2019 Best & Brightest MBAs: Gal Fisheloviz, SDA Bocconi

Gal Fisheloviz    

SDA Bocconi School of Management     

“Curious, adventurous, creative, eager to learn and willing to make a difference.”

Hometown: Rishon Le-zyon, Israel

Fun fact about yourself: For years, every night before falling asleep, I have been listening to the same song ( We are the world – U.S.A. for Africa)

Undergraduate School and Degree: The College of Management – B.A. Business Management, Marketing, Technology and Big Data

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Niru Group, a leading diamond manufacturer, as Head of Business Development and Operations

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? N/A

Where will you be working after graduation? Undecided, I’m currently evaluating a few opportunities such as consulting and strategic roles for international tech companies.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: President of the Entrepreneurship Club. The club has been in charge of planning, building and executing empowering events such as hackathons, startup panels and company visits for MBA students.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m particularly proud of the work I have done and the successful feedback I received from organizing the VCIC Bootcamp, a course set to prepare our MBA team for the Venture Capital competition held in Barcelona in March. The course involves various MBAs, professors, entrepreneurs, and professional venture capitalists, for a duration of three months.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? One of the achievements I’m most proud of is having founded my own startup in a foreign country – Italy. I had the opportunity to lead the project from idea to execution, of launching an innovative platform and to build a team of talented people to pursue a shared goal.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? I particularly admire Professor Nader Sabbaghian for his leadership skills and because I value the way in which he engages students during his lessons. He’s able to turn theoretical ideas into practical knowledge; he’s well-acquainted with the fields of disruptive technologies, innovation, and venture capital; and he’s continuously eager to learn about it.

What was your favorite MBA Course Competitive Strategy has been one of my favorite courses during the MBA. Over the course, we have analyzed different business cases with the goal of better understanding each strategic decision and discussing its validity within the business strategy. The course has provided me with efficient tools to both evaluate and solve different circumstance while managing a business.

Why did you choose this business school? When I decided to pursue an MBA degree, I set my school choice on a few, very clear criteria. First, I was looking for a top European university. Second, I wanted a one-year full-time program. Lastly, I was aiming to be part of a relatively small class that would increase the chances of having a more personal relationship with my colleagues.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Experience the program to the fullest – join class discussions and actively work on group assignments. Be part of a student club based on your passions and team up with your colleagues to compete in international contests with other schools. Attend company presentations and leadership series and network with everyone around you: they’re a valid source of inspiration and experience. The program has a lot to offer, but it’s up to you to take the best out of it and turn it into an opportunity for self-growth.

What is the biggest myth about your school? SDA Bocconi is located in Milan, the world’s capital of fashion, so many international candidates assume that a formal dress code is required on a daily basis. In reality, students typically dress casually when attending the lessons except, of course, for some special occasions and events.

Think back two years ago. What is the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your MBA program? Before starting the MBA program, I found myself frequently wondering if this was the right path for achieving my personal goals. One thing I know for sure now, several months into the program, is that with hard work, full commitment and devotion, possibilities are endless and each one of them is a step closer to achieving your dreams.

MBA Alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you? I agree. The program takes the best out of the students, including me, and I feel positively transformed in several ways. My leadership skills are highly improved, as well as my ability to collaborate within a team of diverse people. I can manage my time much better than I used to and I’m able to work on multiple projects at the same time while prioritizing what’s more important.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Luigi Quindici is one of the people I value the most within the MBA program. I particularly admire his commitment and strategic way of thinking. Since we started working on our first group assignment, I realized how experienced and capable Luigi is. The fact that we’re coming from two different backgrounds has allowed me to learn a lot from him while working on school projects together several times.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Since my youngest age, my parents encouraged me to always aim higher and to continue learning in order to make the most out of my capabilities. It is thanks to them that I decided to study business in college which, in my eyes, is another step to self-growth and the best way to pursue my dreams.

What was the goofiest MBA term or acronym you encountered – and what did it mean? Definitely WIIFM (the acronym for the business phrase “What’s in it for me?”), which has become my mantra this year, of course, in an ironic way. “Can you show me your notes?” “WIIFM”, “Are you coming to the event this evening?” “WIIFM”, “Can you hand over that pencil?” “WIIFM”.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…a backpacker traveling the world with my wife and our chihuahua.”

What dollar value would you place on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less? It’s worth more, on both a personal and professional level. The tools I have received will accompany me throughout my entire career and will be a major financial advantage.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? The first item on my bucket list is building a family, live happily and being able to fulfill all our needs. The second item is traveling and exploring the world, meeting new people and getting to know other cultures.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A positive, active and determined person, who’s aiming high and does all that it takes to reach his goals while empowering others to reach theirs.

Hobbies? Rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking.

What made Gal such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“As I started working on this essay, the first thing that came to my mind was: “When Gal pops into my office, I’m always glad to see him”. He’s very easy to interact with him, and working with him is a breeze. There are never problems; there are only challenges and solutions.

I manage all student club activities and at times, I have to say, “We cannot do that”. Gal always finds a way around this, and in the end after some (fun) negotiations, we come to an agreement.

Gal is very active in the program, above all as president of the Entrepreneur Club: he planned and structured a whole course to prepare the team participating in the VCIC competition that is now attended by 30 classmates. He’s planning the Israel Trip, a trek where leisure activities mix with visits to companies in the so-called Start Up Nation. He lives the MBA at full speed and not just for himself, but also for the community.

The “WIIFM” acronym always has an answer when Gal asks for something because you know he is going to deliver and bring something to the School and his classmates.

Gal is successful also outside SDA Bocconi. In fact, with a group of classmates, he recently won the Ab InBev Sustainability Challenge; a great achievement for him, but for our Business School as well.

Gal is the ideal MBA student: he’s smart, assertive, has strong soft skills and is very determined. He’s also ambitious, prepared and has a clear view of where he is heading to. He works hard for himself, but also for his fellow students and the School. When thinking about our nominations for this challenge, he was our very first choice, hands down.”

Simone Consonni

Student Relations Manager at SDA Bocconi School of Management


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