Alumni Spotlight: Manuela Pignata, Class of 2015

studying abroad in Rome, John Cabot University, JCU student lifeFirst times can often be overwhelming. The fear of the “new” can easily overtake the excitement of a new adventure. But as I first walked through the Lemon Tree Courtyard of John Cabot University’s Guarini campus, fear was soon replaced by the understanding that in this community, I would feel at home.

John Cabot University inevitably changes you. It teaches you to always keep an open mind, not only accepting, but embracing, diversity and uniqueness. It encourages you to follow and nurture your own passions, by placing an emphasis on creativity and critical thinking. And it teaches you to trust your own potential, but without ever underestimating the added value that cooperation with others and teamwork brings. With its personal and practical approach, JCU gives you the basis to successfully start you on your professional journey, always available to offer guidance and support.

In my case, toward the end of my senior year, I worked closely with the Center for Career Services team so that I could get assistance in finding a job that would allow me to grow professionally and apply the lessons learnt in the classroom. Shortly after my last exams, I joined Doctors in Italy, back then a start-up launching an English-speaking medical service in Italy, for a marketing and administration internship.

I was welcomed by a team of enthusiastic people who shared a common goal: their commitment to making patients’ lives easier by breaking down the communication barriers that are inevitably a problem in a foreign country. Like John Cabot University, Doctors in Italy gave me the chance to meet people from all over the world, each with their own unique story.

During my eight months with Doctors in Italy, I saw how the plans and goals of a team can become reality. We launched new services; we established partnerships with international organizations, embassies, insurance providers, and universities; we were selected as a trusted IAMAT travel clinic, a prestigious recognition for international medical care; and we built the foundations for what is now a growing and thriving international healthcare provider.

Working in the clinic taught me the importance of balancing managerial, strategic, and organizational duties with a more “human” side to help make the patients’ experience as stress-free as possible. It showed me that empathy is fundamental to build trust and meaningful connections, two aspects that are of course key in the medical field, but in other fields as well. As explained in many of the marketing and communications courses at John Cabot, the need for a human-centric approach is a necessity in most business environments.

Keeping this in mind, I chose to continue my studies and follow my passion for brand management by pursuing an MSc in Marketing Management at ESADE Business School, an institution that, much like JCU, has the international community and the practical approach that I had found already so valuable.

More than two years have passed since my last day at John Cabot, yet in every step taken in the pursuit of my personal and professional identity, I hold close all the lessons learnt in the classroom from experienced and passionate professors, in the hallways from classmates and friends, and on campus from caring staff members.

Manuela Pignata
Class of 2015
Communications and Marketing major
Hometown: Naples, Italy

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