86 candidates from 24 different countries have just begun the digital journey of MIP’s International Flex EMBA

The new edition of our International Flex EMBA has just begun with a large number of participants from all over the world, each ready to live an unforgettable distance learning experience.

Dozens of candidates, connected from 26 different countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, officially started the MIP’s distance-learning Executive MBA on Friday, 6 November, providing tangible proof of the unstoppable nature of training!

Our Business School has set up a class made up on average of professionals aged between 30 and 40, primarily with an educational background in engineering and economics and over 10 years of experience chiefly in the fields of Information Technology and Construction, in their various capacities as Project, Sales or General Managers.

This success goes to show that plenty of professionals continue to be driven by the desire to improve, to refine their managerial skills and above all, to look to the future with positivity and far-sightedness. But it is also shows the perseverance with which MIP Politecnico di Milano intends to exploit the potential of digital learning to pursue its goal of training innovators capable of leveraging digital technologies to drive economic and social development. This commitment has helped us scale major global rankings, coming in 5th in the QS Online MBA Ranking 2020 and 9th in the Financial Times Online MBA Ranking 2020.

Our School is delighted with the diversity of this year’s EMBA, its international reach and the varied backgrounds of its participants, all of which will undoubtedly enrich the participants’ cultural and personal baggage. At the Master’s opening ceremony, the students themselves commented profusely on the class’s “incredible blend of skills and experiences” and on its “representation of the entire business world”, also in geographical terms.

Congratulations to everyone involved for deciding to invest in training!

And congratulations to the hundreds of young graduates and professionals who, since September, have chosen MIP for their professional and human growth.

KeepONLearning: the pandemic couldn’t stop us!

KeepONLearning is reaching an end. Four months after it was launched at MIP Politecnico di Milano, the initiative devoted to continuous learning and directed at its stakeholders arrives at its natural conclusion, making way, in September, for the safe reopening of the campus. From March to July, KeepONLearning offered an uninterrupted flow of course content and in-depth study material to a vast community of students, businesses, teachers and partners, engaging top managers and professionals of the highest level on the international scene. This meant that not only were students able to continue on the courses on which they were enrolled, but that even businesses and partners had access to a range of material that, among other things, had the objective of providing tools useful for tackling the Covid-19 emergency.

Before launching KeepONLearning, in the last week in February, MIP began by moving all education online, in order to ensure the delivery of courses without interruption: not an easy feat, but made possible in part by the fact that MIP has already for years been focusing attention on digital learning.

Two weeks later, on 18 March, we launched KeepONLearning, in part thanks to the staff at MIP, who worked with enthusiasm and conviction towards the success of the initiative. Thus, a range of content was added to the MIP website and made available to our stakeholders: articles, webinars, online courses, talks with teachers and managers, operational tools, in-depth study material. A wide variety of information covering important subjects, such as smart working, the impact of Covid-19 on businesses and supply chains, the help that artificial intelligence can provide, the management of digital innovation during the emergency, even in a crucial sector, such as health, and much more besides that, with participation by multinationals, such as Microsoft, Lamborghini and Pirelli, and leading international figures, such as Carlo Cottarelli.

More than 90 live webinars organized recorded very high attendance, with over 20,000 participants. Thanks to KeepONLearning, the MIP website saw visits increase by over 60% compared to the same period in the previous year. These numbers reflect, on the one hand, MIP’s commitment to its mission of sharing knowledge to the benefit of its stakeholders and, on the other hand, the great need for up-to-date expertise in a very rapidly evolving global horizon.

The university is set to reopen in September, when MIP will once again welcome in its lecture halls and on campus, in complete safety, people from all over the world, ready to exchange innovative ideas and points of view. This time, the motto will be “Nice to MIP You”. This reopening will also carry with it the wealth of knowledge and discoveries gathered in these past months precisely thanks to KeepONLearning.



Business Schools Face Unprecedented Challenges Amid Covid

With travel suspended, schools are moving classes online and enrolling fewer overseas students.

Business schools around the world face unprecedented challenges caused by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
They are bracing for a long-term economic hit from the risk that fewer international students, who often pay higher fees, will not be able to enroll at their institutions due to travel curbs imposed to stop the spread of the virus.
With campuses closed across the globe, many business schools have moved teaching online.


Moving online

The coronavirus crisis is quickening uptake of online learning after years of lackluster demand. Many schools have migrated their classes online — a welcome intervention for students displaced due to travel restrictions. […]
MIP Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business in Milan, which has been in lockdown for several weeks, has suspended all in-person teaching. Instead, MIP is using Flexa, an AI learning platform originally designed as a career coach, to circulate study material to students around the world.
“This at first seemed like a hard obstacle to overcome, but instead we now see it to be an opportunity” says Federico Frattini, dean at MIP.
This could be an inflection point in the development of digital delivery that could increase uptake and spark innovation. “Online learning is a flexible and inclusive approach to teaching, with huge potential applications beyond a situation of emergency,” says Frattini.
The question is whether the online platforms and networks can cope with high usage. Some faculty have been resistant to digital delivery.
Early adopters, like MIP, were prepared for the switch to virtual teaching, but there is a difference between a well-designed online course and a Zoom video conference.



Reorganization of teaching: the word to the faculty

The recent situation has also determined a change in the planning for MIP courses: all lessons were moved online. Four professors share their impressions

Classes at MIP stopped only for one day. Then the timely reorganization of the teaching schedule guaranteed the normal continuation of lessons, although in the online version for classes initially set to take place in the classroom. Particularly appreciated was the professionalism and efficiency demonstrated by the school, as well as its respect for students and professors, showing an understanding of the inconvenience the suspension of courses would have entailed.
«Lessons were moved online to maintain educational continuity and avoid the loss of contents or eventual postponements in the attainment of diplomas, with the goal to guarantee the same qualitative standards » says Antonella Moretto, Associate Dean for Open Programs at MIP. «Six years of digital experience allowed our faculty to adapt rapidly to the need to transfer all lessons online, or to redesign them to not limit opportunities for interaction with students. A teaching mode that has proved effective precisely because of its ability to stimulate and involve the classroom, sometimes superior to that you are able to accomplish in face-to-face lessons. Thanks also to professors who have shown they are ready and responsive to change».

Teaching goes online and doesn’t stop being interactive

Filippo Satolli experimented with this “unprecedented” method with a lesson on Mobile Marketing, part of the International Master in Marketing Management, Omnichannel and Consumer Analytics programme, which included three hours of theory and three devoted to the implementation and discussion of different project works on the part of the students. A classroom of 28 students «that gave me a lot of satisfaction, because despite the absence of empathy characteristic of classroom lessons the students participated and showed they were engaged» he says.

If breaking the ice was one of the most delicate moments, succeeding in finding a way to maintain the students’ attention has amply repaid efforts. Convinced of this is Paola Bellis, who moderated two online lessons of Project Management, both theoretical and practical, within the Master in Business Analytics and Big Data programme: «Despite a bit of initial difficulty, I think the interaction through the screen in some cases put students at ease». A sensation confirmed by Daniel Trabucchi, also involved in the Project Management course: «Once they gained confidence with this tool, the possibility of writing in addition to interacting verbally, helped to break down the barrier of shyness and the fear of having to speak up in the classroom by taking the microphone in hand. What also struck me was the atmosphere of support among students who started to interact, immediately putting a “like” on their respective observations».

After theory, practice. And the mission can be considered accomplished

When it helped them prepare for the lesson, students were divided into work groups to carry out project work. Through a special platform, they were thus put into different virtual rooms in which they could debate and discuss the project.
All the professors agree on one thing: teamwork was the most complicated part to manage, both for them and for the students. «It was difficult, but not impossible, to complete the project on time given the difficulty of coordinating at a distance. Indeed, the students did brilliantly» says Filippo Satolli. «In the end, the practical part also worked well, and the mission can be considered accomplished» confirms Paola Bellis. «It’s an experience I would repeat because it was very formative, both for us and for students».

«I’m used to holding lessons in the digital mode, but in this case, I was dealing with students accustomed to the classic classroom lessons who hadn’t chosen online learning» says Daniel Trabucchi. «For them it was the first time and they reacted in the best of fashions, because they’ve been able to offer me a lot of food for thought. The feedback I received allowed me to rethink the lessons in a way I believe, and hope, can be even more engaging and enjoyable».

Coronavirus and online learning: the word to our students

Davide, Massimiliano and Sergey tell about their experience with lessons via web, which are currently substituting those previously scheduled for the classroom: «A positive solution, that allowed us to also take part in complex activities like group work»

The Coronavirus has had an impact not only on productive activities and commercial establishments, but as we know also led to a temporary suspension of educational activities, including of course those of MIP. That which at first seemed like a hard to overcome obstacle, instead turned out to be an opportunity, highlighting the school’s great responsiveness and its digital DNA: indeed, numerous lessons nonetheless took place (and are taking place) regularly online. Not only those originally slated to be held via web but also many of those that were set to be held in the classroom, so as to guarantee as much as possible the continuation of activity, limiting the inconvenience for students.

Theory and practice: the lesson is via web

Davide is enrolled in the Master in Supply Chain Management programme: on Tuesday, 25 February his agenda included a classroom lesson on the negotiation of contracts with Professor Ronchi. A lesson that was also to have included group work with other 25 students, in which negotiations were to be simulated. The day before – Monday, 24 February – an e-mail informed him that the lesson (which he thought was cancelled) would be held all the same, but in a digital mode: the e-mail had a link to a virtual meeting room on the digital platform.
«It’s a tool that we were already familiar with –says Davide – and which can also be accessed via smartphone or tablet, and this made everything easy. The teaching part went smoothly, we followed the slides prepared by the professor as if we were in the classroom. Once it was time for group work, other private meeting rooms were opened to discuss – by voice or on chat – with colleagues in the same group and with other groups separately, to then all be joined up again at the end of the lesson for the debriefing». A successful experience, then? «Everything was organized very quickly, for this we must thank the course leaders. There were no particular problems with the professor’s lesson, it was like being in the classroom; it was stranger to carry out group work over a device, but we quickly got used to it and, even if all the dynamics you experience in person can’t be replicated via web, the experience was positive, especially because it allowed us to not lose the lesson».

Students also meet online

Massimiliano, enrolled in the Master in Energy Management programme, also had a similar experience. Also in his case – and with the same timing – starting from Tuesday, 25 February, different lessons were moved online: «Normal teaching, but also external testimonials from professionals in the sector who shared their experience. I must say that in the beginning I was a bit sceptical on the effectiveness of this method, but I quickly changed my mind: a microphone was sufficient to speak with the professor and participate actively in the discussion. Considering the rapidity with which the school had to implement this system, it proved to be a very valid solution».
In Massimiliano’s case, then, the stop to lessons could have led to a further complication: in those very days, his course had foreseen the delivery of a group project on energy efficiency. «We had to analyse the energy situation of a company starting from its audit, map out measures and propose new ones, obviously considering economic aspects. In short, a very complex assignment. Thanks to this method, each group managed to complete the work in time for the deadline».

For Sergey, a student from Russia, the emergency could have caused even more serious problems. Indeed, Sergey came to Milan the day before the cancellation of lessons, to attend an MBA Bootcamp on Global Management; news of the measure reached him as just as he arrived in our city. «For me the timing was really bad. However, if the Bootcamp had simply been cancelled, it would have been much worse, with all the time and effort put into participating. It’s truly fantastic that MIP gave us the possibility of studying online. Of course I was very sorry to not be able to meet the students from the other countries in person, but current technologies give us the opportunity to respect the schedule and follow education programmes even in the event of an emergency: I had to follow the lessons via smartphone – I didn’t bring my laptop with me to Milan – but I appreciated them a lot. Moreover, the events of the following day showed that it was a responsible decision, that had to be taken».

Coronavirus: teaching moves online

MIP is ensuring that lessons run smoothly and responding to the emergency by moving teaching activities online. “We are further extending our experience in digital learning for the benefit of our students, to reduce inconvenience”, explain President Vittorio Chiesa and Dean Federico Frattini

The evolution of the situation linked to the Coronavirus in Lombardy has led to the adoption of some precautionary measures to contain the contagion, including the postponement of a week of university activities in the region, which obviously includes the Politecnico di Milano. “We have, of course, complied with the provisions which have been introduced, but are trying as far as possible to meet the students’ needs by ensuring the continuation of their education and avoiding any inconvenience“, said President Vittorio Chiesa, “First of all, MIP decided to confirm the remote lessons which had been scheduled to take place online from the start and, secondly, where possible, to use the same teaching method for those activities that had originally been planned to take place face-to-face.”

Activities move online

From 25th to 29th February, therefore, individual assessments and activities planned at outside companies were suspended. “I would urge students, however, not to cancel all the other lessons from their agendas. As participants in our courses know, a substantial part of MIP’s training has always taken place online on the D-Hub platform, which works in tandem with FLEXA, our personalised and continuous learning platform. Many of our courses, therefore, will be delivered online, even those initially planned using another methodology“, says Dean Federico Frattini. Then again, Frattini explains, “at MIP we have always been strong supporters of digital learning, and in recent years we have gained a great deal of experience in this area. In such a situation, we want to continue to offer our students a service with a high standard of quality, as we wait for the resumption of the regular running of the lessons.”

Our goal is to limit disruption

MIP’s focus on the potential of digital learning in recent years had, of course, been generated by completely different types of appraisals: “We wanted to respond to the need for greater flexibility and personalisation, also in order to meet the needs of our students, both in terms of their work and their family commitments. And all this can be done without renouncing the effectiveness of the education we offer. We have worked hard for all these years so that our students are guaranteed high standards; we now feel a duty to use this know-how to continue to provide education and minimise the inconvenience caused by these extraordinary measures,” Frattini continues. Moreover, the Rector of the Politecnico, Ferruccio Resta, in his communiqué to students and colleagues on 27 February, announced the decision to start the semester via remote learning.

Temporary precautions

The School immediately adopted precautionary measures in line with the provisions of the Ordinance signed by the Minister of Health and the President of the Lombardy Region and in staying in line with the approach of the Politecnico.
It is also monitoring the evolution of the situation through the official bodies, in order to guarantee its students and their families safety and peace of mind, both with regard to their stay in Italy and the smooth running of the teaching activities.
Should the situation return to normal and indications by the health units and territorial authorities lead to the suspension of these measures, lessons and activities will once again be carried out in the usual manner. However, MIP is also leaving open another possibility: “Anyone who so wishes, in the face of specific needs, will be able to continue to enjoy the content via distance-learning” concludes Frattini.

How Microsoft AI Is Transforming This MBA Program

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.



Originally published on


Blurred Lines: Hybrid Online and Campus MBA Courses Come of Age

Business schools are moving towards a new paradigm, where the physical dimension is not alternative to the digital one; they are integrated

The boundary between online and on campus MBA programs is blurring, says Riccardo Mangiaracina, director of the International Flex Executive MBA at MIP Politecnico di Milano. “We’re moving towards a ‘phygital’ paradigm, where the physical dimension is not alternative to the digital one, but they are integrated,” he says.

Students on the school’s Full-time MBA are not limited to the campus in Milan: they can study in the cloud. “To guarantee the maximum possible flexibility, for the first three terms candidates can decide where and how to follow every lesson,” says Mangiaracina, whether online, in-person or anything in-between. They can tune into lessons on campus digitally via video link and also meet faculty in the flesh for tutoring.

Time-poor managers are less willing to forgot earnings and put their career progress on pause for two years to get a traditional campus MBA. This has prompted an increasing number of business schools to change their offer, with Online MBA degrees proliferating. Between 2013 and 2018 there was a 69 percent surge in the number of schools offering Online MBAs accredited by AACSB.

Meanwhile, demand for the Full-time MBA is waning. Global demand has been down for the past two years, according to exam administrator GMAC, and especially in the US where even some of the elite schools are reporting double-digit application declines. Some have taken to shutting their programs, like Iowa’s Tippie College of Business: between 2014 and 2018 the number of AACSB accredited institutions in the US fell 9 percent.

A move to ‘hybrid’ MBA programs

Online and in-class were previously two distinct markets but this distinction is increasingly being eroded. Many top business schools run ‘hybrid’ MBA programs that blend both digital and physical study, giving students the best of both worlds. These include courses at Babson College and Durham University Business School

The future of the MBA will be a combination of both online and offline to bring a truly immersive experience to students,” says Pietro Micheli, director of the distance learning MBA at Warwick Business School in the UK. “Putting lectures on video means more time can be given to discussion and seminars where ideas and theories are analyzed more.

The blurring of these boundaries means schools will continue to innovate, which benefits students handsomely. Warwick has two film studios that develop online business games where students can simulate what happens when they make strategic management decisions, for example. The school is also trialling a virtual reality experience that brings learning to life.

This improves students’ interpersonal skills and leadership qualities that are needed to motivate and work within a team,” says Micheli.

At the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, the Hybrid MBA uses the same professors, career services and leadership training as the full-time version, and students can transfer between the two courses.

Students don’t want to compromise just because they are going to school online,” says Cindy McCauley, executive director of online masters programs. “As such, schools are going to have to adjust to meet rising expectations of students looking for more than just a way to check the MBA box.

In particular, schools’ career service will need to adapt to take into account the different job prospects between online and full-time students. The latter students typically quit their jobs to do the MBA, so are more likely to make a career switch than the former. Online students, on the other hand, generally choose to stay in their job and are more likely to want to progress in that role.

As a result, our Online MBA program career counselling involves a career coach working one-on-one with students,” says Patricia Mills, vice dean of online courses at USC Marshall School of Business. The career service for the full-time program tries to provide more opportunities to connect students with prospective employers on campus for interviews and career fairs.

It is a similar story at Warwick, where Micheli adds: “The average salary increase for distance learning MBA graduates was 34 percent three years after graduation. But they are later into their careers and typically in senior management role so the jump in earnings is never as big as the full-time MBAs, whose increase is 94 percent.

Online vs. in-class: how to decide on an MBA?

How can students decide which degree format to take? Micheli says Online MBAs allow people to connect with other students from all over the world to understand different cultures and make business contacts they would never otherwise have.

A full-time MBA on the other hand allows people to step out of their hectic work life, learn skills and knowledge across every aspect of an organization and give them breathing space to ponder their next career move.

Mills at USC Marshall says that ultimately, a high-quality MBA equips professionals with the business knowledge needed to succeed in today’s world, regardless of the mode of study.

Whether those courses are taken online or on campus, part-time or full-time, the student is likely studying the same concepts and completing similar assignments,” she says.

Schools are finding ways to reach different students with different needs.”

The trend is ultimately good news for students, says DR Widder, vice president of innovation at Babson College.

Overall this clash is good for students, as it puts pressure on schools to make available more of the benefits of each type of program to all students.

Students want more flexibility. This challenges schools to make program elements and courses from one program accessible to others, creating many internal challenges but in the end, serving students better.

Read the original article on FINDMBA



D HUB, the new MIP digital learning platform, is out! This new tool has been designed to offer a more inclusive learning experience to our students and it sets a new milestone in the digitalization path of the School.

Professor Federico Frattini, Associate Dean of Digital Transformation at MIP, explains: “We noticed a growing need for flexibility. People look for post-graduate, highly personalised courses, grounded in the real world and compatible with work and family commitments. Because of this major change, students are keener to enrol in programs combining on campus activities and digital learning, or even in full digital courses.

This change did not catch the School unprepared. Indeed, the launch of Flex EMBA, MIP first digitally delivered Executive MBA, dates back to 2014. The first step towards a digital and limitless education experience was done.

Thanks to an innovative digital learning platform, students have the chance to attend classes wherever they are, whenever they like.

Since then, our interest in digital has skyrocketed, becoming an important part of most of our programs, including Specialising Masters or Full Time MBA, traditionally held on campus. Students can now benefit from a complete Digital Experience.

Because of this evolution, a new and state-of-the-art platform was needed. Here it comes D-HUB.
A new design guides students in their studies, recording automatically the user’s progress. An up-to-date library of asynchronous clips offers the chance to students to choose the language of the videos between English and Italian and to show subtitles.

More functions are available, like personalized notifications, a class-chat and the highlight of courses that are propaedeutic to the next live session.

At the beginning of 2020, a new app will offer to our students a more complete learning experience.