Alessio is an economist at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs.
I arrived at LSE fresh from my undergrad. With hindsight, I realise now that I knew very little about what I liked or disliked, and what sort of person I wanted to become. The SPP was a sort of intellectual gym: where I could learn from other students with all sorts of fascinating life stories and experiences working in government, consulting, NGOs, banking, journalism, and much more. It also opened my eyes to the world. Thinking back to my Capstone team, we were an Indonesian, a Mexican, and a Russian, all who worked for the Scottish Parliament. It has all been extremely enriching. Beyond this, I have very fond memories of my time at the SPP: the retreat at Cumberland Lodge, teamwork meetings in the MPA common room, evenings spent at the Library – or at the George IV pub. And while doing all this, I made great friendships that last until this day.
I was attracted by LSE’s esteemed reputation, and specifically by the MPA and its flexibility. Indeed, thanks to a wide range of electives, it caters to all interests. It allowed me to combine a rigorous technical training in economics with other policy skills, all of which proved instrumental in pursuing a career in EU institutions. I’m glad to see the new Dean, Andrés Velasco, is pushing the programme even further in this multi-disciplinary direction, adding courses in political philosophy and communication.
The Monday after graduating from the MPA, I started working at the city: doing sovereign risk for a research branch of Fitch Ratings. Even though the conditions and team were very good, it was peak Eurozone crisis at the time, and I wanted to lend a hand. I therefore briefly joined the EU Commission (DG ECFIN) for a traineeship, and later the European Central Bank. After that, I became a researcher at Bruegel, the economic policy think-tank, for five years; while I also did my PhD between the Hertie School and the Harvard Kennedy School.
Currently I am back at DG ECFIN, where I work as an economist in the policy strategy team. It’s a sort of internal think-tank: making innovative economic policy proposals that support the political priorities of the Commissioner. Being a small and agile team, we can quicklyreorient our work on the priorities of the moment - clearly, right now a lot is related to the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.
After years of soul-searching and character building, I have come to the deep realisation that what drives me is a desire to contribute, even one tiny little notch, to leaving the world a better place than the way I had the luck of finding it. For the time being, I find it rewarding to use my analytical skills to do so at a European institution, working on the big economic issues of our time, at the intersection of policy and politics. But who knows what the future holds? My personal motto: the best is yet to come.
Alessio is happy to connect via LinkedIn.