25 November 2020

The MBA experience, considerations one year after: the journey never ends

Author: Marianna Trimarchi, International Full Time MBA alumna 

A couple of days ago, I participated in the yearly edition of an event I had been to in person in September 2019. Back then, it was the first time I had taken part in an international fair as such, and I went with a group of my MBA mates. The master program was in its early stages, classes hadn’t begun yet and we didn’t know each other very well. Nonetheless, we were already managing to actively get involved in what the city would offer. This year the event shifted online, due to the Covid-19 situation, and I didn’t arrange anything with my classmates. However, it acted on me powerfully as the madeleine that drove me back to the memories of this very intense year. Here is my summing-up.

For sure, one of the questions my classmates and I have asked ourselves a lot during the exceptional times we have been experiencing in recent months, is if the choice to pursue an MBA in 2020 was the right one at all. Back then, we didn’t know what would be coming and if I think about the times we spent at MIP during the fall and winter, I recall hectic hours, a whole lot of classes and assignments, but most of all Halloween and Christmas parties, calcetto&pizza nights and smiling mind talks where each of us would share their experience, background and goals. This blog gave me the chance to express how the human connection and the network of international people I met during the program was the very best part of the experience at MIP, and this last article I am writing can only confirm the thought!

On a personal level, thinking about the educational side of the MBA, my expectations were highly met. I am glad the first part of the year was held in person, and of course I regret that the bootcamps had to move online, but overall, considering that MIP adapted to the lockdown at an unexpected and successful pace overnight, preventing us from losing a single day of classes, I can really sense a change in my mindset and attitude, a change that I wished to achieve when I enrolled. As I have said many times, my diverse background and my distance from the business world made me feel different from the “average candidate” at an early stage, but through the year, along with being aware of the value of this diversity, I can also recognize that I complemented it fully. I am now a person who thinks strategically and with a business mindset, not only in my working life, but whatever I do, from planning for the future to setting a short-term everyday life goal.

This new mindset is indeed particularly relevant at a professional level if I think about my post-MBA work experience. What I was wishing to achieve one year ago was to move from academia into the business world, building upon my research competences and leveraging on the new ones acquired during the master’s. From what I wrote in a previous post where I talked about my project work and thesis, I can claim that the balance between these two areas of knowledge has been achieved. Working on a change management project, I came to fully apply a blend of topics coming from both my profile as a PhD and the subjects explored during the MBA classes, such as Organization Design, Design Thinking and People and Organizations. Without the courses at the Politecnico, I wouldn’t have had a whole lot of knowledge that I am currently using.

When I think about the one-year-ago-me who crossed the sliding doors of MIP for the first time as an MBA candidate, I can see someone who had very different goals from nowadays, who was maybe a little confused and uncertain, but who at the same time was open to discovering new things. That curiosity made me find things I am passionate about and that I didn’t know before, it made me meet people who were the opposite to me, but who still make my life richer; it made me go through a huge personal transformation, where concepts such as leadership and value have a precious meaning; most of all, it made me grow. So what I can say with this last post is that yes, the MBA experience has come to a formal conclusion, but the journey along the path of growth never ends.

25 November 2020

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