"The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow." Nelson Mandela.
A program with a rock-solid history
Forty years ago, the Techint Group launched a strategic professional development program called the Young Professionals Program (JP in Spanish), to address the emerging demand for a new management style. The executives behind this initiative sensed that there was a need to tackle the evolving dynamics and competitiveness of the changing business landscape. Their objective was to launch a targeted campaign to recruit young people with high potential, turning this enterprise into the only way for junior candidates to join any of the Group’s companies.
“There’s a really positive attitude to the program from all of our most experienced professionals and we’re asked to get actively involved in large-scale projects. All the teams are extremely receptive to questions and comments," highlights Maria Florencia Bustos Gorostegui, an Engineering Analyst at Tenaris, who is currently on the team working to replace Furnace 4 at the TenarisSiderca steel mill with one using Consteel® technology developed by Tenova.
“The program accompanies people’s professional development by providing training and talks to give you an overall view of the company. It encourages you to question things and promotes constant learning. In my particular case, I’m working on infrastructure investment projects within plants, so the presentations help to give my work a more global context. Additionally, the program provides options for me to connect with other areas. Thanks to the basic knowledge it offers, I now have more tools and a broader vocabulary with which to communicate more clearly,” she adds.
María Florencia's experience reflects the solid purpose of this unique professional development program that was conceived in the 1950s and consolidated in 1983, the brainchild of the so-called Personnel Directorate (DIPER), headed up by Sergio Einaudi, Carlos Tramutola and Renzo Terzano.
Since its beginnings, the JP Program has adapted to the particularities of each company and country, offering young people the opportunity to train within each one’s organizational structure. Rooted in the concept of mutual commitment, the set-up requires the Techint Group to provide the tools, environment and responsibilities, while the participants contribute the ambition and enthusiasm necessary to carry the program forward.
The initiative is designed for young people taking their first steps in the workplace, from all kinds of backgrounds, experiences and expectations. Integrated into the Group’s companies from their respective professions, the candidates are able both to contribute to Techint's global scope and to pursue their career aspirations.
For Ignacio Sampataro, Trading Desk Analyst at Organismos Centrales & Holding, the Young Professionals Program gave him the opportunity to train in many different areas for his development, although none was unrelated to his job.
“My last project gave me the opportunity to work on an improvement for the area, which also brought personal learning. We believed this change was necessary but we weren’t able to dedicate enough time to it due to the demands of daily work,” remarks Ignacio, who also emphasizes "the terrific opportunity to network with other Young Professionals and learn about key skills such as leadership, process optimization and project management."
Agustina Becerra, Tax Analyst at Organismos Centrales & Holding says that, "The program is a way of pointing to what the company expects of me, both in my current daily routine and in the future. It instils confidence in us by teaching us the range of hard and soft skills that will be necessary for us on our professional journey, so that we can be as well prepared as possible to tackle our development in the Group."
"All the courses given within the framework of the program help to hone our understanding of the business and give us tools that help us rethink what we do. The objective is to always try to improve and apply the concepts learned safely," she concludes.
“I believe that the Young Professionals program is a terrific incentive for people keen to enter the world of work, as you can learn while being accompanied by great leaders, and gain the experience and confidence needed to take the next steps,” says Micaela González Flora, Business Coordination Senior Analyst at Tenaris. “As this is such a large group with an international scope, the range of opportunities is much broader.”
“In my case in particular, one of the big things we achieved was to automate the process of consolidating information in our area, leading to time savings and reductions in errors due to manual loading,” adds Micaela. “This came about thanks to the Power BI course that the company offered with the participation of the National Technological University (UTN in Spanish) as well as the support of a large number of professionals who were on hand to collaborate and help me make this happen.”
A wide range of opportunities
The Program not only lays the ground for professional development, but also offers a vibrant and diverse range of opportunities. From the chance to work on innovative projects to receiving specialized training, participants find fertile ground to explore, learn and grow.
Micaela Costa, Ternium Logistics & Production Planning Coordinator agrees, and shares that, “The Young Professionals program enabled me to rotate through Supply Chain and Planning, so I now have an understanding of how the Group works from different angles, as well as a broader outlook of the company’s culture. Although we’re all Ternium, each area has its own way of doing things. The most enriching part is to be able to take the best practices from each sector and apply them in others.”
For Micaela, “We Young Professionals aren’t afraid to keep on asking questions until we understand. We have the chance to join systems that have been working for years, and questioning processes and procedures to identify opportunities for improvement. The people I deal with know that, as a JP, I’m learning every day, so they’re really open to sharing their experience and knowledge.”
Like many of her peers, the chance to interact with colleagues in other countries is a major plus point. “The Program gave us the opportunity to meet and share an entire week with Young Professionals from Mexico. It’s really normal in Argentina to ask ourselves, ‘so, is this is how they do it in other countries?' but there were times when I didn't have anyone I could ask to get an answer quickly. Now that I’ve met my colleagues in Mexico, the door is open for us all to exchange concerns between us.”
Valentina Grignolio, Contracts Administration Analyst at Techint E&C, goes into greater depth: “The Young Professionals Program helped me to grow professionally, especially thanks to the trust that my superiors placed in me. They were always encouraging me to do more, to not be afraid to make mistakes, or to raise my hand if something didn't seem right. So that, added to the training, has allowed me to develop my own potential, which in turn has opened more doors for me to grow within the company.”
According to Valentina, “Training and job rotation are two fundamental axes for professional growth. Being able to see what’s being built, to see it growing, to see what was previously just a number in an Excel or a plan on a piece of paper finally take shape, is really wonderful for me. I truly believe that that’s the best way to grow.”
Along the same lines, Guido Panizzi, Industrial Process Analyst at Tenaris, emphasizes that the Young Professionals Program, "has allowed me to develop as both a professional and person."
He explains that, “This is because of the impact that you can have when you work closely with those responsible for different horizontal sectors, as here you can contribute new and different ideas. I’ve learned a lot from the professional attitude taken by my colleagues, as they listened to me, supported me and allowed me to try out the ideas I proposed ever since the moment I joined the company."
“In addition, the opportunity to listen to the experiences of people with such a long career in the Techint Group, and find out how people got to where they are today, is incredibly enriching. These meetings with leaders really motivate you to envisage all the possibilities that the Group has to offer," Guido concludes.
For Santiago Leandro Rusin, HRBP Analyst at Tecpetrol, another aspect that stands out is the empowerment that the program provides. “In my case, I joined in May 2022. I came from working in the same industry but in a company with a different culture, where young people weren’t valued. The JP Program showed me that the Techint Group trusts me, values who I am, and this is what motivates me every day to do my best. I had an important role to play in the team, able to take decisions with autonomy, and always encouraged by the leaders to improve things.”
“I consider that a well-established training program, specifically the TUIC, gives us a crucial vision of the business that enables us to understand the central relevance of everything going on around us on a daily basis,” adds Santiago.
Branco Navarro, Process Design Engineer at Techint E&C, points out that another great advantage of the JP Program “is that we receive formal feedback every six months. When you’re new, you put all your effort into doing as well as possible, but you need to be guided properly in order to be able to take advantage of your strengths and work on your areas of improvement. In my particular case, I had the chance to work on several projects after joining, always with different teams, and I always felt incredibly well supported.”
Regarding professional development, Branco also emphasizes the quality of the training: “I was particularly impressed by the Building Professionals seminar that I did less than a month ago which made me realize just how little I knew about the company and its management. It showed me how you tend to limit yourself to understanding the basic aspects of your own position to the point where you don’t realize that there’s all this work going on in parallel in other areas."
A beacon of leadership
Finally, all the participants agree that one of the most positive aspects of the Program is the chance to meet up with other colleagues to learn about their experiences, as it helps to cement relationships and foster a deeper understanding of other areas of professional development.
“When you join the Group within the JP Program, you get that peace of mind and confidence that you need in order to take your first steps,” says Micaela González enthusiastically. “Courses like those in Management Essentials give you a very broad-based knowledge of the company and the opportunities that lie ahead, without leaving out what in my opinion is the most valuable aspect, the chance to network offered by the program.”
Founded on the solid premise that "Today's youth are tomorrow's leaders", one of Nelson Mandela’s most iconic quotes, the Techint Group’s Young Professionals Program has not only grown and evolved over the last four decades, but has also built a legacy of professional development that transcends borders and defies expectation.