We are Gianmarco and Tommaso, we’re two students finishing up our last year of Management Engineering’s master degree and we wanted to tell you about our experience in a company.
First we want to start by saying that we had other plans in mind: starting the project in March, finishing it in July along with exams and then leave for Sydney to write our thesis.
When it all seemed set, Covid disrupted our program. We couldn’t take that thesis anymore and the project was postponed to July. We had to face a choice: either start a theoretical project from home or take the opportunity to go to a company in Nogara (VR), called Hinowa, a manufacturing company that produces aerial platforms, automatic carioles and under carriers. On the one hand we had an easy choice, which would save us time and energy: work from home and finish quickly. On the other hand, working in the company would have required us to move to a small village lost among the Venetian rice paddies for three months, putting at risk the possibility of a thesis abroad.
Looking at facts we decided to “risk it” with the project in Nogara: the job seemed interesting, we wanted to get working experience in a company and Covid made it difficult to make predictions about a possible thesis abroad.
The experience at Nogara was very intense, the loadwork required was a lot and there were strong expectations on us. At first we were a little disorientated: after studying a lot of theoretical things, when you are facing real people with real problems it seems that you cannot make a contribution. However, in the two and a half months we stayed there we saw that our work had value, our ideas were realized and, although with difficulty, we were helping out.
The other interesting aspect of this job was seeing people at work. We learned a lot from our boss; other than her technical knowledge and her way of organizing projects the greatest outcome of this experience was to see her way of dealing with difficulties at work and of relating herself to colleagues and operators. For example, when at the end of the project we presented the solution that we wanted to implement to the warehouse workers many of the operators were against it and it was very nice to see how she handled it. She did not impose herself, but she had a constructive discussion with everyone, saying that the solution was either taken together or would not be brought up to the board.
In a decisive but respectful way we spoke with the most skeptical employees, managing to reach a common point. Similarly, in order to meet their needs, we decided together who should be assigned to different roles.
Another example is when while talking with the logistics manager, difficulties emerged in dealing with three problems at the same time and we were about to pull back and leave one out. She was super organized and had in mind the steps to follow and the goal to be achieved, and decided to continue with all three. With short weekly meetings we took stock of how things were proceeding and what was blocking us and together we thought about how to find possible solutions, in a structured way and without wasting time. According to her, who was determined to get to the root of problems and did not back down even when there was a need to clash with suppliers or colleagues, we were able to find a solution for all three problems.
We were lucky enough to meet passionate people who had an interest in making us fully understand their work and the various aspects they wanted to improve with us. All this makes us say that after so many credits acquired studying books it was an added value to really being able to enter a working reality.
To conclude, as we are writing these lines, even if our project is over, we are still in Nogara since, after all other chances were discarded, we have been asked to stay here for another job on which, this time, we will really write our thesis.