After completing his studies across Milan, Bangkok and Copenhagen, Francesco Luciani has continued to progress and develop his career in business development, with a particular focus on Ed-Tech. His passion for education and continuous learning led to him being selected by Wild Code School to lead its launch in Italy in 2019, as Business Developer and Campus Manager.
Here, he tells us about his commitment to supporting and nurturing the development of students, missing the campus in lockdown and Wild Code School’s transition to fully remote working. The first remote course started in April 2020, with the next due to start on June 22nd.
Was a career in education and business always in your plans?
I would say that it’s something that has happened naturally. I studied a great deal in Milan, Bangkok and Copenhagen learning as much as I could about entrepreneurship, start-ups, expansion and development. From this, I knew that I wanted to have a career is business development. Technology and innovation is one of the most important and exciting industries to be involved in, and I have always been passionate about education and supporting people to develop and realise their potential. In that sense, everything has come together.
How did you discover Wild Code School?
Over the last five years I have worked on a number of projects for different organisations, building and helping to develop communities of technology professionals. These have included helping launch the largest coworking network in Europe and co-founding an education start-up in 2018, which involved organising summer camps for young people, with the aim of revolutionising technology education and boosting early adoption and utilisation of technical skills. During this time, I developed strong relationships with the technology community in Milan and Italy, as well as across Europe.
This was when I was introduced to Wild Code School, and their exciting plans to build a network of bootcamps across Europe, and ultimately nurture the technology talent of today. They put their trust in me and gave me the responsibility to support Wild Code School’s launch in Italy, and manage the Milan Campus.
How have things been going in Italy so far?
We officially launched the Milan campus in December last year, with our first course – our five-month Web Development Course – kicking off in January, which has just recently finished. The course was a great success. We had six scholarship students and five of these were female, and all five have now either accepted job offers or in the final interview processes for job roles, which is just amazing.
As a company, Wild Code School truly believes in the development of women in technology, and we’re proud to have been able to support these women into the industry.
How did the global lockdown affect things?
We had to adapt! The January course was about halfway through when the lockdown came into effect, so we had to transition things from the classroom to fully remote in order to complete it. Subsequently we took the decision to move the courses so that they are fully remote, with our first remote course beginning at the end of April and the next due to start at the end of June.
And how has the transition to fully remote courses been?
It has been seamless. Agility comes naturally to a technology educator like Wild Code School and we are using various technology, tools and platforms to help the students communicate, share work and feel a part of their educative environment. I must admit that I miss the personal interactions and seeing everyone each day, but it is working very well and everyone is in a similar position right now.
The courses are well suited to remote learning and there are benefits for students as they are not having to travel and so they can spend more time with their families or in paid work.
Has the transition to fully remote learning changed your role?
Not really, if anything it has helped me to build closer relationships with the students. My job is to provide support for the students and to always be available to them. We have stand-up meetings with everyone at the beginning of each classes, where each student speaks for a couple of minutes and has the chance to talk about something they’re working on, ask for support or advice with a task or particular element of the course, or simply to tell us what they had for breakfast!
These have worked really well and something I look forward to ahead of each session. We also have regular one-on-one meetings with each student, for a more personal and private catch up and conversation on how they are finding things, any issues they’d like to discuss or would like extra support on. Communication is critical, particularly in this remote setting, and something I have to make sure is constant and engaging for the students, ensuring they feel supported and have everything they need to enjoy the course and get the most out of it.
The classes are extremely diverse, with students from all over the world, has that made things more challenging?
For me, this is the most exciting part of being a part of Wild Code School. All of our students have different reasons for doing the course and have varied backgrounds: some are looking to gain new skills, others are looking to start their own businesses, and there are students who want to completely change their career and re-train in technology. It’s very enriching for me and helping them to achieve their ambitions is extremely fulfilling.
I think there is a misconception that you need to be a genius to succeed in tech, but that’s not the case. Our students prove that through great commitment, motivation and practice, people from outside the tech ecosystem are able to realise their ambitions and benefit from the infinite possibilities the tech world offers. The advancements and great improvements they are making have been inspiring and I am proud to be a part of it.
If you are interested in knowing more about our the Front-end Remote Course, check it out!