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From The Family Business To Working At Microsoft With An MBA

Marco Trada’s MBA allowed him to switch from helping run his family’s construction business in Italy to an international role at Microsoft. Here’s how


Fri Dec 13 2019


When BusinessBecause last spoke to Marco Trada, he was half-way through his MBA at EDHEC Business School. Things have progressed for him since then. From running his family business in Italy, to a role as the Mediterranean head of digital stores and e-commerce at Microsoft, Marco’s MBA has helped him carve out the fast moving career he desired. 

We caught up with Marco to see how he made this all happen. 

From the family business to an MBA

From a young age, Marco was launched into helping to run the family, a construction materials reseller based in Turin in Northern Italy. Equipped with a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration, he ran the marketing team for four years.

But while small scale entrepreneurship in his hometown was rewarding, Marco was looking for bigger challenges. He knew he had a lot to learn—about international, fast-moving business.

“I wanted to move beyond the family context, and prove myself in an international setting,” Marco insists. 

He enrolled at EDHEC, on their Global MBA program, which offered him an opportunity to explore business not just outside of Italy, but outside of Europe. 

MBA students have the choice of four specialization tracks, each of which offers a business trip to one of New York, London, San Francisco, or Singapore. 

Marco travelled to Singapore as part of the Global Leadership track. Singapore’s tech market is one of the fastest growing, and most connected in the world, and for Marco was an opportunity to see the growth mindset that he still holds today.

A sustainability challenge

The MBA also offers students insight into how business can be developed sustainably.

Every student takes part in a week-long immersive trip to South Africa to learn about sustainable business. The trip, co-organized with Stellenbosch University, takes students to see different local business, understanding the challenges they face and how they address these under the theme of sustainability. 

Inspired by what he saw, Marco co-founded the MBA Sustainable Development Club at EDHEC. The club runs weekly events with local businesses and international speakers, who offer insight into the importance of running businesses with a triple bottom line. 

As part of his time at the club, he entered the Hult Prize competition, an international competition hosted by Hult International Business School, which offers a prize to social enterprise projects. 

Marco’s team pitched a waste management enterprise, influenced by what he saw in South Africa—a challenge to tackle waste and recycling inefficiency, while creating hundreds of new jobs in townships. 

Embracing a growth mindset

Tech wasn’t always the end goal Marco had in mind. His tech knowledge was limited; it was something else that drew him there.

“What attracted me was the fast moving pace of these companies. Companies like Google and Microsoft demand a growth mindset [from its employees], that requires them to keep up with the pace of the market and the companies.”

With the assistance of EDHEC’s career service, Marco was accepted onto the MACH MBA program—now called the Aspire program—which Microsoft offers to develop MBA talent for different areas of the company.

He was quickly promoted up to the marketing analytics team, before adopting his current position as the head of digital sales and e-commerce for the Mediterranean region, covering Italy, Greece, Cyprus, and Malta. 

He’s constantly learning, shifting, and adapting to the ever changing world in which Microsoft operates and strives to remain relevant to the customer. It’s often about treading, or testing, new ground, and about stepping out of his own comfort zone. But embracing this is something Marco’s MBA imparted to him. 

“It’s so important to really test yourself in different environments, because there’s always something more to learn,” Marco stresses. 

“If you want to remain relevant in this job market, you have to adopt this growth mindset.”