Life after the IB: Alumnus Alessandro Blanchi Maiocchi

by on 22/10/2019

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Alumnus Case Study

Having studied the IB Diploma from 2012-2014 Alessandro then studied at Warwick business school. He has also set up Meccamico, his own business in the automotive sector matching an individual’s repair needs with the best person to fix the problem.

We recently caught up with Alessandro to see how he is getting on after leaving St Clare’s and talk us through his business and future plans.

Why did you decide to study at St Clare’s?

My family learned about St Clare’s from an older friend of mine who completed a summer course there when I was approaching my third year of Italian high school.

After spending three weeks of orientation to see whether I liked this system, which was so different from the one I’d been used to study in, I had no more doubts. Saying that it was an individual choice would be lying, as at that age family still has a strong influence on our decisions.

Nonetheless I chose to jump into a system which attracted me most because of the openness of the education and possibilities of personalising one’s own course.

What did you most enjoy about studying in Oxford?

As I mentioned before, what I enjoyed most about St Clare’s was that it wasn’t simply a school but a place where I undoubtedly grew as an individual.

Someone would argue that giving a 16 year old boy the power to choose all of the subjects which he deems useful for his future life would be a hazardous move. I personally can’t think of any better way to speed up one’s own curiosity. Learning if certain subjects really interest you rather than waiting for this decision to happen at university.

Furthermore, moving from a 100% Italian class to an environment with over 40 different nationalities, touching all continents was a clear eye-opener. I made friendships which last to this day.

How did the IB Diploma prepare you for your studies at Warwick University?

Being able to select the subjects I felt most interested in was a clear advantage. For instance one of the best choices for me was Higher Level Business Management. After two years of learning the fundamentals of business I felt like the year at Warwick Business School, which is constantly on the top rankings for business, was somehow an option.

More generally, the IB Diploma taught me the importance of focusing on my studies while not neglecting extra-curricular activities. This proved vital for me as I realised earlier than others, the importance of joining student societies and actively participating in them.

You have now started your entrepreneurial project called Meccamico. Tell us a little about Meccamico and your motivations to set it up?

While I was studying and living abroad I was often exposed to a startup approach to entrepreneurship. Starting small, thinking big, working hard. I do appreciate this attitude to work and life and I believe you need to always push yourself to your limits to “stay alive”.

Meccamico is a startup operating in the automotive sector, specifically in the post-sale maintenance and repair area. This crucial sector was dominated by information asymmetry and poor transparency on the customer side (aka: no client ever knows what the repairmen is actually doing on his car)

We aim to solve this by selecting the best operators in a determined area and partner with them. When a request for a service is made on our platform we use a combination of artificial intelligence and human expertise to perfectly match the request to the most suitable operator.

In terms of car ownership, Italy is the second market in Europe, with nearly 70 cars per 100 people and the market around repairing those vehicles is worth nearly €40 billion. I hope I’ll put my years of business management classes to use and possibly succeed in bringing valuable innovation to my users.

What are your plans for the future?

As of now I’d like to dedicate myself to growing my business and start implementing some green measures in its strategy.

As soon as we have scaled enough, one idea would be to create a logistical centre where we collect, identify and assess spare parts coming from vehicles about to be demolished.

The car sector produces nearly 8 million tons of end-of-life waste in Europe and I’d like to contribute to reuse many of them, creating a circular economy mechanism. This will benefit all stakeholders; users though cheaper parts, mechanics through simplified logistics and the environment through less waste to landfill. I’ll bet my Environmental Systems and Societies professor will be proud of me.

What would you say to students considering studying the IB at St Clare’s?

Go for it! It is a choice you won’t regret, that will positively impact your life for years to come. I still recall the days at St Clare’s as being the best of my life. Truly a turning point for my personal growth.

I personally doubt I would have grown so much if I had remained in the comfort of my own home and not been exposed to the people and knowledge gravitating around Oxford.


Further Reading

International Peace Education Conference at Wychwood School

International Peace Education Conference at Wychwood School

On Saturday 11th November, a cohort of students travelled down Banbury Road to Wychwood School to participate in their International Peace Education Conference. As well as pupils from St. Clare’s, there were those from Didcot Girls’ School, Cherwell College and...

70th Anniversary Reunion Event

70th Anniversary Reunion Event

Our reunion celebrating 70 years of St Clare’s was attended by alumni and ex-staff members of St Clare’s from different year groups. The presence of Nick Lee, Anothny Binnington, Carolyn Halliday and several others, who were long-severing staff members of...

Model United Nations 2023

Model United Nations 2023

Written by Nina O’Hanlon (IB25)Embodying the United Nations' call to “practice tolerance and live together in peace”, the students of St Clare’s, Oxford proudly convened at the Oxford Town Hall earlier this month for our very own Model United Nations...

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