FLEX EMBA: the experience of a lifetime

It was 2014 when MIP launched the 1st Executive MBA in distance learning. Six years ago, it was a gamble. Today, it proved to have been forward-looking, indeed.

The pandemic forced a radical change in our habits, boosting digital revolution. Our workplaces moved to our homes, forcing us to juggle between work and family. We learnt to connect with people wherever they are, collaborating in new ways. Learning went digital, too.
Yet, adapting a course to be digitally delivered is not the same as designing it as “digital-native”, just as Vito Conversano, i-Flex student, explains:

“The inherent concept of the i-Flex program conceived a learning path which would already be online, hence there has been minimal impact following the restrictions and changes imposed by the critical situation. The teaching combines tools, documents and videos which can be followed remotely in your own time…”.

As our student suggests, it’s flexibility one of the main assets of our digitally delivered MBAs. The chance of studying wherever you are, whenever suits you best, gives to students the freedom to choose the program they prefer. This means having the opportunity to study at the Business School of Politecnico di Milano, one of the most outstanding technical universities in the world, without worrying about moving miles away from your family.
Moreover, this learning path is specifically designed to meet the erratic schedules of professionals, who may find it difficult to combine work and family commitments with an on-campus program.

All this is possible thanks to a state-of-the-art platform, which gives to our students the chance to attend classes and extracurricular activities just like if they were physically at MIP. Social media like WhatsApp, Facebook and Teams allow students to build relationships, to share experiences and interests and to create a real sense of belonging.
Indeed, classes may be digital, but the connections students build are real, just as highlights Elivar Golemi, i-Flex Alumna:

In general, there is prejudice toward online studying, based on the fact that learning isn’t just an intellectual activity, but a social one. […] That was my concern too, when I first decided to register for an international online EMBA program.
But as this challenging and important journey reaches its end, I no longer have any doubts about the choice I made almost two years ago. The social interaction aspect of the “online learning” process is not lacking at all, but of course it has changed form, through the use of digital platforms, just as the concepts of learning and knowledge have significantly changed lately […] it is obvious that there is an evolving shift from teaching to learning, which means more active participation in the gaining and sharing of knowledge among the participants of a learning community.

As our Alumna reports, the Flex format revolutionized not only the students’ experience, but also the professors’ way of teaching! Our faculty is specifically trained to conduct effective and engaging lectures in distance learning, to boost online discussion and to manage case study discussion in small virtual groups.

This – and much more – makes our Flex EMBA and International Flex EMBA top performer! Flex EMBAs has been the first courses in Italy to receive the EFMD EOOCS certification for online programmes of excellence; moreover, it is the only Italian distance learning programme to be included among the ten best in the world by the Financial Times.

Rankings and awards are important, but our students’ opinions are even more. Thus, when our Alumnus Ammar Akhtar described the International Flex EMBA as “the experience of a lifetime”, he made us prouder than ever.

Flexibility, skills, artificial intelligence: Logol’s challenges were born at MIP

Marco Farina, 2015 Flex EMBA alumnus, tells about the establishment of Logol and what he learned from his participation in the master’s programme. Starting from the ability to work remotely, using new technologies

Why is technology, often, surrounded by a negative sentiment? And why isn’t its potential completely embraced? These are the questions from which Marco Farina, 2015 Flex EMBA alumnus of MIP Politecnico di Milano, started to set up Logol, a Swiss company that since 2017 has been active in the field of artificial intelligence. «My idea», explains Farina, «is that too often digital transformation services are managed in an improvised fashion. The objective was and remains that to bring real skills within companies, skills that can translate into a real value added for business. And in this process artificial intelligence now plays a fundamental role».

Logol’s operational pillars

There are four pillars on which Logol’s business model is based, says Farina: «We are first of all advisors. Our main goal is to support companies in their approach to AI». The second pilaster, instead, is tied to the idea for which Logol was born:  «We were established as a company without a physical office. Smart working is part of our mentality, and it’s this same attitude that we want to bring to the companies that turn to us. This process mainly involves the migration of server infrastructure to the cloud. In the transfer of this sensitive data, data security is fundamental, and AI helps to increase the level of security».

The third pilaster involves business applications. «Today companies must be lean, if they want to be competitive. Today’s gold is data, so the planning of an information system must be carried out using modern applications that allow you to have a holistic vision of the company».

The last pilaster involves pure AI. «After having rationalized the company’s technologies and processes, we apply artificial intelligence to the reference technology, whether it’s a chatbot, the optimization of warehouse stock or customer engagement in ecommerce».

Logol makes flexibility one of its strengths and works with both medium-small and large companies: «In the world of small and medium businesses we position ourselves as the sole interlocutors, because we step in to totally redesign their technological approach», explains Farina. «In our relations with larger companies, with which we don’t have an exclusive relationship, we express our expertise in more specific areas».

The Flex EMBA experience: a rehearsal for flexibility

Before setting up such an innovative company, Marco Farina attended the Flex EMBA programme. An experience that proved useful to him from different points of view: «First of all, I felt the need to strengthen my skills. I had already studied computer engineering at the Politecnico, but I still needed to acquire the expertise necessary to understand the management of business processes». The master’s also allowed Farina to forge important relationships with his colleagues: «The relationship with them was fantastic, and still is, seeing that we are still in touch. Uniting us, now and then, was the desire to challenge ourselves with the goal of improving. The possibility of interacting with people with very different educational and training backgrounds, thus adopting always new points of view, represented a real value added». The FLEXA format fit well with his needs in that particular moment of his career: «It was a decidedly demanding moment, flexibility was fundamental». A flexibility that represented an important testing ground, on which to develop those smart working methods on which Logol would be built: «For two years we got used to interacting as if we were in front of each other. This is fundamental: these are practices that we, as entrepreneurs and managers, must pass on to our collaborators. The workers of the future will be people who interact in this way».