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Why did you do a Career Coaching course?

We were asked to participate in an assessment test at our headquarters aimed at assessing the technical competencies and managerial capabilities of the candidates as well as their orientation to the Group‘s values.

The local HR management considered it worthwhile to provide us with further support to reach the level of self-awareness that would allow us to make the most out of our skills to face the test, which is a very selective one given its purpose.

The pandemic crisis has contributed to limit the time available for preparation.

What were the personal and professional goals that also emerged during the course?

The conditions from which we started turned out to be fundamental assets for our "team work": our professional profiles and personal experience were quite different, and this created very useful synergies in the preparation process. Our coaches readily identified those synergies and made the best of them. The goal of coaching was precisely to acquire awareness of one‘s own competencies-knowledge, complementing one‘s own with those of the other. Suffice it to say that the paths had started in parallel, but then is was proposed to us to make them converge, given the complementarity of our managerial approaches.

What was the moment / situation that really motivated you to pass the exam?

ALBERTO: for me it was when the Coach pushed the right buttons to make me reflect on the situations of both my studies and professional career in which I have achieved successful results. It may seem like a banal motivational argument, but if the analysis reconstructs the details, if it "digs" in search of the reasons that allowed the results to materialise, then it becomes a truly empowering element. It was not easy to admit what these reasons really were and, above all, to decide that it was really necessary to proceed in the same way. That is, challenging oneself again, perhaps years later, overcoming one‘s obstinate laziness and letting go of prudential self-justifications. Since that day the goal has become more achievable for me.

STEFANO: after my first meeting with the Coach, I found myself at a crossroads: I could continue to have a disillusioned approach with respect to the opportunities, including that of the Coaching path itself, or I could stop playing it by ear and break down the bias that I had created during my professional career. Not everything has changed immediately, resistances and prejudices are always around the corner; but it is important to identify them and to prevent them from creating situations in which you give up trying to seize opportunities.

Let‘s try to retrace the path. What have you done? What have you worked on? What was the common goal of your learning path?

We started with individual interviews, an Entrepreneurial Mindset test, the areas of strength and those a little "drained" to work on. A very important aspect is self-perception: the gap between what we say we want to be and the decisions we are actually able to make in our day-to-day. In addition, we had to start this path in the days immediately following the reopening after the "first lockdown".

A period of economic and social uncertainty, but above all of general disorientation as to the way of handling the personal-professional relationships to which we have always been accustomed. After this first analysis with our Coach, we began to clarify the objectives: the strengthening of our "weakest" behaviours from every point of view, not just the managerial one.

When the time came to tackle the specific preparation for the company exam – consisting of several tests around a core of target competencies which the VW Group considers essential – our paths began to converge. Business case solution, role play preparation, project development and, of course, a very thorough self-presentation. Public speaking, time management (rigorous!), visual communication received special attention.

What personal expectations did you have on the course before starting?

The main one was "to make it". We really had a strong desire to demonstrate our real abilities to ourselves as well as to the company we work for and which sponsored us in this "adventure", and also to maximise the experience we have accumulated over the years both at work and in life. It goes without saying that successfully passing the assessment was an important motivation.

What was the biggest challenge for each of you?

ALBERTO: in my case, to be as concise as possible, to give it my best on a tight deadline, to combine the study with the daily responsibility of keeping an office going in a global pandemic (!) and to prevent this all from taking a toll on my family environment. A demanding context.

STEFANO: to be able to express the validity of my opinions in a more effective and convincing way.

What did you experience on this learning path?

We challenged ourselves in a sincere manner, and without being ashamed of our areas "to be strengthened". We have been able to break down initial barriers that often limited the success of the initiatives. Of course, the professionalism and frankness of our Coaches were essential.

What have you achieved by going along this learning path together?

An immediacy in the relationship, an ability to share views on work issues, decisions to be made, projects to be evaluated that we never had before. The path is still "active" for us, in a sense.

What results have you achieved and how do you feel now?

We have successfully passed the assessment test in Germany, but this result is only a new starting point: this path is a constantly evolving process.

Stefano Basile Credit & Operations Manager – Volkswagen Bank ITALY Alberto Baudille Collection & Remarketing Manager – Volkswagen Financial Services ITALY

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