19 December 2019

i-Flex EMBA: Kick off of amazing journey

Author: Vito Conversano, International Flex EMBA student

I’d like to introduce to you my first, kick-off week of the i-Flex Executive Master of Business Administration at MIP Politecnico di Milano by starting from the end: the warm hugs, the willingness to meet again soon and the mutual feeling that it was as if we had known each other for years.

Yes, it might seem odd, but in just a few days we started to build up a strong relationship that we are sure will last for the whole 20 months of the program and even longer. It started on the introduction day when we first met up, a class of 61 friends coming from all parts of the world. It’s a melting pot of people from China, Japan, South Korea, Mozambique, Nigeria, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, the USA, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Hungary, Germany, Finland, Romania, Turkey, Switzerland, Poland, etc. ̶ and, of course, Italy. Everyone brings with them their experience, professional and, mainly, personal views, their culture and way of facing problems.

How did it begin? We passed two days in a quiet atmosphere at a historical Italian countryside “villa”. The silence of the Ligurian mountains was our background. Talking (it’s so essential to communicate), doing outdoor activities together (emphasizing the concept of learning by doing) and briefing what we actually did, all helped us to get to know the other participants, understand their way of thinking, trust each other and collaborate toward a final common goal: to learn.

The initial hesitancy soon broke up. It was so pleasant to find other open-minded and easy-going people, too attractive the sharing of their own experience and learning from others, too important the common goal. The structure of the activities, with a gradual increase in the level of cooperation, facilitated a gaining in confidence and the ability to recognize other participants’ strengths.

With this awareness we tackled the first week of lessons, analysing the problems with everyone’s contributions, looking hence from all our different points of view. It was an immersion in the initial topics, into which we surely could not have gone in such depth if we hadn’t trusted and respected each other. We built up a class, we become friends.

We all now have great expectations from the amazing journey that awaits us, and we know that it’s feasible to all go on together, as a unique team. To use one of our outdoor activity mottos, we are “stronger together”!!!

19 December 2019

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