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Take every situation as a precious opportunity from which you can learn - Interview with Elisabetta Hoch, UCI Italia


For this month's interview, we are delighted to be joined by Elisabetta Hoch, Regional Operations Manager, UCI Italia. Elisabetta was a mentee in a previous edition of the UNIC Women's Cinema Leadership programme and is about to become a mentor in the next edition.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR DAILY HABITS THAT KEEP YOU INSPIRED AND MOTIVATED

The daily habit I can’t give up is having coffee while looking at the results of the cinema market of the previous day. Commenting with the closest collaborators where there is room for growth and the areas where we performed well.

This step helps me analyze the previous day and add to the to do list any new priorities or aspects that need to be look into. Sharing comments with colleagues is fundamental to collect all points of view and structure the work we have to do together. This is exactly what inspires me, sharing the passion, interest, and focus on the results and the process that involves us and makes us work side by side.

LOOKING BACK AT YOUR CAREER JOURNEY, WHAT ARE YOU THE MOST PROUD OF?

There are several aspects I am proud of. I have been part of this business since I started working as a multiplex employee in 2004. I saw colleagues of the company who held positions to which I began aspiring to and colleagues who were invited to important events. My growth in UCI started as a popcorn seller to Cinema manager to my current position as Regional Operations manager, giving me the opportunity to participate in “CineEurope” or “Le giornate professionali di cinema” in Sorrento, which I have always looked at as an important goal. Also, the opportunity that UNIC, with the Women's in Leadership program, gave me by being a mentee in 2021 was a big recognition. And, of course, the latest honour, being named among the CJ Top 50 most influential women in cinema. All of these are important steps in my career path.

WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES YOU ENCOUNTERED THROUGHOUT YOUR LEADERSHIP JOURNEY?

My biggest daily challenge is to continually try to realign priorities. Every day the scale of priorities changes continuously due to the different demands that you encounter. The unexpected has always been the most challenging thing we have to manage at the cinema. Every day is different, and every day something happens that upsets your plans. What I try to do is align the new tasks in the short term and above all, try to support the team in not being overwhelmed. I do this by extinguishing their fire of worries and fear of not being able to manage the new priorities. Conveying security and being aware of one’s means is essential to guiding the team towards good management.

HAVING A DEMANDING ROLE, HOW DO YOU BALANCE YOUR WORK AND PERSONAL LIFE?

I’m lucky, I’m totally in love with the work I do and the cinema business. Therefore, I have no difficulty in dedicating most of my time to it. I probably dedicate too much time to my job because it’s also my passion. I love going to the cinema, reading, and socializing.  In my free time, I study, join courses, travel and spend time with my loved ones and enjoy my family.

DID YOU HAVE ANY MENTORS IN YOUR CAREER? WHO HAS BEEN A MENTOR TO YOU?

In my journey, I have met several people who have inspired me and whom I have looked at with admiration, and from whom I have tried to get the best to build my baggage and develop my style. At the same time, I met people, especially in my company, who believed in me and allowed me to acquire ever-increasing responsibilities and express myself in this wonderful business.

In particular, the person I consider a mentor is Simone Gialdini - CEO of the ANEC Italian Cinema Association and President of Cinetel. He was my Director before I was promoted to Director of my own cinema in 2016. I owe all the imprinting of approach, dedication, and above all method and vision to him. Simone always encouraged me to accept challenges, even the most difficult, believing in me and my ability even before I did myself. And that's what I think makes the difference in a mentor, someone who can see where you can go in the future and support you to develop what is only a potential at first.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

The advice I would give to the younger me is to take every situation, even a difficult one, as a precious opportunity from which you can learn and gain new knowledge. To experience situations and friendships with a light mind, not to take yourself too seriously, have fun and remember that every person holds a treasure that is worth discovering.


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