Coffee Break

Alexandra Solea

Name: Alexandra

Surname: Solea

Program director of the Master in Arts and Culture Management: Managing arts and culture in the global era; Cultural event management, Creation of cultural company; Music industry and artist management

Master in Tourism Management: The global art and culture tourism system

BIO

Alexandra, MA MCultHeritage PhD GCert, is an international relations and cultural affairs professional in the global CCI environment. Her areas of expertise include cultural diplomacy, international cultural partnerships, cultural policy, performing arts management. High-profile positions, in public and private sectors, have rounded out her senior arts administration expertise, allowing collaborations with international top-level institutions in arts management and cultural affairs, including: Rome Opera House, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (Rome), BOZAR (Brussels), Sadler’s Wells (UK), U.S. State Department etc. She is Alumna/Fellow of the European Music Council (Bonn), the biggest European network of organizations and institutions operating in the music sector, and Alumna/Fellow of Stiftung Mercator (Essen) and TÜSİAD (Istanbul), Turkey’s top business organization. Alexandra has been awarded with various fellowships and grants by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Festivals Association (Brussels), The Asia-Europe Foundation – ASEF (Singapore), Fondazione Terzo Pilastro Internazionale (Italy), Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Romanian Ministry of Education etc. She is visiting professor and lecturer at various academic institutions and universities like: Royal Conservatoire in Den Haag (Holland), IULM University in Milan (Italy), University of Rome 2 “Tor Vergata” (Italy), Santa Cecilia Music Conservatoire in Rome (Italy), Benedetto Marcello Conservatoire in Venice (Italy), United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) in New York (USA). 

When did you find out you that you wanted to be a teacher? I found it out during my graduate studies, at the National University of Music in Bucharest. During the final year we were attending the Didactic Module, which involved teaching activities at different schools and high-schools within the city. That was my first direct contact with a class of students which I enjoyed quite a lot, of course under direct academic supervision.

What teaching strategies or techniques do you usually use? I like to adapt my strategies to the needs of the students, and I check this through constant communication with them, during each class. In general, I like to involve my students in various dynamic class activities, including case studies, and pitching actions enhanced by the use of several creativity thinking tools and analysis strategies.

What are the 3 fundamental competences that a worker needs to have in order to succeed in his/her future career? 1. Perseverance, 2 Professionalism, 3 Constant desire to improve and grow

What suggestion would you like to give to your students about how to get the most out of their educational experience? They should learn how to be good managers of themselves and use their time properly to maximize their education experience. This can be done through continuous reading, research activities, constant participation at classes (online and/or offline), at various events within their field of interest and last, but not least, a lot of networking. 

According to you, what are the 3 main characteristics that a successful manager should have? 1. Vision, 2. Leadership skills, 3. Emotional intelligence

Do you have a mentor? If yes, who? I can say I have been quite lucky, as I have had the opportunity to be guided by several wonderful mentors in my life, both in Romania (my native country) and in Italy (my adoptive country). I am deeply grateful to all of them, because without their constant guidance and encouragement, I wouldn’t have arrived here. 

The most important lesson that you learned during your career path? To never give up! Life is quite challenging, and often things don’t happen exactly as we expect them to. However, this should be seen as a challenge and not an obstacle. So, we should reevaluate the situation and try to be flexible and adapt the goals to the new premises. If we convert the difficulty into a positive stimulus, we will find the energy to do better. 

How would you have your students find out their talent ? I always advise my students to be true to themselves, and follow their passion and intuition. A good introspection also helps, before taking action and developing new projects; it is highly important to dedicate time to better understand ourselves in order to understand the needs of the others. I tell them to set up high goals, and to dream big, because even if they are not going to reach exactly that specific goal they have in mind, they can arrive pretty close to it. 

How do you motivate yourself to take action? I am quite a dynamic person, always in search of new stimulus and goals to achieve, so I think the motivation comes from the passion and energy I put into every one of my activities. However, I must fall in love first with the idea which doubled by the enthusiasm and dedication, turns into a real project afterwards.

What would you like to change about yourself? I would like to become more patient and dedicate additional time to the problems of the others, maybe learn another foreign language, travel more…

What are you doing to change the world? In my little, I like to consider the benefits of my projects from multiple points of view: social, environmental, cultural, political and try to enhance each of them accordingly. We cannot afford to wait for the change to come only from the others so we must trigger the start of a renewal process, which begins with us, through what we all carry out daily in our work and social life.

Top 3 cities to visit: Rome, New York, Bucharest

What do you like best of Rome? Roma Caput Mundi, as it was used to be called in antiquity, is one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world that must be seen at least once in a lifetime. For me it was love at first sight. Rome is an open-air museum, which never ceases to astonish me with new insights and perspectives in different shades and colors, confronting new and old elements belonging to different historic moments. It is so stylish in wearing its countless historic gowns: Antiquity, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Modern, Contemporary. If I have to choose one, probably it would be Rome: the city of the arts!

books to read… Yuval Noah Harari, 21 Lessons, Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead GameMary Gabriel, Ninth street women: Lee Krasner, Elaine De Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler: five painters and the movement that changed Modern art

What is your favourite Italian food? Oh, this is a difficult question! There are so many dishes I like…the Italian cuisine is quite amazing! I love: melanzane alla parmigiana, pizza, various types of fish, pasta, gelato and the list can go on. 

Do you have a Nick name? Well yes, my family and friends use to call me Alexa.

What are your interests and hobbies? Music is my passion and my first love. 

What are your weaknesses? Sometimes, when I become passionate about a topic, I feel the impulse to talk a little bit too much…

The craziest thing you have ever done…Being a co-pilot in a car race, riding a motorcycle…and there are still a couple of things I would like to do in the near future.

The happiest day of your life…There have been many wonderful and happy days in my life so it is a little bit difficult to indicate only one.

What makes you feel angry? The lack of ethics and modesty among young professionals. Being successful doesn’t mean to be egocentric and discourteous. 

What embarrasses you? Accepting a backhanded compliment.

Define Happiness! For me happiness means having an internal equilibrium between mind, body and soul, feeling good about yourself in every way. In this regard, I would like to quote Mahatma Gandhi, that has become my inspiration during the last few years: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

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