Noemi Boldrini – Building a multicultural career as a world traveler
Fluent in three languages, conversational in two more. Lived and worked on three continents. Passionate singer and climber of more than 100 mountains in South America and Europe.
These are just a few ways to describe Noemi Boldrini, a sales manager with IDS GeoRadar who puts multicultural lessons she’s learned from her world travels to use in her position to connect with customers.
“I’ve worked hard all my life to reach my goals and follow my dreams. My family taught me that if you want to achieve something, you have to go for it. At the beginning, it was really tough, but now I know everything is possible. You just need to discover what you want to do, believe in it and fight for it. This strong belief, gave me the chance to meet so many wonderful people not only in my travels but also in my work,” said Boldrini. “I met visionary people who unhinged my way of seeing the world, showing me there is always another way to see a situation or solve it. Also, when things seems insurmountable, there is always another way or something completely different that you can try.
“Once, one of my great mentors told me that life is like a game, every day you can choose who you are and how you are going to play. Finally, I believe in people. We change cities, countries, companies, but at the end, what remains inside you is the feeling related to people. I’m curious, and I’m quite comfortable interacting with different people. I use this quality in my work to better understand my customers and their unique needs. Of course they are the key of our success.”
Working and living around the world
Originally from Northern Italy, Boldrini was born in the middle of the mountains. The rough environment taught her that life can be challenging. During the summers, while her friends were enjoying their holiday, Boldrini worked in the mountains with hundreds of animals, milking, making cheese and butter, walking and climbing kilometres every day to collect all the animals in all weather conditions.
Working outdoors and with the animals gave her a great love for the simple things: enjoying an amazing view, helping a creature give birth, discovering a hidden place with perfectly crystalised garnets, or singing at the top of her lungs using the echos as a microphone. As a child, Boldrini was shy. Playing piano and singing, though, helped her to open up.
When it came time for Boldrini to decide on a course of secondary study, she wanted to continue doing something around her love of the mountains. She decided to study geology at university, where she first earned her bachelor’s degree and then master’s in Geologial Science and Technologies at the University of MilanoBicocca.
After her studies, her first geological work was in the Piedmont Region of Italy. For the first time, she had the opportunity to work with risk management analysis, and she met her third passion - the snow. On the ski slopes of the Alps, she became a snow observer and then an avalanche technician, supporting research and operations to monitor, analyse and evaluate snow stability. She was part of the avalanche commission for a few years and was in charge of the safety of a ski center for one season.
“It was an incredible experience; every day I was outside, moving and skiing all the time, realising my analysis with 3-metres holes every day to check the stability of the snow mantle,” she remembered. “It was also difficult, especially when we had to discuss with the managers about the possibility not to open the ski center, when we had to reclaim an area, and, of course, I was the only female working in the entire ski area.”
Being a female geologist and an avalanche technician in a male-dominated industry, she did encounter some barriers. Boldrini recalls how she had to work harder to demonstrate her capabilities compared to her co-workers.
“It’s just up to you to show them that you are actually capable,” said Boldrini, “After a year, though, when they got used to me, they no longer saw me as just a woman – they see me as a fellow colleague.”
When the opportunity arose for her to work outside the borders of her home country – and continent – she jumped at the chance to continue discovering new places, people and ideas. Fitting to her love of exploring, she became an exploration geologist with a company that was looking for coal and seam gas in the remote outback of Queensland, close to Brisbane, in Australia. The move was a great change in her life, the wild and unhabitated land, the incredible animals that live constantly in contact with human, the multicultural environment, the openness of the people, and the positive approach of life they have, gave her something more.
She experienced how Australians she knew were changing jobs later in life and were applauded for following their dreams. This concept was not familiar to her in Italy. She really liked this belief, and she decided to always follow her dreams, regardless of what others thought of her.
“The Aussies were so kind to me and open to learning more about me and me about them,” said Boldrini. “I’ve kept this part of my time there with me as I continued in my career, reminding myself to be open to learning about as much as I can about my customers.”
Her next destination working and living abroad took Boldrini to Chile. She first worked in a ski center and then, a few days before going back to Italy, in a sustainable mine conference she met a geologist who proposed to work on an environmental project monitoring glaciers. Another adventure then started in an engineering mining company as she worked as a geotechnical geologist managing environmental projects, leading teams in the office and in the field, dealing directly with the clients, organising and installing the monitoring network, and in charge of all the technical documentation.
“I was the key contact of three companies, managing different groups of people, installing together with the operators in the field between 4,000 and 5,000 m s.l.m with helicopters or by foot; in the tech office improving the characteristics of the software with the R&D people; in the engineering office working together with geologists, mathematicians, engineers and surveyors trying to understand the data, modelling them, and realising the technical reports or inventing some new tool.”
Here she learned her third language, Spanish, in addition to her native tongue of Italian and English she mastered in Australia.
“Chile was an amazing place to live, and my heart fell in love with Chile and its people,” said Boldrini. “I learned so much about myself there and made some of my best friends there. I catch myself even thinking in Spanish at times.”
Whenever Boldrini had a chance, she was travelling and exploring the desert, the gayser, climbing 5000 m s.l.m. mountains, skiing on active volcanos, visiting the vineyards, or visiting the museums of Chilenian history.
“The most amazing ski tour I had was alone at the active Llaima volcano - an incredible experience that I will always keep in my memory,” said Boldrini. “When I arrived to the top, I met a lot of people of all the world – German, French, Spanish, Uruguayan, Canadian. The crater was a completely big cauliflower that was giving off gases of the active volcano. The snow was metamorphosed, and it was similar to glass.”
Boldrini returned to her native country of Italy in 2017 when she accepted a role with IDS GeoRadar in Pisa. Even now, though, she works in a region of the country much different than where she grew up.
“In Northern Italy, we are quite conservative and reserved. Here in Tuscany, the culture is more energetic and revealed,” she explains. “I feel I have a mixed identity now, and that works to my benefit. Every day in my role, I work not only with diverse customers but also with a mix of colleagues with different roles. Every role, of course, approaches work in a different way, so it is interesting to find a way to communicate with every department.”
Working with IDS GeoRadar, Boldrini says she enjoys the fun and the work environment. Her favourite part, to no surprise, is the multicultural aspect of working with colleagues from across Italy and even other countries.
“I like to work with IDS clients, and I try to be open to find always new strategies to satisfy my customers,” concludes Boldrini. “The key is to continue studying and always pushing to be a better professional, but mainly a better person. I encourage more women in technology and to promote the value of diversity, inclusion and equity in technology.”