We had a chat with Stefano Rignanese, former trainee in Maccaferri’s “Young Engineer” programme.
Hi Stefano, let’s start with a short introduction. What is your current role at Maccaferri and what do you do?
I am currently part of the Business Unit dealing with engineering solutions made of double twist hexagonal wire mesh, Maccaferri’s core business. After almost ten years abroad, a few months ago I re-joined the Corporate team and now I focus on supporting North America (USA and Canada).
Your career path within the company started with the Young Engineer programme. Tell us, what are the programme’s strengths and why should a young engineer choose to join it?
After completing a civil engineering degree, I started searching for a company that would offer me the opportunity to travel abroad, and Maccaferri’s Young Engineer programme made it possible for me to do just that. It allows selected candidates, who come from all over the world, to train within the Corporate for one year. This way, the programme stimulates the creation of a diverse group of people with different cultural backgrounds, pushing youngsters out of their comfort zones and into a new community. In short, we can say that young people who go abroad come back as fully-grown women and men, both personally and professionally.
What are the necessary steps to join the Young Engineer programme?
After an initial screening of resumes, the company organises two, sometimes even three, interviews in order to select approximately a dozen participants. These young people then gain experience in Bologna, where they are trained from a technical and business point of view to then be transferred to foreign subsidiaries. I believe that this kind of initiatives are essential for a company looking towards the future, because today’s engineers will be tomorrow’s managers. In this respect, Maccaferri is the best place to be, given that people are always willing to help the new recruits, to ensure the best possible training atmosphere.
The programme also allowed you to get in touch with other coworkers from all over the world.
Was it important for your personal growth, especially in terms of training to work in an international context, since you then pursued your career in Mexico and the United States?
The Young Engineer programme was meaningful from a personal point of view. When I attended the programme, the participants created a real community. I remember, for example, when an engineer from China organised a dinner party for us based on Chinese food only. What I mean is that the relationships you build are long-lasting and are also very important in the professional field, as you can always rely on someone who is working in a different region. Therefore, the programme is unquestionably instrumental to the corporate group’s cohesion, also because it contributes to conveying the Corporate culture in the different geographical areas, reducing the distance that might arise.
Is there any interesting or funny story about your experience on the programme?
During the programme I met the woman who later became my wife. At the time, I was in Mexico, where I stayed for four and a half years. Then my wife and I moved to the United States, where our daughter was born. As far as I’m concerned, “Young Engineer” has completely changed my life for the better.