2024 Best & Brightest MBA: Giovanni Sobrero, Imperial College

Giovanni Sobrero

Imperial College Business School

“Fitness fanatic, passionate about technology and consulting with a soft spot for pizza!”

Hometown: Genoa, Italy

Fun fact about yourself: I am training to run the distance to the edge of space from sea level, around 62 miles!

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Leeds, Masters in Robotics and Mechatronics Engineering

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Senior Strategy and Operations Manager, Amazon

Where did you intern during the summer of 2023? Since I started my Full-Time MBA in September 2023, I had a Pre-MBA Internship on the #ExperienceBain programme to get myself acquainted with the consulting environment.

Where will you be working after graduation? I am looking forward to making a transition into implementation consulting within the technology sector. I am also very much open to roles in strategy and operations where I can use my skills and experiences to generate business value.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: I am currently the President of the Consulting Business Club at the Business School. I have been involved in organising events and moderating panels with speakers from McKinsey, Bain, BCG and the Big 4. I am also the Business Lead on a consulting project involving Plastecowood, a smart-wood manufacturing company. The aim of the project is to devise a strategy to triple sales to match a recent capacity expansion that the company undertook. This is another fantastic opportunity that the programme offers to apply the learnings from the coursework into the real world.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud about representing Imperial College Business School at Number 10 Downing Street together with a delegation of other MBA students. The focus of the visit was on how the UK promotes diversity of talent shaping future industry and business leaders to drive the future and growth of the nation. It was a very rewarding experience to network with senior leaders from different industries as well as MBA students from Harvard Business School that were visiting London on an elective course.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? My proudest achievement was as Operations Manager in Amazon, where I co-led the launch of a new department worth £11 million, in a fulfilment centre to improve overall distribution network capacity in the UK. I led a team of 5 operations and engineering managers in what was probably the toughest challenge because of the 6-month time constraint I was operating under. However, working with a stellar team from learning and development as well technical managers and leading everyone towards a common goal that was successfully achieved was a very inspiring moment.

Why did you choose this business school? Imperial College Business School offers a very modular and customisable curriculum with modules that will equip me to successfully be a leader at the intersection of business and technology. These are exactly the skills that I will need to transition into an implementation consultant role in the technology environment. I am an engineer by background with a focus on operations strategy and continuous improvement. Therefore, the focus on technology and business made Imperial the perfect choice for someone that wants to transition in implementation consulting in the technology sector. The opportunity to focus on a strategic consulting project in the spring term of the programme, whilst collaborating with a third-party company on a real business case problem, is a great opportunity to learn and build those problem-solving skills.

Who was your favourite MBA professor? Dr. Jan Ross is my favourite professor of the programme so far. His ability to present a novel approach to the strategy different companies have is excellent. Dr Ross also is excellent in keeping the level of engagement in class very high and this contributes to interesting discussions in the lectures. I really enjoyed the first course, and I am looking forward to taking the continuing course on Strategy in Volatile and Uncertain Environments in the spring term.

What was your favorite course as an MBA? This is going to be a voice outside of the choir, but as an engineer with no knowledge prior to the programme, my favourite course in the MBA has been Accounting. Dr Danielle Lyssimachou had a very interesting approach to the subject that was very applied to the day-to-day of the accounting in different companies. I feel like I learnt a lot and the assignments were very aimed to making sure that the principles of accounting were fully understood by the students but also easily accessible for people with no prior knowledge (which was exactly my case!).

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? As I am currently halfway through my MBA, I would say that I do not have any regrets at all. I am very much looking forward to the final six months and my focus will be on making the most of the multiple experiences ahead, such as my exchange with HEC Paris and the Global Experience Week in Rio to study operations in emerging markets. Finally, I will keep the focus on socialising with my cohort that so far has been the best part of my MBA!

What is the biggest myth about your school? I think a lot of people are surprised of the close ties that the business school has with the Royal College of Art. These collaborations foster a lot of creativity in business situations that provide novel solutions – definitely a plus for any MBA student!

What did you love most about your business school’s town? I consider London the best city in the world. From the theatres to the parks and different activities available as well as the variety of food, you will always find something interesting to do in London. On top of that, the ability to interlink with other business schools has elevated the entire experience from a social point of view.

What surprised you the most about business school? I have been incredibly surprised by the amount of opportunity the Business School offers. The profile that Imperial College Business School has internationally is incredible. The people are incredibly sharp and this creates a very stimulating environment. Also, the quality of excellence and teaching at the faculty is superior. Professor Franklin Allen, who taught at Wharton for 36 years; Professor Jonathan Haskell, a leading British economist, who advises the National Statistics Authority and the Bank of England; and Dr Ian Mackenzie, who is an ex-professor at Harvard Business School and ex-BCG.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Personally, I believe that David MacDonald is an amazing classmate and cohort member. David is currently the Career Leader in the cohort and he is doing an amazing job to ensure that the cohort is equipped with the best tools to land a job post-graduation. Also, David is the president of careers for the Dean Student Advisory Council, for the entire Business School and he is influencing decisions at Business School level, which is impressive, especially while completing the Full-Time MBA. Finally, David is very active during the class discussions and always has interesting insights to the topic keeping the whole class engaged.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Professionally I would like to be able to lead high level strategy for company development in the technology sector which is currently fast growing. I would also love to be able to tackle client issues and develop implementation strategies to increase business value in the operation and technology space that is what will define the industry market in the next decade.

What made Giovanni such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“Giovanni Sobrero, a Sainsbury Management Fellowship holder, is fully engaged with both the Full-Time MBA programme and Imperial College Business School. He is driven and enthusiastic, and actively seeks opportunities for career development outside of the classroom. For example, he is President of the Consulting Business Club, proactively leading panels with external speakers, as well as being the Business Lead on a consulting project involving Plastecowood. He is an asset to his cohort, and we look forward to seeing what he goes onto achieve.”

Professor James Barlow
Chair in Technology and Innovation Management


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