Eleonora, tell us about your journey, the share of challenges how did you overcome them. Share with us some incidents you feel were the turning point for you.
My personal journey to become the person I am today starts very far. I grew up in Rome, and since childhood, my parents’ taught me to be curious and open to explore the world. I guess at that time, they didn’t realize how far this learning would take me.
I didn’t always know what I wanted to do in life. I was a curious and free-spirited girl, interested in a lot of things. Therefore I was very confused when it came time to choose a career, to decide what to do.
Two experiences changed me.
The first one, when I was selected for a volunteering project in Rwanda, I was 18. I discovered that I wanted to contribute to a better world. A more united world. So I signed up to study International Relations at University.
That’s when the 2nd life-changing experience happened. I joined a student organization called AIESEC. I was 21, and thanks to this association, I got a space to learn, practice, make mistakes, and understand what I liked and what I don’t like. I still cared about contributing to a more equal and fair world. But I realized that I thrive in innovative and fast-paced environments.
So I decided to work in the private sector instead of choosing a bureaucratic public organization as I had initially planned.
Thanks to a friend (this could be the turning point #3) I learned that Nike was looking for interns to work on their University and Student Programs. I had a couple of years of recruitment experience, so I decided to apply. Moreover, Nike seems to be precisely the type of organization to learn fast, be inspired, and have the freedom to “Just Do It.” I couldn’t believe my luck when I started at the European headquarters in the Netherlands!
I spent 6 incredible years in Nike, almost every year, I was promoted or assigned to new projects in different areas of Talent Acquisition and Talent Development. And last but not least, I shattered some of my mental physical barriers and managed to run 2 half-marathons (before joining Nike the maximum I ran was to catch the bus).
Everything was comfortable and “perfect” (by what society would expect of me), but a voice in my head started getting louder. It’s too early to settle down; there’s so much more to discover.
I knew that Asia was going to be my next playground, and the opportunity in Mindvalley came at the right time. My family and friends were quite shocked, and I got very excited about the opportunity to change, start fresh, and have experience in a fast-growing organization that has values so deeply connected with mine, like Unity. Luckily my husband was equally eager to move to Malaysia. I keep learning and changing every day. And I found out what my mission is: to help others find their purpose in life. These have been the best 18 months of my life, and I’m so grateful I trusted my intuition on this.
It’s funny that taxi drivers always ask me, “Did you move to Malaysia because of your husband’s job?” and they get surprised when I tell them that it’s the contrary.
Describe what does #SheTakesTheLead means to you?
For me, #SheTakesTheLead means being confident that I can follow my dreams, work, and life. That I am free to decide who I want to become and what I want to do regardless of what other people expect from me.
It is not always easy to think this way; I do doubt myself sometimes. But every time I do that, I remind myself of these quotes that change my life.
You see, there are at least two significant reasons for a woman to” Take the Lead”.
1) “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same”. So #SheTakesTheLead for me means having the courage to step up, not just for me, but also for other women that can be inspired by my actions, just like I was inspired by other great women around me.
2) I just finished reading The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates, and this book is an incredible collection of women stories from all over the world and from all walks of life. All these stories have common learning. When “women flourish, …our families and communities flourish with us”.
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