Federica Pedalino, Press Office Assistant, ESMO
4 May 2020
In order to help current students and recent graduates to find their way in the working world, many of our alumni shared their career story. Here the story of Federica Pedalino, Press Office Assistant for ESMO in Lugano (CH). USI Degree: Master in Communication, Management and Health, 2019.
How did you start your career?
During my last semester at USI and while I was still writing my thesis, I started my career at the Communications department of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) as a Press Office Assistant.
Why did you choose a career in ESMO?
I decided to work at ESMO as it was giving me the opportunity to enter the health sector and finally start to apply what I learned during the Master program. In addition to that, I strongly support the ESMO vision, that is to offer the best care to people with cancer, through fostering integrated cancer care, supporting oncologists in their professional development, and advocating for sustainable cancer care worldwide. Another valuable aspect was represented by the opportunity to work in an international and stimulating working environment.
What is your current role/duties?
Working as a Press Office Assistant means acting as the point of contact for members of the press and other media representatives. The role entails a wide range of responsibilities, including the distribution of press releases, handling inquiries from journalists and other media contacts via telephone calls or email, as well as the daily monitoring of the coverage of the organization within the media.
In your opinion, what are the qualities necessary for a successful career in ESMO?
At ESMO, as in most other companies, social skills and interpersonal relations are extremely important: share knowledge and contribute to teams so that can benefit from a diversity of thinking and drive to the shared outcomes is essential. It is also important not to focus on the ups and downs: always try to stay focused on your long-term goals and never lose confidence in your own abilities and values.
What are USI’s positive features and qualities?
USI offers an incredible multicultural environment and it gives you the opportunity to build strong relationships with your classmates as well as professors. Another positive feature of USI is the opportunity to daily put in practice what you theoretically learn through the various group work (including the Field Project that allows students to directly collaborate with an organization to work on an assigned topic), which strongly prepare you for the professional world.
What competences and/or skills acquired in your USI Study Program have been useful/are useful to your professional career?
The entire program was excellent and provided a complete and in-depth knowledge about how communication and management in the health sector work. In particular, USI helped me to become more independent, to always try to overcome obstacles, and strive to do my best. In this regard, the Master thesis allowed me to go beyond my own limits. Quantitative data analysis was quite a challenge for me but, despite this, my perseverance and commitment enabled me to conclude a research on Instagram use and body dissatisfaction among female adolescents and young adults. Shortly after my graduation, my thesis has been accepted for the ICA (International Communication Association) Conference, to be held in Australia in May 2020, and it was selected as the year's top student-led paper in health communication.
What is your advice to USI students entering the job market?
Always be willing to learn new things. Remember, you don't always have to have the answers. Be curious, proactive, and believe in your capabilities.