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Carlotta Carucci graduated from the Master (MSc) degree in Marketing at ESE Florence in 2011. Coming from a literature degree, studying a postgraduate business programme was quite challenging for her at first. But soon her study experience at ESE Florence became life changing and her creative and humanistic background proved to be a great basis for a successful career in marketing. She recently celebrated the 7th anniversary of her digital marketing agency Vanilla Marketing, based in Ancona, Italy. Together with Carlotta we look back at her studies at ESE Florence and the successful first 10 years of her career.

What were your ambitions before joining ESE’s Master degree?

“Honestly, when I got my first degree in Modern Literature from the University of Florence in 2010, I was quite confused about what to do next. I didn’t want to become a researcher or teacher and had no idea where to go with my humanities degree. The big question was: who am I going to become?

Almost by chance that summer I met the ESE Florence Campus Director Mrs Anna Salvini, when my family and I were in Florence looking for the right College for my brother. That meeting really inspired me: never before had I made the link between literature studies and marketing and communication! It was an eye-opener and I decided to enrol in the Master (MSc) degree in Marketing.”

How did your goals and dreams change during your studies at ESE Florence?

“My postgraduate studies at ESE Florence were quite challenging because after a degree in literature in Italian, I found myself studying maths and business-related subjects – in English! It was far out of my comfort-zone, but the whole Master programme at ESE Florence was a super adventure. It really formed me as a person. I met interesting people, I made friends from all over the world, I started to speak and think in English. ESE’s philosophy helped me to open my mind. I met wonderful professors who became great mentors. They introduced me to the world of e-business and digital marketing through my internship and thesis. That literally changed my life!”

What did you do after graduation?

“After my internship and some projects in digital marketing I decided to start something for myself. I have been working as Director and Communication Strategist at Vanilla Marketing, a digital marketing and advertising agency based in Ancona, Italy since 2014. We focus on digital strategies for both Italian and international clients. We work in Italian, English and Spanish and have clients everywhere – from Italy to Switzerland and Spain. We recently celebrated our 7th anniversary and we continue to grow. I started this business with one or two partners. Nowadays, we work with seven and we are shortly adding an eighth person to the team.”

How has ESE helped in your career?

“Apart from the quality of the School, the subjects and the professors, the Master degree in Marketing really formed my personality and mentality. Ten years after graduation, I am proud to say that ESE gave me a high quality of thinking. It really empowered me, encouraged me to develop my creative attitude and at the same time helped me to gain leadership and team management skills. This creative part on the one hand, and the skills in strategic planning and business management on the other, is a valuable combination.

ESE taught me to look at things from different points of view and to believe in myself. This out-of-the-box thinking became crucial for my own career. Thanks to ESE I can honestly say that I have become a mindful and creative entrepreneur.”

Your company has been successful in Italy for years, but has also expanded internationally. Vanilla Marketing was nominated ‘one of the best companies in Italy’ by Forbes France in 2020. What is your recipe for success?

“I am really in this job for the creativity, not for the money. If you want to become successful, you have to put your heart and soul in everything you do first – the money will follow.
I also think it is really important to invest in people and relationships. That is what helped me grow over the years.”

What would your advice be to our current or future Master degree students?

“Believe in yourself and in your own ideas. If you are mindful, present in the moment and curious, you will surely get inspired. You might get a good idea from a walk or simply in the shower, or from the people around you. At the same time make sure you have a long-term vision. If you create your own future and trust in your ideas, the reality will follow.”

Carlotta’s business practice is very much in line with ESE’s philosophy and motto Visibilia ex Invisibilibus – the external can only reveal something that has already happened in the world of ideas, causes, creativity, in the world of the ‘dream’. We are convinced that with this vision, Carlotta’s company will continue to be successful in the future.

She has been invited as panellist and speaker on many occasions, such as the famous Web Marketing Festival in Rimini and recently, on 16 November 2021, at the Affiliate Grand Slam, at the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA), to speak about her areas of expertise in storytelling, digital marketing and SEO strategy.

We believe that her story and experience can be of incredible value and inspiration to our current students, especially the ones specialising in media & communications and (digital) marketing. ESE Florence is therefore delighted to announce a Guest Lecture from Carlotta Carucci on strategic digital strategies and the importance of emotional marketing, scheduled for Wednesday 24 November 2021 at 12.00 in ESE Florence’s Aula Magna (first floor).

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