Theatre And Business Economics At The Basis Of My Career

Article by L’Albero

Americo Palermo is 35 years old. He has been working for 7 years in a company that operates in the wholesale trade of electronic products. He always put alongside his studies (scientific high school, and degree in Business Economics at LUISS University in Rome) the theatre and many other passions such as the cinema, the oenology, and the sports.

This passion and discipline (the theatre) began when he was a child, and it is still ongoing.

Because the theatre” – Americo said – “is able to accompany you – literally – in each phase of your life and the desire and the excitement of going on stage turns into a self-development path.”

Americo is undoubtedly an introspective person and a great observer. He speaks calmly.

At the beginning of our talk, the first thing that he tells us is that when you enter the labour market it seems that everything you studied at the University does not have much to do with the practice. Obviously, later you find out that it is not true, but there is a missing piece.
As when you play football: you train hard but then the match is a different story.

There! According to Americo, the theatre represents the workout, the training, necessary for the development of all those essential job skills that the University does not develop.

In my work (and I think it is valid for each work) the most important skill is the ability to think fast and be reactive. No school trains you to handle unexpected events. The theatre does it.

So, according to you, problem solving is the most important transversal competence that the theatre can develop?

Yes. It is. At least it is true for my job where the problems to solve are a daily occurrence. The theatre taught me to keep calm and manage the unexpected with clarity of mind.

You studied Business Economics, so definitely you are a person with a highly developed logical-mathematical intelligence, a person inclined to reason by the data.  When you studied at the University, what was the competence developed through the theatre that you underestimated for your future, but then it turned out essential?

The social skills: knowing how to communicate, how to understand the people with whom you work and how to handle them in difficult times. Often, during a critical situation, there is a lot of tension. Some colleagues become anxious: the emotional component within the team is intense and it should be handled carefully. In this sense, thanks to the theatre, I can say I have learned to work in a team and handle the stress very well.

Regarding the personal competences, what would you consider the most important to develop?

Definitely self-confidence. When you are on the stage you should be aware. According to me, self-confidence does not mean thinking you are the best, the cleverest, the most talented, but being aware and confident about what you can do and about your contribution in the team.
Furthermore, I think it is important to be curious, open-minded. This trait is usually underestimated in professional training, too focused on specific and technical competences and knowledge.

Instead, the theatre, being a social activity that cannot prescind from the encounter with the other, taught me to be open to the others point of views and to the most disparate interests and passions. It also taught me to seek the solutions less obvious and to use divergent thinking.

Therefore, can the theatre develop the ability of “learning to learn”?

Absolutely yes. This capacity is not related only to the continuing education, but it is also a mental attitude. The world changes fast and today’s work demands the ability to learn new things in the time of a click.

The theatre teaches me how to observe and how to link together elements that come from different spheres. This is also a way to learn.

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