28 September, 2021
#8 Portrait of a woman in finance: Rosa Scappatura
As a kid, my dream job was to become a flight attendant. The idea of flying to another continent overnight and meet people from other cultures was exciting to me.
At 18, I went through a full-day casting process at Alitalia in Rome to become a flight attendant. It was my first trip alone … Although I didn't make it, it was an amazing experience, but I also realised that job was much tougher than I had thought in my childhood dreams.
The desire of traveling and visiting the world never left me. In my career, I've had the opportunity to travel and work in different countries and work with people from all over the world. I was able to fulfil my dream just in an different way. Being immersed in a multi-cultural environment is the part of my job I love most. It's not only exciting but it's also enriching from a personal perspective.
I landed in the banking industry in a very interesting way. I would say it was more of an accident than anything else. I studied languages, foreign literatures and fine arts at university. After graduating in Pisa, I moved to Belgium as an intern, but two weeks later I got a job at the Bank of New York. The Bank was looking for someone with languages and admin skills. I remember walking in on my first day and entering a room It was an open space office with about 70 people all speaking loudly on the phone and gesticulating. For a moment, entering the door, I thought I was on the trading floor of a stock exchange and I asked myself, “Did I enter the wrong door?” It took me a few days to understand what the job was about. Today when new people come on board, it's so different. Back then, you had to hit the ground running. It was a big challenge, but a positive one. It allowed me to step out of my comfort zone. I'm so grateful that I was able to experience this. When I think about that period, it's always with a great smile. It was a great period both for my professional and personal life and I made some of the best friends I still have today.”
If I could go back in time, what I would tell my younger self is the following : “Be bold! Don’t leave the opportunity when it comes up simply because you feel you are not good enough or you don't have the right set of skills. My entrance into the banking world was sort of an accident. I took an opportunity that presented itself without thinking much about it. But a few years later, I had a couple of opportunities that I was hesitant to take as I felt I was not ready for those jobs. Looking retrospectively, I chose the safe choice. Even if it takes you outside of what you know, you should dare to do things. And you may fail, but hey… so what? You can always go back. The regret of not doing what you could have done because you were holding back will stay with you. So be courageous!”.
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