I am amazed by opportunities that are given to you in this program. Hugely amazed. My experience in the Corporate Development team is a good example of this.

1 year ago, Liechtenstein

Never stop exploring

After one year in sales and one short project in marketing, I left Hilti Italy and Milan and relocated to Vaduz, Liechtenstein. I was set to work for 6 months in Corporate Development, our strategy team, and take part in the review of our corporate strategy. Back then, I hardly had any idea about how impactful and exciting my work could be.

So, what I did was a complete review of the basic mechanics behind our strategy, challenging its main assumptions to the core. If this sounds way too abstract, my tasks were very practical: first, I tried to develop a clear understanding of the strategy and the key points needed to achieve our goals. Then, I developed several structured analyses to test if these key points were being achieved as planned. If they weren’t, I looked for root causes and proposed a way forward.

Needles to say, the project has been extremely challenging but also extremely rewarding. I worked on themes, such as digital business or productivity, that could reshape the way we do things. I collaborated with an incredibly sharp team and gained plenty of exposure to senior management – all the way to the executive board. Above all, I managed to develop a deep understanding of our business, to a level that I would have considered impossible to attain in less than 2 years with the company.

It’s been difficult to say goodbye to my colleagues and to this beautiful part of the world. However, this is one of the main strengths of the program: once you are fully comfortable in a position, it’s time to move to the next one. Never stop exploring, never stop developing.

Next stop, Singapore!

When I speak of the program, I tend to focus on the business side. But there is so much more to it. Travelling, for example.

9 months ago,

A lifetime’s worth of travelling

I spent 4 months in Singapore for my last rotation. Despite a very intense project and some business trips, I was still able to squeeze in a few trips in the region: to Cambodia, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

 

Cambodia: on a Friday I left the office early and boarded a plane to Siam Reap. 2 hours later I was in a place that couldn’t be more different than Singapore. I rented a bicycle and spent the following two day exploring the holy city of Angkor Wat. This is truly a special place – the capital of an ancient empire, once abandoned and forgotten, now rediscovered and teeming with mystery. Next stop, Phnom Penh, after a surprisingly comfortable night on a bus equipped with bunk beds. I loved walking the full length of what used to be “Pearl of Asia”; it is now a dynamic and forward-looking city still scarred by the events during Khmer Rouge occupation – most evident at Tuol Sleng school.

 

Indonesia: my girlfriend came visiting, so we went together to the island of Flores. The flight to get there was the first interesting thing, on what is possibly the most unsafe plane I’ve ever seen: a 30-seater relic of ancient times, run by a regional Indonesian airline. The island is an incredible place, beautiful and remote – a world away from modern cities we’re used to live in. Two places particularly struck us: Kelimutu and the Komodo national park. Kelimutu is an exploded volcano that left three craters in the ground: now these three craters are filled with water of different colours, so intense that you could mistake it for paint. Komodo national park, instead, is the home of the famous Komodo dragon, which is as cool and as scary as it looks in picture. Aside from dragons, nature in the park is stunning, with some of the most incredible beaches I’ve ever seen – some of them even deserted!

 

 

Malaysia: the only neighbour of Singapore, Malaysia is a short bus ride and a long border crossing away. I spent several weekends in this interesting and modern country. The place I enjoyed the most was, unexpectedly, the mega-city of Kuala Lumpur. Aside from the obvious sights, what I love about KL is the vibe – a concept difficult to explain but very evident as soon as you step into Alor street food night market. A horde of street food stalls, packed with tourists and locals alike until the wee hours. And don’t get me started on the food – I don’t know what I would give for a proper nasi lemak now!

 

 

Looking back, I’m blessed to have been part of the program. I’ve lived in beautiful and diverse places, worked with the best and learnt a lot, and I’ve experienced a lifetime’s worth of travelling. The best part is that it isn’t over yet!

Damiano

Commercial Track, Alumni