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Antonio Valentini

  • Programme: MBA
  • Nationality: Italian
  • Job Pre-programme: Business Analyst, McKinsey & Company
  • Job Post-programme: Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Company

Professional background

With a BSc in Economics, Antonio worked as an Analyst at Deutsche Bank before joining McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, as a Business Analyst in 2005. In 2008 McKinsey sponsored him to attend the MBA and after he graduated in 2010 he was promoted to Associate and then to Engagement Manager.

Discovering your passion

I had worked in the corporate world, and I’d been a banker, but I wasn’t sure which direction to take next. I wanted to gain more international experience and explore new areas, specifically around the latest thinking on entrepreneurship and finance. McKinsey have a policy of sponsoring business analysts who are accepted onto one of the world’s top 10 MBA programmes as specified by the Financial Times. After speaking to former London BusinessSchool students it became clear that the School’s academic rigour, its reputation in entrepreneurship and finance, its networking opportunities and its location in London – a major financial and networking centre – made it a standout choice.

Cross cultural communication

So much of the MBA is designed to develop your networking skills both within the school and externally. As a rule, I’m more analytical than social, which was a challenge at first – I’m naturally a little shy and not a native English speaker. But I changed a lot over my two years at London Business School and it soon became second nature to build lasting connections. I did five internships during the MBA – at American Express, Standard Life, Johnson &Johnson, the Carbon Trust and Google Paris. The last two were instigated by LBS Career Services and the others I organised independently. The MBA gave me the confidence to reach for different opportunities, make the approaches and leverage my status as an LBS student.I selected my internships in different countries so that I could work with a variety of nationalities and in diverse cultures. Connecting with my peers on the MBA, who came from all over the world, was a revelation; that a Japanese student and a Russian student would have such different perspectives on the same issue was fascinating. In my current role at McKinsey I have to work with colleagues around the globe and my time at LBS really helped prepare me for that. Understanding the cultural nuances in any transaction, I’m now able to communicate far more effectively.

Flexibility and possibility

The corporate finance module and the finance electives I chose have been invaluable. I’m currently involved in a merger between two major clients and I constantly draw on the financial theory I learned on the MBA. Backing that u by quoting from the case studies, giving examples of real life mergers, illustrating when things have worked or when they haven’t, gives me a lot of credibility with both my clients and my colleagues.Perhaps the most unique aspect of the MBA though is its flexibility. The School encouraged me to explore all avenues to discover what really matters to me. If you want an internship on the other side of the world, you can make it happen; if you want to start a new venture, no problem! If you are motivated and passionate about your goals, the possibilities are endless. Having experienced so many new things, and with a new set of management skills, I returned to McKinsey with a fresh perspective and a new role with all the flexibility I could want.