As the technical leader of group of engineers in the R&D department of a telecommunications company in Italy, Piero Vitale (MIB ’09) didn’t expect to find himself in Miami promoting Miami-Dade County as a place to do business, particularly to fashion-lifestyle companies based in Italy, France and Spain.
But through an internship with The Beacon Council—Miami-Dade County’s official economic development organization—Vitale has done that and much more. Though he still sees telecommunications as a likely career direction, his graduate work in the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU) and the internship have heightened his expectation of succeeding in the international arena, regardless of his job.
Among the top projects on which Vitale worked was Wine&FashionFlorence, which drew dozens of Florence-based luxury hotels, leather goods manufacturers, jewelry designers, world-renowned chefs, olive oil experts and fashion designers to Miami in mid-November 2009.
The delegation from Italy included mayors from cities throughout Tuscany, CEOs and members of the Florence Chamber of Commerce. He helped with event programming, outreach and logistics; aided the visitors with language issues; and worked with The Beacon Council to identify local business relationships for the exhibitors.
FIU’s diversity provides permanent benefit.
“A U.S degree is very important in Italy and I decided to get an MBA from MIP, School of Management of Politecnico di Milano specifically because of its membership in the Dual Degree network,” Vitale said of the program that enables students to earn complementary business degrees in two countries: an MBA in their home country and a Master of International Business (MIB) at FIU.
In addition to his U.S. credentials, Vitale will carry with him a key advantage for any international business person: the ability to interact with people from different cultures, which FIU’s diverse population exemplifies.
“Not only did I expand my knowledge of various cultures themselves,” he said, “but also I learned to see how people perceive the same things in different ways, and this will help me in the future.”
Photographs courtesy of Yamila Images.