Leading the new generation workforce


The essential digital skills for the leaders of tomorrow

To be a successful leader you need to have the right mix of soft skills and technical knowledge.

Soft skills, also known as “interpersonal skills“, relate to the way we interact with other people and include reliability, effective communication, problem-solving, people management, change management and more…

Alongside these very important skills, there are hard skills, the job-specific knowledge and technical abilities which are constantly shifting and evolving over time in the dynamic working environment in which we work today.

To manage resources and interact with different teams, you need important leadership skills but also specific digital hard skills that an International Part-time MBA at the MIP School of Business aims to develop in its traditional courses, elective boot camps and company visits.


  • Data science skills and the ability to make data-driven decisions: a leader must know how to read and manage data, generate reports and forecasts, identify sales opportunities and estimate profitability since organizations collect and analyze large amounts of data to make objective decisions and transform their processes. In the Data Analysis course, for example, I learned how to apply statistics to business from collecting the relevant data to writing technical reports useful for strategic decision-making.


  • Programming and software development: basic programming, web and app development knowledge are required to work with both internal resources and outsourcing agencies. Programming is also important for knowing how to identify opportunities, define specific project objectives and requirements, estimate the times, costs and resources necessary for implementation and guide technicians in development. In this case, the boot camp dedicated to Biomarketing used real cases to show how to use digital technology to analyze the market and to improve our understanding of the customer. Moreover, the company visit to Accenture highlighted how the company supports other businesses in the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and in the development of software used for data collection and analysis with the aim of improving sales strategies, customer management and process transformation.


  • Network and information security, cybersecurity and privacy knowledge: the advent of the GDPR in Europe during May 2018 put data security and privacy at the top of the agenda for many project teams. Also, consumers are now more conscious of the risk of sharing their personal information online and they expect to have their data protected. As project leaders, we will need to be able to set guidelines for project delivery that include data security approaches, work with the IT and legal teams and ensure that the required standards for security and privacy are met.


  • Social media selling and digital marketing: today, buyers won’t engage with a seller without visiting their company website first. Social selling uses social media to find, connect and develop meaningful relationships with potential customers. Product managers must master digital marketing skills to create digital content and promote products and services. The company visit to Moleskine, in this case, was very impressive. The company is completely digitized in its processes, marketing and customer relations while selling some of the most traditional products on the market: diaries and notebooks.


In the next few years, when we will be in team leader positions, we will be working with a new generation of workers who have grown up in a fully digitalized world. We should use our digital skills to coordinate them, understand their needs, support them with the tools they require, set goals and evaluate their work.

On the other hand, since technology allows new generations to be confused in values ​​and ethics, and to be lazy in habits and have little emotional intelligence, we should teach them the timeless virtues like commitment, responsibility, and the valuable soft skills that they may not understand, like emotional intelligence.

We will learn from them how to take advantage of new technologies and we will use our digital and soft skills to leverage their abilities and create the best working conditions to maximize their performance.

That is the critical role we will play.


About the author
Andrea De Donatis

I am Andrea De Donatis, a student of the international part-time MBA at MIP Politecnico di Milano. I Graduated in energy engineering and I am currently working in technical sales for a leading multinational electronics company based in Milan.
I am very passionate about technology, IT and digital marketing. I strongly believe that disruptive innovation is vital to create new value.



CINet (Continuous Innovation Network Conference) – Call for papers

The School of Management will host the 21st Edition of the CINet Conference (Continuous Innovation Network Conference) in from 20 to 22 September 2020.

The Continuous Innovation Network is a global network set up to bring together researchers and practitioners working in the field of Continuous Innovation and related areas of research and practice.

The theme of the 2020 edition will be “Practicing Continuous Innovation in Digital Ecosystems”, highlighting the macro trends on digitalization, ecosystems and platforms, but all the contributions in the innovation area are welcome.

Plenary sessions with panels of leading scholars and with the participation of national and international practitioners will offer important opportunities of brainstorming.
The academic program is completed by a PhD workshop (18 and 19 September) and by the CIYA Workshop for young researchers (20 September).

The key dates of the conference are:

  • 24 April, 2020 – Deadline abstracts submission
  • 1 May, 2020 – Notification of acceptance o
  • 1 July, 2020 – Submission full paper
  • 15 August, 2020 – PhD Workshop Application
  • 15 August, 2020 – Deadline registration

For further information, please visit the Conference website.

How MBA Scholarships Are Helping Women Change Careers

The MIP Politecnico di Milano women in business scholarship, MIP4Women, has given Maria Khukhlaev the opportunity to think about changing careers

MBA scholarships are helping women change careers and push for more gender diversity in the business school classroom. Maria Khukhlaev has seen the impact firsthand, as she is set to graduate from the International Full-Time MBA program at MIP Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business later this year. She’s the latest in a line of women in business who’ve benefitted from the MIP4Women scholarship.

The school offers two grants of $8,686, two worth $7,058, and three for $5,429. It’s an attempt to encourage female participation in the International MBA, to further diversify the classroom, and foster a culture of women in management.

I’m an economist, so that side of things is obviously very important to me,” says Maria. “Because of the scholarship, I managed to move to Italy, experience the full-time format, and enjoy life in Milan––something I couldn’t realistically afford without MIP’s financial support. 

And it’s not just about the financial support. The MBA is exposing Maria to an array of perspectives––the current class is made up of students from 19 different nationalities. She’s also looking to pivot her career and move in a new direction.

Confidence to consider other careers 

With the backing of the MIP4Women scholarship, Maria has thrown herself into the program and is taking every opportunity to broaden and further develop her skill set.

We are learning lots of things, like digital transformations and supply chain operations. I’m completely new to these topics,” she says.

The more she’s learning, the more confident she feels about pursuing new career opportunities. Maria is interested in using her MBA to switch to a career in business development or consulting for companies in and around Italy.

She’ll be pivoting from a role as an account manager for JI Investments Solutions, a consultancy she founded in 2009 in Costa Rica and has been working for since.

I want to change my career path.” she reveals. “I have been working on an entrepreneurial project for almost 10 years, learning these things has been helpful with that. I have the chance to consider jobs in areas I wasn’t even thinking about before.

The importance of diversity in business  

The diversity of her cohort has been an unexpected bonus, says Maria. 

It’s really interesting having so many international perspectives in my class. I have classmates from the US, Japan, India, and Europe. 

The opportunity to meet other like-minded people who are determined to achieve their business goals has been inspiring, she adds and motivated her to continue pursuing her own goals.  

I wanted to meet people who can challenge me and inspire me, and I have. Yes, your classmates become friends, but why not future business partners, too? 

She mentions an interview she did recently with a very important bank”. They were hiring for a project involving digital transformation and stated they were looking for candidates from diverse backgrounds. 

It’s an example of how businesses are pushing for more diverse workforces. The MIP4Women scholarship ties into that––it’s hoping to push more female MBAs into more visible roles, to inspire the next generation of women in business.

Things are changing,” says Maria. “Women feel more able to invest the time to prepare themselves for their careers, but the market is also beginning to support us more. That progress now needs to keep happening. 

Business schools want more women to apply 

Maria estimates that around 35% of her cohort are women. A 2018 Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) study shows that the average distribution of men and women in a full-time MBA program was 38% women and 61% men. 

Initiatives like the MIP4Women scholarship are the right way to keep up momentum–it’s given Maria the chance to explore her future in business through the MBA.

My advice to future candidates considering the MIP4Women scholarship is to be confident in your own abilities,” she advises. Do your research. Look for the opportunities that will open doors for you.

It promotes personal growth, socially and culturally, because it encourages critical thinking. You will become a better leader. You will learn to communicate better, understand people from different cultures and backgrounds, you will become a better professional. 

Originally published on

A G.I.F.T. for children: engineering and social research to ensure that sport really is for everyone

For a child with a motor disability, sport is synonymous with social exclusion and discomfort. This is contrary to the common understanding, namely that sport paves the way for social inclusion. As such, it is an urgent matter to ensure that sport no longer means social exclusion for children with motor disabilities. This is the ambitious goal of the multidisciplinary research project “enGIneering For sporT for all” (GIFT), one of the winners of the Polisocial Award – 2019 Edition, the annual competition promoted by the Politecnico di Milano geared towards social responsibility, whose key topic this year was sport and social inclusion.

The GIFT project will focus on hemiplegic children attending primary school. This, however, is merely the starting point: the intention is, over time and with further funding, to cover most motor and cognitive disabilities so that sport truly can be for everyone.

The project will focus on two areas of research. One will be technological research with a view to developing innovative orthoses which, by correcting the functional deficit of hemiplegic children, will allow them to start to take part in sports. The other component will be social research, involving families, primary school teachers and sports associations so that these children can start to get involved in earnest, reducing the chasm that currently exists between those labelled “abled” and “disabled”.

The research project – lasting 18 months and coordinated by Prof. Manuela Galli from the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering –was the brainchild of the Engineering For Sport (E4Sport) Interdepartmental Laboratory at the Politecnico di Milano, established thanks to the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering – and it will benefit from the involvement of leading partners including the La Nostra Famiglia Association – IRCCS “Eugenio Medea”, the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, ITOP, BTS, Math & Sport, Edumoto, Yuki Onlus and various sports associations.

The Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering will be on the front lines, dealing with the evaluation of the social and economic impact generated by the GIFT project by developing a specific methodology that allows them to measure the “value” generated by sports and sports-related activities. The hope is that this methodology will be applicable to the sports ecosystem as a whole, as well as the various actors therein, e.g. sports associations, amateur clubs, large professional clubs and leagues.

Understanding how sports and sports-related activities generate value for society and for the economic-productive system is a priority nowadays in the approach of promoting a radical change of perspective, recognising that sports and sports-related activities are not just fun, but rather an important investment – that must be understood and supported – for the wellbeing of society as a whole and its competitiveness over time,” explains Emanuele Lettieri, Full Professor of Accounting, Finance & Control and project manager of the GIFT project, “and it is not surprising that important institutions such as UEFA, FIGC and CONI have launched a number of projects in this vein, considering the measure of the value created by sports and sports-related activities to be a crucial piece of information for developing new policies and initiatives. And the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering is committed to making its contribution, together with the E4Sport Interdepartmental Laboratory”.

FLEXA is one of the most innovative projects in the world

MIP’s platform of personalised and continuous learning was recognized by AMBA, the global authority on setting standards of excellence for MBAs, as one of the best examples of existing innovation


FLEXA is among the six most innovative projects in the world promoted by a Business School. This recognition was received on 7 February in London, during the annual gala evening organized by AMBA (Association of MBAs), the association that sets the standards of excellence throughout the world for masters in business administration. The project FLEXA, the platform of personalised and continuous learning created by MIP Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with Microsoft, was considered to be among the best examples of innovation in the field of management training, as well as a bold, creative project that can radically change teaching and learning methods.


Entrepreneurship, digitalization, innovation

A real bet won by MIP, as Dean Federico Frattini confirmed: «MIP has invested heavily in this project, adopting an entrepreneurial approach, which has characterized our work for years and is essential to allow our school to be extremely competitive in a global scenario in which business schools around the world seek to attract the best talent. This is an approach in which digitalization plays a key role: MIP is increasingly digital and is fully aware of the importance of new technologies in training and education. Innovation in content delivery methods is one of our distinctive characteristics. And it is precisely for this reason that FLEXA plays a crucial role, because it shows the ability of MIP to respond to the stimuli and challenges tied to ongoing technological and market trends, even when they are complex like artificial intelligence, because they are potentially able to achieve significant results and improve the experience of our students».


Lifelong learning as a compass

FLEXA responds to the inescapable need to remain constantly updated, in a continuous training process embodied by the concept of lifelong learning: today’s professionals, and even more those of tomorrow, will need to continuously reinforce and expand their knowledge. The challenge is far from simple: the world is characterised by an excess of information and a wealth of proposals that can be disorienting. It’s here that FLEXA seeks to make the difference: thanks to artificial intelligence, it’s able to identity the training needs of the single user, offering the most appropriate contents to meet their needs. Not only; the platform itself learns from users, giving life to a virtuous circle that continuously improves the quality of the service provided. The contents are also of a top-notch quality: articles, videos, courses, tests to challenge the student. All considering their objectives and the most precious and limited resources: time.


A flexible platform with flexible goals

It’s no exaggeration, therefore, to see the platform as a real digital mentor, capable of outlining study and professional training plans to fill in the student’s gaps. In addition, training isn’t limited to hard skills, but also involves soft ones, whose central role is now clear to everyone. It’s a service that, as the name suggests, was conceived to be extremely flexible. And not only for the ways in which it transmits knowledge, but also for the opportunities it offers: it is, for example, also a full-fledged networking service, since it allows you to connect to other users, not only strengthening bonds created during class courses, but also creating new ones, that bring with them new, potential growth and career opportunities.

Life is great in Milan

Life in Milan is definitely amazing! Maybe here, my “Milanese” pride is coming out, as Milan is my home, where I live, study and am building my family ̶ but it’s true that it’s a really great city!

First of all, to describe Milan I have to say that it is not a city you fall in love with at first sight; life here must be lived to the full and Milan discovered before you can really appreciate it. My colleagues and I are finding that the International Part-Time MBA at MIP Politecnico di Milano certainly gives us plenty of opportunities to do this, both in terms of the access we are given to the thriving world of business and, of course, socially, where there is so much choice available. I am happy to act as a guide to show off the many facets my home city has to offer.

So, where to start to convince you?

Milan has changed a lot throughout these last few years and I can say that now it can easily be compared to the most glamorous European destinations. It is a city where you can have all types of experiences without ever getting bored. In many aspects you can feel a rare energy of a city that is growing and remains true to itself. Let’s start for example with culture: Milan has its own hidden and less hidden gems, such as Castello Sforzesco or the Duomo with its amazing Madonnina (built in 150 years through the donations of the people of Milan), the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, the Pinacoteca of Brera, the Cimitero Monumentale and so on… places like the universities are worth a visit: the Politecnico, the Università Cattolica (where I left my heart) or la Statale are amazing ancient institutions of culture and beauty (but also incredible places to rest). The entertainment scene is also varied: you can go to one of the most famous opera houses in the world, La Scala, or to the cinema or to the many museums or exhibitions that have started up in recent years. Milan, of course, is famous all over the world for its fashion, with opportunities including shopping in the iconic via Montenapoleone or visiting the Prada Foundation. In any case, whatever your destination, you will notice that most people in Milan pay great attention to their clothes and to beauty. There are so many little made in Italy boutiques that have risen up all over the city that if you are addicted to fashion, you won’t be disappointed.

If you are a sports fan, you cannot miss a match at San Siro, the heart of soccer in Milan (A.C. Milan is now struggling a bit, but new support is always good!)

Of course, we are in Italy, so food is fundamental! Milan is known for its risotto giallo with ossobuco (though this is a bit heavy for summertime…) or the cotoletta or panettone. In any case, if you feel homesick, Milano can offer you every type of cuisine at a high level.

You will fall in love with Milan simply by walking (or taking its iconic tram) through its streets and its neighborhoods, each so different from the last.

You will find your own favorite: Porta Romana if you want to chill out, the Navigli if you want a good drink and some romance, the beautiful new skyline of Garibaldi and City Life if you like modern style or Isola if you are an hipster ̶ and even all this is only scratching the surface.

In few words.. “Milan l’è un gran Milan


About the author
Pietro Cavallo

My name is Pietro and I grew up in Milan, where I am currently living. I work in Switzerland, in the Supply Chain division of a clothing multinational. I am the husband of an incredible wife and father of 1 crazy kid and ½…  I’ll keep you posted when the second ½ arrives…