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Claudia Broggi (MiM2018) left Milan in 2017 wanting to expand her horizons and challenge herself. Two years after graduating from LBS, she outlines how the Masters in Management programme helped her take the next step in her strategy career.
My parents built their own businesses from scratch, so I grew up with two very impressive and entrepreneurial role models. My mother heads up an industrial criminal law firm and my father has his own business in the chemicals sector. As modest people who worked hard to create something for themselves, they inspired me to push myself to succeed.
My mother always said: ‘You don’t learn whether you can swim by swimming in a pool: you need to take a dip in the ocean’. When working in Milan, after a while I began to feel like I was swimming in a small pool. I knew I needed to make a change and challenge myself.
London Business School was somewhere I knew I’d meet some really impressive people. In fact, it was the exact environment I was looking for when I left Milan.
Alongside helping financially, the Masters in Management Merit Award boosted my confidence. It was an incredible surprise to be selected. When you’re a woman in a junior role, it’s easy to undermine yourself and doubt your own achievements. Being recognised by an institution like LBS and being given an incentive to study there helped me realise my own worth. It really changed my perspective of myself.
Being surrounded by such an international group definitely made my MiM experience. LBS was and still is such a diverse environment, with over 60 nationalities making up the 2017-18 student body I was part of. When working in London or any other global city, it’s important to understand different types of people – their backgrounds, what influences them, the way they think and how they approach problems. Having the opportunity to mingle with classmates from all over the world definitely helped me develop this understanding.
My cohort included people who had studied fashion and literature, run their own startups and worked in government. If everyone has the same background, success looks the same – in this case, landing a job at a specific bank or consulting firm, or climbing through the ranks at a global organisation. But at LBS, everyone has different goals, and you start to develop a rich perspective on what success really means to you personally.
I’d never experienced such hands-on, opinion-focused lectures. In every lecture, everyone in the class shares their view, which isn’t common in many selectively-focused systems. It taught me to have a voice, structure my thoughts, and contribute.
Strategy for Growth was one of my favourite electives because it blurred the lines between levels and programmes. It wasn’t just MiM students on the elective, but MBA and Sloan students too. Hearing the opinions and experiences of senior individuals with successful careers really added a new dimension to the experience.
For me, the Career Centre was one of the School’s greatest resources – particularly the hands-on workshops offering actionable, valuable advice to students. For my classmates wanting to go into consulting, the Career Centre experts explained how to decide which firms would be the best fit. Rather than pushing you towards the more obvious names, they helped you consider your options and forge your own path.
The clubs are one of the best parts of the LBS experience. I was a member of the Italian Club and organised an incredible event on Italian politics with my fellow MiM Mattia Fiaschi and Professor of Economics Lucrezia Reichlin. In it, we explored the effect of Italian politics on Europe – a lot of our discussions focused on Brexit uncertainty and the rise of right-wing politics in Italy. I was completely out of my depth as I’d never organised an event before, but the support offered by my fellow students and the faculty gave me the confidence to try something new. At LBS, you’re constantly developing – inside and outside your programme.
The School’s reputation opens a lot of doors. When first applying for roles in analytics, I reached out to an organisation that normally only hires students from Oxford or Cambridge. With LBS on my CV, they made an exception and ended up offering me a role as an Associate Consultant in Analytics. This company was then acquired by MasterCard.
Working for MasterCard in London taught me that there isn’t a formulaic route to success. While I didn’t necessarily intend to work in a large organisation focussed on payments, I unintentionally ended up in one. Being exposed to new departments and colleagues helped me discover the different ways that you could progress. In smaller companies, there’s often a more linear progression process with less room to move around internally. But at MasterCard, I learnt that many senior people had previously sidestepped into different departments, rather than following a straight path to the top. This inspired my move into consulting, where I took on a more junior role. It made me realise that taking a step back isn’t a negative – it’s just a new direction.
Before LBS, a ‘network’ was just a buzzword – but I soon learned that the people you connect with are those who drive you forwards. They empower you to become a better version of yourself. If you have a strong network, you’re by default a better professional, because you can draw on your pool of resources whenever you need.
Since graduating in 2018, I’ve reaped the benefits of the alumni network. When I was considering moving from a career in analytics to my current role as an M&A Strategy Associate at Strategy&, I naturally turned to my fellow MiMs for advice. I particularly remember a chat I had with Abdullah Al-Shakarchi, Associate Consultant at Bain & Company in Washington – instead of pondering on the advantages and disadvantages of the offer, he prompted me to visualise where I wanted to be in 10 years, and started figuring out with me the best way to get there.
Living and working in London has given me a new view of the world and exposed me to an environment that’s much more diverse than anywhere else in Europe. People in London are more inclined to think differently and have an open mind. As well as the job opportunities available, the exhibitions, museums, theatres and culture on offer is incredible. One day, I’m sure I’ll go back to Italy and enjoy being ‘at home’, but for now I’ve got a lot more exploring to do in this great city.
Looking to the future, I want to deepen my knowledge of consulting in the technology, media, and telecoms sector. Building on that foundation, I’d eventually like to return to Italy and make a difference to the way tech is perceived and being used in business.
My advice to prospective students would be to dive right in and make the most of everything LBS offers. The MiM flies by but it never actually ends. The core of the programme revolves around the incredible connections you make and the lifelong learning you’ll experience, which for me lived on long after graduation.
Learn more about our Masters in Management programme.
Claudia Broggi was a recipient of the MiM LBS Fund Scholarship