Name: Alessandro Procaccini
Home country: Italy
Program and intake at IE: IMBA, November 2010 Intake
Previous job: Consultant

Why did you choose IE?
I was searching for a 1-year program and targeting only European schools. I ended up choosing IE for several reasons: first of all for its innovative program as well as for its focus on entrepreneurship. Rankings were also an important element in my decision. Finally, another important element that made me choose IE, was Madrid: I’ve lived in several European countries, but never in Spain and the opportunity of living in Madrid really excited me.

What´s your favorite thing about IE?
I expected some degree of diversity at IE, but the diversity of nationalities, background and mindsets I found here was impressive! In the beginning, after my experience in consulting, I had to work a lot to adapt my way to work and my language to those of my peers, but I found this challenge extremely important in terms of personal and professional growth. It helped me to understand the limitations as well as the strengths of my background: if you never challenge yourself and what you think you know well, you never really learn and improve.

How easy was it to adjust to living in Madrid?
Being an European who speaks Italian and French, I didn’t encounter many difficulties when moving in Madrid; in the beginning I practiced my Itanol, but after a while my Spanish became less “Italian”. The main challenge was to find a flat: a good way to find a flat in Madrid is walking in the street searching for “Se Alquila” signs, but the Student Office also helped a lot. Besides that all the rest (utilities, bank account, mobile, internet etc.) is quite straightforward, or, at least, not impossible.

How do you balance classwork with fun?
Balancing classwork with fun is not impossible at IE. First of all, IE students tend to go out together a lot and colleagues turn into friends quite quickly; therefore even working and or studying in group has a lot of fun moments and usually people tend to balance the serious and fun moments even at school.
Another element that facilitates this balance is the “night out” culture in Madrid. Going out for dinner/tapas etc. requires neither a high budget nor a particular preparation and the atmosphere in most of the places is very relaxed. It’s not uncommon meeting friends at school and decide to go for dinner altogether at the last minute.

Why did you decide to do an MBA at this stage of your career?
In my company doing an MBA is not so common; nevertheless I decided to leave because I felt the need to take some time to connect the thousands of dots that I accumulated in the last years. The best way of doing this was (I thought and I still think it was the best choice) going back to school.

What would you tell someone who wants to switch careers after the MBA?
I’m not looking for a career change therefore I may not be the best person to answer questions about career. I’m lucky cause my company decided to pay my MBA, therefore I’ll go back to them when I’ll finish.