Valentina Temporelli, 42
Customer relationship marketing director global key account automotive, Schaeffler
What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?
I started as a marketing and sales analyst, which included market research and organizing trade fairs and events. I was drawn to the industry because it allowed me to be a global player in a dynamic and challenging environment. I remain enthralled by the industry because it will play a key role in defining what mobility will be as we move toward the launch of autonomous cars.
Born: Novara, Italy
Languages: Italian, English, German, basic French
Education: Master’s degree in economics and commerce, University of Eastern Piedmont Amedeo Avogadro, Novara, Italy
Your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement is the idea and the introduction of a new department at the company.
I wanted to experiment with something and created a pilot project to approach the global automotive customer in a new way. Because of the results we achieved, my company allowed me to set up a new marketing department that sets its focus on customer relations, creating marketing initiatives and communication tailored to each customer. That was two years ago. My team is international and is made up of 22 people who are based on four continents. We work by my motto: The most powerful and reliable engines are powered by enthusiasm.
What was your biggest failure and what did it teach you?
My biggest mistake was assuming that everyone works as quickly as I do. Some members of my team were becoming discouraged because I was going too fast. Therefore, I borrowed something from basketball legend Michael Jordan who said: “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships”.
What is your current challenge at work?
Coping with globalization and digitalization. When it comes to globalization, marketing plays an increasingly important role because it helps a company differentiate itself from the competition. Digitalization has drastically changed marketing activities by bringing the focus on the customer to an entirely different level. Digitalization will significantly transform the entire economy, but if it is approached properly it can offer endless opportunities. Another challenge is balancing my personal life and work life. It isn’t easy but I am succeeding at making the most out of every minute of my day by being creative and, sometimes, making sacrifices.
What about the auto industry surprises you?
I’m amazed at how fast and how profoundly the auto industry is changing. The concept of mobility is transforming. Everyone working in the industry today is lucky because we have the opportunity to influence the mobility revolution we are undergoing.
2012-2016: Business relationship management and marketing manager Automotive OE, Schaeffler Italy, Momo, Italy
2006-2011: Head of marketing, sales analyst, market research, fairs and events, Schaeffler Italy, Momo
April-Sept. 2006: Controller, Officine Grafiche, Novara, Italy
2002-2006: Head of management control, head of retail, Group Crespi, Ghemme Italy
What is the best advice you have ever received?
One of my former bosses told me to listen to people and to take care of them. That advice helped me develop my own leadership approach, which includes bringing enthusiasm to everything I do, encouraging my team to take chances and always clearly communicating my ideas and visions with others. My aim is to always make my team better.
What advice would you give to a person considering a career in the auto industry?
Remain open and respectful to people of all cultures. Never forget where you came from. Never stop being creative and always keep learning. Be present so you recognize opportunities when they present themselves.
What job do you really want to have in the future?
Whatever I do in the future, I hope it’s challenging. It should be something with global responsibility as well as the chance to be an active presence in the market and to interact with customers. I would also want the freedom to express my outside-the-box thoughts and to develop relationships that make a difference.
What do you do to relax?
I love being outdoors and taking long walks. I enjoy gardening and taking care of my flowers. I also really like spending time with my friends and cooking for them.
What is your pet peeve?
I detest dishonesty, unfairness and unprofessional behavior. I also don’t like it when people constantly complain. If we use our creativity and remain open-minded, every problem can be an opportunity for success.
What was your first car?
I had a red Fiat Panda 750 L. That car was my Ferrari.
A BMW X3.
If you were a car, which one would you be?
A Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-hybrid. What makes the Panamera so unique is its combination of performance, elegance and comfort. I also appreciate that its 4wd lets it adapt to different terrains and weather conditions, a trait that is essential in both cars and humans.