The Next Adventure
PROVO, Utah – May 04, 2018 – A fifty-minute train ride south of Milan will take you to the historic yet quiet small town of Piacenza, Italy—the riverside hometown of BYU Marriott MBA alum, Andrea Cordani. Cordani remained in Italy during his early adulthood, where he received a master’s degree and started a promising career. However, after a few years, personal and professional reasons motivated Cordani to move more than fifty-five hundred miles away to Provo.
“My work environment was not very satisfying, especially when it came to HR processes,” Cordani explains. “I wanted to learn how to become a great HR professional so I could come back and change things.”
BYU’s faith-enhancing environment was another reason Cordani was drawn to the United States. In his hometown, Cordani was the only member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints his age and he yearned to spend more time with people of his faith like he had when he served a two-year LDS mission in Catania, Italy.
The move proved to be exactly what Cordani needed. Accessible professors and integrated classroom work helped Cordani apply the things he was learning and hone in on his professional skill set.
“We had a lecture from professor Curtis LeBaron who taught this concept of playing to your strengths,” Cordani explains. “After I went through a self-awareness exercise, I was able to pinpoint my strengths, which were fixing things and improving the quality of the work environment. Based off of this exercise, I felt like supply chain was the route I should take.”
Additionally, Cordani found the spiritual and friendly community he was looking for.
“I loved starting each class with a prayer and that our discussions would tie in gospel principles with business principles,” Cordani says.
The summer after his first year in the MBA program, Cordani interned for two companies. He worked for Apple under the global commodity management and Mac procurement departments. Then he traveled to Paraguay for four weeks with the Kennedy Center and Fundacion Paraguay to help a school become self sustainable by improving efficiencies through logistics and sales.
“Both of these experiences were fantastic yet so different,” Cordani says. “My time at Apple allowed me to rub shoulders with intelligent people. I was given specific instruction and direction and learned a lot. Meanwhile, my time in Paraguay was so fun because I had the freedom to problem solve—the learning curve was big there too. Plus, I just loved the people, the school, and the mission they stood behind.”
While different, both internships taught Cordani that job satisfaction for him was determined by the impact he made in other people’s lives—a lesson that would ultimately help him in his future career choices.
Although Cordani had made it his goal to return home after graduation, he decided to take a job with Adobe so that he could stay close to his future wife.
“I starting working for Adobe and stayed on as a manager for global procurement for about two years. I’m grateful for my time at Adobe,” Cordani says. “They had impressive management and I was moved by the fact that I could stay in Utah.”
As a newlywed, Cordani started to search for companies that could take him back to Milan and accepted an offer with Amazon. Six years later, Cordani has returned to Italy where he works as the Amazon Prime Italy and Spain leader.
“I love Amazon because we really care about our customers and we always put them first,” Cordani says. “We understand that if we make it right for the customer we will reap the benefits in the long term.”
Cordani and his wife, Danielle, along with their four children, are enjoying their time in Italy but are always up for the next adventure. In the past two years, they have visited twenty countries and have plans to see more before they decide to settle down. Whether he ends up in Italy, New Zealand, India, or Timbuktu, Cordani is grateful for his time in Provo as a BYU Marriott MBA.
“I see my years at BYU as pivotal and crucial for my personal, professional, and spiritual life,”Cordani says. “Professors, colleagues, friends—they all contributed to my personal growth. I learned that as I work hard and put the Lord first in my life, He helps me with the other important things. I have been blessed beyond any dream I have ever had, and I love BYU."
Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Kelly Brunken