00:02 My name is Vittoria R and I’m a Senior Manager at icould. I grew up in a city in Southern Italy and my mum and dad are both teachers, so our life was obviously very structured. My dad was a volunteer for a workers’ union so he worked all sort of hours, we saw very little of him. So my mum really was the person who influenced us most.
00:31 I was very much into literature and philosophy, so when it came to choosing university, very unlikely, I chose law, and that’s because my dad was of the opinion that I should be a lawyer and my sister should be a doctor. I went along with it because it was a way for me to leave home. I was desperate to leave home, and I chose, you know, the furthest university from home. After a year, as I said, I didn’t like it so I decided to take English and Literature, didn’t really work out, so I left home anyway and saved some money working and decided to come and find my fortune here in the UK.
01:16 When I broke tradition, my dad didn’t speak to me for two years and he rejected me as a daughter. My mum was always very supportive, always very worried, so she did not take to it very, very well, and it took me many years before I spoke to my father again.
01:39 When I first landed in the UK, I didn’t really have a plan. I suppose because I went to the type of school that I did, they didn’t really address you to do anything, it was always seen as university’s where you’ll find your calling, as such. I never did find that calling. So I tried my hand at a few things.
02:00 I was working in a supermarket during the day and I was working in a pub in the afternoon, or evenings, and then I was doing cleaning, and I was doing some translating of, you know, English-Italian, Italian-English, and I had a really sort of good lifestyle in a way that I was doing lots and lots of things, but I was really tired all the time, I was working all sorts of hours. I realised that really there wasn’t anywhere else for me to go from there, so I decided to teach myself about computers, something which I’d been quite resistant to. I’m not very scientific a person, and I worked for three years and I became an Executive Account Manager, and I was selling software into Italy and the Scandinavia market. But I really did not see the worth. I wanted to make a difference, and it was just by pure coincidence that a friend of mine told me that some people at icould were looking for staff, and I found that the project itself was so inspiring and it gave me a chance to give back lots, especially to young people who, like me, had no idea who they wanted to be.
03:20 Work-life balance is something which I’m… I’m juggling with all the time. I’m a single mum and I have a full time job. So it’s quite difficult to find time for yourself. I love spending time with my little boy, so every minute that I have spare, I spend time with him.
03:40 My proudest moment would be where my little boy was asked at school what mummy did for a living, and he said, I’m not sure exactly what mummy does, but I know she does something really important for people like me that one day it’ll help us be who we want to be.