2019 Best EMBAs: Laura Amoretti, ESADE

Laura Amoretti

ESADE Business School

 “Blessed with luck and a sense of humour. Intrapreneur, passionate about people and business.”

 Age: 40

 Hometown: Sanremo, Italy

 Family Members: My husband and my daughter

 Fun fact about yourself: I always considered myself averse to Mathematics and Analytics. During the EMBA, I discovered that I actually have an analytical and systemic management profile and perhaps this explains why I do a job where both are extremely important and my best colleagues and friends are engineers.

 Undergraduate School and Degree: In Italy – Law degree then 2-year Law doctorate (Scuola di Specializzazione in Professioni legali). Passed the government exam and graduated as a professional lawyer.

 Where are you currently working? Lastminute.com – I am in charge of Customer Operations for the company and I am Managing Director of the Cruise Business Unit.

 Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles: I implemented the ‘Happy Workplace’ concept in my company: a voluntary project of employee participation in small committees where fun activities are organised that encourage collaboration between various teams. Also, for my company, I developed corporate communication through monthly results sharing and project submissions by various teams, including a rewards system for the best performances.

Which academic or extra-curricular achievement are you proudest of during at business school? The adoption of my child is undoubtedly my greatest success during the EMBA.

What career achievement are you proudest of? I have had many professional successes but most seemed to me to be the fruit of my hard work and I never felt particularly proud of them but perhaps rather of my tenacity.

If I think of the last 10 years of my career, I can give myself credit for having taken a new Cruise Business Unit from scratch (previously almost non-existent in the portfolio of last minute products) and have made it grow, quadrupling the initial results to the point of making it a leader on the Italian OTA cruise scene and having internationalised it in two other countries.

Who was your favourite MBA teacher? Angel Castineira. “The Essence of the Directive Function.”

What was your favourite MBA course and what was the greatest insight you gained on business from it? “The essence of the directive function.” I spent the last few years of my life thinking that I did not have enough technical skills to be a CEO and I discovered instead in this class that I already had all the soft skills needed for this role. My emotional intellect has been the key to my professional growth. I finally understood my potential and my leadership profile thanks to the MBTI test. The greatest discovery is that what I thought were my weaknesses are clearly my greatest strengths and the reason for my professional success.

Why did you choose this Executive MBA programme? I have always admired my boss for his ability to simplify complex concepts and make a decision based on a few elements. One day he told me that it was all thanks to an ESADE course that he had done 20 years ago.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? The whole experience acted as a catalyst and facilitated my personal journey.

What is the biggest lesson you learnt during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? Now I understand that to grow in a company you have to build a strong system of lateral relationships, not just vertical ones. You have to work with other departments. I am now working less autonomously.

Give us a story of your time as an Executive MBA student and how you managed to juggle work, family and education commitments. During my EMBA journey, I faced two major challenges: one personal and one professional. On a personal level, I became a mother by adopting a beautiful girl in Hungary and going through the difficult, intense yet ultimately wonderful experience of adoption; I discovered many things about myself and what I can offer. Professionally, I was going to leave my company for a job offer that would allow me to become CEO in the next three years. This decision really changed not only me but also the perception of me within my company. In the end, I did not leave my company and I was finally promoted by greatly broadening my management sphere. I am now managing a process of cultural and organisational change where I have the opportunity to practice all the EMBA teachings in the field.

What advice would you give to a student considering an Executive MBA programme? Fasten your seatbelt and get ready for a turbulent but wonderful, worthwhile journey!

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? The amount of home study is important but the level of contribution is personal. An EMBA can be experienced at different levels of intensity depending on the professional load of each person.

What was your biggest regret at business school? Not having enough time to go into some topics and not having the courage to always say what I thought because of the fear of being judged.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Jonatan Amenedo. Jonatan is one of the brightest people I have ever met in my life. He was very helpful in making difficult decisions, he enriched me personally and professionally, I hope to continue to collaborate with him for a long time.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I felt that everything I knew had brought me to this point and that if I wanted more, I had to arm myself with other weapons.” 

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? To become CEO of a company in the next three years.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? For how I am able to express myself and how I can understand other people in a short time.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? To travel more with my family and to show my daughter the joys of hiking!

What made Laura Amoretti such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“Intrapreneur, customer-oriented with a strong sense of business and passionate about people. She has an international background in the commercial area and sales people management, gained in France, Italy, Spain and the UK. Laura Speaks four languages fluently.

In recent years, she has taken on responsibility for all aspects of sales and customer care operations, team leadership, Quality and Processes area and workforce management. Her work style is based on coaching and mentoring the team to ensure that performance levels are met, building positive employee relations, discovering and developing talent, creating a good, fun working setting. She continuously strives to improve the efficiency of delivery processes and to instill a culture of enthusiastic customer care, the importance of teamwork and best-practice sharing.”

Michele Quintano
ESADE Executive MBA Academic Director

DON’T MISS: THE ENTIRE LIST OF THE BEST & BRIGHTEST EXECUTIVE MBAs OF 2019 or RANKING THE BEST EMBA PROGRAMS IN THE U.S.