Spotlight Series: Celebrating the Remarkable Journeys of Sloan Alumni Making an Impact

We are thrilled to announce that we will be showcasing inspiring stories and outstanding biographies of our Sloan Alumni community every month. Our aim is to recognise alumni who have gone above and beyond the Sloan programme to find their career purpose and make a difference in their respective fields.

Laurent Auzzino, one of our Sloan 2019 graduates, dedicated a lot of time and hard work towards achieving his goals. His story is a testament to the benefits offered by the Sloan programme and the opportunities it provides to individuals who are determined to succeed.

We hope that Laurent’s story serves as a motivation to senior professionals and encourages them to strive for excellence in their careers.

Could you please tell us a little bit about your background, what did you do pre-programme and what were your career goals and motivations at the time?

Laurent: I’m a senior executive leader with various experience in marketing digital, media, telecommunications and online advertising. I have worked at Havas Media Group, Orange, Pages Jaunes & Solocal Group, helping them expand their activities, reaching new markets, building new structures from scratch, creating synergies between organisations and people to deliver multimillion growth.

However, in 2019, 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, and how to get there and fulfil those goals. Digital companies are part of a sector that so many people want to learn about, whereas, for me, I had to understand the other side of the market in more detail. I wanted to silo bust and enlarge my knowledge, and acquire some global, business, leadership and strategy skills. I realised that what helped me succeed for the last 20 years will not help me within the next 20.

Have your goals changed throughout the programme?

Laurent: My career goals haven’t changed when I started the programme, I knew more or less of what I wanted to do but I was not sure how to achieve it. At the beginning it was a little bit disturbing, as I had to explore all the possibilities, being lost in the paradox of choice. But I quickly realised that I knew what I wanted to do and, more importantly, thanks to Sloan, I felt confident in my abilities to reach my goals.

What are the most important skills and learnings that you took from the programme and still apply to this day?

Laurent: Thanks to one of the most amazing teaching faculties, I learned new marketing skills and the latest frameworks in finance, multicultural leadership, growth/business/change / corporate/global/ innovation strategies. I use many of them on a weekly/monthly basis.

Additionally, the programme was not only a way to acquire new skills or frameworks, it was much more: different ways of thinking and reasoning. I do not see the world, business, people and opportunities as I used to in the past. Each time I make a business decision, I take all the stakeholders’ expectations involved into consideration, and I am definitely much more efficient and impactful.

It also helped me to develop myself. Having the privilege to study with 68 people from 26 different countries, with an average of 18 years of management experience from so many diverse backgrounds and job functions (such as CEOs, commercial directors, financial experts, lawyers, CFOs, family business leaders, researchers), I learnt the need to step back and reconsider my ways of thinking. You open your mind and learn so much more about yourself and the others. You realise that not everything is green or amber, 0 or 1, but a combination of many options that are collated in the right way helps you become a better person in the business world.

Finally, the programme brings you something rare and invaluable: a new close network that turns you into friends for life and supports your needs. Even four years post-graduation, I still have weekly interactions with my cohort, and go on vacations with some of them.

Did you make use of the Career sessions and facilities? If yes, how have these helped you with your transition?

Laurent: Yes, I used the Career’s resources and sessions. They have been very useful and necessary: when you complete Sloan, you are almost a brand new professional and person. Therefore, the Career support helped me define who I was, pitch myself, communicate more easily, and become more impactful in an organisation. It also guided me to look in the right direction, and find and secure my next business opportunities.

I also enjoyed the 1-2-1 coaching sessions because I learnt so much about how to be persuasive during an interview.

I am aware that you submitted many job applications and have explored around 8 opportunities until you found the best fit. When would you recommend the Sloan students start looking for a job?

Laurent: I would recommend looking for a job when you have a clear view of your next career goals and steps. For me, this was in the middle of the Sloan journey: I had a clear picture of what I wanted to do, so I targeted the right industry, company, person or job offer.

Of course, these days, particularly when you work for tech and digital companies, many things take place online; therefore, you need to understand how the online job market works, and then deal with it. This might not be the most appealing part of the programme. Still, once again, it is an insightful way of learning new skills and building an additional professional network of companies and recruiters.

Does having a big and diverse network help with making your post-graduation journey smoother?

Laurent: Yes, definitely! I felt supported by having a diverse network that was living the same journey and experience. Looking at my peers’ success and failure takeaways gave me the chance to step back when needed, reflect and make the rest of the journey gentler.

You hold some very senior and important roles at the moment, and we would like to find out more about how you managed to secure those.

Laurent: Everything that I mentioned above played an important part in securing the roles. I had a clear view of what my goals were, so I knew what industries, company size and location to target and consider. Of course, the recruitment process for senior positions takes several weeks, sometimes even months, thus it is essential to be mentally and psychologically prepared. Finally, remember that you can rarely change everything – position, location and industry – at the same time. You will maximum switch one to two, but hardly all of them.

What piece of advice would you have for any upcoming Sloan candidates?

I have three pieces of advice:

1- LBS Sloan is not just an educational programme; it is a transformational professional and personal experience, so you need to involve as many close ones when you take a decision in enrolling into this programme.

2- If you have the privilege to be selected as a Sloan fellow, join the School’s extracurricular activities because this is also a key part of the itinerary.

3- Enjoy every minute of your journey: four years later, it remains the best professional and personal decision I have ever taken

For more information regarding our Sloan Programme, please visit our website here.

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