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Bocconi Has Just Relaunched Its Full-Time MBA Program—Here’s What You Need To Know

Francesco Daveri, Full-Time MBA director at SDA Bocconi School of Management, hopes to put every student on a level playing field with a cleverly compressed course


By  Samantha Wernham

Thu Sep 27 2018

With 108 students ready to roll, Francesco Daveri is very excited about the 44th edition of the Full-Time MBA at SDA Bocconi School of Management. 

With the aim of equipping candidates with the knowledge and expertise to tackle today’s global challenges, the latest version of the program is new and improved.

More compact and more accessible for all, the revised Full-Time MBA at SDA Bocconi promotes equal opportunities in regards to gender and background. 

To get accepted, Francesco looks for people three things: a social conscience, ambition to excel in their chosen industry, and an aspiration to make a change—without those, he says, there’s little point in applying.

BusinessBecause caught up with Francesco to find out more.

What makes the Full-Time MBA at SDA Bocconi unique?

Other than excellent teaching resources and professors, which I consider to be fundamental, we offer small class sizes. We take 100 students and split them into two classrooms of 50, endorsing a ‘cozy but competitive’ environment.

This means we can guarantee every student is valued rather than treated as just a number. It’s really important that every candidate has their own identity and that their needs are individually catered for. 

Finally, we provide a diverse range of opportunities for specialists in their fields. It’s not just finance and economics! We try and work with a range of students from a whole host of professional backgrounds and sectors, from fashion to food.

What’s new about the 44th edition of the Bocconi MBA?

We have kept the basic elements of the traditional full-time program, but we’ve also adapted two aspects in particular which we hope will improve the quality and result of the MBA.

Firstly, we have eliminated the in-class preparatory courses; non-compulsory programs which were previously in place as foundation schemes to support the MBA. We hope this will ensure that everyone is on an even playing field this year, reducing the level of discrepancy in ability and knowledge among candidates. The pre-course curriculum is now imbedded in the full-time MBA, providing an overview for all students rather than just a proportion.

Secondly, we have made the program more compact through moving the elective part of the course—which normally takes place in October—to May. The idea is that candidates are now able to go for summer internships freely, knowing they have completed the main body of the theoretical side of the MBA before the summer. This leaves only the practical element of the program left to complete in October, focusing on soft skills. 

Are there any exciting new initiatives we should know about?

We are very happy to report that the Lunch and Learn initiative is carrying on this year, after receiving great feedback from students. The idea is for MBA candidates to meet with leading figures from a range of sectors to discuss experiences and advice over lunchtime seminars. It’s a practical way of showing our students how informal learning outside of the classroom can be so beneficial.

For example, we have arranged a talk with Riccardo Illy of Illy coffee, which I’m really looking forward to. We try to get the big names from big brands in to chat to our MBA students, providing inspiration and information on how to be successful.

Also, I have personally specified that 50% of the speakers should be women. 42% of our new students are female, with many coming from a wide range of countries worldwide, and so it’s very important to promote gender equality and push for more opportunities for women on the MBA.

What advice do you have for anyone applying to the Full-Time MBA at SDA Bocconi?

We look for smart people from a range of sectors and industries. Around 70% of our students are from a financial, economic or engineering background, but this doesn’t mean that anyone else is restricted or disregarded. 

I would say you need to have ambition and be ready to collaborate, cooperate and integrate. Essentially, if someone has potential, we are interested.