Three things that I didn’t expect when I enrolled for my MBA

Now that I am deeply immersed in the International Part-Time MBA journey (read my previous article to better understand why I use the word “immersed”), I would like to highlight three aspects that I didn’t specifically know or expect when I sent off my application for the selection process more than a year ago:

  1. The number of resources and tools provided by MIP

I should probably write a specific article for each and every one of them. I will try to be concise.

These resources and tools are very useful for any aspect related to your MBA journey or, more generally, to your career and personal growth. They include:

  • D-Hub: MIP’s digital learning platform, all the teaching materials needed, including clips, case studies, assignments, slides, etc, but also the recorded lessons or webinars. What I didn’t expect was the great quality of the clips provided before the lessons in order to prepare for them, which give all the information needed in a clear and structured way.
  • Flexa: a one-of-a-kind personalized and continuous learning platform developed by MIP featuring the latest Microsoft AI tools. It is a really useful tool for career development because it allows you to perform self-assessments of your skills, to set your professional goal and to receive tailor-made learning material, to receive suggestions of people to connect with or even job opportunities based on your profile. Good news: you will have free access to this forever, as an MIP alumnus.
  • VMock: basically a resume optimization tool based on AI, which gives you instant scoring, benchmarking and detailed feedback on your CV, also considering your target goal.
  • Digital Innovation Observatories: MIP students can take up a free subscription or access restricted sections of the Observatory website. net is a multimedia and interactive platform enabling professional updates on Digital Innovation, with a wide variety of content and events designed by analysts and experts with unique expertise.
  • Free Subscription to the Financial Times: I don’t think it’s necessary to explain to you what the Financial Times is; let’s just say that it’s one of the world’s leading global business publications.
  • MBA-Exchange: this is a website that helps MBA students and alumni research and identify the right career opportunities for them, while also working with employers to diversify their candidate pool and optimize their recruiting resources.
  1. The power of networking

This is linked to the first point. Attending classes, events and also the International Weeks, allows you to easily build connections and friendships with people who can enrich you with different points of view, personal and work experiences, thoughts on careers, entrepreneurial ideas, etc.

Before starting, I didn’t expect the level of willingness to “open up” from other students that I have indeed found. Everyone (some more, some less of course), is available to speak openly about their goals and personal experiences, to give opinions and advice and to ask you to do the same, showing genuine curiosity. This willingness definitely makes it easier to build up trust with your teammates.

The network that you will develop throughout these years will eventually help you in finding your dream job, maybe building your startup and more generally with your personal growth.

So, my second tip for future participants is to ask your peers as many questions as you can, to contribute with your experience and feedback and, lastly, to actively participate in networking events, both those organized by MIP and by the students themselves.

  1. The importance of the course coordinator

You will realize how important it is to have the necessary information in time and to have it provided in a clear and concise way, especially when you have to deal with the tons of emails you receive from work, from MIP and on personal matters.

We have the good luck to have Francesca Mastroberardino as our course coordinator and I would say, especially during the International Week in Barcelona, that she helped us a lot in providing us with the preparatory material and the week’s agenda. When chatting, she also gave us some advice on the best way to approach our MBA journey in general.

The course coordinator is, in fact, the reference point for any kind of doubt, question or issue regarding the organization and scheduling of the MBA program, the materials, exams, taxes or the documents you might need for any reason, so be fully aware of their existence and use their email address wisely.



About the author
Davide Ritorto

Davide Ritorto is an ambitious and inquisitive Management Engineer, currently working and learning at Lamborghini and at MIP, where he is studying for the International Part-Time MBA. He is focused on improving himself and putting his passions and skills to good use.

Davide enjoys exploring new things, is passionate about scuba diving, (of almost all kinds) sports, personal finance, vintage watches, food and intercultural travels


Partnering with innovators: how does this translate into the daily life of an MBA student?

22nd October 2020 saw the launch of the new edition of the International MBA at MIP Politecnico di Milano, my edition. About seventy people are sitting in a big class waiting for the presentation to begin. These are all new faces, nobody knows anyone, eyes are analysing other eyes. There’s a strong excitement in the air, it’s easy to perceive. After a long time spent thinking, evaluating and discussing, it’s finally time to start a new adventure. So many expectations, so many questions: where will this experience take me? Will I be a different person? Two years  ̶  will I endure that long? What about these people around me? Are they like me, or totally different?

That was just the first day, but considering the importance that an MBA places on networking, it was probably one of the most important moments for the course itself. Later on, the lectures and group assignments pushed people towards mixing together and sharing more information about themselves. That’s how you start to understand that despite the common desire for personal growth that drives all the MBA candidates, the students want to contribute through their personal experience and background and this always makes the discussions unpredictable. One of the reasons is the extreme diversity sought by MIP while selecting the MBA candidates. Just to give an idea, in my class I met engineers from many fields, economists and financial experts, architects, psychologists, lawyers, and even medical doctors.

This mix works very well considering that the topics are always business related, but in a multidisciplinary way. As much as possible, the professors involve and invite start-uppers, high profile managers and international experts to make the lectures less technical and a great deal more practical.

So what happens is that while you’re studying a business case about a particular issue or a new strategy developed by a well-known company, you’re requested to prepare an interview for its CEO, i.e. by writing a list of questions. Surprisingly, the day after, that CEO participates in person at the lecture. So he replies to the questions and provides his own perspective about the issues described in the business case and explains how the company has finally decided to proceed. Such kinds of experiences make it clear that despite the theory, you’re also practicing the challenges that the administration of a business, at all levels, faces every day. What good training this is, especially if you do it by discussing the cases with your classmates.

The length and the setup of the course enable an easy deepening of these relationships; some of the students share their intention to start new businesses, and others want to improve their role and their impact on their employers. Personally, I am trying to improve my work reality and understand how I can be helpful and where my expectations and ambitions can have a positive effect. This mindset is something new for me and I am sure it is coming from a new maturity that I have acquired while merging work and studies.

On the other hand, every time I hang out with my classmates, now my friends, I too often realize that these people, all of us, are moved by a strong and deep passion for what we are working towards. I believe that we are choosing this path not because of dissatisfaction, but because we haven’t had enough of learning and experiencing alternative fields. We don’t want to live unchanging and repetitive days. We know that we can do more and together we can cover what we are still lacking. We believe that we can be innovators  ̶  we want to demonstrate this to each other and, mostly, to ourselves.

My MBA is approaching the end and while our eyes are still meeting, it’s now happening with a different awareness: we have no doubts that whatever this experience will bring to us, it has been already a success; we have found and joined an amazing and supportive team, a team whose only purpose is effecting change. We own the future.


About the author
Simone Moscato

Having graduated at Politecnico di Milano, Simone is now working as a civil engineer in an international EPC Company while attending the International MBA at MIP. An enthusiast for travelling and fighting sports, he’s always searching for new challenges. After years, he’s still struggling to learn how to play the guitar.



Innovation in companies and in professional daily life: some similarities

Starting with a definition of innovation, we can simply say that Innovation is the realization of new (or significantly improved) products, services, processes, or methods. This can be true either for companies or for professionals: both should focus on and maximize their efforts in improving efficiency (and effectiveness) and create something new and more valuable for the end user who, for the company is the customer, while for the professional it is themself.

The mistake we might sometimes come across when talking about innovation is to confuse “new” with “valuable”. Novelty is crucial, since innovation is about the realization of something new, but not everything that is new creates new value and, more importantly, the hardest part of the innovation regards the implementation of the idea.

In a famous TEDx speech, Bill Gross, founder and developer of innovative start-ups, investigated the reason why some companies succeed while others fail. With the help of data collected from numerous start-ups, he ranked each enterprise based on five key factors: Idea, Team, Business model, Funding and Timing. He found that the factor that counted the most among all the others was not the idea but the timing, first, and the team and their ability to implement the project in second position. He opened a company called “idealab” because he really thinks that the idea is crucial for changing the status quo but, at the same time, he wanted to affirm that a good idea at the wrong time or managed by the wrong team would bring no innovation at all.

If this is true for companies, I think that we can translate this concept into the life of workers as well, and go a little further with the similarity. Every professional dedicates their time to performing tasks, as short-term goals, and to imagining a new way of doing the job, to updating their own competences or to learning new skills, as long-term objectives. The difference between the best performers and the others (as well as between successful companies and the rest) is the percentage of time and resources dedicated to these two different kinds of activities.

Successful companies and successful professionals are those who dedicated a robust percentage of time in studying (R&D for companies) and in applying innovations. Of course, this is a risky way, but it is necessary if the goal in mind is to shape a different and brilliant future.

During the MBA path at Politecnico di Milano, I had the chance to study for a course named “Innovation Leadership”. The aim of the course was not to push the professionals to create tons of ideas or to imagine a new cutting-edge start-up; the real objective was to instil the concept that, once an innovative idea has been recognized as such, the hardest part arrives and new managers, Innovation Managers precisely, need the appropriate skills to choose the right timing, to create the right team for the implementation and, more importantly, to transfer their mindset to all of the company’s employees.

Again, I think that this concept, mutatis mutandis, can be applied also to a professional’s daily life. There are a lot of good ideas and inspirational suggestions to enrich a job routine and to improve one’s personal outlook. The hardest part is to fight inertia and to be consistent in applying what we think might enhance our daily lives. Every person has an “Innovation Manager” inside them, the “planner” part of us that reports to the “slow thinking” of Kahneman. This side has the important task of setting goals and constantly monitoring and controlling the other side of us, which may be more creative, but is less fixed and dedicated.


About the author
Luca Bianchi
International sales manager for a multinational logistics company and part of the young group of the Freight Leader Council, I would define myself as curious, ambitious and continuously disposed to improve. Strong supporter of cross-functional experiences, job rotation, teamwork and lifelong learning, my objective is to be constantly able to see challenges from different perspectives and to be adaptable in this ever-changing environment.


From Italy to America: an MBA across continents and the power of flexibility

Lately, I have started to think of the last two years as having been the weirdest period of my life. I never had time to get used to a new situation, one in which I had to reschedule and redefine my short- and long-term goals. I have always thought critically about my career and even when I was totally in love with my job, I needed to improve my background by adding new tasks.

The continuous need for new challenges is probably part of my personality and it will hardly abandon me, but I am glad to see how it helps me in frequently reconsidering my condition and searching for new paths.

This feeling, my personal feedback about my work and my aspirations, led me to start the International MBA at MIP, choosing the Part-Time edition because leaving my job was never taken into consideration. The first half of this two-year program made me work, study and have fun with several classmates who gradually became close friends.

Meanwhile, the slow restarting of society brought new work opportunities; the company I work for recognised the positive effect of the MBA in my approach to complex issues. After spending a few months in Nigeria for a new project, I was offered a move to the U.S. to follow up another one, but this time with a coordination role.

Well, it didn’t take that much for me to take a decision, so I am here writing about my experience with a seven- hour time difference, in a new city, trying to get used to several new habits and really regretting that I have forgotten to bring my moka pot and some Italian coffee! I mention the time difference because it has been causing some issues, considering that when I wake up every morning more than half of the working day in Italy has passed and when I am done with my job, it’s already late at night over there. The MBA requires us to share and discuss most of the assignments with our classmates and this used to happen right after work, in the early evening. Now this is not feasible during the week, so I have had to concentrate these activities into the weekends.

However, I am glad that the connections I have made with my classmates are helping a lot; I have found some who spontaneously organize separate calls to help me, and who spend time supporting me and trying to ease the difficulties of being so far away.

On the other hand, I am facing some problems in attending the lectures, since they start when it’s 2 a.m. in the U.S. and last until 12 p.m. Trust me, it’s an extreme effort to wake up at that time and to keep focused during the classes. I have tried it − your mind is not yet ready to be productive (at least, mine isn’t…). I therefore have to use all the flexibility that this MBA can offer, by watching the recordings of the classes on the following day and asking for any clarifications I need on the subjects from my classmates, professors or our Program Officer. There are now only a few courses left for me to do and I am sure I can make it with my commitment and the help of everyone around me!

Finding a new job that suits and really challenges you many times per day is not common and to honour it, it requires concentration and patience, but also courage and audacity; these are qualities that I’m working hard to demonstrate to myself. While not taking a single backwards step in studying for the MBA I am just mastering the management of my time, my energies and my will, mostly when I am late with some deadline.

Well, everything that happens unexpectedly helps us in effecting change in ourselves while facing a new situation, a new environment or new habits. I am in Texas now; I eat wonderful meat, I drive for too long to go anywhere, I cannot find a good place for an espresso coffee, and I nod to people talking about sports I have never played (I don’t even know the rules), while just few weeks ago I was in Milan organizing dinners with friends, going everywhere just on foot and trying to convince myself that drinking American coffee was cool.

I am excited to see what is going to happen next − the future does not look so bad!



About the author
Simone Moscato

Having graduated at Politecnico di Milano, Simone is now working as a civil engineer in an international EPC Company while attending the International MBA at MIP. An enthusiast for travelling and fighting sports, he’s always searching for new challenges. After years, he’s still struggling to learn how to play the guitar.



Supply Chain and its integrative management practice: an interview with an MIP professor

Dear Professor Nizar Abdelkafi, it is a pleasure to have the possibility to exchange some ideas and thoughts with you about Supply Chain Management and its ever-growing importance for companies and for curricula at universities and business schools.

Starting with an icebreaking question, I see that before joining MIP, you were head of the research unit at Fraunhofer Society in Germany and a lecturer at the University of Leipzig. What brings you here to Milan and to MIP?

There are many reasons that brought me to Milan after a long and very rich experience in Germany, in particular at the Fraunhofer Society. First, I wanted to join a world-class University. Politecnico di Milano is a highly reputed University, not only in Italy, but also in Europe and all over the world. MIP is an excellent business school with many international and executive programs. Second, I wanted to be involved in a new challenge, a new culture, while learning a new language, and also to get to know a new working environment. Third, I had been to Milan and Italy many times before moving here. So, I like the city, the people, and the way of life. Fourth, my wife loves Italy, and living in Italy had been a dream of hers that has now come true 😊.

Being Italian, I can only agree with the third and fourth points and I am quite sure that Milan and Italy will keep the promise.

Moving on to your research topic, I was quite impressed when, during the MBA path, I saw that MIP’s Supply Chain Management module is not integrated in Operations Management. Usually books tend to put “Operations Management” and “Supply Chain Management” together. Do you think that it is a good choice to teach both topics separately? And do you think that this choice has been made because of the increasing relevance of the topic?

This is a good question. It is true that some operations management textbooks include supply chain management as a chapter, but a textbook on operations management cannot cover all the specific aspects of supply chain management. Supply chain management has developed to a proper discipline with topics that overlap with many other fields, among others, product design, logistics, sustainability, risk management, and information technology. Supply chain management has introduced a new way of thinking in management practice that is integrative, going beyond the boundaries of the single company. In the meantime, it is a very well-established field. Many companies are aware of how critical supply chain management is to their success, and therefore they create dedicated departments and recruit skilled specialists in this area.

Could you tell us, according to your experience, which is the biggest challenge that supply chains are facing and which of the emerging technologies (e.g., the Internet of Things, drones, self-driving vehicles) will be really disruptive in fixing it in the coming years?

Your question has two parts. Concerning the first part, we are facing a global challenge. Climate change is a reality that we cannot deny, and nations must address this problem seriously and cooperatively. Because of climate change, natural disasters, in the near future, will occur more frequently than we used to experience. Floods, fires, etc, are the consequence, and this will cause many supply chain disruptions. Thus, one of the biggest challenges that supply chains have to face is how to deal with an ever-increasing level of disruptions, by building resilient supply chains that are able to recover fast. To cope with supply chain risks, however, we need both managerial and technological solutions.

The second question is related to disruptive technologies in supply chains. Making a prediction regarding which technologies will be disruptive is a difficult task. In my opinion, however, Artificial Intelligence (AI) coupled with Internet of Things (IoT) technologies has the potential to lead to the biggest technological disruptions in supply chains. New players will create new services that we have never thought of, ensuring a high level of visibility and real-time-management of supply chains.

One of the topics always present in every Supply Chain class is sustainability. Usually, the trade-off driver in logistics is the “Service-Cost” one. Nowadays, on the other hand, the emerging request from companies (and from final customers) is to lower the ecological footprint, such as CO2 emissions. While some activities to increase sustainability lead to a decrease in the costs (for example route optimization or the design of shorter trips), other activities will lead to an increase in costs in the short term with no certain return in the future (only, for example, the substitution of the actual fleet with an electric one and all the related costs). Do you think that we will only be seeing a “partial” innovation in the next few years, in order to remain close to the trade-off previously mentioned?

This is a big question that can hardly be answered in just a few lines. The costs and benefits of sustainability have been debated for long time, but I will not get into this now. Sure, however, supply chains cannot afford not to integrate sustainability efforts into their actions. Natural resources are not unlimited. In addition, companies must assume an increasing responsibility regarding stakeholders. Hence, supply chains will intensify their sustainability-related endeavours, although in the pandemic era we are still struggling with, economic growth will have a higher priority until companies are able to stand on their own feet again. In a nutshell, we can distinguish between two types of innovation that will reinforce sustainability in supply chains. The first is technological. Technology will generate totally new solutions and lead to completely new applications. Think, for example, of 3D printing and its impact on decreasing logistics costs or embedding electric vehicles in intermodal transportation concepts. The other type of innovation is business model focused. It is about rethinking the traditional ways of doing business, e.g., crowdfunding platforms to fund efficiency and sustainability projects.

Closing our interview, would you suggest to future students a recent book (or an article) related to Supply Chain that treats the matter insightfully and professionally? And, the last request, could you give any piece of advice to future MBA candidates especially attracted by the Supply Chain?

I suggest reading the new (ab)normal by Yossi Sheffi, a book published in 2020 that excellently illustrates how supply chains could deal effectively with the COVID-19 pandemic. For the future MBA candidates fascinated by Supply Chain management, I would like to tell them first that you are just attracted by the right topic 😊. The pandemic has demonstrated how essential and important supply chain management is to everyone. My (practical) advice for these students: first, learn the theoretical frameworks in supply chain management and understand them in depth. These will potentially give you directions to find solutions, or help you to better analyse and structure practical problems; second, complement your knowledge with examples and case studies. There are a bunch of good case studies in supply chain management that just reinforce understanding; finally, do not miss any opportunity to apply your knowledge in your companies or elsewhere. In this way, you will be highly skilled in supply chain management.

Thank you Professor for your precise and in-depth answers. I have found several starting points to go through. I really enjoyed both your lessons and this exchange of ideas and I can only encourage other students interested in the topic to benefit from your pieces of advice and to approach the study of this matter from the different perspectives you mentioned before.


About the author
Luca Bianchi
International sales manager for a multinational logistics company and part of the young group of the Freight Leader Council, I would define myself as curious, ambitious and continuously disposed to improve. Strong supporter of cross-functional experiences, job rotation, teamwork and lifelong learning, my objective is to be constantly able to see challenges from different perspectives and to be adaptable in this ever-changing environment.


The working MBA students: how to choose the right path

It’s been almost a year since I started my experience on the International Part-time MBA and, while attending the lectures, I found myself proud of being part of this team. The more I get to know my classmates, the more I recognize how high their level is and how much, without realizing it, I am pushing myself to be more reliable and efficient, both at work and at the business school. I understand that ultimately, we are all moved by the same desire to learn and be challenged; every occasion for group work became an excuse to share past experiences and start discussions about our points of view or our goals. The class is getting closer and the teamwork is being extended to the individual assignments as well, when students spontaneously organize study groups.

Meanwhile, I’m currently working as an engineer in a proud-to-be-Italian EPC company with long-term experience of international projects. The effort required is quite high, mostly when the schedule is affected by unexpected changes. Imagine being in my shoes, a young engineer keen on developing his existing skills and adding new ones to his background, while doing an already very demanding job: what kind of characteristics would you search for in a part-time MBA? At the beginning, flexibility was the top feature I was focusing on, followed by topics and teaching methods. After having a look at the university rankings and collecting some general information, I realized that such a Master should not only provide technical teaching but also an environment able to push students to work together while unravelling business cases. There is no doubt that this is the best way to improve soft skills, such as interaction with people of different experience and ages, and your attitude to problem-solving.

As I mentioned, one year has passed since I joined this wonderful team and a lot has happened. MIP showed what I think is the right attitude in guaranteeing the best quality of teaching during the Covid emergency, pushing as hard as possible for lectures to be held in presence whenever this was feasible, and always finding the best solutions in accordance with the latest regulations.

Apart from the pandemic issue, this year surprised me with an unexpected work trip that took me to Nigeria for over two months. This meant once again missing the opportunity to follow face-to-face lectures at the time when the emergency was becoming less extreme. Anyway, during this trip I was able not only to fulfil my duties as an engineer, but also to attend two different topics (remotely) and prepare the relevant assignments and group work.

“Dulcis in fundo”, the icing on the cake is that my company has just given me the opportunity to move to the USA for 18 months to monitor the final phase of a construction site. Unfortunately, short notice and an urgent departure schedule is the normal procedure in my work, but I have accepted the challenge. In two days I managed to organize this exciting new experience abroad, by contacting MIP to discuss the matter and by planning with both my company and the school the activities for which my presence will be strictly requested (in my case, only the international weeks). The ease with which a fast resolution was found for a situation that at the beginning concerned me a lot was happily well-received, and allowed me to focus on other priorities.

I decided to tell you about my latest work experience because I think that this is the easiest way to explain what, in my opinion, a part-time MBA should ensure. In the end, what really matters when you decide to study and work at the same time is your determination to accomplish your goals. This kind of experience makes you understand yourself better and better. You are going to be pushed to your limits sometimes but you will not give up. You are actually looking for the most difficult challenge your career can offer at this time and you already know that this is going to be one of the most important successes in your life.


About the author
Simone Moscato

Having graduated at Politecnico di Milano, Simone is now working as a civil engineer in an international EPC Company while attending the International MBA at MIP. An enthusiast for travelling and fighting sports, he’s always searching for new challenges. After years, he’s still struggling to learn how to play the guitar.



How the MBA made me discover the usefulness of Machine Learning in my daily job

Big Data. Machine Learning. Artificial Intelligence. Terms on everyone’s lips. Everyone wants them. Few have any idea about what they are.

My opinion? Actually, I didn’t have one. This is why I tried to exploit my experience of the International Part-Time MBA at MIP to create one. But let’s start from the basics.

To define what Big Data is, let’s think for a moment about our daily life: interactions on social networks, a click on a website, our interconnected smartphones. All this generates an incredibly high amount of data compared to a few decades ago. Huge volumes of heterogeneous data by source and format, which can be analyzed in real time: all this is Big Data.

In short, we are increasingly surrounded by data, but how to extract value from Big Data? Big Data Analytics is talked about a lot, in every area.

Having defined what Big Data is, however, is not enough. It is also necessary to know how to exploit them and with what techniques. One of these is certainly Machine Learning, which is nothing more than a system capable of learning from experience, with a mechanism similar (at least in appearance) to what a human being does from birth.

From an IT point of view, the programmer’s approach radically changes: if before, it was necessary to write detailed lines of code to instruct the machine on what to do situation by situation, today it is the algorithm itself that develops its own logic and consequently performs certain actions, depending on the data set available.

Well, all this information may seem relevant only to slightly nerdy data scientists, like the “Big Bang Theory” ones. But believe me, it’s not.

As previously mentioned, the managers of the future will have to make the most of the greatest resource they have available: data. Data are the new oil, the new gold, and knowing how to extract value from them is the real competitive key for large companies and SMEs. It is the skills and technologies of Analytics that transform raw data into valuable information for business decision-makers: it is now possible to gain a competitive advantage thanks to timely and more informed decisions, not only for larger organizations but also for small and medium-sized enterprises.

This is the main reason why I decided to select the elective course offered by MIP Politecnico di Milano related to “Big Data & Machine Learning”. I admit that before taking this course my ideas regarding these issues were quite confused. They were “fascinating” and “fashionable” topics, but I never thought they could have such a tangible impact on my everyday work.

I am a Supply Chain Manager, and in my daily life I deal with sales forecasts, margins, pricing strategies, etc. I therefore deal with data, which have a certain meaning and which I often evaluate in a “standard” and “repetitive” way. Here, I learned that everything that is “standard” and “repetitive” can be analyzed and automated in some way through Machine Learning.

Obviously, I am not a Data Scientist, but it is becoming increasingly necessary to understand this “new language”, even to managers: knowing the possibilities offered by technology is the first step to making the most of it, interacting with data teams, or other experts in the sector.

Ignoring these skills means falling behind. And today’s world, with its constant changes, no longer allows the existence of the so-called “old guard”. Today’s world needs managers who keep up with it. Take it or leave it.


About the author
Marco Di Salvio

Alumnus 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.


A chat between classmates: Maria’s experience

I have asked some classmates to share their thoughts about the International MBA path at MIP Politecnico di Milano. We are still on the first half of our journey together but we have already made it through several lectures, group and individual assignments, workshops and the first interviews with the Career Development Center.

Here are the personal experiences of Maria. Introduce yourself!

I’m Maria Antonietta Caucci, I am a 28-year-old dynamic and curious Management Engineer. I obtained my master’s degree at Politecnico di Milano following a 2-year intensive Double Master of Science reserved for five selected students and spending one year studying at the Audencia Business School of Nantes (FR). In the last four years I have been working in Milan as a Consultant in the Human Resources & Innovation field and, recently, I enrolled in a Master of Business Administration at MIP.

Would you like to describe the experience you had during the selection phase? Would you consider it as a glimpse of the effort requested by the lectures and assignments?

The selection procedure consisting of a motivational interview and a test session is both fluid and highly personalized at the same time. It is certainly challenging, since the program is limited to a predetermined number of students; however, the support given by MIP in the form of guidance and assistance spans the whole process, helping candidates to find their best path and succeed.

Have you received support from your employer? Was the decision appreciated by your line manager and colleagues?

During the last few months, I have successfully managed a challenging timetable, having had to combine the profession of consultant with my MBA attendance. This achievement has certainly been possible thanks to my manager and colleagues at work, who have supported and encouraged me since the beginning of the journey.

What about your classmates? Do you think that MIP managed to select and mix fields of expertise and seniority?

I firmly believe that one of the main strengths of the program is the contagious positive energy of the other classmates, enterprising people who are aware that they made the right choice to grow in various aspects of their education. The course mixes people from different backgrounds and academic training, creating both a professional and personal wealth that will aid us when launching ourselves into an increasingly global job market, one that is increasingly attentive to evaluating relational skills.

Would you recommend the MBA at MIP to other friends and/or colleagues?

I would recommend the MBA at MIP since I believe the program can represent a solid step forward for the future career of professionals.
I would like to thank Maria, who managed to find time for this interview between her work, exams and private life. See you and other friends in class, ready to start the second and last year of this challenging and exciting experience.


About the author
Simone Moscato

Having graduated at Politecnico di Milano, Simone is now working as a civil engineer in an international EPC Company while attending the International MBA at MIP. An enthusiast for travelling and fighting sports, he’s always searching for new challenges. After years, he’s still struggling to learn how to play the guitar.



Are you ready to take the dive into this new, immersive experience?

Let me introduce myself. This is the first time you are reading content written by me on the MIP Knowledge base. I am Davide Ritorto, a 25-year-old Management Engineer from Bari (Italy), currently working at Lamborghini and living near Bologna.

I say this is the first time, because I am a member of the 2021-2023 International Part-Time MBA class, (which has just started), so you will surely have the chance to read some more content that I will be writing during these years.

This article is about exploration and uncertainty. Yes, because my biggest passion is Scuba Diving, so I would like to draw some parallels and take you “underwater” with me in what will be my longest dive so far (almost 2 years long, basically).

Let’s first jump into the sea, so that those of you who have never experienced the underwater realm in any way other than by snorkeling, can have an idea of this amazing adventure.

Nowadays it is relatively easy to cross the surface of the sea, the threshold that divides the two elements, and directly observe the life of this world as never before. The charm of these observations is perhaps only comparable to space exploration: we cannot ignore the sensation of mystery, of fascinating discovery, which is connected to every encounter with underwater life, with the structure of the seabed, with the vestiges of ancient civilizations that the water has jealously and often wisely preserved over the millennia. To feel these emotions, there does not necessarily need to be any encounter with submerged archaeological remains. Indeed, an old bottle full of encrustations is enough.

It’s been ten years since I got my first scuba diving license. I have explored shipwrecks, coral reefs, crashed planes, and this dive (my MBA Experience) carries some of the same emotions experienced during those explorations.

In fact, I am feeling a mix of strong emotions also precipitated by the desire to live this experience in the best way possible: with excitement, happiness, curiosity, motivation and … uncertainty.

Talking with some of my MBA colleagues, I have understood that a common feeling experienced is that of the unknown. Personally speaking, the sense of the unknown relates to how this experience can fulfill me, how it could boost my professional and personal life, what are the ideas and new concepts that I will learn, and who are the people with whom I will develop strong connections, even afterwards. This feeling of the unknown is also similar to the sense of uncertainty that surges before a dive.

We tend to think about the unknown almost as the scariest thing, something to avoid, a fear, basically. The fear of missing out, the fear of not knowing what will happen, the fear of not being good enough, etc.

I, too, sometimes tend to lack this awareness, but I believe uncertainty can actually be a fascinating feeling: an opportunity to explore something new, to explore ourselves, to find things and paths we like the most and eventually to discover that our past fears were unfounded.

Of course, we should deal with uncertainty with the right attitude and preparation.

I will therefore draw one last parallel between my experience in preparing for a dive and what, similarly, I did to prepare for my MBA journey.

For one of my latest Scuba Diving licenses, a game-changer, I trained with an organization called GUE (Global Underwater Explorers). GUE divers follow a standardized sequence to prepare for their dives, which aims to minimize any possible mistakes or omissions that might affect the outcome of the dive. This sequence follows the acronym GUE EDGE.

Well, I would like to try to do the same thing for my MBA dive:

G (Goals) To be concise: my personal goals are to improve myself, evolving as a professional and also as a person, acquiring top-notch knowledge on Business Administration and its related fields in a practical way.

U (Unified Team) Networking will definitely be a plus of this experience. From what I have learned at the Kick-Off, the team of students is made up of people of 9 different nationalities and different backgrounds. Diversity will be a strong enrichment factor for the class.

E (Equipment) As for the equipment needed, we will be provided with teaching materials mostly on the D-Hub Platform (a very well-built platform, I would say). One other useful tool for career development that I will surely use is FLEXA, a personalized continuous learning platform.

E (Exposure) This dive will last 20 months (a pretty long one J).

D (Decompression) Before getting out of the “water” we will test our competences and skills learned during the courses in a final Project Work.

G (Gas) The “fuel” for this experience will for sure be the teamwork with other candidates and the support from my colleagues, family and friends.

E (Environment) The background of this journey will be the beautiful Milan for most of the time, Barcelona and Munich for the International Weeks and hopefully, Silicon Valley for the Exchange Program.

In conclusion, I hope this will be a great dive for all the candidates. See you underwater!


About the author
Davide Ritorto

Davide Ritorto is an ambitious and inquisitive Management Engineer, currently working and learning at Lamborghini and at MIP, where he is studying for the International Part-Time MBA. He is focused on improving himself and putting his passions and skills to good use.

Davide enjoys exploring new things, is passionate about scuba diving, (of almost all kinds) sports, personal finance, vintage watches, food and intercultural travels


The leaders of tomorrow: which mindsets MUST they have?

During my MBA experience at MIP, one of my focuses has been to improve my leadership skills.

Some of the courses I attended have provided me with excellent foundations, which have allowed me to further explore some topics that I consider crucial in my professional growth.

With this goal in mind, some time ago I happened to read an article by the famous management and leadership expert, Jacob Morgan. The main question he aimed to answer was, “What should we be teaching leaders now to prepare for the future?”

In order to do this, he interviewed more than 140 top CEOs from around the world and tried to summarize their answers into four main mindsets which leaders of the future should have: Global Citizen, Explorer, Servant and Chef.

The last two fascinated me the most, so I tried to look into them more deeply with Daniel Trabucchi, assistant professor at MIP Politecnico di Milano and expert in Leadership & Innovation.

“The concept of leadership” – says Professor Trabucchi – “ is going through one of the most delicate moments in its history. The drastic changes undergone by business and the world in general in recent years have meant that the new emerging theories are breaking away from the classic ones. Finding a trade-off between the two factions will therefore not be easy.

Among the mindsets that Morgan mentions, there is the ‘Servant’, the dimension that comes from the Agile world and from Scrum, which introduced the concept of Servant leader associated with the Scrum master. Nowadays, leaders must know how to put themselves at the service of their team and their organization to help them give their best, to put everyone in a position to get the most out of the available resources. A fictional example, but very appropriate to explain this type of approach, is a scene from the Netflix series, “New Amsterdam”. It is based on the story of Dr. Max Goodwin becoming the medical director of America’s oldest public hospital. In his introductory speech, everyone expects to hear about the direction he will be giving to the hospital, the decisions he will make and implement shortly thereafter. Instead, he shocks everyone with a simple sentence: ‘How can I help?’ Here, these 4 words are the fifth essence of servant leadership.”

Another mindset proposed by Morgan is that of “Chef”, which sees the leader as an expert in balancing different ingredients, including technology and humanity.

“Here, we are once again approaching the more classic themes of leadership”, continued Professor Trabucchi. “This mindset, however, adds something compared to the standard theories: chef as the one who knows how to dose those elements, not just use them, knowing when to stop with one and exaggerate with the other. This metaphor still reminds me of the agile world, from which I borrow the concept that most makes me think of chefs: cognitive flexibility. It is nothing more than the ability to combine ideas, intuitions, visions and knowledge that come from different “worlds”, making them grow on each other. A bit like the chef does in fusion cuisine, taking the flavors of different culinary cultures and combining them into something new and even better.

Approaching new technologies with this mindset, with the desire to take what they offer and reinterpret them in a new way, is what today’s leaders need.”


About the author
Marco Di Salvio

Alumnus 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.