Luca Giordani, Project Manager Product Development, Switzerland Tourism
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 Luca Andrea Giordani, Project Manager Product Development for Switzerland Tourism in Zurich. USI Degree: Master in International Tourism, 2013.
How did you start your career?
In my opinion, a career starts already with work experience which can be gained alongside school or university. The better the “content” matches, the better you can combine and apply theoretical knowledge with practical experience afterwards. Following my graduation with a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Communication Science and a Minor in Economics and Business Administration, I undertook some travels, as well as a six-month internship with Swiss International Air Lines Ltd. in the eCommerce department and a shorter internship with a partner agency of Switzerland Tourism in Shanghai, China. I then returned to USI for my Master’s in International Tourism. I have been interested in tourism and specifically aviation well before starting my academic education, but wanted to gather some experience in a different industry after graduating as well. I was given the opportunity to do so in the business development department of a large Swiss restaurant chain operating in a number of countries worldwide. Working in the service sector has sharpened my focus on customer needs, which together with my passion for the travel industry later brought me to my new role as a customer experience project manager with the Swiss leisure travel airline “Edelweiss” (part of the Lufthansa Group). There, I was later able to lead a small team of product & service development professionals before I joined Switzerland Tourism in 2020.
Why did you choose a career in Switzerland Tourism?
Even though marketing is apparently Switzerland Tourism’s focus as the national marketing and sales organization for Switzerland, a small team is dedicated to product development and innovation. Switching to such a team within an NTO and thus to the heart of tourism was an obvious move, especially since I could identify myself with the “product” Switzerland without further ado.
What is your current role/duties?
Switzerland Tourism is intensifying and accentuating product development in close cooperation with the industry and ST's market and marketing experts. All products form an integral part of ST's marketing campaigns. When developing new products, the focus is on the guest experience as well as travel needs and trends. ST's product development aims to recognize trends early on and to ensure the transfer of know-how within the industry. As a project manager my duties include: - Conceptual project work (new product ideas) - Planning and execution of new product innovations with other departments within Switzerland Tourism and other players in the industry (e.g. DMOs) - Coaching/Consulting for project- related stakeholders - Identify trends and opportunities for product innovation to promote the Swiss tourism.
In your opinion, what are the qualities necessary for a successful career in Switzerland Tourism?
First and foremost: Make your customer the center of attention. This is especially true when you are welcoming guests from all over the world with different expectations, traditions and conventions. Luckily, I have had many and frequent opportunities to travel from a young age, and I have enjoyed broadening my horizon and immersing myself into other cultures and foreign languages. Understanding your guest and your guest’s needs is key when developing products and services for them.
What positive aspects and qualities meant most to you during the study programme you attended?
The Master in International Tourism featured a perfectly balanced mix of theory, combined with practical cases granting proximity to the tourism industry in a personal, international and fun environment. Some modules were led by professors from renowned universities in Switzerland and abroad, thus providing variety and different insights. With modules lasting several days in a row, it was possible to deal intensively with certain topics. Excursions, several student activities and the study trip rounded off the experience.
What competences and/or skills acquired in your USI Study Program have been useful/are useful to your professional career?
- Multidisciplinary thinking; Recognize economic, social and cultural interrelations!
- Team orientation & flexibility; Multicultural environment!
- Service orientation; Customer Perspective!
- Proactivity; Accept it or change it!
- Ability to fail (without fear); Leads to innovation! - Interest; Intrinsic motivation!
What is your advice to USI students entering the job market?
Especially at the beginning of a career, openness and honesty towards (potential) employers are extremely important. Without years of work experience, it is first of all necessary to listen actively, learn, ask (critical) questions and in this way contribute with attributes other than overconfidence. Administrative and sometimes repetitive tasks are initially part of the deal, but can also be something positive to learn from. With interest, openness and diligence you can gradually take the reins for your further career path into your own hands.