Happiness depends upon ourselves
Aristotelis has been a global technology investor for nearly 8 years at Seaya Ventures, Santander Innoventures (aka Mouro Capital) and Thomson Reuters. His previous experience combines Technology investment banking advisory with operational experience in start-ups and large corporates in London. His academic studies include BSc in Mathematics, MSc in Information Systems, MBA at IE Business School, and Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Artificial Intelligence.
Q&A WITH ARISTOTELIS
Define your experience at IE in one word.
What were some of the main challenges that you encountered on your way and how did your master program and IE help you through these challenges? How did your experience at IE prepare you for your professional career and what ways do you think the program changed your life professionally and personally?
Some of the main challenges I encountered along the way in my career were how to understand whether a certain business is strong or not, how to analyse a specific sector/ industry, understand the economy, and make sense of the world. For instance, just before joining IE the largest global financial crisis had taken place and had affected my life in many different ways, but I had no idea why and how. The IE IMBA helped me overcome all these challenges with the help of my professors and colleagues.
In addition, my time at IE helped me develop my public-speaking skills. Something that to some sounds basic, it was a big gap that I had from my undergraduate studies and early career. Specific presentation skills classes, countless opportunities to practice, and a risk-free environment at IE allowed me to become more confident and establish some basic public-speaking skills.
On top of the above, at IE I learnt how to take my career change and job search to the next level. I transitioned from a pure repetition CV-sending “robot” to a proactive multi-channel approach consisting of events, meeting people, digital networking, volunteering to fill skills gaps, etc.
Finally, IE helped me significantly with my networking skills. It gave me a global network as well as the skills needed to navigate a diverse and inter-connected world. Networking at IE is natural and relaxing, and very targeted and rewarding at the same time.
What was your favorite memory from your time at IE?
I have some many great memories from my time at IE that it would be unfair to pick some over the others. A couple that come immediately to mind are, from a curricular perspective, the Venture Lab’s final presentation, and from an extra-curricular perspective, the graduation trip some of my colleagues and I had in Ibiza! :)
If someone was considering going to IE, what would you tell them?
I would strongly recommend it to them. The university and particular some of the more complex postgraduate courses, such as the IMBA, are the best tools you can have if you want to change your career.
Why did you choose to study this program at IE?
I liked a lot that it was a course of short duration with a focus on entrepreneurship. Also, I visited IE (as well as other potential universities) before making my decision and it became clear to me that IE had the best atmosphere and energy.
What is one thing you wished you knew, when you were a student? What advice would you give to students who are about to begin the program?
I think I might have had too much focus on achieving high grades at the start of the programme (I did change it along the way :))
I am not saying that studying hard for the subjects is not important. It’s just that the school and the overall experience has so much to offer, that spending an extra couple of hours a week to get from A to A+ would probably be better invested in networking, doing side projects with colleagues, or participating in some of the student clubs.
Tell us about the IE alumni community and the impact they have had in your life and/or career. Why do you think it’s important to engage with the IE alumni community?
The IE alumni community has helped me get great talent into in my company.
As one of the first contributors towards the Illuminated Bricks campaign, how does it feel?
I feel honoured and humble to be part of the campaign.
What made you decided to give your first gift?
I had no second thoughts; as soon as I found out about the campaign, I contributed.
I think it’s key for this world to become a better place to be inclusive in education.
In your opinion, why is it important to give back? Why does this cause matter to you?
Giving back is one of the most rewarding experiences for me and it has been since when I was teaching mathematics to people I knew on a volunteer basis. Watching someone grow and develop themselves, whilst you have made your small contribution, is so heart-filling.
What would you tell someone who was thinking about contributing?
At times we all think of contributing and giving back; sometimes we end up doing, but sometimes not. “Is that the right cause? Should I choose that cause over another? Will my money be used in the right way?” are some of the typical questions people have. Well, in this case, my answer is “this IS the right cause and IE is the best possible ambassador of it.
If you had a billboard you could display to the entire world, what you would put on it?
Happiness depends upon ourselves