Rob Napoli

We are delighted to catch up with New-York-based MIP Ambassador and entrepreneur, Rob Napoli, a “burst of energy” who is one of our most proactive alumni, remaining closely involved with the School. Rob was awarded the Master in Marketing Management, IM4, in 2016, and has gone on to have many successes in his chosen field. Here, he recounts his story, shares his current thinking, and based on his experience, provides some good advice to potential students.

Please could you give us a brief outline of your background and tell us what has brought you to where you are now?

My career started out in recruitment in the Midwest before I met my now wife in small-town Iowa. Shortly into dating, she mentioned she was going to move to Europe to get her master’s degree and asked me to follow her or break up… So I followed her to Milan, Italy, where I got my Master at MIP and while in Milan, I also coached professional American football and was Head of Content and Brand for a Polimi-based startup. I helped that startup scale and went to New York City as part of an accelerator program before transitioning into a large global corporation, where I was in charge of recruiting marketing professionals. In 2019, I got fired for the first time in my life, not for performance, but for passion. This is when I started two companies, Hapday Group which is/was a US go-to-market entry company helping companies enter the US market with sales-as-a-service. We grew this company almost 100% Year-over-Year and were acquired in February 2021 by Move Ventures, where I have stayed on as a Board Member. I currently run Rise Up Coaching (soon to be rebranded as Rise Up Media), where I create and lead training and development programs for startups, scaleups, and corporates.

What would you say are the specific influences of your IM4 course, and your time at MIP in general, on your life and work today?

It was my time at MIP where I realized that my career passion started. When I came to MIP I thought I wanted to work in Big Data Marketing for large corporates, but during my time in Milan, I fell in love with the idea of entrepreneurship and startups and chose to work for a small Polimi Hub-launched startup and turned down an internship to work at Nielsen on the Mars brand in Belgium.

It was my time in Milan that really motivated me to be more involved in the startup ecosystem vs the traditional corporates. Because of this realization, I have had many stops along my journey. I went to New York City to go through a global accelerator, where I pitched to a number of Investors, Angels, and VCs and won a number of pitch companies. I wanted to prove that I could make it in a global corporate, so I went into a corporate environment for 18 months where I built a new line of business and was promoted. I confirmed what I had realized in Milan… I wanted to work in startups. I stayed in touch with MIP and have been able to give guest lectures and talks, as well as stayed on as an IM4 Ambassador; it has been amazing to remain involved in the ecosystem. In fact, because I am an alumnus of MIP and Polimi, I have made a number of connections and even closed clients who are alumni. This has led me to work with organizations and partnerships such as the Italian Trade Agency in NYC.

You are incredibly active on social media, with your work, podcasts and you have even found time to write a book! Is this spontaneous activity or do you spend a lot of time planning? Do you find the time management and decision-making processes easy?

I have clinically diagnosed ADHD and undiagnosed low-grade OCD, so it is equal parts spontaneous and process. If I am too spontaneous, I have great ideas and poor execution, while if I try to put in too much process, then I get lost in the details with OCD and end up trying to perfect everything vs getting good out. For me, the goal is time-blocking  ̶  my calendar is my NUMBER 1 Communication Tool: if it is not on my cal, it doesn’t happen. So what I do is time-block out tasks and activities on my calendar and once that block is done, I move on to the next thing. 

In which direction do you see yourself  ̶  and your areas of interest  ̶  heading in the future?

I want to continue to develop Rise Up Coaching to media services and create a space and a place for more content like a Rise Up Podcast network, as well as launch my own line of branded courses on entrepreneurship and brand. 

Sometimes what I want to build feels overwhelming and daunting, while on other days there is full clarity. It is an ongoing process. We are told that during our time at University and if we go through a master’s degree, we should know what we want to do and how to do it. I can see what I am building go a number of ways, and I also want to demystify this idea that we have to have life figured out. Life is an ongoing process and as we age, we grow, so I want to embody that and show that you can have a non-linear career path and still make great things happen. I live by the idea of ‘staying curious’ because when you are curious, you learn, and when you learn, you build.

With reference to both your LinkedIn profile and the title of your recent book, what does the concept of “soul” signify to you?  

I talk about the “Social Soul” in the light of who we are online; we need to be our real selves, as that is how real, authentic relationships are formed. And to do this, we need to show our souls online: this is us, who we are, the good, the bad (the tough lessons we learn), and everything in between. 

What advice would you give today to anybody considering studying marketing at MIP?

Build a value-added network early! Connect and build relationships with your classmates, other students at MIP, the professors, guest lecturers, etc. And start connecting and following industry leaders that you can learn from. Building a network early will open up so many opportunities, as well as enabling you to be at the forefront of innovative marketing strategies.

Martina Pietrobon

A graduate in “The Psychology of Marketing,” a previous job in the sales division of a large company, an MBA under her belt and a three-month experience in India that has left its mark: her name is Martina Pietrobon and she is Microsoft Italia’s new Head of Marketing. More particularly: she is one of our alumnae.
How did she achieve such a prestigious role? We asked her straight out!

Starting off in sales at Johnson & Johnson immediately after graduating, Martina quickly realised that her real interest lay in marketing. Looking around, she soon became aware that many of those at her company who occupied the role to which she aspired had an MBA behind them.
As she was highly ambitious, the decision was soon taken and she enrolled in MIP’s Full-time MBA program. Given Martina’s educational background in humanities and sociology, the Politecnico Business School’s “complementary” approach represented the ideal opportunity for filling in the gaps.

I handed in my notice, while those around asked me if I was sure about leaving a permanent employment contract with a large company… but I was convinced that this was what I wanted to do in life”, Pietrobon told us.
It may seem strange to those entering the world of work today but even before her thirtieth birthday, Martina not only had a permanent contract but she had also never even done an internship.

So why leave this comfort zone?
“I am someone who, when she loves, loves with her whole being,” she explains. “Keeping a foothold in something that no longer gave me any satisfaction, even if it would have enabled me to hold onto a contract, made me feel tied down and would have been a limitation to the challenge that I was about to face. I said to myself, “In the worst case, you can always go back to doing what you did before at Johnson & Johnson, or at another company.” Resigning, for me, meant believing in this completely.  At a certain point, you need to invest in yourself or you cannot expect others to do it for you. You’re the one who has to believe first and foremost, otherwise others will only see obstacles, the job you gave up during a period of economic crisis, the uncertain future…”

When Martina talks of her experience, her enthusiasm is palpable. It is natural to ask what the MBA has meant for her.

It is as if the MBA gives you an encyclopaedic view: you know that each requirement in the world of work has a corresponding instrument to resolve it. Obviously, in one year it’s not possible to acquire all the tools to fix everything by yourself, and that’s also the beauty of the game. In the end, what you learn is that there are various levers, and the important thing is to know when, how and with whom to activate them. So what the MBA gave me was a 360° vision of the many tools  ̶  including financial instruments  ̶  that I didn’t know before”, she reveals to us.  “You will understand that like in an engine, each part is linked to the other. For the engine to run properly, all the individual parts must be working well “.

So many concepts, then, but there is more and in fact, our alumna goes on to explain: “The MBA educated me, it certainly gave me skills but what it also taught me is that often it is the aptitude and attitude you have towards the willingness to learn which make a difference. What was fundamental for me was to have an approach that here at Microsoft we define as a growth mindset, namely the desire to face up to challenges and learn new things. I think that it is often arrogance that holds people back at work and stops their career from progressing. The MBA makes you understand that you know very little  ̶  too little  ̶  and that you need to keep yourself continuously updated and to stay proactive in your risk-taking”.

And, as our chat continues, it becomes clear that Martina really threw herself into the challenge. How? By choosing to complete her MIP educational experience with a three-month exchange programme in India at the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow.

“I chose the IIM because it was the most renowned school for marketing in the Asian world. What I wanted to see were the features of marketing in that type of culture. Their approach is, in fact, very different from that which we study. In India, everything is based on numbers, even in marketing and communication. There, the common thread was provided by a numerical ROI based on financial KPIs. It was a very formative experience, both in terms of skills and culture. Three months in India – although in a renowned Business School – have a powerful, somewhat cathartic effect. To find myself in an international environment, meeting people whose culture and way of seeing things is so different from my own, enabled me to develop my soft skills in an extraordinary way…”

Having returned from India and received her diploma, Martina found that a new road in marketing was opening up ahead, first at Johnson & Johnson and then at Microsoft, until she reached the position she holds today.

These intermediate stages have given her so much: “When I started at Microsoft I was working in co-marketing with partners, a position that gave me less visibility than now, but one that allowed me to understand the business, the mechanisms of marketing and selling”, she explains to us.

Alongside the challenges she faces on a daily basis, this experience has made Martina the professional she is today. So, partly with a view to the future and to the new generations and partly looking back, we close the interview by asking what advice she would give to the recently graduated Martina of ten years ago, but also to our students who are now discovering their own professional paths.

With passion, Martina explains: “I was almost 30 when I finished my MBA. Perhaps I should have found the courage to do it a little earlier. Once I entered the world of work I realised that abroad, they graduate earlier than we do, they are able to do an MBA sooner and then get into the world of work before us…or at least, they got there before I did. So if I could go back in time, I’d find the courage earlier to hand in my notice and do an MBA”.

Then, thinking of the youngsters who are now embarking on their careers, she adds: “I was lucky not to have been part of the intern generation. Perhaps I was one of the last to avoid that. I didn’t do an internship, I started off working on a fixed-term contract for a large company. When you see that just a year later, people are beginning to have problems in finding work, you feel as if you are in a comfort zone. So really, the advice that I would give to myself and that I feel I can give to those who are approaching the business world today is that often, staying in the comfort zone does not allow you to really get into the game. If you are truly ambitious, don’t stick it out in those situations where “it’s not really all that bad”. It is precisely that “not all that bad” that locks people in and does not allow them to fly. It is as if at a certain point, a fledgling gets used to its cage and the relative security that  provides. I think that every little bird should be trying to open that cage – not to furnish it! – and to take flight, even at the cost of colliding with a predator.



Nicola Altobelli

Today we are meeting Nicola Altobelli, who graduated from MIP Politecnico di Milano with an Executive MBA.
After completing his degree in Industrial Relations, Nicola started work in his family’s business, Eceplast s.r.l., and today is the company’s Commercial Director, responsible for new market development.
In May 2014, he was appointed as Sherpa for the Italian delegation of young entrepreneurs, GI Confindustria, to G20 YEA, and in July he became President of GI Confindustria Foggia.

What does your work actually involve and what are the greatest challenges you face every day?

Basically, my job is to managed contacts with our major customers across the world and, through our continuous exchange of information and experience, I try to develop new solutions that can improve our offer, to anticipate our customers’ needs and beat our competitors on time. Everything today is faster and more connected, running at an extremely rapid pace and the chance of failure very high. Even so, I do not believe that my job could be more stimulating or rewarding. More recently, I have been spending more and more time and energy on strengthening our sales force, which, without doubt, the most serious challenge any business person can face, to build up a successful team that is more than the sum of its parts.

What were the best and worst moments in your professional life?

Let’s start with the worst. In industrial packaging, the task of keeping costs in check is a key factor and can often drive even the most loyal customers to try out low-cost solutions. About four years ago, the European market was rocked by massive dumping of goods and we lost a large share of the market. We were torn between reducing our sales prices by 30% or trying to ride it out, coming up with innovative solutions, with savings for our customers in another form. I must admit, these were tough months, but this difficult period taught us to present our offer better – while opening new ways for development. As things go, today in particular, we are coming out with a revolutionary product and we hope that it will really change the market, and will allow us to scale up our business model, including on other continents. I am certainly delighted to see the surprise on the faces of my customers every time I demonstrate this new technical solution.

What does the word “leadership” mean for you and how do you bring it into your work environment every day?

Leadership means knowing how to lead others towards achieving the results we set as a group and as individuals. I don’t see myself as a person with natural or charismatic leadership qualities, but I am without question full of determination, and people on the whole stay close to me, crediting me with a capacity for vision, planning and, most of all, execution. I think that this is good starting point and, all things considered, the results are mostly on my side. I have admiration for great leaders in any sector, but I also believe that their natural qualities do come into play, and these cannot be built or learnt. As for me, I only try and set a good example, with commitment and results. A simple formula, maybe a bit outdated, but I think it works.

What does the word “innovation” mean for you and how do you bring it into your work environment every day?

To mark our 20th anniversary, we have recently restyled our corporate logo, so I included a new tag line: “bulk packaging innovators”. This is exactly what distinguishes our offer on the market, we are innovators in our sector and our corporate history is dotted with key moments where an innovation led to a new opportunity. Let me give you some examples. In 1995, my father was able to start his company from the family garage because of a production technology he had invented (technological innovation). When all our competitors were relocating their businesses, we invested in the development of a more automated process, increasing our services to customers instead of going down the route of lowest costs (process innovation). When our customers asked us to reduce our prices, we were able to offer products with cost benefits that did not affect our margins. Eceplast is based in the province of Foggia, the social framework is rather complicated and certainly far from the more industrialised areas, but we have always invested in people and their growth, introducing incentive systems to increase productivity (organisational innovation). Today, we are focusing on a development model based on “open innovation”, creating a community around our most innovative products.
In conclusion, as Steve Jobs said “innovation is the only way to win” and we totally agree.

What is your favourite quote?

I have several, but Henry Ford’s favourite maxim “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses” is probably best suited to this historical transition phase we are going through at Eceplast.
Our challenge is to focus on renewing our market offer through a value proposition that is not linked to the quality of our products, but to our capacity to create innovative solutions that create value for our customers. It is a challenge that excites me and I believe that we hold all the right cards and can play this game. Ford may have grasped the absence of a latent demand, producing a solution that his potential customers did not expect, one certainly more costly than a horse, but not in any way comparable. Ultimately, I would like to get our customers to see Eceplast as a partner of value and not simply a supplier of products.

Thank you, Nicola, for the time you have given us and our interesting conversation.


Alessandro Alberici

Alessandro Alberici joined the Part-Time MBA program in 2014 at MIP Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business, where he had the opportunity to attend many networking and companies’ events. After attending the EU Operations Pathways program presentation event organized by the Career Office of MIP, he went through the online selection and finally succeeded the on-campus 1-day panel interviews done by Amazon at MIP. After the graduation in summer 2016, Alessandro moved back to France while joining Amazon as Pathways Operation Manager.


What is your role at Amazon and what is your professional background?

I am a Pathways Operations Manager, currently acting as an Area Manager at Montelimar, France. After a double degree in Mechanical/Industrial Engineering at Politecnico di Milano and ENSTA-ParisTech, I studied for a Master’s degree in International Economics at Sorbonne-Paris 1. After completing an EDF graduation project at Accenture, France, I went back to Italy to work at ABB as Global Product Manager for Low Voltage devices. After four years, I moved to Vodafone as Senior Product Manager for B2B software solutions, working with partners such as Microsoft and Google. While working at ABB and then Vodafone, I took an MBA at MIP – Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business. After graduating I was recruited for the Pathways programme and moved back to France.


What do you like best about working at Amazon?

One of the Amazon mantras for recruiting new people is to ‘raise the bar’, and this core value is very evident! Everyone around you is bright, extremely talented and engaged in the continuous improvement and success of the company. The workplace is dynamic and challenging: you can see the immediate results of your actions and contributions. Ownership is a reality at Amazon, just as diversity is a true value.


What is the Amazon Pathways programme and what makes it unique?

In my opinion, the Amazon Pathways programme is one of the best MBA graduate programmes available. It is a well-defined three year programme that serves as fast track to senior leadership. It represents a great opportunity to lead big teams in one of the most international organisations in the world. Another strength of the Pathways Programme is that you start small: your time spent at the Amazon Associate Week and tenure as Area Manager are invaluable experiences you will carry with you in your career. As a senior leader at Amazon, you will make strategic decisions that impact upon the lives of thousands of people.


Why did you decide to join the Pathways programme?

I was looking for a position in operations that focused on products and service business logistics, within a growing, multinational company with a strong European presence. There is no better company than Amazon to meet my requirements. More specifically, the Pathways programme provides the opportunity to work in operations, right at the heart of Amazon, and develop you into a senior Amazon leader within a short timeframe.


What does a typical day for a Pathways manager look like?

As a Pathways manager you are assigned to a shift, which means that you have a very large team to manage, and together you fulfill orders, while delivering the best possible customer experience. You also work on capacity and planning in deep cooperation with the Operations Managers. Keywords for a Pathways manager’s day are: safety, quality, customer experience, capacity and productivity.


Amazon corporate values are the leadership principles. What are the two leadership principles essential to the Pathways programme?

Leadership principles are part of everyday life here at Amazon. The two that I find most essential are, ‘Learn and Be Curious’ and ‘Deliver Results’. To learn and be curious expresses the essence of every Amazonian’s first months with the company: you must absorb the huge quantity of notions, systems, tools and guidelines that make the magic work. So this principle is very appropriate for guiding you through this time. Valuable knowledge is everywhere in the company, you just have to adopt a proactive, curious approach to gain the nuggets of wisdom you need.

In addition, ‘Deliver Results’ is key for every Amazon employee, but it is even more relevant for a Pathways manager. You are expected to go fast, understand the business and contribute to it, while delivering data-driven results.


How do the skills and knowledge acquired during your MIP years support you in your Pathways manager job?

Both soft and hard skills are important to succeed as a Pathways manager. The hard skills may vary from core operations competencies, such as transportation, supply chain, capacity planning and execution planning, to advanced enterprise software capabilities. Marketing and sales competencies also help you gain a more complete view of the overall picture, when talking to retail colleagues.

Given the large scale of the teams you have to manage, soft skills are also very relevant, from communication, team building and management, to decision making and crisis management. All the knowledge acquired thanks to curricula courses, seminars and professional presentations, gave me a very wide spectrum of competencies.


What kind of mentorship does Amazon provide to support your success in the Pathways programme?

As Pathways manager you are able to meet top senior managers who follow your progress closely, with regular one-to-one meetings. The level and quality of support they provide for your development is amazing, they meaningfully contribute to your successful growth in the role.

Moreover, as any other Amazon operations manager, you are offered a series of learning opportunity weeks, both at the European headquarters and in the Fulfillment Centers. Finally, a vast catalogue of online training sessions are offered, and they enable you to deep dive and fully investigate a specific subject.


What is the biggest challenge you experienced during your first months at Amazon?

It was 6:00 AM one Saturday morning at my Fulfillment Center. I quickly came to understand the unique set of challenges ahead of myself and my team for that day. At that time, I was the only manager in the Fulfillment Center, with senior management available on-call if needed. Right after our start of shift team meeting, one of the pack lines suddenly stopped working. The maintenance team reacted as quickly as they could, but the issue was a serious one: more than six hours would be required to address the technological difficulty, and the pack line would be out of action for this entire time. Consequently, this would mean one of the operations teams would be not be able to perform their jobs at all.

It was up to me to react rapidly and take all elements of the situation into consideration. I performed relevant data analysis, developed a response plan, adjusted capacity, escalated issues to both management and cross-functional colleagues. Ultimately, together with my close-knit team, we executed our plan of action! We were then able to fulfill all customer orders on time, so the challenge ended up as a success story.


What is your most remarkable achievement at Amazon so far?

I am currently redesigning the layout of one of the areas of my Fulfillment Center: the transshipment area. I’m proud to be carrying out this initiative with valuable input from Amazon Associates. My goal is to further improve the safety of the area, the quality of the processes and employee performance, with the view of achieving concrete benefits for my Fulfillment Center, and other Fulfillment Centers around Europe, further down the line.


If you could go back to your first day with Amazon, what advice would you give to yourself to be successful in the Pathways programme?

Start small. During the first week you attend the Associate Experience Week and work as an Amazon Associate on the main processes. This time is really precious and unique to Amazon, so take the time to learn and be curious about the tasks performed. Don’t be overly eager about moving immediately on to more senior management tasks; they will come soon enough. Instead, be aware that the time spent as an Associate will really help you to become a better manager in the future.


To learn more about the Pahtways programme click here.

Roberto Marani

On the occasion of the Master’s Degree Graduation Ceremony at MIP Politecnico di Milano, Roberto Marani, CEO and Founder at Sorgente Group, Founder and Partner at Milky Way, tells his story.

Could you please introduce yourself, giving us a bit about your background and describing your current business?

Certainly. My name is Roberto Marani and I am 42 years old.  In terms of education, my university degree was in Civil Engineering, but before that, I was a soldier.

Over the years I have changed jobs several times, so actually, change has rather characterised my life.

At the age of 18, I joined the Military Academy. All went well, in that my studies paid off and I was accepted for training, after which I undertook a number of missions abroad in various post-conflict zones.

As an officer, I learned how important it is to inspire respect and trust in the people you are leading in order to get the mission accomplished, so this was a very important phase in my training. However, after ten years, I realised that my learning curve was flattening, I was no longer growing and I needed what I’d call a more informal and meritocratic environment.

So, taking my courage in both hands, I gave up my lifelong tenure and six months after being in Iraq, found myself sitting in an MIP lecture theatre, putting all my efforts into my Master’s degree in Business Administration.

During the MBA, I was completely convinced that my future career would be consolidated by entering a management consulting firm, so I approached the placement office for advice. However, they felt that because I was 30 at that time and had no relevant experience, the top consulting firms would prefer a candidate with more specific skills, such as finance or logistics, or something like that.

This goaded me into action and, after a lot of work on my CV, I managed to land a job  ̶  first at the Boston Consulting Group, followed by another two years later at McKinsey.  After four years in management consultancy, the financial crisis hit and, with the downturn in the market, it was time to look around.

I started dreaming of becoming an entrepreneur and, apart from dreaming, I also started looking around for an idea. This idea came to me by pure chance during a party where I met an old friend, who told me that her sister was having a baby and planning to store the umbilical cord blood stem cells, as these rarely carry any infectious diseases and are half as likely to be rejected as adult stem cells  ̶  they can be used, if necessary, for the future health of the child.

I decided to investigate this subject further, studying the more mature markets, specifically in the USA where this business already exists.

To cut a long story short, after having worked in all kinds of areas apart from healthcare – I’d worked in banking, finance, the public sector, logistics – I founded the company in the only industry in which I had no experience whatsoever – healthcare!

So – I founded my start-up, working from home, starting from scratch once again with a new adventure.

I founded Sorgente in 2009 and now, after 8 years, it is a group of three companies with a revenue this year of 6 million euros. It is still a small group but has grown 30% compared with last year and we have the vision of becoming an important player in the healthcare industry in Italy in the next few years.

How did the MBA help you in this challenge, especially at Sorgente?

The MBA gave me the basic knowledge to be able to build on my management skills because, with my military background, I was totally lacking in any knowledge about business, economics, planning, business strategy, and so on – all those tools an entrepreneur needs in order to run a company.  So actually, MIP was essential for me, it was a unique educational experience enabling me to build up my skill set, leading firstly to a position as a consultant and then to becoming an entrepreneur.

Furthermore, MIP gave me the opportunity to develop a network. I learned to appreciate how important a network is in life, both for improving my social and teamworking skills, and also sometimes for putting me into stressful situations. I had, of course, dealt with many stressful situations in the army before  ̶  but this was very different! I had to learn how to manage stress in a civilian and management context and this was another important thing that MIP gave me.

Can you tell us a key moment you recall from your MBA journey? A special moment?

Yes, there are quite a few special moments which I can recall from my MBA journey, but one of the best for sure was doing the outdoor training.

The training took place up in the mountains at an altitude of 3,000 metres and centred how to react and what to do in the case of an avalanche. This helped us to develop our teamwork capabilities and to learn how to deal with a stressful situation. Besides that, of course, there were the benefits of being out in nature, enjoying the beautiful environment.

From a different perspective, another very important moment was when I attended the Boston Consulting Group’s presentation during the final phase of the MBA, when companies came to present themselves.  I felt very emotional hearing  directly from the company about their vision, their values, what they were doing and what kinds of people they were looking for  ̶  in fact, it was just like falling in love with this company, so that’s why I did everything in my power to get taken on by BCG.

Can you give any advice to our growing leaders?

Well, sure – the advice I would give to graduate students is to do what I have tried to do all my life – be ready to manage change in your life. Plan for it, take all the opportunities which life has to offer  ̶  maybe try to avoid taking the most obvious path, but aim to think creatively about doing what really matters to you and working with people you care about.

Also, pay great attention to building on your leadership capabilities, as they are fundamental today and never, never stop growing at a professional level, keep investing in yourself. The Master should only be a phase in your growth  ̶  I believe that you should learn something new every day and continue to grow your capabilities.

Finally, on a personal level, be ethical in your approach to people  ̶  this makes you a better person, as well as a better leader.

Matteo Castagno

Stuck in a rut? Feeling blocked? There’s no need to think that your current position is your destiny, as one student at MIP Politecnico di Milano was to discover.
An International Full Time MBA at MIP helped Matteo Castagno land a great job as a business analyst in a food & beverage company… and now he is only too happy that he took the plunge and made the switch from one industry to another.
Like many who fear being pigeonholed, Matteo understood that it was unlikely that he would be able to move out of his IT specialism without filling the gaps in his knowledge.

“During the MBA,” says Matteo, “I learned new business concepts and I studied in depth how different businesses are managed and their best practices. This allowed me to gather my thoughts about the development of my own career.”

Matteo further explains: “MIP’s industry links were crucial when I was looking for project work”. He found a position at Moncler, “currently the most prominent company in the Italian luxury sector”. After graduating, he went on to a job at Whirlpool and from there to his current position. “Without the placement service of the school I wouldn’t have had the chance to enter these specific sectors”.

The realisation that he wanted to make the change came about because of a trip to Silicon Valley, where he had the chance to meet the founder of Logitech, visit companies such as IBM and Google and talk to top venture capitalists. It was an opportunity for the group of students to see the reality of what they had been studying and immerse themselves in the whole culture of innovation.

Matteo’s inkling that he was missing some key skills, both hard and soft, turned out to the right one and the MBA plugged the gaps in his knowledge, opening up many new options for his future career path. He chose MIP Politecnico di Milano “because of the innovative way the MBA is structured, in particular concerning the boot-camp aspect…” Students are given the chance to attend a wide range of courses held by top companies, thus providing them with the opportunity to see the culture of these businesses at first hand and to experience different fields of application.

In conclusion ̶ don’t let self-limiting beliefs prevail. An MBA at MIP makes it possible for you to get out of your box and venture into a wider world. The whole MIP experience ̶ not just the course but colleagues from all over the world, the international Faculty and the many opportunities to travel and explore different aspects of business and other cultures ̶ all these factors will help your ideas to coalesce so that you can set out into a bright new future.
In Matteo’s own words: “Go for it!”

Read the full interview here.