The European Leadership Programme (ELP) is about personal and professional growth. It opens a career pathway for those who want to become European leaders. The ELP involves commitment, effort, interest, curiosity, meeting deadlines, participation in sessions and discussions and community life. With the purpose of inaugurating its 4th edition, the ELP will interview the Fellows to explore their impressions, expectations, ambitions and general thoughts linked to the Programme and their new life in Brussels, the EU Capital. Today we leave you an interview with Marco Fornasiero, 4th Edition ELP Fellow, young leader and Coordinator at Bruxelles Chapter Project. Discover how to be a good leader with ELP.
Name: Marco Fornasiero
Traineeship placement: Coordinator of the Bruxelles Chapter Project
Who are you? We want to get to know you.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello to everyone, my name is Marco. I was born in Padova, a city in the north-east of Italy. For the past 5 years I lived in Rome, where I concluded my studies in Political Science at La Sapienza University, with a specialization in parliamentary and comparative law and budget issues. During my time in Rome I also worked as a journalist for 2 years. From October 2019 to the end of February 2020, I completed a Shuman traineeship at the Cabinet of the President of the European Parliament, an invaluable experience during which I learned a lot.
Q: Describe yourself in three words.
Competitive, compassionate and curious.
Q: What are your interests or hobbies outside of work?
When I can I really enjoy sports and being in contact with nature. Of course, if the weather doesn’t help, there is nothing better than a good book.
Q: Do you have any inspirational person or quote?
My parents, the only people you never stop learning from.
Q: What motivates you in life/ What are you passionate about?
I believe that what motivates me for the future is to help create a more balanced and just society. I believe that achieving this will require a change of mindset, especially on a cultural level, towards a European perspective.
Q: How would you describe your ideal job and how ELP can help you achieve that?
A job which challenges me and allows me to put my skills to use. Taking up responsibility in the field of my interest (European Politics) and contributing to the work of a team. I think that the ELP will be able to hone my soft skills as a leader and improve my hard skills as a policy maker.
ELP Programme (aspirations and expectations)
Q: What was your motivation to apply to the ELP?
I believe that in today’s society we need new leaders. Not only in politics but in every job and every profession. We are living in an age of rapid developments and ever-changing socio-economic, political and cultural challenges. I believe that the ELP Programme can give you a life of experiences and equip you with the necessary tools to navigate and lead the upcoming challenges and turn them into opportunities.
Q: Did your experience so far meet your general expectations of the Programme?
We’ve only just started, but yes absolutely. A community spirit has already been created, especially with my roommates, Silvia, Enzo, Samir and Matus.
Traineeships in times of COVID-19
Q:How has Covid-19 affected your life and professional experience in Brussels?
The experience of Covid has changed everyone’s life not only from a professional but also from a relational point of view. We had to adapt to new rhythms and lifestyles. Work has been the main area that was impacted by the virus. Certainly, the ELP experience in this sense is very challenging because it makes you live with different people who come from different backgrounds but with which you share many more interests than you can imagine.
Q: How did COVID-19 affect your traineeship?
Covid has certainly influenced my internship, not as much my work activities but more afterwards in the process of looking for a new occupation. Not only did companies adapt to the virus with new ways of working such as smart-working, but for a few months they also stopped hiring.
Life in Brussels
Q: Tell us a bit about the experience of sharing a house in Brussels.
Luckily, this is not my first time in Brussels. Last year I was a Shuman Trainee at the Cabinet of the President of the European Parliament, from October 2019 until the end of February 2020. Today, as in the past, I got to know people from different parts of Europe. I really like living at home with my roommates, we are just at the beginning, but I think we will have a great time. After all it is also a good experience to live in a place with other people to practice good leadership. For this reason, there is nothing better than being part of the ELP programme.
Q: How do you think ELP will help you in the path of becoming a better leader?
First of all, I believe that being a leader today means being able not only to understand people but to be able to envisage a better future for them. In order to do this, I believe that not only technical knowledge is necessary, but also self-knowledge as a person, the spiritual sphere that is in each of us. I believe that the ELP programme differs from others in the fact that it includes both of these dimensions.
Q: What leadership skills did you learn so far/or except to learn?
At this initial stage we are following an online course on how to make correct predictions. This is certainly one of the main challenges a leader faces when working on a puzzle or issue at hand. Internalizing this method of forecasting is not only a challenging process, but a very rewarding one too.
Q: ELP encourages Fellows to engage in community service through volunteering. What do you think about Volunteering and what are your plans to volunteer?
I believe that volunteering can be the highest form of charity. I have carried out this activity very often in Italy. I hope to be part of the project and vision of Maison Josefa and work together with my fellow peers on something.
Q: What part of the Programme you are looking forward to the most; meeting any speaker, a specific lecture or activity?
I am very happy to have the possibility in facing professional and personal challenges with my mentors. This part of the programme also motivated me to take part of the ELP and I am greatly looking forward to start talking about various perspectives. As one of the EU mottos goes “United in diversity”.