Roberto Lionti, a Purchasing Senior Manager in Europe Beauty Care at Procter & Gamble, states that his goal is to bring “tangible, positive change to the world.” Having lived and worked in five countries, including Switzerland, Roberto has plenty of experience that gives him the ability to do so. But how did his time studying in Switzerland give him the connections and skills he needed to launch a brilliant international career? In an exclusive interview, Roberto showed us exactly how.
Qualifications and Career Trajectory
Roberto earned his bachelor’s degree in International Relations at the Geneva campus of EU Business School, one of the premier private business institutions in Europe. After EU, he went on to earn a master’s degree in international business from the University of Birmingham, as well as certifications in Robotic Process Automation software.
Roberto’s work history is somewhat unique. In 2013, he started his first part-time job as a Remote Participation Moderator at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), thanks to a networking opportunity through the EU. This helped him land his first internship at Procter & Gamble in 2016 as a Purchasing Intern based in Geneva. Following that internship, he began another in 2017 as a Business Analyst Trainee at SICPA, a leader in physical and digital security solutions located in Lausanne. Then, after working in Robotic Process Automation for a while at EY in Belgium, he returned to Procter & Gamble as a Purchasing Manager in Geneva, where he remains today.
Roberto returned to P&G because he enjoyed the amount of responsibility he was given there, which he feels is essential for personal and professional growth. He also felt empowered by the company’s slogan, “Day 1 starts with you doing something that really matters.”
Insights on Culture
As an expatriate and long-time member of the global workforce, Roberto is accustomed to working with people from all walks of life, but it seems he has always lived a vibrant, culture-crossing life. Going from a third-culture childhood to graduating high school with an International Baccalaureate diploma, to attending EU Business School, which has a student body representing over 100 nationalities, Roberto has always lived a somewhat borderless life. Roberto, who works mainly with European clients but also does business in Asia, Africa, and the Americas, says that the strong company culture at Procter & Gamble helps flatten many potential cross-cultural conflicts.
This international upbringing prepared him for studying, then working in Geneva. While many students are attracted to the prospect of attending school in Geneva due to its high educational standards and superior quality of life, those who wish to study business go there in part to take advantage of Geneva’s incredible internationality. With 40% of the population being foreign-born and being the headquarters of huge multinational organizations across many sectors, Geneva is the perfect place to begin a career in international business, finance, healthcare, and more.
Advice to Students and New Graduates
When asked to give his advice to current students and people entering the workforce, Roberto was adamant that his foremost words of wisdom would be, “Don’t sell yourself short.” While some people believe that only graduates of big-name schools such as Harvard could find high-level work at top international companies like P&G, Roberto knows this isn’t the case. “I often hear pessimistic attitudes from others, saying ‘Oh, you know, I would never be able to work at this kind of company because I didn’t get a degree from an Ivy League school…and I think my experience goes to show you that the EU bachelor’s that I have is just as well-recognized as any other bachelor’s… because I was able to secure my internship here with that bachelor’s degree. And that internship eventually led to a full-time position.’”
Instead, Roberto believes that hiring is done based on the applicant’s performance and capability. However, he also acknowledges that networking plays a large part in the job-seeking process. Being located in a multicultural, multinational city like Geneva makes high-level networking very accessible. In addition, the EU Business School’s alumni network of more than 27,000 business professionals worldwide only makes one’s potential network bigger. Roberto himself spoke highly of the EU network, saying that he attends events in Geneva whenever he can.
It’s clear that being located in Switzerland bolstered Roberto Roberto’s career. Between internationality, proximity to global organizations, and the extensive alumni network he had access to through EU Geneva, Roberto was ideally situated to start a brilliant career in international business. So, if you are looking for an incredible international study experience where you have access to some of the world’s biggest luminaries, Switzerland might be the perfect place for you too.