31 May 2023

The spirit of networking

Author: Davide Ritorto – International Part Time MBA student

Networking and internationalism are at the heart of any MBA program, including my experience at POLIMI GSoM. Through a variety of practical examples and experiences during my International Part-Time MBA journey, I can attest to the fact that the school takes this aspect of its curriculum very seriously and strives to create opportunities for students to expand their global perspective and professional network.

Two of the key events of the program that embodied the spirit of networking and internationalism were the International Weeks. These one-week-long trips took our class to have a study experience in two of the top business schools in Europe, EADA Business School in Barcelona and UCL in London. During these weeks, first of all we strengthened our relationships with our classmates and then also expanded our network with the foreign students we met.

In addition to the International Week, classroom experiences were also designed to promote networking and internationalism. Throughout the program, we were encouraged to work on group projects with classmates from different cultural and professional backgrounds. This approach helped us develop teamwork skills and gave us exposure to different ways of thinking and problem-solving. Our professors also encouraged us to share our personal and professional experiences, which created a rich learning environment that fostered mutual respect and understanding.

Another way that POLIMI GSoM put the spirit of networking into practice was through in-company visits and guests’ speeches. These experiences allowed us to see first-hand how multinational corporations operate in different countries and cultures. We had the opportunity to meet with executives and learn about their company’s strategy, culture, and operations. These inbound and outbound visits were not only educational but also helped us build connections with professionals in our desired fields.

Furthermore, I also had the opportunity to attend various networking and career-development events. For example, I attended a conference on Blockchain and Web3 that brought together professionals from various industries to discuss current trends and challenges. This event provided me with the opportunity to meet people who were passionate about innovation and exchange ideas with them.

Finally, the school also provided opportunities for us to engage in international study trips. I had the opportunity to participate in a short exchange program at Audencia Business School in Nantes, France. The course, “From Business Opportunity to Business Plan,” taught by Professor Natalia Vershinina, was a truly international experience. Out of the total class size of around 25 students, only two were European, including myself. The other students came from a variety of countries including Colombia, Mexico, Nigeria, Togo, Peru, Lebanon, and more. This diversity in backgrounds and perspectives made for an incredibly enriching and dynamic learning environment.

The course focused on the process of turning a business opportunity into a viable business plan. We learned about the different stages of the process, from identifying a business opportunity to conducting market research and developing financial projections. The course was structured around a group project, in which we worked in teams to develop a business plan for a real-life startup.

Working on this project with my classmates was one of the highlights of the experience. We had to navigate cultural and language barriers, but ultimately, we were able to create a cohesive and innovative business plan that drew on the strengths of each team member. The project allowed us to put the concepts we learned in class into practice and provided us with valuable experience working in a diverse and international team.

In addition to the classroom experience, the exchange program also provided us with opportunities to explore Nantes and learn more about French culture. We took part in cultural activities such as visiting the Château des Ducs de Bretagne, a medieval castle in the heart of Nantes, and, above all, attending a wine-tasting event.

Coming up soon is my second International Short Exchange at St. Gallen university in Switzerland for the Business Model Innovation course. Connect with me on LinkedIn to find out more about this experience!

31 May 2023

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