"The Executive MBA is such a powerful experience that makes you feel like you’re living life at an accelerated speed."
Stamerra’s passion for technology and healthcare, combined with his entrepreneurial mindset, pushed him to co-found a telemedicine startup while at IE University. Unfortunately, he had to close after a couple of years, but he continues to see it as a learning opportunity as he built a network of contacts within the Spanish entrepreneurial system and further expanded his personal skill set.
Stamerra considers himself an “intrapreneur.” He enjoys challenging projects and taking advantage of the strengths needed to run a large business at the speed of a startup. He has been living in Spain since the beginning of the Executive MBA and is married to a doctor with whom he is deeply in love. Stamerra enjoys running, and in 2007, ran 270 kilometers in 20 days for a bet—but he’ll save that story for another day.
Gianluca Stamerra, Italy
Regional Director for Italy, Spain, & France at GoDaddy
- Program studied
Define your experience in the Executive MBA in just one word.
How do you think the Executive MBA has changed your life, professionally and personally?
Professionally speaking, my Executive MBA empowered and completed my strongly diverse profile. When I joined IE Business School, I was a psychologist with a self-taught coding background working as a marketing manager at Vodafone in Italy, with no academic background in business. At the end of the journey, I was the “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” of the business. In fact, by day, I was a structured manager running the Italian, Spanish, and Mexican markets for the brand IONOS by 1&1 (formerly known as 1&1 IONOS and a member of United Internet Group). By night, I was an agile entrepreneur running Handymed, a telemedicine startup that I incubated in IE’s Venture Lab.
On the personal side, my experience at IE Business School really helped me strengthen my time-management skills and my ability to set and manage priorities in the office, at home, and with my friends and family.
What advice would you give students who are about to begin the program?
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage” (Anais Nin). Choose how much you want to expand your life, and go for it. An Executive MBA is a tremendous opportunity for learning, networking, making friends, discovering new cultures, and opening your mind. If you decide to play hard, be ready to work harder because the program is challenging and demanding. It will require 100% of your time and energy, so you will have to optimize them to the fullest, while also managing your loved ones’ expectations of you.
What has been your favorite memory of the Executive MBA so far?
The Executive MBA is such a powerful experience that makes you feel like you’re living life at an accelerated speed. Just a few short hours after meeting my classmates for the first time, we realized we already felt like a family. As any family member would do, I offered my place to two new friends for any weekend they traveled to Madrid to attend the Executive MBA. We lived together every two weeks for the duration of the program. It was fun and enriching.
What is networking like in the Executive MBA?
I would summarize it in three points: counting on the business support of a selected group of smart professionals, building deep friendships, and opening your mind by becoming a citizen of an international business world.
Why did you choose to study the IE Business School Executive MBA?
I decided to study the Executive MBA because I didn’t have an academic business background and I felt I needed to boost my career. I choose IE Business School for three reasons: its outstanding position in the Financial Times’ business school rankings, which at the time was eighth; its entrepreneurial culture—they had just launched Area 31; and because it had the highest concentration of directors in Latin America, and I was considering moving to Brazil, Mexico, or Colombia at the end of the program.
What are the residential weeks like?
My program lasted 16 months and we had face-to-face classes every two weeks over the weekends. It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. I worked 12 hours a day and when I got home, I would study until 2 or 3 am. Then, I had to go to school over the weekend. When I walked through the classroom door, I felt an adrenaline rush and forgot about my exhaustion. That feeling would last all weekend and then I would fall into a deep sleep.