Please introduce yourself. What’s your name and where are you from? What is your academic background and what did you do before you joined the program?
My name is Alexandra Di Nella and I grew up in Moscow, Russia. Prior to joining the MLB program at Bucerius, I completed the BSc. in Business Administration with Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands where I focused on finance and entrepreneurship. Before joining Bucerius I worked as an in-house consultant in the manufacturing, retail and technology sector, aiding companies in tackling operational and financial challenges. I also worked for a Venture Capital fund in Berlin - Rocket Internet and assisted in launching a fintech venture in two countries. Today I am still involved with the Founders Institute, LWOW program and other VCs as a mentor and startup advisor.
You graduated with a bachelor’s in business administration. What motivated you to apply especially for the Master of Law Business at Bucerius Law School?
Legal implications are of utmost importance in the life of any company, therefore acquiring the skillset and (perhaps more importantly) the thinking of a lawyer elevates your knowledge and skills irrespective of whether you work for a corporation or aspire to become an entrepreneur in the future.
What was the greatest challenge you had to overcome during the MLB Program?
I remember in the first semester of studies it had been difficult to cope with the legal content of the courses - some time was needed for me to adjust to reading the legal documents and switching to a broader mindset. As any change it takes time but moves us to better results!
What was the greatest benefit of doing the MLB Program?
The rapport between students and teachers is something that I truly appreciated - it is rare that one gains insights into corporate governance for instance from a board member of the Volkswagen group and investment insights from a VC Founder.
What would you say is the unique selling point of the MLB at Bucerius?
The combination of legal and business professionals coupled with the small class size allows for a more executive learning experience rather than a textbook based one. This is very special in the MLB Program.
What have you been doing professionally since graduation?
What positions have you held and what is your current job and main responsibilities?
After graduation I worked with startups in Europe at a pre-seed and seed stage before being recruited by BCG in London as a Project Leader focusing on technology.
For several years now I have also run the company YZ Talents - an international talent network for deep tech professionals. Our goal is to connect and recruit the top tech talent for the best opportunities in Europe and abroad. Bringing the right talent into the team is a crucial component of the success of any company nowadays.
How do the knowledge and skills you acquired in the MLB program make you better in your job?
Ultimately as an entrepreneur, understanding the legal implications of your business decisions and the law of the country in which companies operate is a tremendous help for a founder. In addition, courses like Corporate Governance, Venture Capital and Investment have aided me in excelling in my career overall.
You have built your own company. What inspired you to do this and what's the idea behind it?
I am passionate about people and technology so in the course of my work I often find that talent acquisition and development is a challenging part for both the large corporations and SMEs.
YZ is over 3 years old yet only in past 1.5 years have we really been able to focus on matching the right professionals with the right opportunities. Our focus is deep tech, so we specialize on the roles in ML, Big data, Security and IT leadership space.
How long did it take to grow the business from the first idea to the first success?
We spotted a need in the market as we were working so we started creating a solution right away. Our development however never stops in full - for instance currently we are building an innovative platform to enable candidates and organizations to scout for the right professionals without losing the personal touch with either a company or a candidate.
What is your motto/philosophy?
Our vision is - Talent is everything. Our people are the future.
In YZ we have a people-focused culture. Our consultants are going through the YZ academy which trains them on the ins and outs of the industry, teaches them how to approach candidates and helps them develop the knowledge and understanding of all facets of the tech roles in the market.