Post MIP, our alumnus goes global

Varun Bohra, an alumnus of MIP’s International Full-Time MBA, has packed a lot into the few years since he left Milan, travelling around the world and working in several sectors of industry. Here, he recounts his time following graduation and his motivations, and gives some advice to those contemplating following in his footsteps.

You’ve done a lot in a relatively short space of time. Could you please give us a brief outline of where your MBA journey has taken you? What would you say is the motivating factor which leads to you taking decisions to make a major change  ̶  changing countries, for example?

So, after finishing my MBA in 2015, it’s now 2021. I have changed two jobs and moved to three different countries in six years. After the MBA, I joined SanDisk Corporation in Malaysia in a greenfield plant to set up multiple processes and, based on my performance, I was promoted and moved to the headquarters in San Francisco.

After that, for personal reasons, I moved to India into the world of supply chain consulting. I am currently working at Accenture Strategy as a Manager in the Supply Chain and Operations division.

The key driver to move to different places was to learn professionally and culturally. At the same time, I wanted to see the world.

My mind was opened up to learning culturally during the MBA at MiP and it intrigued me to discover that there is a lot to learn from other cultures which also helps in professional life.

What do you think, if anything, has changed substantially in the business world since you graduated and what should an MBA candidate bear in mind in this regard?

From 2015 to current times the biggest change has come through COVID-19. It has shown that work does not require us to be sitting at a desk in an office. It can be executed from anywhere. Recently, I have taken a staycation and sat in the hills to work and relax.

Also, future MBA aspirants should focus on what kind of profile they like and focus on their personal life too. Also, since the times of covid, corporates have realized that employees do not only need good remuneration but also a work-life balance and flexibility in working. On top of that, especially right now since the arrival of covid, the world’s organizations are realizing the value of supply chain. So if anyone is interested in supply chain and operations, right now it’s a booming industry.

How would you evaluate your studies now in terms of the long-lasting benefits? What have you learned or gained during your MBA which you consider to be the most important aspect, either in professional or personal terms?

I’ll make one point on this subject: Organizational Behavior. I came from a background in engineering and manufacturing and I had always thought everything needed to be quantified. During the MBA, I thought supply chain, statistics and business strategy, etc, were important subjects, but after graduating and joining the corporate world at mid-senior level, I released that it is organizational behavior that helps a lot when working in a corporate environment.

Do you still use the network of contacts you made back in your MIP days? Do you manage to meet up in person as well?

Personally, I got to learn about so many cultures from my lovely classmates. Yes, I keep in touch with my classmates over social media and personally. I have not been able to meet them in person but would really love to see them again in the near future; maybe in 2025 we can all celebrate the 10-year anniversary of our MBA.


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.



Corporate Leadership & Different Types of Leaders

A key part of our MBA at MIP, Politecnico di Milano, has been about developing an understanding of our future career path. Since the course admits high-calibre individuals with prior experience, a lot of its graduates find themselves in a leadership position.

Therefore, it’s important to understand what kind of a leader you wish to grow into as an industry professional! Let’s start with an overview of some different styles of corporate leadership:

Laissez-faire leadership
The laissez-faire leadership type, also known as delegative leadership, is a style of non-intervention and is characterised by a lack of regular feedback.

Autocratic leadership
Autocratic leadership allows supervisors to make decisions and set guidelines without group participation. The leader concentrates all the power and no one challenges his/her decisions.

Democratic leadership
Usually called participatory leadership, this type of leadership is characterised by creating enthusiasm among workers by prioritising the participation of the entire group.

Transactional leadership
Transactional leadership is based on transactions, that is, an exchange of processes between leaders and their followers. Followers receive awards for their job performance and the leader benefits because they fulfil the tasks.

Transformational leadership
Transformational leaders use high levels of communication to achieve the objectives and provide a vision of change that they manage to transmit to the employees.

If I could only pick one, I would choose to be a transformational leader; someone who is able to generate maximum output with a vision towards the future. A leader should try to ensure clear communication coupled with empathy among his/her teammates. It is important to understand the motivations of your team and what drives them at an individual level.

In view of the way businesses have had to adapt to the hybrid model that combines working in an office with working at home, as a leader I would like to keep my team congruent with the overall goals. A leader should exhibit a certain sophistication in emotional intelligence in ensuring that nobody feels like they have been left out, whether they are slogging away at their desk or at home. It becomes important to learn quickly and to be comfortable with the technology that allows for efficient communication and for daily operations to run on schedule.

Despite classifying leadership in different styles, we have often seen that it doesn’t happen in a “one-approach-fits-all” style. As a team is composed of diverse individuals, various situations might require us to be a different kind of leader while leading a team. As an individual, I have to try to take responsibility for my work, so I love working with laissez-faire leaders. A leader should keep his/her team motivated by always acknowledging their work. Sometimes you will have a view that is a little different from that of the rest of the group; a democratic leader would try to understand my perspective in order to achieve better results.

As a professional looking to grow into the role of a leader in your own field, you should try to understand which approach suits you best and keeps the morale of your team high, while simultaneously achieving the goals you have set for them. If you manage to stay involved, have good  communication in place and a clear vision of your objectives, the knowledge gained from the International MBA will help you implement successful corporate frameworks to optimise the results achieved by your team.


About the author
Rakshit Behel

A results-oriented marketing communications professional helping brands achieve objectives with integrated marketing campaigns built around branded content. From creatively developing and implementing digital marketing and content strategies to measuring performance with analytics and providing insights into useful data, aligned to brands’ business goals; experience of working with clients from different industries: Hospitality, IT, Fintech, Media and Healthcare.

My i-Flex EMBA experience

It was not so long ago that we celebrated the end of my/our MBA in Teatro Arcimboldi in Milan. The festive atmosphere and happiness of the ceremony were mixed up with Covid restrictions, which made the event different, but still very enjoyable. One evening this weekend, just a few weeks after that day, I wanted to sit down and take stock with a few considerations on what the i-Flex experience has meant to me and how fruitful the past two years have been.

As with all good retrospective thoughts, I want to start from the objectives of the choice to start an MBA. I wanted to boost my career, learn new topics, and mainly to lay the foundations for increasing my knowledge in a wider business context. The course does not include only theoretical education, but also practical cases and networking with inspiring people. I knew it would not be easy, especially combining all the activities with my already busy life and daily job targets, but my motivation was high.

And it has been anything but easy!! There have been intense weekdays and weekends following clips and reading books and articles, nights watching classes, heavy sessions for extra activities and teamwork, remote “dinners” discussing how to improve ourselves, and several hours dedicated to our project work. All of that would not have been possible without perfect harmony with my classmates, or at least, it would have been so different. A huge thanks goes to them and to MIP, which enabled us to meet. I well remember the energy of the first face-to-face week. We surely deserve a big round of applause. Creating durable bonding is also a matter of attitude and an open mind, expressed by the different cultural background that an international program brings, and it should not be taken for granted in an online program where there could be a gap in non-verbal communication. Sharing knowledge and experiences, supporting each other also in issues outside the course, as well as congratulations for personal and professional achievements, make me evaluate all the people I met during the program as one of the most valuable elements that I am taking home from my MBA.

The second value, not in order of importance, is of course what MIP has given in terms of an opportunity to learn and improve my skills. My thanks are due to all the MIP professors and associates, who, on various occasions, demonstrated their dedication to the subjects and support on our learning path. I’d also like to give just one example of a change in my competences, and I want to underline that there are many other examples I could give. I’m passionate about entrepreneurship, but thanks to the learning materials, sessions and webinars, I am digging further into the startup ecosystem. Maybe I’ll found a business with my collegues soon, stay tuned! In the last year and a half we also had to face an additional challenge: the Covid-19 pandemic emergency. It could have hampered the normal flow of learning activities, requiring rescheduling and re-adjustment of the processes. Special thanks to the whole MIP staff who supported us and facilitated our time at the business school.

Last but not least, my gratitude should also go to my family. I would say to all our (classmates’) families. They backed us, supported us, encouraged us and made sacrifices together with us. Having remote meetings, especially late at night, also meant entering each other’s houses and creating connections.

Now I’m an MBA graduate and MIP alumnus, but I don’t think my experience at MIP is concluded. Many new opportunities have opened up. An MBA is a lifelong decision that can change the course of your personal and career path. You meet a lot of interesting people with whom you can have long-lasting relationships and perhaps create something together. We are already planning our next reunion!!



About the author
Vito Conversano

Chief Information Officer @ San Marzano Vini SpA with extensive international experience in IT & strategic consultancy for fortune 500 companies. Creative, Curious, Travel lover. Passionate about discovering new concepts, learning continuously and developing new ideas.


A Holistic Education for an Ideal Future

As business professionals and entrepreneurs, I believe everyone at MIP (faculty, staff, and students included) has a desire to improve the professional ecosystem. We choose to experience and create an atmosphere of continuous learning to ameliorate the professional world, making it better for ourselves and future generations. The MBA accomplishes this by giving students a holistic approach to business. We take a step back, look at businesses, and then dive into the minutiae.

Pillars of the MIP MBA

The International Full-Time MBA begins with four pillars of management basics. We get to look at a business from every angle, from financial accounting to project management. While some subjects like supply chain aren’t my area of interest, it is important for me to understand their role in the ecosystem so I can improve the entire business. It also allows us the opportunity to experience areas we enjoy but may not have thought about before the program. As the pillars progress, we can see the business as a network, and the importance of each part working together. For me, as someone with business work experience but a humanities education, this allowed me to learn the fundamentals, but also put them into practice with business cases and absorb the experiences of my diverse colleagues.

Experiential Gym

While we are amid the essential pillars, we get to really apply our learnings in the real world, working with actual companies to provide innovative solutions. This takes a real ‘learn by doing’ approach to practice our skills obtained earlier and implement them in real time. It is one thing to learn the theory of something, but it’s another to see the theory put into practice. Viewing the impact of our education so early in the program will empower us to take these learnings into our future careers with confidence.


The third part of our experience will be spent in specific areas of our choosing. This is where we will dive into the topics that pertain to our path, or our new chosen path. For instance, I am making the shift into the luxury market, so I will be able to learn the specifics of this sector, applying the general business tools I learned in the pillars, and taking them a step further.

Project Work

Finally, we will finish our program with project work, where we will bring our education into full-time operation. Whether we are doing an internship, starting a new job, or bringing our skills back to our previous position, we get to practice our new abilities with the guidance of our professors and mentors.

Putting it all Together

Taking all these pieces, my classmates and I will be able to improve the business ecosystem we enter with a holistic view of the company. For example, I will be able to confidently enter the luxury market knowing how the supply chain affects my final customer, and I can work empathetically with the supply chain to create a better business internally and externally. This step-by-step approach, viewing businesses holistically, allows us to find the gaps in between departments and processes, and creates an understanding as future leaders that every piece of the business has its importance. The more understanding we have, the more we can implement positive change.


About the author
Chelsy Greenman

I’m a current International Full-Time MBA student, originally from the United States. I’m enthusiastic about brand management and customer experience, particularly in the luxury industry. Yogi, WSET3, and art museum connoisseur. I love creating memorable occasions, one customer at a time.


Walking Down Memory Lane as an MBA Graduate

Almost a year ago to the day, I can vividly remember landing in Milan, with unbridled excitement and nervous anticipation! After multiple delays, I had finally managed to make it to my destination of Milan, and I was about to start on arguably one of the most challenging and adventurous paths of my life; that of coming to Italy to add to my professional skills and gain international experience with an MBA from the MIP Graduate School of Business.

What followed has been a life-changing experience! I found myself among a group of some of the sharpest minds from different parts of the world, brought together by a common goal of growing as a professional and adding to their repertoire of skills. The first striking feature of the program was the structure, with lectures having group presentations, encouraging active engagement often graded in assignments produced by people from different backgrounds, with no prior acquaintance, working together. Having random teammates meant we were able to get to know our colleagues on a better level than just as batchmates. On occasions when we thought we were running tight deadlines or the work needed improvements, I found myself working with people from Italy, the UAE, China, Hong Kong, Ethiopia, Argentina, Brazil and with the five other classmates from India. With different backgrounds came different perspectives, different solutions to the same problems. In the process, it has not just broadened our own personal perspective, but some have become a lot more than just colleagues; they have become friends.

A gruelling schedule of lectures and assignments meant that we were always, always, kept on our toes but being a course for experienced professionals, the flexibility of revisiting lectures in MIP’s Digital Gym was a huge advantage. The hybrid model allowed us to keep up with all the coursework as well as giving us valuable practice of managing digital technologies in the most efficient ways. All this was interspersed with company presentations, where people from different industries gave us insights into their professional lives, as well as series of workshops on improving our presentation and soft skills.

The program also provided the scope for industrial exposure to go hand in hand with the classroom teaching. This was immensely helpful to the candidates coming from abroad, such as myself, as it gave us our first experience of working as a consultant with a company from the Italian market, known as the Organizational Check-Up. While OCU is a team project, during the twilight of my course, I also had the pleasure of working on a marketing project with another Italian company as part of my internship. Both projects have added to my professional understanding of European markets, have helped me find new mentors too, and friends with whom I can share the aperitivos over the weekends.

While no journey is without its share of challenges, I can gladly say that most of the challenges I have faced have been outside the classroom. Having to keep up with the visa paperwork, the local bureaucratic work, etc, can get overwhelming when you’re new, but the International Students’ Office has always been available at our beck and call to help us out with any information we might need.

Almost a year ago to the day, I look back at the experience of having graduated with an MBA with a feeling of gratitude! I am thankful to the professors who added to my knowledge, the colleagues who shared their own ideas with me and helped me improve mine, the MIP team, including the course coordinator, the ISO and the CDC for being always available to help. Alas, all good things must come to an end and so did our MBA, as we all flung our graduation hats into the air on 24th of November 2021. A new beginning awaits us all, and I hope that we are all able to implement our vision as Managers in the business world of the future.

About the author
Rakshit Behel

A results-oriented marketing communications professional helping brands achieve objectives with integrated marketing campaigns built around branded content. From creatively developing and implementing digital marketing and content strategies to measuring performance with analytics and providing insights into useful data, aligned to brands’ business goals; experience of working with clients from different industries: Hospitality, IT, Fintech, Media and Healthcare.


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


A dyed-in-the-wool approach to sustainability

Today, we meet MIP alumni Donatella Carbone and Roberto Toro, founders of Luxalpaca (, a sustainable fashion company marrying luxurious Peruvian alpaca wool with Italian design.

Donatella is an IT professional with more than 10 years of experience working for leading consultancy companies (KPMG and Accenture). Born in the south of Italy, she first studied engineering in Rome and then moved to Milan in 2017, where she attended the International Part-Time MBA at MIP Politecnico di Milano.

Roberto is an industrial engineer specialised in Supply Chain with 8 years of work experience in several different industries. He moved from Peru to Milan in 2017 to attend the International Full-Time MBA at MIP.

A couple who could be called one of MIP’s “matchmaking” successes, in addition to setting up their own company, Donatella and Roberto are also parents of a young child.

Their company went live on October 2nd this year with a collection of men’s and women’s scarves made of 100% alpaca wool. In the next few months Luxalpaca will be launching some new products, also targeting the baby segment.


What were you doing before you came to MIP Politecnico di Milano and why did you choose those particular courses?

A project leader at an IT consultancy in Rome, at the time Donatella was looking to differentiate her background and gain a wider business perspective, so she decided to apply for an MBA. The part-time formula of the course at MIP was perfect, as it allowed her to continue working while studying. Other drivers were the international composition of the class, that was unlike those at other schools, plus the network of schools that enabled students to enjoy short experiences abroad, something from which Donatella benefited by attending a bootcamp in India.

Roberto already had some years of experience in Peru in supply chain management and he wanted to take on new challenges in an international and more dynamic environment. MIP had a perfect curricular program that matched his profile. A program integrating engineering and management was important for understanding how to manage a company.


Tell us how your business idea developed – how early on did it come about?

Luxalpaca was born after the MBA, and we believe that the timing was right, because it gave us the chance to think over and review many of the subjects we had learned and apply our different work expertise to our idea.

It all started in September 2019, when we visited Roberto’s family in Peru. We had a quick visit to Machu Picchu (Cusco), where it was pretty cold, so we bought a scarf made of alpaca wool. This led to Donatella’s first insight: why was this beautiful fabric not available in Italy? We learned that the Peruvian culture is not very well known here, and even less so are the unique qualities of alpaca wool.


How do you feel your MIP experience has set you up for what you are doing now?

We believe the MIP experience gave us the opportunity to understand and to deal with global dynamics. Markets evolve rapidly because of many factors, and we feel that the bootcamps were important for giving us interesting tools and strategies from business cases.

Luxalpaca is also part of this global dynamic, from its Peruvian origins to our Italian customers.

The pandemic has changed shopping behaviour and people are now placing more importance on the online channel: this is a  trend which is here to stay. That’s our challenge, to introduce the amazing benefits of an almost unknown alpaca wool and the millennial culture of the Inca Empire, combine these with Italian design, and reach customers through our e-commerce channel.


Sustainability is one of MIP’s core values and, we believe, this is also the case in your business. How do you see Luxalpaca’s role in this area?

One of the main reasons we were first attracted by the idea of Luxalpaca was that we recognised an opportunity to develop a sustainable supply chain in the fashion industry.

Our unique selling proposition is to offer a high-quality product while also creating value and impacting positively on all our stakeholders, right from the first moment.

Alpaca wool is one of the highly sustainable fabrics; the alpaca, too, is one of the most eco-friendly partners we could have! It lives extensively in the Andean area, eating what nature provides. The wool is shorn once a year in a specific period, after taking into account the animal’s survival needs, given the extreme weather conditions. Alpacas have been bred since ancient times and are now one of the main sources of business in the region. For us, that business means working in harmony with nature and respecting the local population.

Part of our first collection derives from a partnership with a community from Cusco called the Urpi, composed of women who come from different villages in the area. Scarves are handmade in different colours obtained from Andean flowers and plants.

Thanks to all of this, we have become partners in a phygital sustainability platform, one of the first platforms for sustainable fashion brands.


Living together with a young child, how easy do you find it to switch off from work, given that you are at the start-up stage of the business? Do you manage to get a balance between work and home life?

To be honest, we haven’t found much difficulty in switching off. We really love our slow-fashion proposal, and we care passionately about this lovely commitment. In the very early stages and due to the pandemic, on one hand, we were partially stopped in terms of production but on the other hand, being restricted to our home gave us the opportunity to better plan the future steps when Donatella was pregnant, and we were able to draw up the business plan.

Nowadays, we try to set up weekly objectives in both work and personal life, balancing our time and also being supported by a kindergarten.


Based on your experience so far, what would be the one piece of advice you would give to a student embarking on an MBA today?

Motivation is a must. It’s important to be conscious that motivation changes before, during and after the MBA. This will get you through to achieving your personal and professional objectives. The MBA is life-changing, and it will constantly challenge you, so you need to make the most of it.

Studying for an MBA means that you have chosen to get out of your comfort zone, and we believe that this fact will develop your inner strengths and will lead you to the path of success.

Donatella and Roberto’s story is a demonstration of how it is possible not only to build on previous experience but also, with the contribution made by MIP’s International MBAs and after imbibing the business school’s ethos, how minds can be opened, and our alumni can take a completely different direction, maybe one not previously envisaged.

All of us at MIP wish them the very best with their new venture and  ̶  who knows  ̶  maybe one day in the future they will be sending another young entrepreneur our way!

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.


The importance of model contamination in everyday life

Usually we tend to apply what we learn in specific fields only in that field; we study it and rarely do we contaminate models coming from different disciplines. As a matter of fact, however, a lot of scientific findings come from interdisciplinary researchers. For example, Daniel Kahneman, one of a countless list, discovered the two systems of thought by using psychology, behavioural economics and decision-making principles. Finally, as a psychologist, he won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.

In our normal lives (unless working in research) we are not asked to study to expand human knowledge, but we can do something easier and more effective just by applying to our daily routine what university courses have taught us in specific modules. We could use financial principles to better plan our household budget; we could use some supplier evaluation models when it comes to buying a new piece of furniture, or we could apply some marketing rules when we need, for example, to promote ourselves.

Speaking about careers, what I think could be useful is to gather and apply some of the university teachings that can help us to have a better and more efficient career; and this is what the Career Development Center at MIP pushes candidates to do alongside their formal MBA lessons.

For example, in some lessons the lecturer encouraged us to think of our personal career as a real project to manage, with achievable objectives (such as a position to reach or a company to work for) within a defined timeframe; activities to be planned that can enable us to gain an interview and to master it; resource allocation (not only the time to spend weekly on top of our working hours, but also investments in specific courses or a premium subscription for some professional networking platform). Then there is the monitor and control phase and, really importantly, also the “change request” analysis: it is not unusual to change the scope after a period of maturation.

Another topic imported from formal studies is professional network management. Network theory is used in many disciplines such as statistics, computer science, electrical engineering, as well as sociology and neuroscience. We saw it applied for career purposes. During the courses, the lecturers encouraged us to write down a list of our personal contacts, starting from our first position up until our current job, with the field of specialization, the background and the possible connection with the company we aimed to work for or the position we planned to apply for. It might be surprising that while writing the list, more information and connections between our contacts (that we had not thought of before) popped into our minds.

Of course, simply planning their career and creating a map of contacts to systematically nurture does not ensure that the candidate will attain their desired position. There are professionals who achieve their goals without these tools and, at the same time, others who, despite their efforts, do not reach the position they desire. I think that these two instruments (together with others touched on during the Career Development courses), if consistently applied, represent a great help in defining our position on the career path. Sometimes we apply for jobs automatically and later realize that the road we are following is wrong, or not perfectly aligned. To have a map to refer to (and to fine-tune regularly) enables us to know exactly where we are, to change route, and to deepen our knowledge of matters that can help us during our career journey.

What is important is to be consistent and to beware of the mental obstacles that occur. The phrases within us like “I know a lot already”, “theory is easier than practice”, “I am who I am; I cannot change” are the worst enemies we can face during our path. They are inside us and are harder to beat because they are part of us. But like in sport or with positive habits, the hardest part is at the beginning. Once we start to work with these tools, they become part of our routine and essential to demonstrate our clear positioning during interviews.


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.