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MIP MBA Takes Student to the United Nations

MIP Politecnico di Milano student Monica Hornung Cattan tackled the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in her thesis

By  Harriet Murdoch

Tue Sep 27 2011

Having worked in sectors as diverse as aeronautical engineering and the United Nations during her MBA, Monica Hornung Cattan, who graduated from MIP one month ago, is now interviewing for jobs all over the world from Luxembourg to Brazil. She tells us more about the program, and why she traded a Masters in African Studies for an MBA

She studied for her MBA at MIP Politecnico di Milano, Italy, and says that “in six years I have lived in five countries and seven cities”. She told me about how her MBA took her to work at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

Monica, 27, believes that MIP Politecnico di Milano is brilliant for the international exposure it offers and the Italian context it is so steeped in. “Italians have great creativity. In times of crisis creativity is glue. You need creativity to go through all the things that are happening in the world at the moment. And the MIP Politecnico di Milano MBA has the Italian particularities built into the programme therefore the course improves our capability to react.”

With German-Arabic heritage, but raised in Chile, Monica had international curiosity at a young age, and she moved to Europe to study when she was 21. “I started international relations in Chile and I finished my degree in Bologna on an exchange programme – which was fantastic and it’s well known for being one of the oldest international relations courses in the world.”

An interest in international relations led to Monica collaborating with a local government in Chile. But she soon realised that with international relations you can have as many great ideas as you like, but to implement them properly you need to understand the business models. “That’s where the inspiration to do an MBA began, in my efforts to implement policy in a good way.”

“After the local government I worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on modernisation of the Ministry and I collaborated with ministries in Brazil, Costa Rica and other developed and developing countries.”

Cambridge’s Embassy CES was where Monica polished up her English before heading down to London to start her Pre-Sessional Masters Degree in African Studies at SOAS. “At this point MIP contacted me and they said, 'We have this MBA, what do you think?' But I decided to go and work for a marketing and communications company in Madrid, where I worked on a new marketing strategy for the Spanish National rail network and also Madrid fashion week.”

But the desire to implement change meant Monica realised an MBA was the ticket to combining political and economic theory and learning the methods to put them into practice. “MIP Politecnico di Milano offered me an MBA with a specialisation in global business and risk management.”

“I was looking and looking and they have great potential of growth as a university and as a program. I was interested by their rapid growth and accepted.”

The course had 49 students from 24 countries drawn from a diversity of backgrounds, “from lawyers and engineers to economists, meaning that the level of discussion in every single course was really high.”

Monica collaborated on a number of different projects, mainly involved in the marketing and planning side. At Indesit she was asked to integrate a new marketing scheme and later on she also collaborated on a new aeronautical anti-turbulence
material, to ensure it met the requirements of the European Union’s Clean Sky project.

The diversity at MIP, the level of discussion and the relationship between the school and the students are what stand out to Monica. “MIP continue to interact with students after graduation. They ask you how your interviews are going, it is an exceptionally collaborative environment and the careers service has been amazing!”

“But it was me that said I want to do my MBA project work with the United Nations and MIP Politecnico di Milano supported my decision to go to the Economical Commission for Europe which was perfect for me!”

Monica worked under the ‘Trade and Sustainable Land Management Division’ and was organising meetings that happen every two years with EU delegates on land management, “that was the practical side but I could also collaborate on creating country profiles of Eastern Europe and Asia. I determined the success of United Nations Economic Commission in Europe (UNECE) in Tajikistan, and helped draw up their trade and sustainable land management profile.”

The UN proved to be a “really natural environment for me, even though I was one of the few Latin-American people there! And my final thesis was on Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Tajikistan.

"This area of study I found to be a really nice niche, you have to think how you can merge business interests with political world. It's important to create a synergy of business and social interests.”

Monica’s advice for anyone thinking about studying for an MBA is: “Make the most out of your MBA, the MBA program is seriously intensive and you are moving all the time. Movement without direction is not good. Enjoy the time on the program, and create good relationships with the professors and always ask as much as you can.”

What does the future hold for Monica? Well, she wants to work in marketing and communications for an international organisation based in Europe and in the next ten years move back to Latin America to help companies that want to establish businesses out there.

Monica has been using the BusinessBecause jobs board and has interviews lined up with J P Morgan, a secret start-up and Google Australia….

Student Reviews

Polimi Graduate School of Management





Great technology competences related to the financial world

The program offers great technological and concrete competencies of the technology applied to the financial sector. Students are highly motivated and fun to be around. The courses are highly linked to innovative and forward-looking topics and deliver great career prospects.




On Campus

Master in FinTech

Mip is a very organised school, the program of the Fintech master is really interesting and covers a lot of useful fields. I believe the Carrer Development Center and the network of companies the school has is one of the best features of this master. Suggested if u are interested in finance technologies and the interaction between them.





MIP Politecnico di Milano was totally a gamechanger for me, I learned a lot and the exposure I got while studying here was unlimited. This university is very flexible and student friendly, the professors are highly qualified and are devoted to their work. The best part about this university is that if you have free time in your course, you can sit for other courses as well of your choices, being a civil engineer I always had affinity towards design, as I got a weeks off from my course I used to attend design lectures with other batches. This was really helpful to me.