The Story Of A PassKit Intern: How A Foggy Day In Venice Changed My Life

Nicholas Bortoluzzi

Nicholas Bortoluzzi

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Nicholas Bortoluzzi- A PassKit Intern
Nicholas Bortoluzzi – A Former PassKit Intern

Lets start with a bit of background…

It was a lazy morning of spring 2012 and I was in the humanities library at my university. The building was surrounded by a very foggy and humid Venice, and you could see the tourists through the window passing by the narrow hallway that leads to the library garden.
I was preparing for my last three exams before graduation, but that day I wasn’t being very productive. I was instead browsing the internet and kind of wasting my time. I can generally define myself as a very keen on reading person, so I found myself looking for new authors and interesting books on Amazon. Then it happened!
Have you ever been in a book shop, holding a book in your hands and it just feels right? “Right” as in “yes, this is the book I want to read. I was meant to find this book today”. Well, I had the virtual version of that feeling.
That book was “the four hour workweek” by Tim Ferriss, and ever since I bought it, it became a sort of bible I keep referring to when I have to make some relevant decision in my life. Everything you will read after this point is a direct consequence of me reading that book.

The next step

Long story short, I passed two exams out of three but I failed the last one, commercial law, and therefore I had 6 spare months where I decided to move to United Kingdom with the goal of improving my English and start becoming more economically independent. So I packed my stuff, took the commercial law book with me, and on the 30th of January 2013, I landed at London Stansted Airport. In May of the same year I went back to Venice for two weeks and successfully overcame this last academic obstacle and finally graduated. I then went back to UK and started from where I left.
Almost three years passed by, I was way too much into my comfort zone, I did not have any kind of satisfaction and life was getting boring. It’s extremely dangerous to be in that place. Years keep going by and you get older without tangible accomplishments, but you somehow feel protected by your little nest, your “safe” job, wage and routines.

Getting to Hong Kong and PassKit

In three years I managed to save up some money, and luckily enough the British pound is quite a strong currency, so I made another “Tim Ferriss decision”. I literally ended up saying “f**k it, I’m quitting and doing something with my life”. And that’s how I ended up in Hong Kong around the end of August 2015.
I remember the Skype interview for PassKit I had with Wendy, I was literally freaking out. It wasn’t my first job interview, but I was extremely fearful of rejection because in that specific moment such an opportunity meant everything to me.
Although my fears were devouring me, what I perceived on the other side was a very welcoming and nice person who actually was considering giving me the chance of joining a team of super motivated and highly performing people.
I was really glad after the interview. Moving to another country wasn’t really a big thing to me. But the opportunity to spin my current situation and take my life to the next level definitely was! And that’s exactly what is happening to me at PassKit.
HK backgroung

The Internship..

During my internship here I am constantly around people with several years of experience in multiple business fields, I am considered as a member of the team and not “just the intern”. If I make a coffee it’s for myself, and I don’t have to execute boring tasks other people don’t want to, like I had to experience in previous positions. Senior members talk to me about stuff that really matters and creates value for PassKit as well as the final clients, and it feels great to be part of it.
I am now seeing the practical aspects of theoretical things I studied at university. Words like kanban, six sigma, marketing, value, business case are not just words or definitions anymore. They now have real shapes, names, actions and specific attributes.
One big takeaway I got from PassKit is the idea of “embracing the gap”. The underlying idea behind this concept is that the world is constantly changing, and no matter where you are in life (or business), anything is achievable with a goal in mind and a deadline. All you need is clarity, focus and of course, be embracing the gap between your current situation and your next goal.
Another big thing I got from Paul and Nick is the idea of constantly being aware of everybody’s contribution to PassKit, as well as my own contribution to the company, to the world, and ultimately to myself. What would have changed today if you were not here? Can you go to sleep being proud of what you did during the day? If you get fired, how will this affect PassKit? All these questions revealed to be extremely powerful to kick my awareness and separate what is really important from what is not.
When I then realised that Paul is also a fan of Tim Ferriss, I felt it was a sign. The whole company rotates around the concepts and ideas within the book I bought on that foggy day of 2012 in Venice. These coincidences make you think.
I sometimes consider how lucky I am to be a Passkiteer. I had the chance to speak with interns working for different companies, and I’ve rarely seen any enthusiasm or good feelings about their positions.
It’s easy to feel good and motivated when you are surrounded by such an amazing crew of butt-kicking people. I am learning something new every day and I believe my way of thinking and approaching life changed for good.
In this post, I just wanted to briefly summarize my personal experience with PassKit, what it means to me and how I ended up here. There are many more things I could talk about, but the limitations of a blog post doesn’t allow me to examine every single facet of the topic. I didn’t want to mention anything specifically related to the business and what PassKit does, the rest of the PassKit blog contains all you need to know about PassKit and the O2O channel.
And remember… As always #PFR

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