30 January 2020 Share

Digital learning FLEXA

How Microsoft AI Is Transforming This MBA Program

Source: | Author: Emmy Hawker

Microsoft AI learning platform FLEXA helps students at Italy’s MIP personalize their MBA experience. We spoke to an MIP MBA student to find out more


The traditional MBA program sees students go through a core curriculum covering finance, marketing, and accounting, and then choose from a wide variety of electives. But it’s difficult for students to know where their weaknesses are and what courses might best support their career goals. After the MBA, it’s tricky for alumni to keep their knowledge up to date.

Not so at MIP Politecnico di Milano, where a new artificial intelligence learning platform, created with Microsoft, is enabling a more personalized learning experience for both MBA students and alums.

FLEXA, described by the university as a ‘continuous-learning platform’, uses Microsoft AI technology to categorize content appropriately for every individual student, based on data sourced from a series of online tests.

Say you took the tests and identified one of your weakest areas of knowledge as finance. FLEXA will then filter through all the available content approved by MIP and provide you with the best resources available to strengthen your knowledge in this area.

What’s more, MIP MBA alumni are allowed continued access to FLEXA, which means they can log back in months down the line and receive up to date knowledge in a range of topic areas.

An innovative MBA

Colombian native and experienced architect Juan Pablo Fierro chose MIP for its reputation for innovation.

He’s studying an MBA to gain the business know-how to merge his creativity as an architect and surveyor with a business mindset capable of creating his own venture. Using FLEXA at MIP, he says the course content is more personalized to his specific needs.

Even before the MBA started, Juan says students benefited from MIP’s tech-savvy approach. They were onboarded through a series of short explanatory videos; one for every MBA topic. It’s up to the student how much of this content they watch, how many times they go through it, or when they decide to watch them.

“When you go through those videos you get an overview of everything you will learn,” Juan explains. “By the time we all meet for classes in Milan––even if your background isn’t in finance or design or leadership––we all had the same basic knowledge to build on.”

AI on the MBA curriculum

The rise of digital technologies like artificial intelligence and FLEXA is not only changing the MBA experience, but also affecting what MBA students learn.

Two out of the four specializations on offer concern business digitization. Students can choose to study Entrepreneurship & Innovation or Digital Transformation & Big Data alongside more traditional MBA modules.

MIP encourages a balance of hard and soft skills when learning about technology, with an emphasis on experiential learning. Students get to experience an intensive one-week study tour in the Silicon Valley, which is designed to expose students to its ecosystem and deepen their understanding of entrepreneurship and cutting-edge topics.

The MBA itself is designed around four key elements: An analytical approach to problem solving, innovation & futuristic technology, a balance of hard and soft skills, and close collaboration with companies.

Students sign on for projects with one of MIP’s partner companies for three-months of essential full-time, hands-on experience in industry. For the digitally savvy students, the university has close partnerships with tech companies like IBM, Microsoft, and TeamSystem. Having the opportunity to work with companies like these can be the chance students need to launch a career in technology.

One of the most important things I have learned at MIP so far is that the things we originally learn can change very quickly, because innovation is always happening,” Juan says.



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