BA Hons, History with a Major in Social Psychology, Università degli Studi di Milano
Independent Consultant in Business development, marketing and communication and stakeholder engagement
Head of Business Development, Marketing and Communication at Anjarwalla & Kanna and ALN
Your time at Imperial College Business School
Why did you choose to study your programme and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
Following more than 15 years of work and living away from home in different countries as well as the birth of my twins, Benjamin and Sebastian, I needed to rationalise and find a common ground between my professional and personal experiences to decide on my next steps.
I wanted a programme that was able to support and direct the development of my own style of leadership and management, and that was able to help me develop new skills and competences.
The Executive MBA at Imperial College Business School has a whole section dedicated to leadership called the Executive Leadership Journey and includes courses such as design thinking, change management innovation and entrepreneurship which I felt were in line with my career aspirations.
In addition, I wanted a university with a good reputation in STEM because I wanted to understand better where the world was going.
What was the most surprising thing about the programme?
The Executive MBA Programme was a really great experience. The time I spent with the 40 other cohort members was extremely valuable. The diversity of people from different countries and industries, as well as the impressive curriculum, gave me tremendous inspiration and insight, and increased my confidence in my own judgement. Through the various sessions, self-assessment tests, and discussions with other executives, I was able to better understand my strengths, weakness and values. As they say, ‘leadership is a journey... not a destination.’ Thanks to this programme, I feel that I have been able to take a big step forward in developing my leadership abilities and aspirations.
What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying the Executive MBA programme?
My advice is to analyse all your options and to talk to as many people as possible but then to trust your own instinct and judgement. You are the only one who knows what is good for you.
If you are wondering whether you are going to be able to juggle kids, family life and study…...it is hard and there will be good days and bad days, but it is possible and most of the time it will make you feel good.
My last piece of advice: have your support network ready!
Tell us about your current job
How was your career transformed following your programme?
The invaluable new knowledge and accelerated personal development have all contributed to my career development. The Executive MBA didn’t hand me a new job and a new career, I still had to go out and get it, but I was better equipped for long-term professional success.
How do you use the skills and knowledge you gained during the programme in your role?
The programme provided me with technical knowledge and with management skills which mean I now approach work differently. When I talk to people, I question things a lot more. I am more aware of the different assumptions people are making. I am aware of framing conversations and of different angles. I am more engaged. Thanks to the programme I have instruments and tools to understand and look at situations and to see the bigger picture.
The courses that are helping me the most with my current job are change management, negotiation, design thinking, sustainable business strategy, accounting and entrepreneurship.
And last but equally important, the Executive MBA coaching programme has thought me how important our intuitions are and how to bring them to life.
What do you enjoy most about your current work?
Thinking like an entrepreneur is what I like the most in the job with ALN and Anjarwalla & Khanna and in fact in most of my previous positions.
Being given enough financial resources and autonomy to proactively introduce new ideas, develop new structures and processes, transform the culture of the team to enable the company to grow and succeed in a changing environment is what drives me and what I enjoy the most.
I enjoy managing projects that are complex, with different aspects such as geography and culture, matrix organisation and internal and external stakeholders’ dynamics.
But mostly it is rewarding to change the culture in my own team, to witness change and growth and empower members of my team to take responsibility and ownership.
Finally, I like to be able to constantly learn from others as well as about myself.
In what way is remaining connected to your alumni network important to you?
Team work – it is what you learn is important during the Executive MBA and access to the alumni network gives important opportunities to learn from others but mostly to continue to exchange points of view and open the mind to different solutions.