London Business School
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Cancer scientist by training, enthusiastic about new technologies and their application on health. Soccer lover.
Hometown: Napoli, Italy
Fun Fact About Yourself: I can windsurf with my dog, although the general consensus is that I am the less talented of the two of us.
Undergraduate School and Major: I did my undergraduate at the University of Napoli “Federico II” with major in biotechnology, and I did my PhD in molecular biology at the University of Edinburgh.
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Apart from my PhD, working on embryonic stem cells, at the University of Edinburgh, I worked for the Francis Crick Institute in London (the greatest, and possibly best, European biomedical center) as postdoctoral fellow. My research focused on breast and pancreatic cancer.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I led a project on breast cancer research that culminated in a very high-impact research publication, a result of the joint effort of 19 scientists, spread among eight laboratories and three countries. To coordinate such a heterogenic group of scientists was an extremely challenging enterprise, but also particularly rewarding. In fact, we ended up identifying a small subgroup of cancer cells, different from the bulk of the tumor, that were able to fuel tumor growth. When we killed specifically these cells, the tumor progression drastically reduced. This study could open the way to new therapeutic approaches for some types of breast cancer.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? First, I would say invest a lot of time speaking with alumni of the schools you are interested in, in particular alumni with a background similar to yours, so to be sure to apply to the right programs. An MBA is a big investment in terms of both time and money, and you really want to be as sure as possible to find the right one, not “just an MBA.” Second, give yourself enough time to prepare for the GMAT, and remember that you simply want to have a good score at the test, no need to become a mathematician or a poet. Just beat the test. Third, show the school your enthusiasm. Explain not only what the school can do for you, but also what you can do for the school.
What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? After graduation, I am planning to spend a few years in North America and then to move back to Europe, so I want a school which is well recognized in both continents and able to provide me with a broad international network. This, together with the unmatched enthusiasm about the school of the LBS alumni I spoke with, strongly pointed me toward LBS.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? I will consider my first year a success if: A) I am able to secure an internship in one of the companies I am considering to work for after my graduation; B) I am able to create strong, long-lasting connections with my classmates; and C) I am able to fully use the many resources the school offers, in terms of learning, mentoring, exchange programs and so on.