EMC Alumni Feature: Lara Grosso

Before joining EMC in 2017, Lara Grosso worked as an Associate with Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in Milan, Italy and had previously graduated MSc in International Affairs at LSE and Peking universities, following undergraduate at Bocconi, Italy. She joined Emerging Markets Consulting (EMC) in Cambodia as she wanted to work in International Development in Asia.   

Lara started as a Consultant and in the following year, was promoted to Senior Consultant. She enjoyed the diverse projects she worked on with the Ministry of Environment of Cambodia, the World Bank Group, USAID, and First Finance, a microfinance institution specializing in home loans. These projects covered the areas of waste management, sustainable energy, access to finance, and community empowerment. Her favorite project was with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), for whom she undertook research in the Rohingya refugee camps located at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Approximately 1.2 million Rohingya still live in Cox Bazar, following the mass exodus from Myanmar in 2017, making it the largest group of refugee camps in the world.  

Lara appreciated EMC’s team rapport and said, “My best memory of EMC is the culture and the people. I had the chance to work with highly driven and intelligent individuals.” Moreover, the best part of her mornings before work was having a drink of fresh coconut by the street. That aside, as a sports enthusiast who has cycled over 1000 kilometers from Turin to Paris, Lara’s go-to activities were Kun Khmer boxing (an older form of Muay Thai) and kitesurfing in Kampot. She also enjoyed being able to go for weekend getaways to places like Bangkok and Bali. Overall, she loved how hospitable and welcoming Cambodians are. 

Lara’s experience at Cox Bazar was a pivotal point in her career when she saw first-hand the severe lack of access to basic health services for the Rohingyas. After leaving EMC, she moved into the Global Health sector and joined the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in Rwanda, working to eliminate Hepatitis C. She then became the Regional Manager for Southern Africa, focused on ensuring access to the Advanced HIV Disease Package of Care in Malawi, Lesotho, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. “Looking back, my time at EMC shaped me and taught me the soft skills that are critical for my current role, specifically on how to engage different type of stakeholders,” Lara testified. Looking forward, she is excited to join the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva as a Program Management Officer in the COVID-19 Accelerator team.