Francesco (in the middle) with Dr. Andrea Beretta and Eng. Filippo Gobbin

It’s called “Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro” literally “alternation of school and work”. It’s a young apprenticeship programme designed for girls and boys who attend the last three years of high school, made mandatory all over Italy since 2015.

Although it has been challenged and rediscussed over the years and even recently, the intent that it pursues is, in our opinion, virtuous: practical experience offers the opportunity to experiment with new activities and to focus better on one’s predispositions and ambitions.
It can’t fill the gap between schooling and the world of work, but it certainly allows to better understand how they both work and what they differ.

People who work in Desamanera believe in the strength of the experiences and, for this reason, the picture that you guys see on the top portrays Francesco Dalla Benetta, 18 years old, at our office during the two weeks provided by the project of Alternanza.

Francesco, tell us a little about yourself: where are you from, which school do you attend?

My name’s Francesco Dalla Benetta, I live in Rovigo and I attend the scientific high school of my city, “Liceo Scientifico P. Paleocapa”, with a focus on Applied Sciences. In September I will start the last year of school.

Have you already had experiences of Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro and / or work?

Yes I had, even if they were small experiences. Thanks to the project of Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro, last year I was a steward at Palazzo Roverella, an important palace in Rovigo that hosts exhibitions and cultural events, and I participated in a theater show. I also did something beyond the school, including taking part in organizing the activities of an important event of Rugby Rovigo Delta, “the world’s largest scrum”.

Before starting the Alternanza, what did you expect from this experience?

The Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro aims to bring students closer to the world of work and to introduce young people to working life; this is why I expected an operational framework. I was a little afraid to end up with only performing monotonous and repetitive activities, while I liked much more the idea of putting myself on the line.

The students can choose the company to ask to be hosted for the Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro. How did you know Desamanera and what prompted you to ask to carry out the Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro project right here?

Dr. Andrea Beretta, manager of Desamanera, is a friend of my father’s. He invited us to visit the company and I was very impressed by the innovative nature of its activities. In particular, the unusually large 3D printer and the stone powder printing technology behind it.

Digging the 3D printed logo

During these two weeks, in which area of the company did you work and in which activities have you been engaged?

Initially I did carried out a research for the marketing area, and this allowed me to better understand the services that Desamanera offers; later, partly thanks to my personal knowledge of the web, social media and photography, I contributed to the creation of the social media posts and content such as photos and short videos.
Finally I was supported by the technical office in the realization of a print project. Under the mentorship of engineers and specialized craftsmen I followed the process from the beginning to the end. I designed the digital draw of the logo of my school, the “Liceo Paleocapa”, through a specific software such as Rhinoceros; we printed it in stone and I post-produced it by myself.
In fact, I have touched on various activities: the marketing area, the design area and the manufacturing area.

What did you learn about Additive Manufacturing?

Until some months ago I knew only the 3D printing of plastic materials, the extrusion technology in small size; I saw some 3D printers in motion during a visit at the University of Padua. The technology of Desamanera is quite different, I didn’t know it before and this is one of the main reasons why I chose this company for the Alternanza project.
I discovered that the Additive Manufacturing includes technologies, materials, sectors and functions that are very different from each other.

Francesco post-produced Paleocapa’s logo

Compared to what you expected, how did you feel this experience? What do you think was your contribution to the company and what lessons will you carry along?

This experience has been very positive for me, because I was afraid to have boring and repetitive tasks to do. Instead of this, I have known the importance of committing myself to carry out the work in the best possible way. I am happy to have met the people who work here and to have discovered what it means to work in a company like this.
The second question isn’t so simple, I can’t quantify my contribution from the point of view of the company; I have carried out the work activities proposed with commitment because I wanted to do my best and make myself useful. Perhaps I contributed more to the marketing area, as I think I know well the social media and the way people use them to interact and keep in touch.

What do you think about the projects of Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro, and what do you think Desamanera can do (and companies in general) to improve this kind of experience?

I believe that Alternanza Scuola-Lavoro is a relatively new tool for schools; it was born a few years ago and many of the people involved, teachers, principals and students themselves, still don’t know it enough to exploit it to the fullest. For example, I think it’s better to do the Alternanza activities during the summer because students aren’t distracted by school commitments and so they can immerse themselves in the experience.
Another feature that I believe improves the success of this kind of project is the degree of involvement of the girl or boy within the company: planning some specific activities will certainly benefit both parties.

Lastly, the most difficult question: at the end of high school, which path would you like to take?

At the moment I haven’t a well-defined path in mind yet. However, I think that one of the most important value on choosing a university or work is think about one’s attitudes and tastes. In this, the experience at Desamanera allowed me to try different activities and has been very useful.

Thank you so much Francesco, see you soon!

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