My name is Francesco, I was born in Italy some thirty years ago. According to my CV I am a project manager. However, this tells only part of the story.
Sure enough, I love Gantt charts and work breakdown structures, SWOT analysis and logical frameworks. And of course, I love to get things done, and having worked as a project manager in a place where barely anything was working, I got to learn a thing or two about it.
However, I am not afraid of sitting down and study. In fact, I am quite good at it. I have a strong background in qualitative research, and I am well trained to fetch relevant information and if necessary synthetize it into something one can read during the commute. But I know also how to read quantitative data, and being a person that used to struggle with maths, I learned how to explain data in simple terms. I can then understand and evaluate the effects of a project, a program, a policy and say something meaningful about it.
I am not an engineer nor an economist. I am a historian by education. During my studies I focused on how people coped with loss and mourning in the First World War, and how some people from Northern Italy tried to create a nation basically from scratch in the 90s (they failed). If I have learnt anything from my studies, it is that there are and there have been people who acted and thought in ways that leave us taken aback – because to our eyes they look foolish, brave, irrational, criminal, daring, or simply puzzling. All of this came helpful when dealing with people from a cultural background deeply different from mine.
I had been working with aid organizations in South Sudan for about three years. This experience proved enriching and I cannot express how much I learnt from it. This means that there were beautiful and rewarding moments as well as others when I wished to be anywhere else in the world.
While there, apart from project management, I had been involved in policy and field research, performing both quantitative and qualitative research, designing surveys and analysing their results in order to inform the policy and strategy of the organizations I was working with.
This meant that I had to learn some stats. Dreaded as I was, I ended up realizing that dealing with t tests and multiple linear regression is actually quite fun other than a skill that anybody should have in order to be properly informed nowadays. I mostly work with R, although I recently started to study python.
And that meant that I had to learn how to make maps. To be honest, not really, I started to use GIS programs because I found it fun, and then one thing leads to the other. I mostly work with QGIS, although I have some experience with ArcGIS.
I finished my last assignment in South Sudan in summer 2017, and at the moment I am looking for new challenges and career opportunities. At the moment I live in Berlin.