Alberto Rinella was working for a tech startup in Pune, India, when his career was brought to a standstill.
Returning home from a dinner out with friends, he fell off a motorbike and shattered his leg. Over the next few months, he underwent five separate surgeries, two in India and three in his native Italy.
Unable to continue a full-time job, Alberto used an MBA at MIP Politecnico di Milano as part of his recovery plan. At MIP, he could boost his business credentials outside of the workplace. He attended his first classes on crutches, with a metal frame around his leg.
In only 12 months, he graduated and landed a job at Ferrero’s Italian headquarters. Now, he’s back in India, supporting the chocolate manufacturer’s India-based leadership, driving strategy, and helping to manage a chocolate factory in Baramati, Pune.
While his body’s still in constant pain, Alberto considers himself lucky to be where he is today. Recovering from his accident has been one of the toughest periods of his life, and he’s grateful for the MBA that helped him through it.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at MIP?
I had to keep my mind busy while recovering from my motorcycle accident. And I had to keep trying to advance professionally, even if I was not able to cope with a full-time job.
I chose MIP because of its reputation and good international ranking. I liked the idea of gaining a MBA from an engineering-focused institution, so to differentiate from my economics background. Plus, the MIP MBA fulfilled my needs because of its proximity to my home in Turin.
How did the job at Ferrero come about?
I had the opportunity to be the recipient of an MBA scholarship from Ferrero, which partially covered the MBA tuition fees. As part of my MBA project work, I spent a few months collaborating with the company’s organization and improvement team. They then offered me a permanent position at their headquarters.
I’ve always been curious about working in emerging markets. When Ferrero got to know about my previous experiences, they asked me if I was willing to join their Indian business unit – and I accepted!
How has the MBA helped you in your current role?
I’m in charge of supporting the top management of the company in process implementation and performing several strategic activities; from planning to route-to-market definition. It’s a great role for a fresh MBA grad because of its exposure to different functions and the level of responsibility required.
Working in emerging markets, and India particularly, is extremely challenging but also rewarding. There is a culture gap, but the professional and personal growth opportunities are unrivalled. The multicultural mix of the MIP MBA class was a great help in equipping me with the right skills necessary to work in and understand such an environment.
Would you be where you are today without the MIP MBA?
No. Pursuing the MBA allowed me to overcome the most difficult period of my life; one I sometimes thought I would not be able to make it through.
The constant interaction with high-profile classmates, the group activities and the companies’ collaborations, allowed me to grow my confidence back and to be successful in my professional challenges. I was then lucky enough to have the chance to apply lots of my MBA learnings in my day-to-day activities, and those learnings have really made the difference.
What should applicants think about when deciding to do an MBA?
Choose a school which can add something different to your professional background, be it in terms of specialization, location, or internships opportunities. Keep an eye on the rankings and the professional networks, but remember that the real added value of an MBA will be inside your class.
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