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Watching His Career Blast Off

Italian engineer takes new direction after Vanderbilt experience

Andrea Gomirato
Thermal Engineer II, SpaceX

Vanderbilt Global Americas MBA 2017

Andrea Gomirato works in an industry that’s at the frontier of science (and, actually, of Earth itself). He’s an engineer for SpaceX. Perhaps that sounds like an uncommon transition for someone who until 2017 was designing rifles and shotguns. Vanderbilt was his bridge.

Andrea needed no introduction to international business assignments before he enrolled in the Global Executive MBA program. In 2011, he transferred from Beretta in his native Italy to the company’s US division, headquartered near Nashville, where he was responsible for all phases of product development for Berretta rifles and shotguns.

“The work was very stimulating, and it challenged me every day,” says Andrea. “I had the chance to patent two of my inventions.”

Though he spoke Italian and English, Andrea, an engineer by training, recognized he was not fluent in the language of business — and that he needed strong managerial knowledge in order to reach her goal of becoming an executive with a multinational company.

For him, Vanderbilt seemed a natural choice, and not merely because of its close proximity to his workplace. “I didn’t want to pursue just any MBA,” Andrea says. “I wanted to attend Owen because I believed it could change and improve my future.

“When I first moved to the US, I realized how everything is so different here. Once I settled in, I obtained a great return in terms of experience. Through the Global Executive MBA program I had the chance to interact with students from completely different nations. It was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss. Since we are part of a global economy, learning from a cross-cultural environment is the best way to shape a person who can behave responsibly in today’s world.”

Just after graduation, Andrea accepted a position as a structure engineer with SpaceX in Southern California. Less than a year later, he was promoted to thermal engineer. You might say that, in more ways than one, his career after Vanderbilt is taking off.