“Italian-born. Globally-raised. Connected to my roots, but always excited to try new things.”
Fun Fact About Yourself: I lived in 4 different continents by the time I turned 18.
Undergraduate School and Major: École hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) / B.S. in International Hospitality Management
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: LunaJets S.A. / Sales Manager
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? It was the breadth (in terms of industry and geography) of INSEAD’s network and recruitment expertise. INSEAD has a strong focus on its international presence with opportunities to experience three campuses across the world during their intense 10-month program. I personally feel most comfortable in a very international environment and I believe the INSEAD cohort will best match the atmosphere I am looking for. In addition, I’d like to focus my recruitment efforts on regions of Europe and Asia pacific, maintaining a function of sales/business development while keeping a open mind on my preferred industry. I believe INSEAD’s strengths best fit my recruitment objectives.
What club or activity excites you most at this school? Dash Day is an activity I am really looking forward to. It is an INSEAD tradition where each class picks a special day in which people dress up and attend different classes in costume! This custom highlights the importance of not always taking ourselves too seriously throughout the MBA experience – something which can happen to students in such a high pressure environment.
What makes you most excited about getting your MBA at INSEAD? What makes you most nervous about starting business school? For me, the most exciting element of my MBA is the opportunity to live within a tightly-knit community of intelligent, experienced, well-connected and ambitious young professionals who are driving positive change in the business world. Coming from a similar stage of our professional paths – while coming from a multitude of diverse backgrounds – leads to fluidity in conversation, diversity of perspectives and ultimately, the creation of meaningful bonds.
The aspect that makes me most nervous stems from the same root. INSEAD’s intensive program resembles a pressure cooker filled with hundreds of overachievers and big personalities. Student interactions have a high potential for conflict, stress, and excessive competitiveness.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: After two successful years as a Sales Agent, I was promoted to Sales Manager, where I was made responsible for the coordination and performance of a team of four. At first, this promotion was already an achievement in itself, given my young age and limited experience. However, I quickly learned the transition to my new role was going to be much harder than expected. Initially, I tended to micromanage the team and place equal expectations on each member, rather than connecting with each individual. This quickly led to a communications breakdown and a rupture in my relationship with some team members.
Leading that same team to become the company’s top performer just one year later was my biggest professional accomplishment so far. In order to achieve this, I had to drastically rethink my management style, slowly re-build my relationship with each team members and remodel my team’s organization to a more horizontal structure.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Right after graduating from my Bachelor’s degree, I was hired into the private charter sales industry and spent the last few years working up the ranks of my company. Although I would like to keep a sales / business development related function, I’d like to widen my horizons by changing industry and geography without taking a hit in salary and position. I believe an MBA at INSEAD will help me achieve this goal.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? LBS, CEIBS, Oxford Saïd, IESE
What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? What do you want to be remembered for? (300 words)
How did you determine your fit at various schools? I personally put the most emphasis on two factors. Number one, it was recruitment statistics – strengths & weaknesses of the schools in my preferred industries and geographies. Number two, I focused on class culture and values – the set of values, goals, attitude, and spirit shared amongst the students and faculty. I evaluated each these factors by examining the details of various online rankings, visiting the schools, and speaking to current students & alumni.
Another major factor which became exceedingly relevant in the current context was each school’s response to the COVID19 crisis. Very different approaches were taken by each school to manage the crisis at hand (some more active, others more passive). I feel the efforts made by each school are a good representation of the priorities and attitudes towards students. INSEAD was very convincing from the get-go in actively managing the crisis and taking all precautions to keep in-person lectures as well as an active student life.
What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? My defining moment was a near death experience that took place in 2011 off the west African coast. I almost drowned by getting caught in a rip current near Accra, Ghana. This was followed by a period of anxiety and panic attacks. As I recovered from these events, I developed a new attitude towards time management, and taking advantage of all opportunities that are given to me. I drastically reduced the amount of time I waste on trivial things and started dedicating more time to my health & wellbeing (both physical and meant), to my long-term life project and to my plan for professional success. This new motivation allowed me to successfully carve a path towards an offer from INSEAD and exciting career ahead. I often think back to that moment to find some extra motivation in difficult times.
What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? My favorite company at the moment is Eat Just, Inc., an American food manufacturer which focuses on alternatives to meat and eggs. They are leading the commercialization of cultured (lab grown) meat. One of the major things business students could learn from the company is how to take a gamble on a concept for the future in order to make it become a reality. Also, they can learn how to successfully run the various funding rounds of a start-up.
DON’T MISS: Meet INSEAD’s MBA Class of 2021