Alumni Donor Story
After some formative years in Italy, he ended with a BA and MSc at Bocconi university, and an internship at an Italian bank, he lived and worked abroad before and after his experience at IE Business school in 2009 (which has been life-changing, more about this later!) to further grow as an investment professional with roles in the US, UK, Asia, and Spain. Notable experiences have been in companies such as Citigroup, Prudential, and in M&G Investments.
Looking for a bigger purpose and aiming to build the first real-time map of financial markets, to help people build a better future by investing better, Nicolo is now coding the software prototype himself to be released in fall 2021 for beta testing.
- Current Location
Founder & CTO at monetharia.io
- Program studied
Q&A WITH NICOLO
Define your experience in the IMBA in one word.
What were some of the main challenges that you encountered on your way? How did your master program and IE help you through these challenges?
I experienced a number of challenges in my early professional years. First, I did not really know how to work efficiently with diverse teams and how to appreciate and leverage others’ point of views in the right way. Second, I wanted to learn how – one day – I could setup my business in the most effective way.
The genuinely amazing year I experienced at IE made me appreciate how (1) talent in every form, put in the right environment and framework, can really add value in infinite ways to any business activity or problem to solve; (2) I developed a solid framework for generating ideas, feedback sharing, and a sound process to build a business with more chances of success.
How did your experience at IE prepare you for your professional career? In what ways do you think the program has changed your life professionally and personally?
On a personal level, the answer is very easy: I had the luck to meet my wife in the MBA programme! Moreover, I could establish a really solid network of friends and colleagues who are today an international, invaluable source of coaching, ideas, and contacts for my current business life.
On a professional level, the answer is that many months of academic projects with IE classmates (i.e., a very broad set of talent from multiple cultures, with different skills, and mindsets) have transformed my game: I have become much more aware of people’s emotions and feelings at work, as well as much more focused and effective in generating ideas, gaining and sharing feedback in the right way, empowering people to be the best they want to be, and ultimately being a much more rounded, mature professional.
What was networking like in the program?
Networking can be daunting for many. The reality is that IE classmates and colleagues become friends very soon, and networking transforms from a challenge to a lot of fun. There is so much to learn and share from the IE network!
What was your favorite memory from your time at IE?
I have so many that I would struggle with one. But let me pick this: we organized one special day, an activity called IE Global village, where IE colleagues were grouped in their respective countries of origin to share with everyone else some key aspects of their cultures: food, music, art. In summary, it was an energizing global fair self-made by IE friends. It was an incredibly enriching experience about the world around us, useful to understand how much any single person has to give to others if put in the right condition to share.
If someone was considering going to IE, what would you tell them?
Happier and more productive workplaces are being built around strong values, an enriching and respectful culture, the awareness of employees’ emotions and wellbeing, smart processes and laser focus, while keeping an eye on preserving the environment and improving society.
If you agree with the statement that good business is about solving important problems while caring about people, if you are interested in making the world a more sustainable and better place, or in setting-up a business that make a tangible difference to the environment and society, then IE Business School has a serious competitive advantage. Look no further!
Why did you choose to study this program at IE?
It was a combo of credible entrepreneurship credentials and profound diversity of the student body.
What is one thing you wished you knew, when you were a student? What advice would you give to students who are about to begin the program?
There are so many things going on at IE – demanding academic activities, networking, IE clubs, team projects, new friends – that is easy to forget that at some point students have to go back to the business world, and it not easy to make the transition back to normal life after such a transforming experience.
If you are looking to change your career, move to a different industry or setup a new business, then start from day 1 to think about (a) networking with students from that industry you are targeting and what skills are needed there, (b) finding the right co-founder while at school, and (3) use the first available opportunity to start an internship (even unpaid!) in the company/industry you want to target after IE.
Tell us about the IE alumni community and the impact they have had in your life and/or career. Why do you think it’s important to engage with the IE alumni community?
As I am coding and setting up various operations for my own business, friends and colleagues from the IE community are my first and main source of insight and mentoring, my main source of useful contacts or prospects to approach, share the technical skills I miss, and provide general feedback on what I am building.
Many IE classmates have become my closest friends and – COVID permitting, in person or remotely – we continue being in touch and seeing each other.
As one of the first contributors towards the Illuminated Bricks campaign, how does it feel? What made you decided to give your first gift?
I see my life as a journey of exploration and learning. Our world offers huge opportunities, but also faces some incredible problems, from poverty to climate change, wars and ignorance. The ultimate way out is more and better education for as many people as possible.
While I would love to later open-up my software also to benefit underprivileged communities to generate a new income stream in financial markets to then spend directly in education, I acknowledge that the faster and more effective route is to provide financial resources to raw talent without the means via an existing, credible institution.
As the experience at IE, for both my wife and I, has been life changing and as we could touch by hand the very high-quality education that is offered, we feel honoured and proud to be contributors towards the Illuminated Bricks campaign to achieve the objective of changing the life of more passionate students.
In your opinion, why is it important to give back? Why does this cause matter to you?
The ultimate source of happiness in life is helping others, in one way or another. As life has been good with us, we would love to make it better for others.
What can we do within our IE Community to create an impact and support education?
At a general level, raising awareness within the various regional IE communities about the need and ultimate goal of giving back to empower talent can be a powerful starting point. As an additional idea at micro-level, we would love to see which students (one by one) are going to be impacted by the Illuminated Bricks campaign, get to know them and see if and how their life would change thanks to the opportunity of learning with IE, during and perhaps after their academic experience.
What would you tell someone who was thinking about contributing?
As any reasonable investment in financial markets, take an intelligent risk: donate here instead of spending elsewhere, and let’s see together how much our grain in the sand can enrich other people’s lives.
If you had a billboard you could display to the entire world, what you would put on it?
If there’s no way, create one
TO CONNECT WITH NICOLO, CLICK HERE