My name is Andrea Gabrielli, I attended the Master in Business Management / Retail Management & E-Commerce and I have two entrepreneurial projects as CEO of SpotView, my first agency, which is very focused on eCommerce and User Experience and in 2017 I founded Heres, a startup specializing in Artificial Intelligence applied to Chatbots. This year I had the honor of giving a speech on my professional experience during the Bertinoro Career Development Retreat.
A truly unique moment of sharing: on May 10th I was among the protagonists of the round table on Innovation and Entrepreneurship with Riccardo Fini, Associate Dean BBS and other BBS Alumni: Priscilla Hernandez, and Admin Zadakbar, respectively Account Manager and Founder at The Armin Bar.
As a BBS student I found myself on the other side of the ‘chair’ to bring my entrepreneurial experience actually started during my university years, when I developed my first company. It was a very small project, developed to challenge me and earn something, but it was the beginning of a journey that has never stopped. In short, after seeing an advertising monitor inside a supermarket, I decided to do the same by installing a network of monitors in some of the places in my hometown. In our first office (obviously a garage) my partner took care of the technical and graphic part, while I went to sell door-to-door the advertising spaces to the commercial operators of the area. Meanwhile, the world changed quickly and, following the wave of the Internet and Google, we evolved into a web agency.
For me it was still a second job and I had to sacrifice many weekends and many days of vacation to be able to carry it forward and, above all, I learned very soon the importance of delegating: although I was still an employee I had hired 3 people. After 5 years at Coop, where I had the chance to grow a lot and work in important digital transformation projects, I realized that I wanted something of my own, I felt the need to be on the other side. Everything happened very quickly, a couple of sleepless nights and I resigned to become a full-time entrepreneur.
With the Alumni present in Bertinoro I shared the same doubts I had when I throw myself into the world of the market: it was interesting to hear their questions, which touched on business-related issues but not only: the human aspect behind each choice is indeed fundamental, as in my opinion making evaluations not only analytical of pros and cons, but also giving voice to what we feel is right for us.
Regarding me, I must admit I never had a clear idea about my future; at the time of my University choice I focused on the Faculty that I considered most suitable for my qualities – I felt I had a good commercial instinct. Then I chose Economics and Marketing and after the three-year degree I was at the crossroads between specialist or MBA and the decision was a real ‘Sliding door’. I had passed the entrance test of a prestigious Milanese university and the choice seemed indispensable. But something inside me was telling that it was not what I wanted; I felt the need to enter the world of work first and frankly I was tired of studying, I wanted something more practical. In my course of studies several professors were BBS teachers so I inquired, I talked to some of them, and in the end I followed my instincts.
It turned out to be the most suitable choice for me and among the most precious experiences I had at BBS I would say without a doubt the project work, which allowed me to get in touch with structured companies and challenging projects based on their real needs and above all to understand the team work dynamics. My colleagues and I had different characters, backgrounds and skills, and at the beginning it was not easy, but once the harmony and balance of roles was found, the potential released was definitely greater than the sum of the individual. For me BBS was a real school of life whose strengths are in my opinion the level of the teachers, the pragmatism of the lessons and the network with the companies.
After BBS, I was very lucky: I chose the MBA with Retail Management & E-Commerce as I dreamed of joining Coop, a Food & Grocery retailer in Bologna. After a project work with them, in which I tried hard to distinguish myself, I came to an interview and they selected me. Just a shame that the positions were two and the least interesting one had happened to me, but then my colleague gave up and I took her place. Another Sliding door.
Andrea Gabrielli – Italy
Master in Business Management / Retail Management & E-Commerce – Year 2008/2009