What I'm doing now
Jana: I am the Site Cost Leader in the Finance department at Dow Europe GmbH, the European headquarters of The Dow Chemical Company. I have a great team of people in the Controllers' department and we support many functional and business leaders within Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It is both fun and challenging working for such a big corporation. No two days are the same.
Francesco: I am a Business Finance Manager for one of the businesses of The Dow Chemical Company in Europe. My role involves monitoring the financial performance of the business and forecasting the profitability for the future quarters, as well as supporting the business organisation with financial evaluation of all investments decisions.
My best Lancaster memory
Jana: Even though it has been some time since I graduated, I have many fond memories of Lancaster. Some of the best memories obviously surround hanging out with my fellow students, be it during dance nights at the Sugar House, pub crawls across campus and town or grabbing a late burger or kebab at Popeye’s (this one unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore.) We often had pow-wows in our kitchen, Christmas and birthday dinners and we even sometimes slept on the floor in the hallway of our dorms. The exchange year at UBC was also great fun and provided many good memories.
Francesco: I will always remember the typical British campus atmosphere, with students coming from all around the world and living together in a beautiful environment with lots of facilities, amenities and amazing nature. The little streets of Lancaster and the magnificent Lake District complete the picture. However, my heart is really still with the BLT sandwiches and French bread pizzas of the little bakery in Alexandra square on campus!
What Lancaster means to me
Jana: Lancaster gave me a solid platform for the future while having fun, it’s the in between when you still have very few worries as a student and are getting ready to hit the road running.
Francesco: Lancaster was my first long term foreign experience. It meant and still means discovery, adventure, culture, education, challenge and ultimately lots of fun, meeting wonderful people with so diverse backgrounds, whose friendship and interactions made me grow and improve as a person. My experiences at Lancaster allowed me to broaden my horizons and open my mind, thus preparing me at best for working in international companies. Ultimately, Lancaster represented a significant step up in my life, which has contributed to making me a better world citizen.
Why I volunteer as an alumni group co-ordinator
Jana: In fact the idea came when I had to write an announcement for a colleague of mine who was moving roles. As I had to put his educational background into the announcement, I did some research and found out that he went to Lancaster. I was shocked – shocked that I knew so little and that I should have known this earlier. This was the start of the idea of getting more involved and what better way – especially when you are not close by – than to provide a platform to get people connected.
Francesco: I strongly believe in the important of universities’ impact on the growth of students and future world professionals. Universities are the place where minds are formed, influenced and challenged and where they can truly express their potential. As such, I always wanted to give back something to the place that gave me so much! After almost 10 years of professional experience, I think I am now mature enough to give a meaningful contribution. I expect to meet many enthusiastic alumni and share with them memories and experience of our time back on campus and, most importantly, I dream of visiting Lancaster University again with many of them and having a full immersion in the inspiring student life, meeting the new generation and, of course, checking out again the French bread pizza in Alexandra square!