Francesco Iacono, Italy
Full-Time MBA Class of 2023
Professional Roles, Achievements and Activities
I am an MBA Candidate at ESADE in 2023 class; I held a Bachelor (2010) and a Master’s (2013) Degree in Management Engineering at the University of Naples “Federico II” and at “The Royal Institute of Technology” (Stockholm)
What is invisible but essential about YOU? or ESADE? or Barcelona?
December ‘12. A couple of weeks before flying to Stockholm (where I would have prepared my thesis), my sister, only 17, was diagnosed with a tumor. The world collapsed on me, also because I would have left soon, and I could not have given my support to my family in such a tough moment. Despite everything, I decided to go because I didn’t have any other choice or a B-plan.
During the 6 months abroad, my sister’s condition was very fluctuating: some days she was better, other she got worse. I reacted by keeping my mind occupied all the time, working on my thesis with the utmost dedication, focused on my goal: the degree.
It was a tough challenge that forced me to rely only on myself. I had many times the desire to return to Italy, but then I retraced my steps, thinking about all the way I had done until then: this kept me alive.
In July ‘13, I returned to Italy, and my sister seemed to get better, but, while I started working, she had a relapse. Within a few months, in December, the disease finally won over my sister.
I had been preparing for this event for months, and I tried to face it in the most mature way possible, forcing me not to let events take control of my life. And so, it was my biggest challenge: I “survived” transforming the pain into a tremendous inner strength, which pushed me to take back my life. I learned that the best way to overcome difficulties is to start thinking about “tomorrow” instantly, and I owe this consciousness to my sister. This awareness is my weapon today, making me a very balanced but also strong person, always ready to chase challenging goals, without any fear of difficulties. Pursuing an MBA was a long-time dream, one of those dreams perhaps destined to remain in the drawer, because it is too big and too risky, for many reasons. And so I owe to the invisible but essential (and constant) presence of my sister in my life, the courage to really live and get my dreams.