2019 Best & Brightest MBAs: Constantinos Linos, INSEAD

Constantinos Linos         


Greek, American, fascinated by how technology, media, and the arts can move industries and societies.”

Hometown: Athens, Greece

Fun fact about yourself: I’m my family’s black sheep: I’m the only child without a Ph.D. and my father recently reassured me that, if I don’t succeed at business school, there’s always time for me to apply to medical schools.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Harvard University, BA in Government & Economics

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Univision, where I served as the Associate Director of Strategy.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? I was working full-time at Univision, managing projects for the Fusion Media Group (multimedia conglomerate that includes The Onion, Gizmodo Media Group, The Root, Fusion TV.) Specifically, I was leading Univision’s partnership with 28-time Grammy-Award winning rapper, Residente.

Where will you be working after graduation? Unclear as of right now – but hopefully somewhere in the TMT space, working on projects that impact culture, society, and policy.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: I’m a proud member of INSEAD’s Entrepreneurship, TMT and Storytelling clubs. But I can’t wait to take on more responsibilities and give more back to the INSEAD community as the year progresses.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Frankly, it’s too early to tell. For the time being, I’m glad I’ve found a healthy balance between INSEAD’s rigorous academics, exploring the Fontainebleau campus, making a ton of new friends and finding some time to travel around Europe.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I take great pride in the work I did for Residente – a Puerto Rican rapper who has won more Grammys than any Latin American artist ever. When Residente decided to partner with Univision and launch his solo career in 2016, I was asked to lead the development, marketing, and distribution of a portfolio of his music, films and live events.

His first album won 1 Grammy Award, 2 Latin Grammys, 1 MTV Video Music Award, 2 Webby Awards and was recognized as one of the “Best Albums of the Year” by The New York Times, NPR, Rolling Stone, and Billboard Magazine. His eponymous documentary was selected to premiere at SXSW as part of the festival’s official selection before it was sold to Netflix. His first four music videos have garnered over 180M views on Youtube alone and his world tour attracted over 250,000 fans.

But these milestones pale in comparison to when Oscar Lopez Rivera was pardoned by President Obama – thanks to the awareness raised by Residente and the many others who traveled to DC to protest and petition senators for his release. That was the first time when I witnessed the real, human impact the media & entertainment industry can have on the ground.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor David Young, INSEAD’s Professor of Accounting & Control. His no-B.S. approach to teaching and almost forensic approach to financial accounting are really refreshing. He’s an old-school professor, who’s committed to his students’ learning. What’s more, he has a penchant for cold-calling and a soul-piercing stare that holds all of his students to account.

What was your favorite MBA Course? Uncertainty, Data & Judgement taught by Miguel Sousa Lobo. The way professor Lobo tactfully applies statistics to real-life decision making and business scenarios make for the most relevant and interesting course I’ve ever taken. I’m confident his lectures will prepare me to become both a better leader and a more educated consumer.

Why did you choose this business school? INSEAD offers a unique value proposition to its students. The one-year program means graduating one year ahead of your peers, one less year spent outside the workforce and one less year of tuition and living expenses. As if that were not enough – it has campuses across three countries, partnerships with leading universities across the globe and a student-body comprised of truly experienced, successful, international and intellectual individuals. It was a no-brainer.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Speak with alumni, admissions, and anyone who can help you prepare your application and get all the tailored advice you can get. Prepare your story and make sure it makes sense and stands out. Even if you don’t get in, reflecting on your experiences and who you are today will be a very valuable experience that’s definitely worth your while.

Think back two years ago. What is the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your MBA program? It’s going to be great.

MBA Alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you? It’s really too early to tell – I’ve only been here a month. But I’ve learned more about myself, my strengths and my weaknesses in these first few weeks than I ever expected.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Dr. Jack Nolan, a clinical urologist from Dublin, Ireland. I never thought I’d have a moving, engaging, hour-long conversation about prostate cancer with anyone – let alone a classmate at INSEAD. But the first time I sat down with Jack, we spoke about the new robotic technologies employed in urology, the problems with healthcare policy and public insurance schemes in Europe, and the human toll medical training takes on patients and physicians alike. I admire his decision to pause his successful medical career, enroll at INSEAD and pursue social impact on a far broader scale. He’s just one of many classmates I look up to and can’t wait to learn from.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My former boss at Univision, Isaac Lee, had a huge impact on my decision to pursue an MBA. He single-handedly inspired my passion for the media business and taught me how to find a sense of purpose through my work.

Under his leadership, I worked on my first M&A deal in 2015, when Univision invested in TheRoot.com and Professor Skip Gates’ commitment to championing Black voices and the interests of the African-American community. I safeguarded my first corporate secret in 2016, when The Fusion Media Group was one of only two U.S. media organizations investigating global corruption and tax evasion for the ICIJ’s Panama Papers leak. In 2017, I led my first capital raise round, when Residente (the aforementioned rapper I was working with) collected donations for the victims of Hurricane Maria. Concertgoers gathered so many emergency relief supplies he had to ask the Chilean President to lend us a cargo plane to deliver their donations to Puerto Rico.

Isaac showed me that maximizing profitability and social impact aren’t mutually exclusive, but that they can go hand-in-hand.

What is your favorite movie about business? I love Alex Gibney’s Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. It’s a great example of excellent storytelling and documentary film-making. Moreover, it’s a powerful lesson in how hubris, mismanagement, and a lack of moral leadership can topple CEOs, companies, industries and so much more.

Mike Myers & Beth Aala’s Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon is a very close second. It inspired my decision to work with artists and is a treasure-trove of pop-culture anecdotes and guerilla marketing techniques.

What was the goofiest MBA term or acronym you encountered – and what did it mean? The Blue Ocean thing is really deep.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…working with artists, creating content.”

What dollar value would place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less? I think the finance folks at INSEAD have done their homework and priced the MBA program astutely. Borrowing & spending around 100k euros on anything feels like an unreasonable expense at 27 – but I’m convinced it’s an investment that will pay dividends soon. I don’t think I’d be willing, or able, to pay much more.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  1. Buy a motorcycle
  2. Learn how to ride a motorcycle

(In that order)

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you?  As a contrarian, who challenged them and supported them wherever possible.

Hobbies? Board-sports, music, drawing.

What made Linos such an invaluable member of the Class of 2019?

“The Admissions Committee, comprising faculty and alumni, was particularly interested by this Greek applicant who graduated from Harvard with a degree in Political Science and worked in the US and in Mexico. The committee members liked both his impressive academic life and his people management experience.

Linos experience brings diversity to the class as he worked in government and in the NPO sector, as well as for a leading media company. The Committee liked the fact that he managed a 28-time Grammy Award-winning artist and toured across 17 countries with a band of world-class musicians.”



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