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When an MBA (and your will) makes all the difference

10 November, 2016

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Date of Publication: 10 November, 2016
An interview with Mattia Santin, Digital Marketing Manager with 10 year's experience in ecommerce, online marketing and multichannel strategy. He tells us about his career and approach to work which, from Boston to Barcelona to Amsterdam, have allowed him to work for many major companies.

Hello Mattia. Ten years ago, after a degree in Economics and Tourism in Italy, you decided to go to Boston to pursue an MBA at Hult International Business School. Was it a difficult choice? Did you already have clear ideas about the path you wanted to follow?

It all started much earlier actually, when I was 16. I lived in the USA for a year and went to high school. From then onwards, my entire vision of the world changed forever. Throughout my university career in Italy I knew I wanted to go back to the US. At the time, in 2005, I first tried to look for job opportunities there but soon realized I needed an additional degree to stand out when compared to other young candidates who didn’t need a visa. After a big loan and long months of study, it all began in Boston.


What impressed you most about your education in the US?

In one word: the practicality. It was not the typical text book education but rather it focused on concrete real life examples from businesses and employers across the world. I quite enjoyed it as it was all about studying real cases, learning from past experiences and discussing alternatives with fellow students. It was fascinating when compared to what I was used to doing.


VistaPrint, Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger. After a specialization in digital marketing, in only a few years you worked for many major companies in ever more prestigious roles. According to you, are there fewer career barriers in your industry compared to other sectors?

I guess it depends on your willingness to work hard to improve your skills, (as it’s a very fast paced industry) and possibly the desire to change roles and/or employer. The broader the learning the greater the reward. Back when I started in Digital Marketing there weren’t many schools or programs teaching you the ins and outs of the subject. It was all about figuring things out for yourself and I was lucky to work in companies where I was able and encouraged to learn fast.


What do you like most about your profession, and what’s the most difficult aspect to manage?

I am addicted to solving problems. The more difficult the challenge whether it be about performance, a marketing campaign or a specific channel, the happier I am once it is solved.

Also, the ever changing nature of marketing, be it digital or offline, always keeps me motivated to learn more and try new things. 


What advice would you give to a young person who wants to embark on a career similar to yours?

Be curious! Ask lots of questions and try to learn from others with more experience, others you look up to. Try to understand what motivates and excites you in your job, what makes you get out of bed in the morning. Once you find out, work very hard to be the best you can be! 


What’s the skill that you most definitely look for in a candidate?

He or she has to be a problem solver. Someone who is excited, and not scared, about solving problems. Someone who’s motivated about mastering something and making it grow, no matter how difficult it may be.

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