Dr. Andrea Castronovo

Dr. Andrea Castronovo is one of the first CEMS Graduates from 1990. He studied at Bocconi and HEC and was the founder and first president of the CEMS Alumni Association.  He was BMW President for Central and Southeastern Europe (when nominated as the CEMS Alumni Awards nominee). Dr. Andrea Castronovo is now the Vice President of BMW Group.

What influenced you to join CEMS in 1990 & continue to contribute to the organization today?

In 1990 it was the only truly European degree. For me, having elected Europe as my “home ground” it was simply “THE Choice” to be made.

What does the CEMS spirit mean to you? (Do you have any memories from your time with CEMS that you would like to share?)

CEMS CEMS 1990, Bocconi University/ HEC Paris

I have one memory in particular, Lluis Puges who said“do not forget to dream”.  We used part of this phrase as the slogan of our Alumni Association in the beginning which was “CEMS Alumni: always a step ahead. But do not forget to dream”.  We even produced some T shirts with this sentence.  Some I believe are still in our homes. In mine for sure !

What was the most important thing that CEMS taught you?

That excellence has no boundaries and does not belong to one business school only.

What were your career steps after finishing CEMS? (Did the CEMS network contribute to your professional achievements? If so, how?)

In the early days, we were the first CEMS Students. The Network then essentially consisted of our fellow classmates. More senior people that could share their experiences or be “called on” by other CEMS didn’t exist at that time. Nonetheless, the network, formally via the Alumni Association, and informally via personal relationships has always worked very well. Even today, you can just call up somebody and tell him/her that you are also CEMS and doors will open and a direct relationship will begin.

What makes a CEMS profile desirable for a position such as yours?

3 elements: Multicultural experience, multi language skills, openness to constant changes and challenges.