Meet IE Business School’s Class of 2016

Niccolo Bacchi

Niccolò Bacchi

IE Business School

Hometown: Milan, Italy

Undergraduate School and Major:

Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Italy – Bachelor in Medical and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Italy – Master in Medical, Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology

University of Trento, Italy – PhD in Biomolecular Sciences

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation (Latest to Earliest):

Centre for Integrative Biology (CIBIO), University of Trento – PhD Student

Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics (now Uniqure) – Trainee, research department

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? The main challenge to face during the GMAT is time. Time management is therefore key to pass with a good score. During your preparation, apart from learning how to correctly answer the different questions, you will need to learn how to answer them really fast. Build your own strategy to quickly solve the different types of problems in the quantitative part and do not underestimate the verbal part. Adopting some simple tricks, for example using grids for data sufficiency problems involving groups, can highly improve your performance.

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? Engage with the schools as early as possible. Start online, where much Information is available. Subscribe to their newsletter and watch out for the events they plan for promoting the MBA program. Participating in such events can give you a precious feedback and is a good opportunity to start presenting yourself. I also tried to contact trough my personal connections former alumni, to have the most direct feedback possible. From all this information, try to understand if you like the school and if your profile fits with what the school is searching. In this way, you can end with two or four schools where actually you will apply. The application process is really time-consuming and it takes a lot to have an answer, so try only where you are strongly convinced and where you know you have some chances.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? First of all, be yourself, and understand which are the strong and weak points in your candidacy. Second, you need to convince the examiners that you have a crystal clear and realistic plan for your career in which the MBA perfectly fits. Use every opportunity you have (interview, assays, recommenders) to tell them a bit more about who you are and what you have achieved, both professionally and personally. Be prepared not only to build a solid and referenced narrative for your strong points, but also to defend well your weak ones. Choose recommenders who know you well – and choose them well in advance. Their letter is the only part of your application you can not directly control.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? I was looking for a top European business school offering a flexible, highly customizable, one year program, with a truly international orientation. I was positively impressed by the strong focus on entrepreneurship of the school, which meets my educational needs. Mastering the entrepreneurial process, particularly in life-science, is the key for implementing an innovation. Due to my unusual background, I immediately felt validated by IE, where diversity is an important value. Finally, I was lucky to personally know a former student at IE, and his feedback was crucial in my decision.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? The life-science sector today is a fluid, difficult to predict, ruthless but highly promising environment. In my opinion, success in life-science relies on people merging both scientific and managerial competencies. Great science is no more enough to succeed, but it has to be deeply merged with excellent management. This combination will give you both the vision required for bringing an innovation from the lab to society,and the skills needed to avoid all evitable obstacles. I expect from IE a tough insight into all the competences I currently lack, having just finished a PhD in Biomolecular Sciences.

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