Future Stars – Alessia Santuccio

Year of the PhD program: I am now pretty close to the end of my PhD. I will defend my thesis in Economics of Communication next month.

Explain your background which has led you to the PhD program. I graduated in 2004 in Business and Administration at Cattolica University of Milan. It seemed to me that time did just fly away so quickly. I thought not to be ready to leave the university context: I still wanted to spend my time studying, exploring new things, still wondering the reasons why of some phenomena. So I decided to begin a PhD.

What research areas are you interested in? Since I started my PhD, I have explored many issues that mainly refer to knowledge management, collaboration and communication dynamics also in emergency scenarios, analysis of individual and collective behavior of project teams interacting on-distance. More in detail, next month I will defend my dissertation on communication and collaboration dynamics in long-distance teams, which explores the mentioned topics in EU funded project teams. I am also managing a EU funded project exploring the ethical governance of ambient intelligence in society, so I am happy to approach also this new area of study!

What do you like to do for fun? I love cooking, people say I exteriorize creativity when I spend time in the kitchen…but for quality, please ask them! I also love reading and watching movies, relaxing on a big sofa! Swimming is my favorite sport, I used to participate in competitions but now the time left to train is not enough anymore L .

Just curious – how often do you blog? I have never posted on a blog.

Mention some things that you are currently doing which is helping to make your PhD career successful. When I began my PhD, I had the opportunity to start working at CeTIF, a research center of my University which explores organizational dynamics and technological innovation in the financial industry. I think that CeTIF, pushing me into the world of business, gave me the possibility to approach the “so what” issue: I started to understand and “concretely touch” the reasons why of what I was studying and getting closer to a company view, its needs and requirements, without leaving behind the theoretical background. Also, I have been working for three years on projects financed by the European Commission. I really love working and being in touch with the international environment: you can share issues and topics that are of interest at the moment and meet always new and interesting people.

Discuss some challenges that you’ve encountered in your PhD career and how are you working to overcome them. I think the most difficult issue to manage when you decide to start a PhD is the need for time optimization. It happened to me to be involved on many and – why not – different projects or issues. On the one hand this is good as the more you do the more you learn, but on the other hand it can also be dangerous if not properly managed. Sometimes you need to stop and think: “Am I going on the right direction? How can this be useful for my PhD career?”. I think it is really important to have well defined objectives that you can reach and also a good helmsman that can support you if necessary.

Please make additional comments here: I really appreciate the possibility you gave me to post an interview and I hope this is just the beginning of a multicultural and global OCIS phd students’ community!

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