‘With LSG Sky Chefs, I get diversity and internationality.’
A graduate from Bocconi University, Milan (BSc in Institutions and Financial Markets Management), Raffaele joined LSG Sky Chefs eight years ago as a trainee in the very first Cross-Border generation, after having worked as a stockbroker in Milan. Now an international controller in Neu-Isenburg, Germany, he enjoys excellent food, especially Italian, followed by a good grappa or single malt scotch.
What does your job involve exactly?
I work as an international controller in the corporate finance department’s sales controlling unit. I manage airline P&L process cycles and analyse customer profitability as well as performing ad-hoc financial analyses and reporting. I’m also in charge of reviewing Board approval requests and advising the executive board and the CIC on them.
What do you most like about your job?
In my advisory role, I get to look at and review some of the company’s most important projects and deals with big customer tenders. Because I need to analyse project financials in detail and look at all related aspects, I’m always learning something new. As I’m involved in so many areas – airline and train tenders and other contractual obligations, my job’s very diverse. No two days are the same and every day’s a new challenge – that’s what I like!
What’s been your biggest challenge so far at LSG Sky Chefs?
It might sound strange, but it was probably saying goodbye! I started as a cross-border trainee in Rome in 2007 and there I developed such a good relationship with the operations team that it was hard to leave. It was the same with my second assignment in Sweden. I fell in love with the country and got on very well with my colleagues – they really were amazing people. Then in London it was fun with the team – very relaxed atmosphere, with plenty of humour and even music. Before I moved to Germany, I was in Dallas, where I also worked with some amazing people. Everywhere I went, I had great mentors and developed good relationships that are still strong today.
Although it was hard to leave old colleagues, it was also fun to move on to the next challenge and learn new things. In all my assignments, I always felt welcomed and was able to build strong relationships – it was far more than just work.
What have you learned while working for LSG Sky Chefs?
That everyone’s different! Every country deals with common issues in their own way, but always comes up with the right solution – it all comes down to the people who are very independent and full of initiative. They are all proud of their job and always looking for ways to improve performance, no matter what level they are. In such an international company, you learn how to adapt to the various cultures and countries.
How did you find the Cross-Border program? Would you recommend it?
It’s a three-year program and therefore quite a commitment, but it’s the perfect way to experience an international company. If you like travelling, moving and experiencing different cultures and countries, it’s a very good choice. You get a 360°insight into the company and how it works from the bottom up, which later on will prove invaluable. As you move on every year, you have to adapt to the changing environment. You need to be open-minded or you’re going to find it difficult.