Fabio Gastaldi's decision to revive his stalling career by taking an MBA was proved right when the prestigious US management consultancy Bain & Co hired him shortly after he completing the programme.
Fabio completed the full-time IE Business School MBA in June 2011 and joined Bain's Milan office last September. Prior to that he was with telecoms multinational Ericsson as a Solutions Integrator in Rome but requested a voluntary severance when he saw the company falling into a crisis.
Fabio holds an MSc in Electronics and Communications Engineering from Università degli Studi di Roma Tre, Italy, and had worked with Ericsson’s clients for over four years implementing new technology solutions to their pre-existing infrastructures.
BusinessBecause skyped with Fabio on one of his rare weekends off to learn more about his career switch. Fabio said that he got the job at Bain through the network he gained on the IE MBA, which helped him identify roles suitable for his combined Engineering and MBA qualifications.
In order to leave Ericsson, Fabio first had to negotiate his leave from the company and by the time this process was over, the choice of business schools Fabio could apply to had been narrowed down to those with April intakes.
He knuckled down to face the GMAT and the rest of the MBA application procedure, and when he received offers from both Hult International and IE Business School in Spain, he “went for the one with higher rankings and more international reputation”.
Fabio says he tapped into the connections of his classmates and the IE alumni network when it was time for job applications. “It was an Italian I met during the MBA that linked me up with Bain’s HR manager in Italy. I got invited to the interview then that’s it”, he says.
We asked Fabio if he did anything special at the Bain interview and he said that it was his background that gave him the competitive advantage. “Bain Italy appreciates people who have both engineering and managerial education or backgrounds. Also not many people had worked for a tech leader like Ericsson."
"At Bain, I get asked for recommendations and ideas when people are dealing with the tech sector but it's the MBA that enabled me to make this career switch”, he says.
Since he joined Bain, Fabio has worked on projects in the telecoms, media, defence, and luxury industries. He says that it's been great applying the skills he gained on the MBA to real projects, and that "interacting with CEOs and CFOs to make plans that affect entire companies is a lot of fun".
Fabio plans to stay with the management consultancy over the next few years. He admits that he’s had very few weekends off this year, and rather than wake up at 6am to go to the gym like some of his colleagues, he uses his exercise bike at home. He is, however, looking forward to the month of August when the entire Italian arm of the company shuts down for its yearly break.
"The IE MBA is a great experience for people who don't have managerial or economic experience. I've been pretty happy with the fast learning curve in this new job and the fantastic Bain salary", he says.
Read more about students doing an MBA in Europe here