Women In Business: Big Data, Luxury, And Why I Chose Italy For My MBA

MIP Politecnico di Milano’s full-time MBA class is composed of over 20 different nationalities. Almost half of its MBA students are women

Italy’s MIP Politecnico di Milano is attracting new generations of international MBA students looking to take their careers to the next level. The MIP MBA is 75% international, with over 20 different nationalities represented in the class. 45% of MBA students are women.

For many, MIP’s international full-time MBA is a launch-pad to the top tiers of business. It was designed in collaboration with over 30 official partner companies - including giants like Microsoft, Amazon, and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) – who offer students project work and job placements. It’s offered a cutting-edge big data and business analytics seminar in partnership with IBM since 2013.

Italy offers bountiful career opportunities in sectors like luxury, travel and tourism, manufacturing and engineering, as well as a vibrant startup scene. 96% of MIP MBAs seeking employment land new jobs within six months of graduation. 71% change industries. We spoke to two women looking to do the same.

Simge Duran, MBA ‘17

A qualified engineer, Simge worked for global firms like Deloitte, Alstom, and General Electric prior to her MBA. She relocated from her native Turkey to join MIP. Now, she wants to break into Italy’s luxury sector.

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at MIP?

MIP offered a well-structured program in one of Europe’s largest economies. The MBA program is sponsored by over 30 international companies that support students with job opportunities after they graduate. The career development services and the opportunities for international exchange also stood out.

How have you profited from your MBA experience so far?

Attending an MBA program in a foreign country puts me at an advantage in terms of my future career development. I can improve my managerial skills with working with international classmates. Plus, MIP has very good relationships with well-known Italian, and international, companies.

What is the future for women in business?

For me, women are more creative and more emotional than men. Women have completely different perspectives, problem solving, and decision making skills. These are important complementary characteristics in management. If the number of women working in companies increases, there can be more progress.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m keen to work for an Italian luxury company after graduation. I’ve always wanted to work in luxury. MIP in Italy is the best place for me to realize my ambitions.

Cynthia Mukiwa, MBA ‘17

cynthia - mip mba

Cynthia worked for over a decade in insurance in South Africa and her native Zimbabwe before joining MIP. She’s looking to diversify with an MBA.

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at MIP?

I embarked on this MBA path to broaden my horizons. I also wanted to challenge myself to learn a new culture and language. The MIP MBA seemed different to traditional MBA programs because of its innovative, practical approach to learning, which fitted perfectly to my needs. The big data analytics initiative with IBM really stood out.

How have you profited from your MBA experience so far?

This MBA has given me the tools and confidence to deal with executive level issues around managing people, strategy, finance, innovation, and big data analytics. And, being in a class with colleagues from over 20 different countries, I’ve experienced diverse approaches to learning and idea generation.

I had the opportunity to participate at the World Business Forum in Milan, which gave me the platform to network and understand how businesses survive disruption. I have also been exposed to luxury management which is a new topic for me, and has given me a new outlook on the luxury industry.

What is the future for women in business?

At least 4% of CEO positions in the Fortune 500 companies are held by women. I believe this number will rise as more women are now pursuing professional careers compared to prior decades. The business world is now geared towards recognizing talent over and above gender.

What are your plans for the future?

I’m seeking opportunities in various sectors. The MBA gives me the opportunity to develop different skills and gain insight into different industries. 

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