I Quit My Job In Brazil For A Full-Time MBA In Europe—Now I Work For One Of Italy’s Biggest Firms

Jimmy Popiel landed a job at leading Italian construction group, Salini Impregilo, after an MBA at Italy’s MIP Politecnico di Milano

Jimmy Popiel is a pretty driven guy. At 31, he was the production manager for the third biggest hydropower plant construction project in Brazil, but he still wanted more. His ultimate goal: to progress up the corporate ladder and into the c-suite.

Jimmy knew that the resumes of those in more senior positions were different to his. He was missing experience, skills, and knowledge in certain areas. His company suggested he used a gap between projects to pursue an International MBA.

It was then that he came across the MBA program at MIP Politecnico di Milano.

The Italian school has recently completed a 15-year project of internationalization and boasts a diverse MBA cohort and opportunities for study exchanges all over the globe, including France, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Hong Kong, China, India, Australia, the USA, and the UK.

Jimmy spent four weeks in Beijing and revelled in a diverse MBA class. “Attending a class with people from all around the world was amazing. There were 20 different nationalities in my year, with different views and experiences,” he says.

MIP boasts strong links with industry, stemming from its foundation as a non-profit consortium with 20 companies and multinationals on the board. These ties give MIP MBA students unprecedented access to industry leaders across disciplines to enhance their overall business education.

“For me, MIP’s partnerships with local industry presented a wonderful opportunity,” Jimmy explains. “In Brazil, we do not have these connections—companies struggle to engage with students at universities.

MIP Politecnico di Milano was completely different,” he continues. “The first part of the MBA degree included boot camps on specific topics and each had a particular company tied to it. The one related to luxury was delivered in partnership with Gucci—just one example of big industry players working with the university.

“We had internship opportunities and companies presenting on-campus each week. These links would help me find new opportunities after graduation.”

Post-MBA, Jimmy landed a dream internship with Italian construction group Salini Impregilo, after which he was offered a permanent position. He now works in global vendor management, linked to the company’s procurement department.

“MIP helped me to contact the company,” he says. “I would never have got this role without my MBA.

“I was a planner and then a project manager in Brazil. Now, I’m combining my previous experience and the knowledge from my MBA in a more senior role,” he continues.

“We’re talking about contracts, macro-economics, deals, and evaluating the economic capacity of our suppliers—I wouldn’t have even thought about doing these things before my MBA at MIP.”