Raffaella di Primio- The relentless learner

Under Raffaella’s apparent calm, there is a flamboyant thirst for learning and experimenting new things in all sectors of life. Although she admits she really doesn’t feel comfortable talking about herself, it’s enough to ask her about one of her many passions and she’ll take you for a spin in her world. She is not just curious, but she also guides her life decisions based on the opportunity to learn and acquire new skills, make new acquaintances and friends.

Born in Rome, Raffaella di Primio comes from a traditional family to whom she’s grateful for being the role model she followed through her life. Living examples, her parents taught her the importance of both family and career in one individual’s life. And looking at her 80 years old father still working with youthful enthusiasm, she understands how important it is to make the right choices.

She studied law at La Sapienza University and, with a very clear plan in mind, she went on pursuing an international career: she advised international and Italian clients, key private sector groups and international organisations in M&A, corporate, energy and project finance transactions. Clifford Chance, Studio Legale Chiomenti, Endesa, Eon Energy Trading Spa, Guccio Gucci SpA, United Nation World Food Programme are some of the clients or corporations she worked for. Top sectors, best in class clients, she is proud to have brought her contribution and be appreciated and respected.

10 years after, although holding important management roles, Raffaella felt that her work didn’t leave the space for expression to her creative spirit. And so, she listened to her inner self and followed her “career master plan” moving towards the freelance. It’s been almost two years since she is an independent consultant, deciding her projects, her objectives and the fields in which to bring in her expertise. 

What did it mean to her leaving the corporate world and becoming an independent legal consultant? One thing she loves the most with this change is the time that she bought for herself. Or, better said, for her curious spirit: she now has the time to take all the “imaginable courses” to expand her knowledge. “It’s like being born again, to have all this time to do what I like or to actually discover what I like, it is so different from the corporate life!” she says enthusiastically. Looking back she is even more aware that the decision to change her job every 2-3 years allowed her to become a “polyhedric professional” rather than an expert of just one single field. That is actually part of her plan and it enriches her personally also, as she has to (re)discover herself and others each time she chooses a new path.

Her artistic soul feels at home with PWA Rome, that she joined since almost a year and that gave her the chance to have a role fit to her professional activity, being an opportunity to learn yet other new things and challenge herself once more. Apart from being the association’s Secretary, she enjoys managing the PWA Instagram account, another occasion to express her creativity. Her goal for the new PWA season? “I would like to really get to know all PWA’s members and friends.”

As if being an independent consultant and part of PWA were still not enough, she decided to enrich her knowledge furthermore, and took a marketing and web design course: “It was different from what I usually do and I really had fun” she says giggling. Bored doing repetitive things for a long time, the novelty and diversity intrigue her and she’s sure that “trying to fit within a pre-established frame is definitely not for me”. I see her shake her head just at the thought of it! 

Learning is not only part of her career growth, but also her life philosophy: definitely not a 5 stars hotel, away from real-life type of traveller, Raffaella loves exploring new cultures from within. Feeling the life pulsating at the food market in Laos, walking through the streets off the touristic paths and trying new tastes are  the type of activities that she loves doing while going on vacation. She sure likes taking risks and experimenting new things and she gets everyone else involved: like when she decided to celebrate her 18th birthday with all her family and friends at the first Chinese restaurant just opened in Rome, at a time when international cuisine sounded like a bizarre idea in Italy.

Towards the end of our interview I couldn’t help but asking how come “for such a free spirit, the decision to study law”. Raffaella surprised me once more with her thirst for learning: searching for answers to the many questions she had in her youth, it seemed to her that the rigidness of this discipline would provide her unequivocal answers: “Did that happen? No! Of course, I’ve learnt that there is never a single answer to a question and I have more unanswered questions than ever, questions that multiplied during my studies. That is why I am now constantly surrounded by open books where I am searching for those answers” she says.

While we are wrapping up, we still have some minutes to discuss the challenges of the future: new technologies like Artificial Intelligence and blockchain are forcing us to look ahead and adapt fast. Without doubt, an exciting mission for Raffaella!


by Mirela Cojocaru, Newsletter Editor