Italian-American Profiles of Success: Chiara Bersano

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ChiaraItalian Still at the Core of Expat’s Being

In this week’s Italian-American Profiles of Success, we chatted with Chiara Bersano who was born in Milano and now lives in Silicon Valley, Calif. Her mom is from Trieste and dad is from Torino.

“I guess they met in the middle!” Chiara tells us.

She went to college in Switzerland and earned a degree in Architecture. However, instead of working in engineering or arts, she landed in the IT field. Chiara switched right after finishing college and never looked back.

Today, she works on HRIS systems for large corporations and software providers and is now interested in extending her expertise into Human Resources. More specifically, she is has become more interested in the legal aspects of personal data privacy and data sharing. When she finds the time, she blogs about her findings: (

Chiara took the time to respond to some of our questions about her career and her background.

CP: What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your career?
Chiara: The fact that you can continuously be learning new things – actually, it is a must, and it forces me to keep growing and continuously meet new people. I have been an early adopter of MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses, such as Coursera), a great way to explore new ideas.

CP: Where are you from and where do you currently live?
Chiara: I guess I can say I have been an expat almost all my life, but not always in the US. I was born in Milano, but grew up in Switzerland, and worked around the world. I lived and loved Boston and the North East, but when the opportunity came to live in Silicon Valley, I just had to go for it!

CP: Can you tell us about your Italian heritage?
Chiara: I could not speak for my Italian heritage; being Italian is still at the core of my being, in many ways. It structures my days, with a cappuccino, lunch and dinner. And even in Silicon Valley, I really can’t eat at 6pm… anything earlier than 8pm is tea and cakes.

CP: Do you have any favorite Italian traditions?
Chiara: I travel back to Italy at least once or twice a year, and that is a tradition.

CP: What does being Italian mean to you?
Chiara: It is about giving back. I would love to find ways to bring back to Italy talent and a competitive edge. If the opportunity should rise to work back in Italy, I may jump at it.

CP: Are there any accomplishments in your life that you are most proud of?
Chiara: Having a family and a job, both in a reasonably successful way. That’s a lot of work.

CP: What are some of your favorite hobbies?
Chiara: Hobbies? Who has time for hobbies? But if I had extra time, I love fine knitting, crochet, cooking from scratch, shake cocktails, throw great parties and paint.

CP: What business advice would you like to share with our readers?
Chiara: When you think you are down, keep at it. Life throw curveballs… look at the silver lining.

CP: What else would you like our readers to know about you?
Chiara: I certainly plan to be in Bra for the biannual Cheese fair in 2015. How can I miss it? (

To learn more about Chiara, visit her LinkedIn profile at