by Nalika De Silva, Student Recruitment Manager, Leadership Programmes
LBS Sloan 2019 Fellow, Laurent Auzzino, shares his story.
1) Why did you decide to pursue the LBS Sloan Masters?
I have worked 20 years in digital advertising marketing and programmatic sector in France. In 1999, I started my career path as a Websites Sales Representative, but quickly I realised that I wanted to lead people, to create teams and to build successes. Therefore, I decided to be a manager and I have now been a manager for 18 years. By being promoted 10 times in 20 years, I have been able to challenges myself, to learn new skills from basically a new position every 2 years: it was so exciting, so refreshing and so amazing.
However 2 years ago, almost at the middle of my career path, I started to think about my personal and professional future : where my wife and I wanted to live, who I wanted to be, what I wanted to achieve in the world, how to get there and how to fulfil those goals. Digital companies are a sector which so many people want to learn about, whereas for me, I needed more to understand the other side of the market. I wanted to silo bust and enlarge my knowledge, to get some global, business, leadership and strategy skills. I realised that what helped me to succeed for the last 20 years will not help me to succeed the next 20 years.
Therefore, I decided to look for full-time training and after several days, the only one that fit perfectly with my aspirations was the Sloan Masters. I was hesitating between the only 3 locations in the world where you can do a Sloan Masters, however when I met the London Business School recruitment team in Paris, and several LBS Sloan alumni from several countries, I finally realised that LBS was the place for me. So I started the application process, was admitted in July 2018 and started the programme in December 2018.
2) What did you find most beneficial from joining the programme?
The LBS Sloan is not just an educational programme. It’s a professional and personal experience, a transformational experience. We are 68 people from 26 different countries with on average 18 years of management experience, with so many different backgrounds: CEOs, commercial directors, financial experts, lawyers, CFOs, family business leaders, researchers…
By sharing our experiences, learning new skills and challenging our different points of views, we grow every day during the programme. And it’s so good and powerful, after a core course, an elective or sometimes just a reading, or talking with peers, to understand a different way to analyse, compare or to understand the world, the business: those amazing moments where you realise that everything is possible.
Our learning process, experiences and moments lived together are so intense that I feel as though we are more than just students or even just members of a community, we are like a “second family”: I have met people here at LBS, who will certainly be friends for life. It’s more than an individual moment, it’s a journey where your partner is also welcomed: LBS does everything to include your partner in the School community and when you help your partner to seize that opportunity, she/he also lives the benefits of LBS and Sloan experiences with you every day.
3) GBA: Can you tell us about your Global Business Assignment experience?
In October, I will travel to Buenos Aires to learn how Argentinian leaders contend, in a highly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous economic, social and political environment.
4) What extracurricular activities have you become involved in during your time at LBS?
There are so many different club and activities everyday, I would say that whatever your background, preferences or hobbies, you will find every week an occasion to enjoy a networking event, cultural dinner, or club event. Personally, I take the time every week to check for club events and register because it’s the perfect moment to meet people from everywhere, different sectors and the LBS community as well. I also go running every week with some of my classmates and never forget to take a breath by enjoying all the Sundowners.
Finally even during the break there is always something scheduled by LBS or my cohort: sightseeing, a dinner, a drink… or sometimes even just vacations with your classmates.
5) Career wise: Have your career goals changed since you have started the programme?
My career goals haven’t changed since I starting the programme, I knew more or less what I wanted to do but I wasn’t sure how to achieve it. At the beginning it was a little bit disturbing, by exploring all the possibilities, I was lost in the paradox of choice. But I quickly realised that I knew what I wanted to do and, more importantly, I feel confident in my abilities to reach my goal.