Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Leonardo Targia, UC Riverside School of Business

Leonardo Targia

University of California Riverside School of Business, A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management (AGSM)

“Highly motivated and detailed-oriented professional with a strong passion for finance and technology.”

Hometown: Milan, Italy

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have traveled in more than 30 different countries but have not yet visited Disneyland!

Undergraduate School and Major: University of California Riverside, bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Mediobanca Private Banking, Private Markets Analyst

What word best describes the UC Riverside MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far? Driven. We all want to succeed and make an impact in the community. Each from different backgrounds, we all focus on learning in the classroom and are involved in other events as much as possible, which also expands our professional networks.

Aside from classmates, what was the key part of UC Riverside’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? A beneficial aspect of UC Riverside’s MBA programming is the opportunity to network with professionals from all over the world. This is important because I learn about different jobs and industries. By networking with professionals from varying fields, I expand my perspective and understanding of the economy and job market. As a graduate student exploring job opportunities, I appreciate the chance to learn from successful professionals with several years of experience. Because UCR stresses the importance of diversity, in the last quarter I met students from India, China, Bangladesh, Brazil, and Taiwan, and I’ve built meaningful relationships and learned about how different economies impact the world.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at UC Riverside? I am the managing director of UCR’s Hylander Student Investment Fund, a portfolio worth more than $260,000, which I have the privilege to co-manage with our chair of finance and with the top students in our finance program. In this role, my goal is to seek equity investments in the public markets to find upside potential and outperform the Russell 300 Index (RUA). Thanks to the Hylander Student Investment Fund, I have developed analytical and financial modeling skills, implemented fundamental analysis, and predicted the industry trends that continuously shape the financial markets.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment in my career so far has been the opportunity to come to the United States, quickly adapt to a new environment, and graduate with the highest honors from one of the top institutions in the country.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? Joining the Hylander Student Investment Fund as portfolio manager has been a privilege and a unique opportunity. I’ve put into practice what I have been studying for more than three years in my finance classes, learned from professionals with strong financial modeling skills, and acquired a deep understanding of the financial markets. With great mentorship, I am now confident in effectively evaluating investment opportunities and maximizing our alpha portfolio. I am very thankful for the honor to lead the team as the new managing director.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? During my undergraduate studies, I interned for different companies in multiple countries and learned from experienced professionals. Therefore, I am confident that an MBA, at this point in my career, will sharpen my leadership skills and provide access to an extensive business network. As a professional with more than four years of experience in the financial markets, I look forward to continuing my career working in private markets with a focus on venture capital. Since I was very young, I have always been extremely passionate about valuation and market research; as an investor and researcher, I find tremendous value in using the latest technologies to filter data and access sources to properly build financial models and evaluate investment opportunities. Working in private equity requires you to engage in extensive research in the specifics of market potential because you are frequently dealing with young companies and negative cashflows. It is also gratifying to directly engage with entrepreneurs and understand how an investment impacts management decisions.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into UC Riverside’s MBA program? My advice is to not be afraid to tell your story and what makes you different. Take risks, embrace opportunities, and mentor others!


Comments or questions about this article? Email us.