Claudia Vaccarone, Senior Strategy Advisor, European Broadcasting Union

I grew up in Italy and played professional volleyball in my teens. I was recruited by Seton Hall University in the USA for their volleyball collegiate program, and this launched my international career. I studied Communications and Advertising, and then moved to San Francisco to pursue a master's in Public Relations and Public Affairs (Golden Gate University). I began my career in advertising, first with the SF Museum of Modern Art and then with a leading multicultural communications agency. After 10 formative years in the USA, I joined TV Files, a start up in Rome, Italy at the forefront of IP and broadcasting technologies. I launched their brand worldwide, while learning and growing a passion for media and technology. Three years later I was recruited by leading satellite operator Eutelsat in Paris, where I spent 17 years in various roles, from marketing communications and events to leading customer satisfaction, market research and customer experience programs. During this time I developed a thought leadership role in the media industry by presenting regularly market trends at leading conferences and speaking on panels internationally. In parallel I have been always very engaged with professional associations, notably IABC where I had several volunteer leadership roles, as president of the France chapter, member of the European board and lately I served for 2 years on the International Executive Board to lead the strategy for the membership experience re-engineering.

MY NEW JOB: I just moved to Geneva, Switzerland to join the European Broadcasting Union as Senior Strategy Advisor, to contribute to strategy development and to support their member services realignment in light of the disruption that the media industry and public service media are experiencing. This opportunity came through the network: I have actively built a strong constellation of though leaders and experts internationally, with whom I exchanged frequently on my research projects and industry trends. Eventually when the position at the EBU opened up, my competences, international experience and digital footprint were thought of and leveraged. 

WHAT DOES PWN PROVIDES ME  WITH: I have been working in a predominantly male industry for 17 years, and at some point I have felt the need to find women role models and mentors to help me navigating career development and find a comfortable leadership style. Since senior women were a scarcity in my company and industry, within PWN I have found an array of inspiring profiles, as well as benefiting from their strong program on professional development, a mentoring program coordinated with the European Union, and lately "The Board Network," which empowers individuals seeking mandates on boards as independent administrators.

WHAT DO YOU ADVISE TO WOMEN: Networking is an essential skill for any career, whether within the organization or externally. I strongly recommend finding the time to liaise with people outside the daily environment, via professional associations or special interest groups, to gather inspiration and mentoring that will lead to creative thinking and progress. Networking requires time and generosity, it is about developing true relationships, what you can offer and give to the network,  and not about what you can get first. Also, do not be defined by your sole job title: develop transversal skills and roles to expand your professional persona and land your next opportunity!



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