Wanting to switch out of the corporate world and into entrepreneurship, Alessio not only chose specific entrepreneurial courses while at HEC but was also the President of the Entrepreneurship Club, giving him vital insight into the start-up environment.

“I was working in the corporate world in France and I wanted to use the MBA to transition into the start-up world. I was enjoying a good career progression but I wanted something disruptive. I wanted a real transformation in my career. HEC is a fantastic name and brand in Europe and France in particular, so it made perfect sense for me to go for HEC.

The courses in Entrepreneurship and Marketing were, for me, the most interesting ones. The professors in Entrepreneurship are actually real entrepreneurs, in-house entrepreneurs who could actually give real life experiences. So, they were not just academics but they were teaching from their own experiences, which was fantastic.

In 2010, we had a professor who always focused on asking us what the main problem we wanted to solve. How do you solve a customer problem? This was the most important lesson I kept in the following years. I think one of the most outstanding experiences was the St-Cyr Leadership camp. It really showed us what we were made of.

As president of the Entrepreneurship club, I was in charge of creating networking events with senior and experienced entrepreneurs who could act as mentors for our business ideas and projects. Mentorship is something that is often underestimated but is actually incredibly valuable. Having a mentor can help give a real leap in launching a start-up. It was extremely useful to connect with alumni entrepreneurs who could share their experience and tell us how to start a company and grow it. The lessons I learned through the club were very valuable further down the line in my career.

The HEC Paris alumni network is extremely active all over the world. 50,000 members who are all connected. As the network keeps growing, the members want to help each other. In any country I had an opportunity to work in there was always a club or a point of contact that I could reach out to.

As an alumnus today, I try to give back, especially in terms of mentorship to young students and graduates who have business ideas. They often come to me to discuss and I challenge the business model and I try to put them in contact with investors or perspective customers. I try to do my part and give back because I received a lot from the network."

identity card

Alessio BORTONE

Alessio BORTONE

Italy Class of 2011

Position

Investor Support Manager - UK Trade & Investment (UKTI)