Cumulus Student Ambassadors reporting from Milan – The Virtuous Circle conference
Vanessa Monna, Matteo Fagarazzi and Luca Piallini – students from Politecnico di Milano, Italy were chosen the first ever Cumulus Student Ambassadors. You can learn more about their experiences.
My experience in the big Cumulus family began last May in Milan: I was looking for an internship and prof. Laura Galluzzo, the general manager of Cumulus Milan 2015, offered me a chance to work with the core team at Politecnico di Milano. I have to admit that the day I started I didn’t know a lot about the Cumulus Association, so I couldn’t have imagined what the future would have had in store for me and my collegues.
As I said, I’ve started working for Cumulus a little earlier than the other volunteers. I’ve been in charge of so many different things: I was in charge of some graphics, but also of part of the catering teams, the management of the payment lists, the social networks, the djs (do your remember the farewell dinner? We all had so much fun dancing!), the restaurants and so on. I had the great opportunity to collaborate with prof. Luisa Collina, President of Cumulus Association, the Secretariat and so many other people of the team based in Milan.
I remember clearly the saturday before the beginning of the conference: the core team met up in order to finish the latest arrangements, but we ended up finish working outside the university gates, because it was late and the School was closing. I remember that I couldn’t sleep at all the night before the start of the conference and that everybody was vibrating with excitement, ready for a really rich week.
The program of the conference was dense and some events were dislocated in different parts of the city: I would run from a location to the next one and guide the volunteers in their tasks, taking care of every detail, in order to deliver a really enjoyable experience to all the participants. To be honest, the experience resulted enjoyable to the core team and the volunteers too!
It’s been an intense month, but we were so satisfied and thankful for all the great feedback we’ve received during the breaks. We were so satisfied and full of happiness, that the day after the conference we couldn’t believe that Cumulus Milan 2015 had ended.
During this experience I had the opportunity to get in touch with a wonderful international design community, to get to know professionals and stay in touch with them, to meet wonderful young designers with whom I felt part of a family.
Being ambassadors means being volunteers first. We’ve had lots of fun in Milan, but sure we had a pleasureable moment also in the first part of our Cumulus journey!
Like in Milan, all of the volunteers in Mumbai were very keen and enthusiastic while working. I don’t know if it’s because of the values Cumulus stands for, but I must say I never saw such passion and energy in people working together and I consider a privilege to have worked with them, both in Milan and Mumbai.
It all started in my own city, where I and the other volunteers welcomed guests in the very first day of cumulus Milan 2015. It’s been a nice week: we had the opportunity to witness the backstage of the conference, and of course to know each other, as we all came from different university courses. We knew a lot of people were expected to attend, and even though for most of us was a new activity, we tried to do our best to help them enjoy the event.
I was also asked to bring some of the guests to a materials’ exhibition in the northern part of the city. This was a golden opportunity for me to show to the people from abroad the many souls of Milan, which cannot all be bordered into the touristic part of the downtown – many architects give a lot of consideration to the suburbs and this is a topic I particularly care about.
I was also among those who attended the preparation of the gala dinner on the last day. I remember it was a damn hot day and we had to set everything in record time, but it was definitely worth it, as before the dinner, I had the chance to speak with some wonderful guests from abroad – a professor from France and one from Colorado, US. At the end, they left me their cards and they both said I was welcome to their places.
This ended up my Cumulus Milan experience marvelously and it made me appreciate these kind of events -born to connect people in the first place- even more.
(Luca in the middle of the banner picture at the top of the side)
Cumulus Milan 2015 was my first time as a volunteer.
At the time I was full of work, submerged by exams and busy doing all kinds of stuff. Yet, when I read the call, I couldn’t help but answering it. I knew it would be demanding and I thought it would be fun and instructive on many levels, but today I can say that those days meant so much more than that. I immediately fit in the great team that, much like me, chose to embark on this exciting journey. We spent much time together and got closer in order to collaborate and give our best to deliver a great conference.
Besides working in the backstage, packing up the kits and setting up the locations, my role was at the main desk to provide information about the conference, to move around the city and visit the great Event of Expo Milano 2015 which opened to the public a few months before.
The days of the conference I had the chance to meet a lot of people coming from all around the world: I was constantly amazed by the great distances they had traveled to be there and I wanted to make their stay as great as I could. I advised them on places to visit and gave indications for traveling from one place to another. There has been also plenty of time for talks, especially about Italian culture, food and the unusually hot weather that everyone was experiencing those days!
A great honor for me was that of working as a bridge to Expo, giving out tickets for one one of the global events of the year. I had visited the Expo a week before, so I tried to give advice about the best time to visit, the pavilions worth queuing for and broader info for optimizing the little time our guests had to visit the World Exposition.
All in all, I’ve learnt many things about myself and the organization, made new friends and visited places I had never seen before. All of which I would have inevitably lost had I listened to my mind. Luckily, at times, the heart speaks the loudest.
Read more about Vanessa, Matteo and Luca