'Decisions are made on instincts and emotions'

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Gérôme Bourdezeau (bottom right) joined Eataly Rome in 2012. Photos: Eataly
17:36 CEST+02:00
Gérôme Bourdezeau drove his old Mercedes from France to Italy in the 1990s and didn't look back. The director of Eataly, a food chain and organization that promotes Italian produce, in Rome talks to The Local about working for an Italian firm and life in the capital.

What brought you to Italy?

I moved in 1998 to do my national service; I was working on economic cooperation with the company Decathlon (the French sporting goods store).

I loaded up an old Mercedes 200 D and drove to a place close to Rimini in Emilia-Romagna.

I was full of doubts but brimming with optimism and the spirit of adventure!

How did you come to work for Eataly?

After working for Decathlon I went to work for UGC cinemas. When the first Eataly shop opened in 2007 I was managing a 16-screen cinema near Turin; I became one of its first loyal customers.

I moved to Rome in 2009 to manage a UGC subsidiary and got back in touch with Eataly when I knew that they were planning on opening in Rome.

How does working for an Italian company differ to a French one?

I worked for French companies for 15 years and now I’ve worked for an Italian company for a little over a year.

The real difference is that instincts and emotions are at the centre of decision-making in an Italian company. This shows in the results, for better or worse.

Do you feel that you work in an Italian or international environment?

The environment is 150 percent Italian, by virtue of Eataly’s philosophy.

The expertise is Italian, although an international flair is guaranteed by the company’s development in the US, Japan, Turkey, Dubai and soon in London, Moscow and Sao Paolo.

What are the benefits of working in Rome?

Working in Rome is always an exciting experience, as it allows you to both expand your professional horizons and explore a country where history and modern technology come together.

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If you are entrepreneurial you’re virtually guaranteed a flawless career. That is, if the crisis allows.

If you move to Rome you can also take advantage of this legendary city.

What advice do you have for people interested in working in Rome?

Review your skills, interests and professional goals. Find a list of companies that match this and write cover letters customized for each potential employer. Seek opportunities to develop relationships with people from these companies, for interviews and networking, and register with a headhunter and your embassy.

Also, remember your tourist guide and backpack! Rome is beautiful; come to eat, learn and shop in Eataly!

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