People of the Dialogue: Adriano Villa Bascón
Here is the next blog article from our series People of the Dialogue. This week we feature our sweetheart Adriano. Don’t get fooled by his youthful looks – he is as hard as nails. Adriano can dismantle singlehandedly a stage in an hour, hang out banners at impossible places, and charm even the toughest corporates. Check out what he has to say about his Dialogue experience.
Why did you decide to join the WBD?
I first had interest in joining the organization when I experienced first-hand how the team behind the 19th WBD worked. I was a part of the supporting team at that time. It was incredibly professional. At first, I couldn’t believe it was organized solely by students. So, I decided to get involved myself and have some practical experience outside of courses at the university.
I also wanted to extend my social interactions with new people. Working at Robinson Club (an entertainment hotel) I learned a lot about team cohesiveness and how following a shared goal brings people closer together.
But I honestly never asked myself why I should join. I guess I just subconsciously knew that I had to become a part of it.
Then, when I was asked if I wanted to become a Managing Director, I was conflicted about it. On the one hand, I loved the work we did as a team, but could I be in charge of the whole event? On the other hand, I knew this new responsibility would contribute immensely to my personal development. And in the end, this was what I truly wanted – especially, in regard to, dealing with business people and international students. I asked myself if I would have another chance like this in my life. I guess that was the trigger to do it. Because I did have a lot of concerns. But I realized they were all excuses born out of fear. And, thankfully, some people made me realize that.
“I just subconsciously knew that I had to become a part of it.”
What is your favorite moment so far?
Two weeks into being managing directors Max, Lukas and I had a scheduled call with the COO of Allianz. A multi-billion insurance company. How often do you have such calls? It was fascinating for us. The point was to convince him to become one of WBD’s trustees. We scripted everything we wanted to say to him and asked ourselves what the best way would be to convince him. Right before the call, we ordered pizza. We didn’t plan our time very precisely because when our pizza arrived, the call started. I’ll never forget the picture of three inexperienced boys eating their pizza while pitching the WBD on the phone. By the end, we didn’t mention any of the things we wanted to say. He didn’t seem very convinced. We hung up and weren’t sure how he liked it. But two weeks later he agreed to join our organization!
How did the WBD influence your career path?
While working at the WBD, I gained insights into work life and the different job options I could go for later. I had never dealt with startups and bigger companies before. So, it was incredibly fascinating visiting our business partners at their headquarters all over Germany.
Things I learned:
– how corporates and entrepreneurs work and think
– how to properly interact with executives
– art seems to be very important for big corporate headquarters (some even had an own curator for it)
– some cafeterias are so fancy I did not feel worthy of eating there
– plan 15 minutes into your journey just for finding the right entrance
As impressive as corporations are, I guess I have learned that I’ll probably establish something myself someday when the time is right. Hopefully one day it will be seen as a big corporation as well. Who knows? In the meantime, I try to learn as much as possible from my surroundings.
Could you generate value through your participation in the team?
Hell yeah, I could. I learned to work with different kinds of people. But also, to have fun with them. I learned so much about leadership and teamwork, how to read into situations and people and then correctly interact with them. And I learned that the most important thing for something to work is the team behind it. I guess the most valuable for me are the friendships I made at that time with the team, but also with the delegates I got to know during all the conferences I was a part of. Getting to know people from Argentina, India, Taiwan, and Australia at once in one place teaches you a lot. What we all have in common is that we are so different and yet share the same values. Something you only learn at places like the World Business Dialogue.
What are you up to now?
I am back at the university trying to finish my bachelor’s this summer. I will probably do my Master’s degree right after it. I’d love to stay in Cologne but who knows what comes next. Another city? Another country? I also use my post-WBD extra time to do sports and work. Currently, I’m working at PIRATE.global, the organizers of the PIRATE Summit (check it out!). So, I stayed working in the conference business which is a lot of fun. And whenever I don’t have finals, I love to catch up on with my old team members and recall all the marvelous experiences we made together.
“I guess the most valuable for me are the friendships I made”
Author: Adriano Villa Bascón
Adriano was involved in three conferences – as a member of the supporting team, a core team member and as one of the managing directors responsible for the 21st WBD. Currently, he is a part of PIRATE.global, the organizers of PIRATE Summit.