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The SDA Bocconi Q+A

For Michele Montonati, nothing beats that first week when you’re meeting new people and the workload hasn’t kicked in

By  Giulia Cambieri

Fri Jun 17 2011


First of all, tell us something about yourself.
I’m thirty-one, and I’m originally from Gallarate, but moved to Milan twelve years ago. In 2005, I graduated in Economics from Bocconi and after that I worked for five years in consulting.

Why did you decide to do an MBA?
To improve my career and find new job opportunities.

Why did you choose SDA Bocconi?
I chose SDA Bocconi for two reasons: firstly, I wanted to stay in Italy, and secondly I wanted to do a one-year program. I already knew Bocconi, and I had the chance to meet some of its MBA alumni, which left me with no doubts about my decision.

At what stage of the program are you?
The third term finished ten days ago. Now some of us are working on our entrepreneurial projects, while some others are doing an internship. Together with two colleagues, I’m working on an entrepreneurial project on consumer goods. From September we’ll start our concentrations.

What classes have you taken and which one was the most interesting?
My favourite class is Operations and Technology Management. Alberto Grando, the professor, who is also the Dean of the SDA Bocconi School of Management, is excellent, and made us passionate about the subject.

What I learnt in those classes is immediately applicable when facing the problems you actually deal with every day when you do business.

What are the most important factors to take into consideration when choosing a business school?
Ranking is definitely important: studying in a prestigious and well-known school can help you in your career and therefore I think it’s a factor to take into account.

The school’s geographical location is crucial in term of networking. Some of my American classmates, for example, chose Bocconi in order to get into the Italian job market.

Are you involved in any extra-curricular activities at Bocconi?
I’m President of the Sailing Club. During the last weekend in May we organized an event to introduce newcomers to sailing. For us, it’s a way of socializing after class.

Is there a moment you’ve particularly enjoyed so far?
The beginning of the year was particularly exciting. You’ve heard so many things about the program and you’re curious to see if they’re actually true. And then you meet a lot of smart students, from whom you learn a lot.

It’s the moment when you actually realize how diversity is important to expand your knowledge. You become aware of the different approaches to issues that people with different cultures and professional backgrounds have. It’s really exciting!

It’s also a period when the workload is not as high as it will be in the next few months, so you can enjoy the moment.

To whom would you recommend Bocconi?
I would recommend Bocconi to anyone who wants to work hard and put him or herself on the line. It’s not easy to go back to school after having worked for some years, especially a competitive school full of smart people, like Bocconi. It’s definitely not a vacation!

And what would you like to do in five to ten years and where would you like to live?
I want to be a successful entrepreneur in Italy, running my own business. I’ve traveled a lot, but in the long-term I want to live in Italy