, at the same time not losing in precision and method while I look for solutions.

Furthermore, working closely with the CEO and the Project Manager, I am assisting in ensuring that the management of the different projects is aligned with the company strategy, playing a proactive part in the PMO’s portfolio-team. This involves identifying and establishing priorities for project execution and evaluating the impact on the company of our decisions. The nature of the projects must be considered; they can be categorized as business opportunities, regulatory requirements or efficiency improvements, each with its own budget constraints and lack of resources.  

It has to be said that from the very beginning I have encountered people, particularly the CEO and within the PMO team, who have been mentors for me, rather than just my up-line management in the company hierarchy.

I am glad and honoured to have had the chance to grow professionally and as a person in this energetic environment and would have not been capable of taking advantage of this opportunity without my strong academic background.