If you dream of launching your own company, choose Em Lyon Business School — that’s the conclusion of Alessandro Ibelli, an MBA graduate who leads the UK market for luxury cosmetics brand Institut Esthederm, part of Groupe NAOS.
A former professional basketball player with entrepreneurship in his blood, Alessandro says the French business school’s program offers solid start-up training.
Before beginning the MBA last year, he worked as a business development manager for an import-export consultancy firm in Miami in the US. Before that, he was in Italian city Modena at Lacote Srl, a cosmetics company, assisting company executives.
Meanwhile he continues to work for his family’s business, Ira del Valle Snc, an Italian jewellery brand and retailer.
What makes Em Lyon Business School unique?
As I come from a family of entrepreneurs, I grew up with this passion and this has helped to build my career. I decided that further education in entrepreneurship was needed.
I made a good choice [picking Em Lyon]. Strategy, marketing, finance, economics and all the other courses are focused on entrepreneurship. If one day you dream to open you own company, this is the business school for you.
2. The size and internationality of the class
The class of 2015 was slightly above 30, which makes possible many synergies between candidates and professors, which one day will be your most important network. The classes were interactive and dynamic.
The internationality of this class was just amazing; we came from 21 different countries. I never worked with such as multicultural team.
ELP is a leadership project that consists of a nine-month consulting project for a firm. You and your team will work closely with the company in order to complete a mission that usually concerns business development.
In my case I had the honour to work for Salomon with the snowboard business unit. It was very cool!
Did you first impressions match your expectations?
I was expecting this year to be tough. It was. I found myself often overloaded with new notions and business cases, but everything was extremely interesting.
What impact has the MBA had on your career?
I’m leading a mission I love. I’m in London working for one of the leading French groups in the beauty and cosmetic industry, Naos Group. I’m in charge of the brand Institut Esthederm for the UK market. This year we grew by 30% and I expect more growth for 2016.
I’m dealing everyday with finance, strategy, sales, and marketing — so everything is matching the global education the MBA gave me. This was an added value I had over the other candidates for this position.
Other than professionally, I feel this MBA had great impact on my personality. I feel much more confident in many aspects and my management has really improved. Dealing with 21 different nationalities during the MBA was very hard, but was a reflection of the real world — excellent training.
What tips do you have for impressing the admissions committee?
A high GMAT score is 50% of the work; the the rest is just about good presentation of yourself, your plans for the future.
My suggestion is to see the admissions committee as experts in psychology and HR that are there to help you, to check if the next step you will make in your life is the right one, or not.
What would you do if you were dean for a day?
Create a new, bigger, brighter and amazing gym. I say that because as an ex-pro player and part of the Em Lyon basketball first-team, we deserve a better court!