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gpb-picGiorgia Parodi Brown

Art and Business
Semester Program - Sotheby's Institute of Art, London

Occupation: Bids Manager at Sotheby’s

What advice do you have for students entering Sotheby’s Institute?
The greatest advice that I can give to students wanting to pursue a career in the art world is to make sure they do it with passion. This might be a very ‘Italian’ advice, but it’s what has always worked for me.

What role did London play in your education?
The course in London and its extraordinary professors played a great role in my educational path. Not only did I learn about the intrinsic mechanisms within the art market, but it also helped me gain awareness of what working in the art world would mean and imply. Sotheby’s Institute prepared me for the role that I cover today and gave me the necessary tools to progress in my career.

What is your favorite part about working in the art world?
Working for Sotheby’s has always been an aspiration of mine. After nearly five years in the business, I am still eager to pursue and further my career in the auction world. My favorite aspect of working in this sector of the art market is the dynamism with which our auction rooms change and the variety of art to which I am exposed every day. It gives me the opportunity of experiencing different markets, clients, tastes and cultures. It is impossible to get tired of it!

What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?
Today, I am a Bids Manager and responsible for all bid-related activities in the following locations: London, Geneva, Zurich and Milan. Together with preparing the auctioneers book, I also support auctioneers and clerk the sales. Post-sale, I resolve bid-related issues and ensure a smooth auction experience for clients. In parallel, I also manage online-only sales. Having managed a multitude of sales and scenarios, I am confident of my knowledge of the whole auction process. I recently started auctioneering at charity events and not only enjoy the role immensely, but also appreciate the support that I can give to help raise funds. In time, I would like to become an auctioneer for my own company and lead sales from an auctioneering perspective.

What was the first artwork to have an impact on you?
During my last year of high school in New York, I went on a field trip to MoMA with my class. At the time, I was still uncertain about what to do after my studies. During our tour, we stumbled upon Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Much to my surprise, I stopped and stared at the painting in amazement. I remember feeling confused as I had seen this artwork in print many times before, but had never felt the connection that I was experiencing there and then. Seeing Les Demoiselles d'Avignon in the flesh had made me emotional; the more I looked at the painting the more I felt connected to it. I will always remember that it was exactly on that day that I promised myself that I would dedicate my life to art, seeking that very same emotion and sensation.


Iva Ivanova

Art and Business
Semester Program - Sotheby's Institute of Art, London

Age: 26 years old.

Occupation: Business Intelligence Analyst in Sotheby’s

What is your nationality/where are you from? Bulgarian, lived in London for the last 8 years.

What did you enjoy most about the Art and Business semester course?
As I did the Art and Business Semester Study course after completing my BSc and MSc, I was trying to focus more on the practicality and implied benefits of an art business course, rather than pure academia. I enjoyed the professionalism and work ethic of all the lecturers, as they are all practising in their respective fields. I really appreciated the openness of the sessions – Q&A along with sharing of real life cases which contributed immensely to my vision and understanding of the art market. I enjoyed the varied background of the students and their real motivation to implement the knowledge in a career in the arts.

How did the course contribute to your development?
The course gave me an overall understanding of the key players in the art market and the position of the an auction houses. Various assignments, weekly presentations along with the final project, contributed further as the extra research and real-time work id undoubtedly added extra knowledge of the industry. Last, but not least, changing project groups every so often allowed me to work with different people and get to know as many people as possible for the duration of the course.

What have you done since the course?
After I completed the Semester Study course , I went to Brussels for six months to work for the European Commission. After I came back to London, I was offered an internship with Sotheby’s in their valuations department which commenced in September 2012. After Christmas I was offered a floating assistant position (meaning rotations in various departments across the business for different periods of time). After seven months in this position, I applied for an analyst role within the Business Intelligence department which has been my job for the past nine months.

What did you get out of the study trips and visits?
All of them have been extremely useful not only because they added much colour and excitement to the whole process but also because they allowed for us to bond as a team and share ideas in a non-academic environment. Greenford Park (Sotheby’s warehouse) was an invaluable experience as we saw almost everything the auction house holds!

What was your background prior to joining the Art and Business course?
I graduated from Queen Mary University of London where I did my Bachelor degree in Economics and Finance, followed by a Master degree in Management Organizations and Governance from LSE.

Were the contacts and networks you made throughout the Art and Business course (fellow students, lecturers, etc.) valuable, and carried forward following the course?
All the contacts and acquaintances I met during the course have been really valuable. I have kept in touch with all of my classmates I worked closely with and especially the ones that stayed in London. Also, thanks to the Institute and its strong alumni network, I have the opportunity to come back and visit often, catching up with lecturers and management and staying up-to-date with any new initiatives and projects. After graduating from the course, I have also met other alumni colleagues in Sotheby’s and we have built wonderful friendships and working relationships.


Jonathan Aiach

Art and Business
Semester Program - Sotheby's Institute of Art, London

Age: 29 years old

Occupation: Financial Advisor

What is your nationality/where are you from? Paris, France

What did you enjoy most about the Art and Business semester course?
The diversity of people joining the program, the quality of the speakers, and the great team that made it all possible.

How did the course contribute to your development?
It helped me get a better understanding of the different opportunities available when looking to work in the art market. Most of all, it convinced me that the best way to pursue this career path is through an entrepreneurial approach that goes off the beaten track.

What have you done since the course?
I was involved in various projects with art galleries and art advisors. I then went back to work for a large asset manager, with plenty of projects on my mind for the future that combine both worlds.

What did you get out of the other study trips and visits?
They were a useful addition to the course. I very much enjoyed the visits to the Sotheby’s warehouse and to the art fairs.

What was your background prior to joining the Art and Business course?
Most of my professional experience was in the asset management industry, having worked for banks, hedge funds and financial advisory firms. I had a stint at working for an auction house in Paris, which greatly contributed in building my knowledge of the art market.

Were the contacts and networks you made throughout the Art and Business course (fellow students, lecturers, etc.) valuable, and carried forward following the course?
The network is one of the most valuable assets gained through the course. It is incredibly diverse with people from different backgrounds and nationalities. I have kept in touch with a good number of alumni and hope to be able to work with them on some projects in the future.


Elmerice Habsburg-Lothringen

Art and Business
Semester Program - Sotheby's Institute of Art, London

Age: 29 years old.

Occupation: Self-employed (Independent Art Consultant)

What is your nationality/where are you from? Austria

What did you enjoy most about the Art and Business semester course?
Our field trips with lecturers to museums and galleries. These gave us the opportunity to discuss objects and all kinds of art works, learn how to interpret them and to look into the ways in which art has been made and collected.

How did the course contribute to your development?
I joined the Semester Study program with a business background but always had a passion for art. The course helped me to develop my art history knowledge and further explore emerging art markets but also it taught us how to analyse and identify a wide range of art works/objects.

What have you done since the course?
The Semester Study program inspired me to go on to study for the Master’s degree in Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute. During my studies at SIA I worked for an Italian contemporary art foundation as their UK representative and after completion of my degree I was hired by an art investment house based here in London. This year I have started my own consultancy company focusing on collection management and the marketing of private art collections.

What was your background prior to joining the Art and Business course?
Prior to coming to Sotheby’s Institute of Art I received a Diploma in Business Studies & Event Management as well as a BA Hons. Business, Management and Administration. I worked for a marketing consulting firm for economic and culture affairs and was also involved as an art consultant and guide at art fairs; tailoring programs and guiding selected group of collectors/art lovers through the main private collections, warehouses and satellite fairs.

Were the contacts and networks you made throughout the Art and Business course (fellow students , lecturers, etc.) valuable, and carried forward following the course?
I made some wonderful friends and met various inspiring and interesting people with many of whom I remain in contact.


Martim Brion

Art and Business
Semester Program - Sotheby's Institute of Art, London

Age: 28 years old

Occupation: Business Owner/Artist

What is your nationality/where are you from? Portuguese/Lisbon

What did you enjoy most about the Art and Business semester course?
The environment was great. Lecturers were very welcoming, classes were extremely interesting and many of my classmates became my friends.

How did the course contribute to your development?
It gave me a good introductory understanding of the art world and of the history of art. It is also provided me with an extensive base network of people and instilled in me an appetite to know more.

What have you done since the course?
I have started my own business, working with an artist and also producing art works myself.

What did you get out of the other study trips and visits?
A good overall view of the main galleries and museums as well as fun trips with friends.

What was your background prior to joining the Art and Business course?
I studied International Relations and Politics for my Bachelor’s Degree, then Business Studies for my Master’s degree and had been working in financial consulting before coming to Sotheby’s Institute.

Were the contacts and networks you made throughout the Art and Business course (fellow students, lecturers, etc.) valuable, and carried forward following the course?
Yes, very valuable. I made good friends from whom I have received good advice and support.


elisaElisa Rossetto

Art and Business
Semester Program - Sotheby's Institute of Art, London

Occupation: Sale Administrator at Sotheby’s

What advice do you have for students entering Sotheby’s Institute?
My advice is to enjoy every single moment of this amazing opportunity and try to capture all the possible insights the teachers will give you. Be curious and visit as many galleries and exhibitions as possible, you never know who you might cross your path with. Sotheby’s Institute is definitely the best place to learn about art and the art market. For me it has been one of the best experiences of my life and I would definitely do it again. I have been able to learn so much and I have also started to look at art from a different point of view. Being surrounded by amazing people and experts is one of the best things the Institute offers. Take advantage of it.

What role did London play in your education?
London is a vibrant city, full of life and opportunities and the center of the European art scene. It definitely is the city where you need to be if you want to build a career in the art world. London has been crucial to me and has given me so much. First with the Art and Business course, then with the amazing people I have been able to work with. I have learned so much thanks to the constant exposure to art events, exhibitions, galleries and museums. In London every day is different and there is a new opportunity from which you can learn something. I will never get tired of it.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love to be able to create beautiful pieces of art and express myself through them. Art goes beyond words and can provoke different emotions depending on the viewer, so that they can give their own personal interpretation. I believe that having the ability to deliver an idea, a message or opinion and feelings through art is one of the most powerful things.

What artist or industry professional would you want to talk with late into the night?
Wolfgang Tillmans. I admire his works immensely and I find them very engaging. Last year I was able to visit his exhibition at Tate—the sensitivity by which he captures the world around him is impressive, just like the colors of his abstract works. I would like to ask him about his technical processes and all about his still-lifes, the portraits and the photographs addressing political issues. His innovative style is such an inspiration for the contemporary world and the way he captures it is just mesmerizing and enlightening.

What is your favorite part about working in the art world?
As an art lover my favorite part about working in the art world is being able to look at the most marvelous works of art up close. Beings in touch with experts in the field is inspirational to me and it keeps increasing my curiosity to learn more each day. Sotheby’s is a very dynamic place and the program I am part of is giving me the best insight into all the different aspects of the auction house.

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