The diversity of cultures and knowledge is what can help you reshape your mindset and become a better leader tomorrow.
Francesco Bracotti

Francesco Bracotti

Nationality/Passport: Italian Year of graduation: 2023 Current Role: Leadership Programme at GSK

Could you share something unexpected about you? 

I grew up as a professional racing driver: I started racing with go-karts when I was four years old, I took part in international competitions, and when I turned 16, I raced in the World Karting Championship for two years before moving to formula racing (Formula Renault 2.0).

Tell us a little about yourself, your personal and professional journey so far?

One day my life changed: lung cancer took my father away and from that moment onwards my mission has been to help people feel better and live longer.

I started studying Pharmacy and I discovered and synthesised a nanoparticles-based drug-delivery system. Today those nanoparticles, called NanoMuGs, are internationally patented and have been awarded and funded for their innovative way to fight pathogens, including Sars-Cov-2.

In parallel to this entrepreneurial experience, being extremely passionate about the “business behind the science”, I enrolled in the SDA Bocconi Master of International Healthcare Management Economics and Policy.

I started working in the commercial areas of the pharmaceuticals industry and after an experience in market access at Sanofi, I have been selected for the Leadership Programme for early talents at GSK, where I am currently employed.

At GSK I have had the unique opportunity to grow personally and professionally: I managed the classic brands’ portfolio, the commercial launch of GSK COVID solutions in Italy, ensuring their timely patients’ access in a real-time decision-making scenario, and I built lasting and valuable relationships with external stakeholders as a sales account manager. 

Can you share a little about why you decided to pursue the MBA, and in particular, the INSEAD MBA? 

Why pursue the INSEAD MBA? When you get motivated by big ideas and ask yourself “Now what? What do I do differently today?”, there is nothing more valuable than a one-year immersive experience as an MBA student.

The diversity of the extremely talented people that surround you, and the opportunity to build lifelong friendships and a network of professionals from every corner of the world are all elements of the uniqueness of the INSEAD MBA.

This programme, with such a knowledge-enriching international outlook, represents the stepping stone that can help me become a better global healthcare leader tomorrow. In the healthcare sector we deal with people’s lives and the broader the experiences one collects, the greater the possibility to save more patients.

“Business as a force for good” is not only the purpose of INSEAD but also my ambitious dream to empower people and fight for what global health needs next reimagining science.

What are your thoughts about the class experience, professors, the curriculum so far?

I always asked myself what an INSEAD class looks like and now I can say: “knowledge enriching”.

It is the perfect mix between quality of subjects covered throughout the programme by professors who perfectly know what students need to become the next generations of leaders, and peer-to-peer learning where diverse cultures and backgrounds reshape your perception of the world.

It’s difficult to describe how privileged you feel when you look around yourself in class and see not only worldwide renowned professors but also change-makers from more than 60 nationalities. It is a unique feeling that makes you think you are living a once-in-a-lifetime experience and makes you eager to have a positive impact in the society.

What is the student life like at INSEAD?

The student life at INSEAD starts a way before the MBA itself. Depending on which application round you apply for, you can live up to almost one year of awaiting and every day you imagine how your life will change in the short term. Simultaneously you understand that the awaiting itself is part of the student life: leveraging on digital channels you start connecting with curious, spontaneous, and unbiased people from all over the world, creating new lifelong friendships. 

When, finally, this unique rollercoaster starts the adrenaline is at maximum levels and, even though it is sometimes mixed with FOMO, you start living your best life understanding the learning experience is only part of this journey.

Deeply energised you wake up and think: “Today I will learn something new, and I will live moments that will become unforgettable memories”. For Alice it was Wonderland, for Peter Pan it was Neverland, for an MBA student like me it is INSEAD.

Are you looking forward to anything in particular during your time on the programme? 

Connect, learn, build and share; these the keywords I am looking forward during my time on the programme. Either in the personal life or in the professional career, there are not too many other opportunities to have the world at your fingertips.

The diversity of cultures and knowledge is what can help you reshape your mindset and become a better leader tomorrow. In the meantime, you feel you can empower who surrounds you with the experience you have collected throughout the years.

I am ultimately looking forward to living not only the best year of my life, but also the best year for my life and, as a healthcare enthusiast, the year to let me better help patients throughout my career.

Could you share a little about your application process, securing financing, and making your way to Singapore/Fontainebleau?

I personally was an early applicant and I started preparing for the application process almost one year in advance. I knew at that time I wanted to dedicate 110% of myself for GSK and NanoMuG because in both the experiences I was dealing with solutions against COVID, and patients always come first.

On the other hand, I also knew preparation for the application process was crucial to achieve personal and professional growth in the long term but I never let it impact what drives my inner heart.

The more the application process was going forward the more the dream started becoming true; the process itself made me feel I made the right decision because I started breathing the INSEAD culture. When doing the interviews with alumni I felt extremely honoured to get in touch with them and I remember how thrilled I was to live the same experience they had done.

Coming to the process of securing financing, being an early applicant, I also had the opportunity to apply for scholarships and will always be thankful to INSEAD, and to the INSEAD donor who endowed the scholarship, for having offered me a merit-based scholarship for my background in science.  

If you could share an admissions or application tip to someone who is considering the programme, what would you say?

Even though it may sound cliché: be yourself and never lose your motivation. If you are targeting INSEAD, you are targeting one of the top business schools worldwide and thousands of extremely talented people worldwide are doing your same thing.

What is more important is that you are not less worthy than them: as an individual you are unique and the experiences you bring cannot be replaced by anyone else.

Moreover, if you are targeting INSEAD, it is easily assumable you already are a person with a growth mindset: I am pretty sure you will do your best to ace the GMAT but always remember your story is rarer than an 800 score.

Parting words of wisdom?

Do something great and make the difference by taking a step towards what you desire most, no matter how small the step is: 1.00 to the power of 365 will always be 1.00; 1.01 to the power of 365 is 37.8