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Rocco Takes NYC

At Octonano, we’ve always prided ourselves on our fluidity between nations and cultures. Today, we’re highlighting one of our team members who is working far from home, bringing invaluable international experience and insight to our work. Meet our Digital and Social Media Strategist Rocco, who is part of our New York team.

Where did you grow up, and what places in the world do you call home?

I grew up in Montescaglioso, a small town close to Matera in southern Italy. I lived there until I was 19, and then I moved to Rome for university.

What has your career journey been like up to this point?

I have loved my career journey so far, because I always did what I found interesting personally and things that were in line with my personality. Most of my career has been centered around Marketing, which I love. But also I also have experience in HR and Sales, and I like both of these areas, as well. I’ve always done my best to find something that aligned with my values and passions, to find the most enjoyment in the career path that I have built so far.

What’s something you’ve learned through working in multiple different cultures and languages?

During my exchange abroad in France, I wrote a post that read: “All the world smiles in the same language.” This means that above any cultural or linguistic difference, every human being has feelings, and this is also reflected in work environments. Everyone wants to feel like they’re valued in a work environment and deserving of time and space, regardless of their job.

I also learned three additional important lessons:

  1. Cultivating an international team is a great opportunity both for workers and for the company. Bringing together people from different backgrounds and cultures allows them to produce unique ideas, concepts, and innovation.

  2. Speaking in different languages means discovering that some concepts are stronger in one language than in others, and this can depend a lot on the culture and environment. Also, I believe that working in different languages allows you to explore many different aspects of working and living in a new country.

  3. Culture can affect the way messages are perceived, so it is crucial to be careful when using certain phrases and words. People of different cultures can be more sensitive to certain topics than others. Finally, I believe every culture has specific strengths, so it’s essential to cooperate and allow each person to bring their qualities to the table.

What is something that has surprised you about living in New York City?

People’s varied and international backgrounds. Sometimes in the subway, I stop and look at the people seated in front of me, and I am surprised by how much diversity can be found just on the train.

Also, I am surprised by how frequently people’s lives change in New York, such as their job positions, industries, etc. A person can be a CFO, but also a painter or a football player in their free time. I love this because it reminds me that you can be whoever you want to be in life.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to keep following my gut, because thanks to this instinct, I have experienced so many wonderful cities and met so many amazing people. These opportunities have truly changed my life.

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