We interviewed Maria Loretta De Toni, “jewellery stylist”, founder and president of Maria De Toni S.r.l., a goldsmith company based in Sandrigo (VI).
• What does your company do?
Our company deals with the design and production of gold jewelry in the different carats, which we then export internationally.
• What are your strengths?
We certainly excel in the quality of the product we offer: our jewels characterized by workmanship with exclusive handmade finishes and enriched with semi-precious stones. Specifically, the Maria De Toni brand includes high-design gold jewelry inspired by the peoples and cultures in the world, while the Auritalia brand enhances the Venetian tradition through typical processes of our territory.
• How many employees do you have?
We have about fifteen employees.
• What kind of clients do you have?
Mostly international. 96% of our products are exported to Europe, Middle and Far East, North and South America, through distributors, chain stores and single points of sale.
• How long have you been welcoming trainees? In which areas? From which country have you welcomed so far? Would you possibly be available to welcome trainee in the production area?
We have been collaborating with a local school for years and since 2012 we also welcome Eurocultura trainees. So far we have had Spaniards and Germans in the design, administration and commercial areas. We are always willing to welcome trainees in all areas.
• Which are the tasks assigned to them? What can a trainee learn from you?
Initially, simple tasks are entrusted to the trainees, such as, for the administrative area, data entry, mailing list management, etc. We then gradually increase the quantity and complexity of the tasks to provide them with a wide-ranging training that also includes, for example, ATA carnet request, weighing of goods, shipment preparation etc. We always give the trainees the opportunity to deal with different areas so that they can acquire the competence of multitasking, ie the ability to do more things at the same time, which is nowadays fundamental in the world of work and, if practiced, allows to reach the excellence that distinguishes the made in Italy approach.
• How do you organize the placement and the “follow-up” of the trainee?
The trainee works both morning and afternoon, as we close for the lunch break, but we always try to adapt the working hours to that of public transport with which the trainee reaches the company. On the first day we give the trainee a plan divided by areas (administrative, commercial, marketing, etc.) with specific tasks to be carried out. The trainee is always flanked with other colleagues, under my constant supervision (or that of a substitute when I’m abroad). In addition, every Monday there is a briefing for monitoring activities and weekly planning.
• How do the company’s employees react to the trainee?
The company’s employees always react very well, they appreciate the assistance of the trainees and recognize their usefulness. They also have the opportunity to practice different foreign languages, which is not a small advantage, considering the fact that we sell our products mainly abroad.
• How do you get on with trainees from Europe?
European trainees are certainly an enrichment and a stimulus. Company’s employees can learn a lot from them and with them, including mainly teamwork. The preparation of European trainees is usually very good and it has already happened, for example, that some solutions introduced by a trainee proved to be very efficient and are therefore still applied.
• Does your staff speak English? Do you think it is possible to organize traineeships only in English at your company?
All of our staff speaks English, so I see no obstacles to the realization of internships in English only.
• Tell us something funny that happened to you!
Over the years there have been many funny episodes, for example some German trainees to not be late for the first day of work took a taxi from Vicenza to Sandrigo, something unthinkable for us and that made us smile. Or we had a young employee who fell in love with a Spanish trainee and decided to give up everything to go and live with her in Spain.
Interviewer: Federica Perazzolo, Eurocultura