McDonough School of Business
Alberto Cocchi (B'87) with camera
News Story

Pivot: Not What He Pictured — Why Alberto Cocchi (B’87) Traded a Finance Career for a Camera

Alberto Cocchi (B’87) graduated from Georgetown McDonough with his career path laid out for him at Salomon Brothers in New York City. It was an impressive opportunity to join a top-tier investment banking firm as a young professional just starting out in finance. However, after a decade, Cocchi realized that he had different career aspirations. 

“It was a beautiful suit,” he said. “But it wasn’t my size.” 

After 10 years in the United States, Cocchi took a hard look at what his dreams were, tapped into his creativity, and moved back to Italy to follow his passion for photography. 

“Photography had always been an interest of mine,” he said. “I always had a camera in my hand.” 

Cocchi launched his own photography company focused on technical photography, but he soon grew his portfolio to include architecture, and eventually, boating—another personal interest he was able to infuse into his photography business. 

“Architecture is what took me into boating,” he said. “I was photographing a beautiful shipyard in Italy when I was first approached to photograph boats.” 

Growing up surrounded by sailing and boating, Cocchi was thrilled by the opportunity to bring his passions together as a boating photographer. He is now recognized internationally for his work in this category, earning a number of front covers on publications such as The Nautica Magazine, ShowBoats Magazine, and Yachts International. 

“When you’re photographing a boat, you have to manage all the aspects it takes to run that boat and the photoshoot, including the camera, the captain, the crew, the light, the angles,” he said. “It takes a lot of problem solving.” He said his experience in finance and business helps him manage all the pieces of a successful photoshoot. 

Cocchi took advantage of every opportunity to grow his knowledge and deepen his expertise as he built a career focused on his dreams, from his early sailing days to his business education at Georgetown to his professional experiences in investment banking. “We have to make the best of ourselves,” he said. “Everything around us can be learned and absorbed. The more layers of experience you have, the farther you can see.”

For anyone considering the idea of a career pivot, Cocchi shared one piece of advice: “Start searching inside yourself to learn who you are,” he said. “Find and follow your passions. Be excited to wake up in the morning and go to work.” 

This story was originally featured in the Georgetown Business Fall 2023 Magazine.

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