“I had different projects to do and to learn from and I loved their approach. I got many ideas on services that I can add to my business plan. I very much appreciated the trust and insights I received. I especially enjoyed lunch time where we talked in a relaxed and inspired ways about possible future business ideas, which helped me better understand what it means be open-minded in your business approach.”
Mihaela Tatu is a young and aspiring architect who is determined to set up a small architecture studio in her hometown Huedin, near Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She graduated both Bachelor and Master level in architecture at the Technical University in Cluj-Napoca. When she was a student, she had an Erasmus exchange scholarship to study architecture in Palermo, Italy, and built a wider portfolio in sustainable design.
In order to gain freedom in choosing the architectural projects she wants to be involved in, Mihaela considers that opening her own architecture company is the best solution for her. As she observed, in her hometown there is no architectural studio to respond to the local needs in this sector. Thus, Mihaela discovered an opportunity to respond to the market needs, but also a chance to enable her entrepreneurial skills, and work on bringing her own business to life.
In order to make her dream comes true, Mihaela created a substantial business plan and applied for Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme as a new entrepreneur.
Further on, she chose to work in this programme with an experienced entrepreneur from Italy – Mr. Giuliano Iamele. Mihaela had already learned Italian while she was an Erasmus student in Italy, which is the prime professional destination for any would-be architect. She saw in Mr. Iamele’s 10 years of experience in running a successful architecture business in Milano the best opportunity to get insights into the entrepreneurial world and learn the best practices to develop the studio she wants.
For three months, August-October 2015, Mihaela had the chance to experience the dynamics and challenges of a business, working side by side with Mr. Iamele and his business partner, Raffaelle Azzareli, from Rgastudio. Moreover, Mihaela witnessed the real environment of an architectural studio and discovered many tips and tricks in entrepreneurship.
“I very much appreciated the trust and insights I received. I especially enjoyed lunch time where we talked in a relaxed and inspired ways about possible future business ideas, which helped me better understand what it means be open-minded in your business approach.” (Mihaela)
By accomplishing diverse tasks, like presenting an entire project to clients by herself, Mihaela acquired useful skills on adapting her presentations to different clients and she learned how to create boards for tender committees.
“The key lesson was to understand how to design the best presentation in order to sell the project, even if you know that the presentation work might not be paid, if the client is not satisfied with the project idea you propose. You have to keep in mind both the company’s image and its profit.” (Mihaela)
Mihaela describes her working relationship with her host entrepreneur as a real mentorship, with a lot of patience and involvement in improving her own business plan. She participated in many business meetings and observed different approaches in dealing with bureaucrats, clients, suppliers, and in negotiating contracts and managing daily activities.
Back in Romania, Mihaela is determined to enrol in the Architects’ Chamber of Romania and start her business. She plans to stay in contact with Mr. Iamele for further advice and potential business collaboration.
For more information, please contact the local contact points involved in the exchange:
New entrepreneur’s contact point:
Fundația Danis pentru Dezvoltare Managerială (Cluj-Napoca)
Host entrepreneur’s contact point:
Centro Studi Cultura Sviluppo (Pistoia)
This article was funded by the European Union’s COSME Programme (2014-2020).
The content of this article represents the views of the author only and it is her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Executive Agency of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.