Meet IE Business School’s MBA Class Of 2018

Alexander Troughton

IE Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less:  I’m entrepreneurial, ambitious and adventurous, but I have lots to learn. And I love football.

Hometown: London, UK

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m a qualified Jamie Oliver Pizzaiolo.

Undergraduate School and Major: Oxford University, Theology

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Associate, IMM (Small London based Venture Capital firm).

Seconded to Jamie Oliver Brands India from IMM as Head of Marketing,

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far:  While working for IMM I was seconded to launch Jamie Oliver’s restaurants (one of IMM’s key investment in India) and building the first pizzeria was certainly my greatest accomplishment of my career. One month before the launch and behind schedule, our contractor walked out of the project and left the project in jeopardy. Deadlines had been missed, there was no communication with the brand, no systems in place, and at the time there was no chance of delivering the restaurant on schedule. Our marketing campaign was ready to go, the launch date had been set and our investors were coming for the grand opening. Although I had no previous building experience and could not speak Hindi, I took charge of the build and delivered the site on time.

It was on the first day that I understood the magnitude of the challenge ahead. There were 60 non-English speaking labourers waiting for directions, none of whom had been properly led by the contractor. On top of this, there was no record of what aspects of the build had been started or finished. The site was a skeleton with only the basics completed. The first step in changing the situation was to immediately create a core task-force consisting of myself, a translator and the head builder, with the purpose of conveying exactly what was needed. I assembled a 24-hour team so that no time would be wasted. I implemented simple completion systems and incentives to ensure that the team was ambitious, on my side, and keen to achieve our goal. I spent the next month trawling through the site, keeping up the pressure and motivating my team. Eventually, we completed the site on time and handed it over to our operations team for the opening.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants?  Make sure that you apply to a school that can service your specific needs. Ensure that the school shares the same aspirations that you do as this will mean you will be around people who are of a similar mindset. Your teachers are just facilitators of discussion, it is your fellow intake members that you will learn the most off.

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?  There wasn’t one key factor. It was really the package of the IE MBA course that sold it to me: one year course, international intake, highly-regarded and entrepreneurship-focused.

I wanted a school with entrepreneurship at its core, rather than an additional class. Unlike other schools IE was founded by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs and I wanted that to be the focus of the school that I attended. I have the opportunity to build my own venture with investors, guidance and technical support as part of my MBA…what more do I want!

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school?  After my more ‘front line’ focused experience in supporting the building of the Jamie Oliver Restaurant business in India, I hope to utilize my theoretical knowledge that I’ve gained from my MBA to either start my own thing or work within a small PE/VC house to continue the building of businesses (with a little more knowledge than before!).

Related Stories In Our Meet The Class of 2019 Series: 

The Pioneering MBAs In The Class of 2019

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business

Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business

Vanderbilt University’s Owen School of Management

London Business School

University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business

Notre Dame University Mendoza College of Business

UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business

New York University Stern School of Business

University of Texas-Austin McCombs School of Business

University of Michigan Ross School of Business

Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business

MIT Sloan School of Management

University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Columbia Business School

INSEAD

Yale School of Management

University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management

UCLA Anderson School of Management

HEC Paris     

Emory University’s Goizueta Business School

Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business

Harvard Business School

Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business

University of Washington’s Foster School of Business

University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management

University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flager Business School

Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business

IE Business School