“From know HOW to know WHERE”.

With these brief words, Federico Frattini, Dean of the MIP Business School of the Politecnico di Milano, described the FLEXA project, a personalised and continuous learning platform based on Artificial Intelligence mechanisms developed over the last 4 years by a team of over 20 people. The project is rightly considered to be one of the most innovative and successful experiments in making training a virtuous habit to which we devote time every day.

Federico spoke about it with emotion and pride in a recent interview with Sole24Ore, in which MIP announced the decision to open FLEXA free of charge to private users who want to embark on a personal reskilling journey.

But where did this project come from, and what role does OfCourseMe play in FLEXA?

It all goes back to the spring of 2018, when OfCourseMe and the FLEXA Team first met to share their vision of how it was necessary to build lifelong learning journeys by leveraging the wealth of open access training content on the web.

In the last 15 years, we have seen an exponential growth in the number of sources and formats for personalised and continuous learning,” recalled Frattini, “but no one had yet tackled the problem of organising this abundance and making it usable in a guided way for people, starting from an analysis of their own skills. We saw an opportunity to bridge this gap with FLEXA and we met with OfCourseMe at the right time.

In fact, FLEXA was created with the aim of helping users to gain an overview of any gaps in their knowledge and to construct learning itineraries, translating the academic experience of MIP into a product. However, one of the challenges it faces is organising the content. It’s just like a teacher who has to steer a student through a very well-stocked yet very diverse and extensive library.

This is where OfCourseMe comes in: developed as a search engine that organises and standardises tens of thousands of items of online training content, OfCourseMe immediately proved to be a valuable partner for the FLEXA team. Using OfCourseMe’s API, FLEXA was able to outsource a powerful search engine that aggregates and classifies over 500,000 titles, in over 20 languages and a variety of formats.

OfCourseMe has provided us with features that we would have struggled to develop and maintain independently. In addition, OfCourseMe continues to add new sources every month, and we can always leverage the freshest content from the Web to offer personalised recommendations to users of our product, all on a fully automated basis,” says Frattini.

So what are the next steps?

To date, FLEXA has welcomed more than 3,000 users: mainly Alumni or students of the MIP Masters courses. The idea is that, soon, FLEXA will be extended beyond the perimeter in which the initiative was established.

From the very first exchange of ideas on this matter, the strategic alignment between the FLEXA team and us was clear,” concluded Davide Conforti, CEO of OfCourseMe. “The ambition now is to work together to make personalised and continuous learning in the company a virtuous routine, in a context where upskilling and reskilling have become categorical imperatives.

FLEXA and OfCourseMe boast an absolutely excellent solution ranging from assessments to training content recommendations, on-demand curation and indexing of proprietary content… Basically everything you need to be ready for the future.

FLEXA, the “digital mentor” of MIP Politecnico di Milano and developed in collaboration with Microsoft, is now accessible to everyone free of charge

The ongoing and customised training platform has been operational since last year and has been recognised as one of the most innovative projects in the world.

MIP Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business announces that it has made FLEXA the ongoing and customised training platform created in collaboration with Microsoft and BlueIT, accessible to everyone free of charge. FLEXA also promotes networking between students, alumni and companies, to which it provides support in recruiting campaigns through the use of artificial intelligence algorithms that facilitate the matching of job supply and demand.

The project, which has already been recognised by the international association AMBA – which certifies the best MBA programmes of business schools around the world – as one of the most innovative promoted by a business school, has been running for just over a year and has so far been aimed exclusively at business school students and alumni.

FLEXA is based on the Azure cloud platform and Microsoft’s artificial intelligence and analytics capabilities. It acts as a digital mentor with access to an ecosystem of some 800,000 pieces of content, including self-guided digital courses, webinars, podcasts, articles and case studies, some of which remain restricted to MIP students and alumni. The platform creates and suggests customised training paths for each user, starting with an assessment phase that evaluates the skills gaps to be filled in order to achieve professional goals. The method of use is based on a “smart” approach, i.e. it can be adapted to the time available to each individual for professional development.

Federico Frattini, Dean of MIP Politecnico di Milano: After one year, we have managed to meet the learning and lifelong learning needs of an increasing number of students and alumni of our school by using FLEXA. We now aim to contribute to the development and updating of the skills of anyone who wants to get involved and continuously develop their professional skills over time, by opening FLEXA free of charge to anyone interested in using it.  We strongly believe that there is a need for a very broad re-skilling process in our country and beyond, to ensure that managers, entrepreneurs and professionals stay up-to-date and develop their skills through an effective and rigorous tool such as FLEXA. This is why we have decided to make our platform available to anyone interested, free of charge”.

How to use a “digital mentor” to avoid the dunning-kruger effect

I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” (Albert Einstein)

Curiosity is one of the main leverages for continuous improvement. However, it is not enough if you don’t have someone to guide you along a growth path. With this goal in mind, MIP Politecnico di Milano developed FLEXA, the online platform created with Microsoft and aiming to be a digital mentor for current MIP students and alumni, in order to create a path of professional growth that is as flexible as possible.

Thanks to the work of Artificial Intelligence, FLEXA offers:

  • A hard skills self-evaluation
  • A soft skills assessment
  • A digital skills assessment
  • The possibility to insert your career goals
  • The chance to define the daily/weekly amount of time you want to dedicate to your improvement.

The user starts by defining the areas in which he/she wants to grow. After an evaluation, the platform allows the user to identify the gaps and the content necessary to be able to fill them.

Another important component is the time that the user has available for his/her training (“time is money”, they say). The content provided and the growth plan, in fact, consider the weekly hours that can be dedicated to studying and the period within which you want to obtain results.

With only these two pieces of information, FLEXA will provide you with plenty of materials, webinars, articles, events and videos from which you can choose to boost your knowledge.

Let’s talk about the self-evaluation. Is it truly easy to do? Apparently yes, but it’s not.

It takes time to properly evaluate your own level of knowledge. If you do it in a superficial way, you risk either overestimating or underestimating yourself, falling into the Dunning-Kruger effect.

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool”, wrote Shakespeare in As You Like It. And that’s the essence of the Dunning-Kruger effect, according to which those individuals who are least capable in a particular area of knowledge are most likely to overestimate their capability.

Only with experience can you properly get to understand which is your true level of competence.

The Dunning-Kruger effect makes you understand how important it is to fully comprehend your strengths and, above all, your weaknesses. Yes, because you must work hard on these weaknesses to improve yourself and to become an all-round professional.

Aristotle, one of the most famous philosophers in history, was convinced that “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”. And the “beginning of all wisdom” can’t be that easy, can it?

Starting to do a good evaluation of yourself and your competences is the first step towards setting the best path for career growth. So, before beginning FLEXA’s skill assessment, try to focus on yourself. With a digital tutor it is even easier to be honest and admit your weaknesses.

This test will also be a good chance to focus on the main skills you’d like to improve and on the aspirations you have in the long term.

 In the Hard Skills section, you’re encouraged to reflect on yourself and the technical skills you have acquired to date. Through a self-assessment, you will be asked to define your level of knowledge of each of the complex skills that, based on the benchmarking, are generally required to operate within the functional area of ​​your choice.

The Soft and Digital skills sections are a little different and are evaluated through a bunch of multiple-choice questions.

At the end of the set of assessments you will be offered feedback, based on which you will be given a guide for the development of the level of your skills. The top critical skills to be developed for each set of skills (hard, soft and digital) will be highlighted as follows:

during the time, FLEXA will show your progress in each of the three fields of skills. From my point of view this is really helpful, and quite motivating. Having continuous feedback on how much you have improved and the great results you have achieved can be a huge incentive to keep on learning.

So, in order to stay curious, as Einstein said, why not give it a try and start your FLEXA Journey? Go to https://www.flexa.polimi.it/en/ and log in with your MIP email. For any questions or need of support, you can contact the FLEXA Support team by writing to flexasupport@mip.polimi.it.


About the author
Marco Di Salvio

Student of the International Part Time MBA at MIP Politecnico di Milano.
Industrial Engineer currently working @ Gucci as WW Supply & Demand Planner, based in Florence.
Tech passionate, Cinema-lover, Sports addicted.
Solving the world’s problems one spreadsheet at a time.


Becoming the leader of my career: a tough path to the goal

Closeup shot of two businesspeople shaking hands in an office

Three pillars of training at MIP are high-level courses, a strong community to rely on and the mandate to be the leaders of our careers.

As we want to lead the development of our working life, we need to train to recognise, build and exploit the opportunities to achieve our goals: MIP has structured its Career Development Center to train Part-time MBA candidates, the students’ community at large and alumni in planning and executing their strategy to succeed. The program proposed for this training foresees different tools and opportunities in order to develop career-leading skills.

FLEXA is the main tool available to improve skill-awareness: I introduced myself to my digital mentor, describing the functional area and the industry of interest and then, through a structured test, I was given a deep insight into my skills. The FLEXA platform gave me a score on hard, soft and digital skills, highlighting my weaknesses and suggesting articles, courses and other training to fill in the gaps: my path of continuous learning keeps on daily to reinforce my skills and provide endless training. Along with FLEXA, other platforms help us to be aware of the power of our resume (like VMock) or the state of job opportunities (like JobTeaser).

Career Workshops are two-hour webinars held by experienced consultants and headhunters: before taking those courses, I was acting more out of enthusiasm or a feeling of discomfort, but then I learned how to effectively define my professional goals in order to make them specific, achievable and timely. I felt like an alchemist: motivation was the fire to ignite the reaction, my skills, competences and passions the ingredients, opportunities and constraints the alembic through which to distil my goals. The workshop trainers also gave me hints and suggestions as to how to structure my career goals into a road map of intermediate targets, learning how to analyse and recognise the best fit between my goals and the needs of the market.

Finally, I can’t wait to have my one-to-one consultancy meeting: the Career Development Center experts will be available to understand my goals, discuss my plan and help me to evaluate any possible improvements. As I was starting from a very foggy condition, I’m forcing myself to do a great job on my own before this meeting, in order to be able to exploit the consultants’ experience in the best way possible.

This tough path to define my goals and the targets for achieving them will enable me to take advantage of the great networking opportunities offered by MIP. Meetings with HR and headhunters, orienteering sessions and networking with colleagues and alumni are the best testing ground for refining my plan and my storytelling and ̶ why not? ̶ to lay down the basis for future opportunities.


About the author
Fabrizio Liponi

My name is Fabrizio and I work as a tunnel engineer in the construction of Underground Line 4 of Milan. Born, raised, studied, living and working in Milan: I love my city and I’m proud to take part in building its future. Travel addicted, I love to meet people and different cultures.

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.



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.

FLEXA: how knowledge is amplified by AI – an MBA candidate’s perspective

From Udemy to Coursera, from Google Garage to Linkedin Learning, the importance of online platforms offering courses and training to students and practitioners has turned into a relevant and profitable business in recent years. Building upon a capital theme, the need for lifelong and up-to-date learning, the flourishing of digital platforms all around the web has emphasized the need in both academia and the job market to master the most relevant trends in a field, to go in-depth, and to find individual paths of specialization. The common denominator is to develop competences taking into consideration the hectic pace of professional life, but at the same time allowing the effective achievement of growth in knowledge.

To respond to these requirements, platforms have proved to be reliable and efficient tools for meeting time and space needs, being based on accessible resources anytime, anywhere, and allowing learners to take courses at their own pace and to suit their schedule. In an MBA candidate’s life, punctuated by busy weeks of classes, assignments, and the search for career opportunities, these conditions are even more important when it comes to navigating a complex and fast-changing world through focused learning objectives. For this reason, MIP Politecnico di Milano has implemented and offered to its students an innovative learning platform, FLEXA, able to tailor and personalize content, filling the gaps in knowledge.

The novelty about FLEXA is that having been developed in collaboration with Microsoft, it exploits AI to learn from its users, making it a real digital mentor. The journey on the platform begins with defining the desired career objective and job function and the way to get to it through a self-assessment of one’s hard, soft and digital skills. Progressing from that information, an objective is set that can be entrepreneurial or managerial; FLEXA then proposes a selection of certified and high-quality content such as articles, videos and online resources coming from an archive of numerous sources like Stanford Business or Forbes, which serve to reach the goal in the long term and take into consideration the time the user has available. After six months, the test can be taken again to evaluate the improvements made and what has been achieved in terms of knowledge acquired. Then, a new and further professional aspiration can be set.

My daily routine with FLEXA starts in the morning, as I arrive at MIP School of Business. When I turn my computer on, I go to the platform to take a daily test, which, if I give the right answer, allows me to gain some points that can be turned into discounts for courses and purchases from the catalogue. If I forget to tune in, there is usually someone from amongst my companions who will be taking the test and will remind me to do so too. Then I read the proposed article of the day or use the search tab to look for more specific information, and, based on my rating, I tell the platform if the subjects are in line with my interests or not, so as to receive more tailored content as my use of the platform increases. On my learning pathway, I can also find webinars, so on those days when I don’t have the time to read, I can still learn by watching some useful resources. What I really like about the content offered is that since it comes from other universities, you can feel the quality level of a real shared platform where knowledge is not monetized.

One of my classmates told me that one day, he went to a company presentation and met someone from the part-time MBA program. They started chatting and, instead of exchanging their Linkedin profiles, they chose to connect on FLEXA. In his opinion, this opportunity helped him to network in a different light, augmenting proximity and building upon common ground with respect to a more official platform where, after all, sometimes you come across people you don’t really know.

I look forward to diving into the future advantages FLEXA will give me by putting me in touch with companies and a broader community of professionals, alumni and students. My profile will be shareable for recruitment opportunities with specific companies I would want to come into contact with. In order to engage effectively with them and enjoy a more direct possibility to network and monitor vacancies, I will be able to engage personally and to adjust my profile, choosing how best to show my suitability.
As I see it, this innovative way of combining e-learning and the search for a career with AI could really provide us with the right insights for finding the best fit in our present complex business environment.


About the author
Marianna Trimarchi
I am a candidate of the International Full Time MBA at MIP. I have a background in academia as a PhD in Communication and Strategic Analysis and a career as content producer in the Media Industry.I have worked for the Italian Television as author and assistant producer for cultural programs as well as for other media outlets as journalist. I am passionate about understanding complex phenomena particularly related to internationalization and global development from a multidisciplinary perspective.




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


Are you ready for the FLEXA experience?


Digital innovation is one of the central themes at our School. It all started with the launch of the Flex EMBA, the first Executive MBA digitally delivered, in 2014 and since then our engagement in innovating education has skyrocketed. Indeed, we have just launched FLEXA, the innovative Artificial Intelligence platform developed in partnership with Microsoft to ensure personalized continuous learning to students, Alumni and – soon – to professionals.

How does it work?

FLEXA assesses your spectrum of hard, soft and digital skills to determine where there are gaps to be filled and sets off down the route towards your professional objectives.
Then, taking into account the skill gap to be fixed, the amount of time you have at your disposal and your interests, FLEXA provide you with a range of content designed specifically to improve your knowledge, selecting only high-quality material from certified sources like digital content, events and webinars.

The wide variety of articles and sources provided by FLEXA is helping me to strengthen my management skills; reading stimulating articles, and reflecting upon the insights given by leaders from across the world, is an enriching experience, that enables me to improve my knowledge of management”, explains Alessandro Fadda, MIP Alumnus and FLEXA user.

Yet, FLEXA offers much more.
Students, for example, can also enrich their career development path exploiting FLEXA potentialities, showing part or all of their profile to recruiting companies, that will come soon on FLEXA, to see job vacancies and to receive indications regarding which content to draw on to make their profile more interesting for a specific company.
This is made more effective by the engagement of companies, that can register on FLEXA to publish open job positions, for which the platform delivers a list of suitable candidates, based either on adjustable filters of the company’s choosing.

Start today your FLEXA experience today, join the platform!

Digital Experience


Digital innovation is a central theme at MIP.
It all started in 2014, with the launch of the first Executive MBA in digital learning.
Since then, FLEX EMBA has been included by AMBA among the most innovative MBAs in the world, and its courses have been the first in Italy to receive the EOOCS certification. Cherry on the top, it ranked 7th in the world and among the top 4 in Europe in the QS Distance Online MBA 2019 Rankings.

In the last five years, our engagement in innovating education through digital has skyrocketed and today, digital learning is part of most of our programs.
Not only our MBA and Executive MBA programs  have been updated to put a greater emphasis on topics such as  digital innovation and digital transformation, but the School also launched the Executive Program in Digital Transformation FLEX , a digitally delivered program aiming at giving to professionals, managers and entrepreneurs the tool-box to spread Digital Transformation in their business.

Moreover, video-clips and live sessions have been included also in the new editions of a number of programs that used to be delivered only on campus, such as a selected portfolio of the Management Academy and Corporate courses, some masters targeting Institutions & Public Administrations such as MaBIC, MIDIS, SUM, EMMPF and EMGIS, and – starting from next fall – also the International Specializing Masters IM4, AMIE, MSCPM.

Yet, an innovative learning platform developed in partnership with Microsoft, a renewed library of interactive multimedia clips, interactions via social media tools moderated by our lecturers and live sessions are just some the ingredients of MIP Digital Experience!

Indeed, the School has just launched FLEXA, the innovative Artificial Intelligence platform developed in partnership with Microsoft to ensure personalized continuous learning to students, Alumni and – soon – to professionals.

Look for the Masters and courses with the Digital Experience logo to live a truly innovative #MIPexperience!