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Why MBA: MIP Politecnico Di Milano – Italy

Monica Hornung Cattan used her MBA degree from MIP Politecnico Di Milano in Italy to make a career switch to sustainability development in Singapore.

Mon Nov 10 2014

BusinessBecause spoke with Monica Hornung Cattan three years ago, when she had just graduated from MIP Politecnico Di Milano, the Italian business school, and was searching for a global career.

After her MBA – and after her work with the United Nations Economics Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Geneva – she joined Barilla, a European consumer goods company famed for its Italian pasta sauces.

But with cultural curiosity and a desire to continue travelling, she moved to Asia to seek out new experiences, and now works as a senior program manager at Global Initiatives, an international events and television programing organization, in Singapore.

How has your career progressed since you completed the MBA at MIP?

After completing my collaboration at UNECE Geneva, I joined Barilla, one of the biggest Italian companies in the global food industry. As part of the communication and external affairs department, I was responsible for managing the International Forum – an annual event attended by global experts, policy makers and companies.

The aim of the forum is to discuss and develop actionable strategies related to the big paradoxes around food and nutrition, such as obesity, food scarcity [and] climate change. It was also a key platform for creating synergies and combining efforts from governments all around the world to implement policies and achieve change.

After two rewarding years at Barilla I decided to move to Asia which marked a new milestone in my career.

Why did you decide to begin an MBA program?

Working in the private and public sector made me realise that I needed to acquire a broader perspective and a wider set of skills to deliver high quality projects and communicate with stakeholders more effectively. The MBA gave me what I need to succeed in more demanding roles.

Why did you chose to begin your MBA at MIP?

Known as one of the best European MBA programs, the MIP [program] was the perfect choice. What attracted me was international exposure, high academic standards, and the profiles of candidates.

How does your MBA add value to your current role?

I constantly need to understand macroeconomic scenarios. The MBA program was instrumental in enabling me to fully appreciate the dynamic relationship between communication, marketing and financial performance.

In my role, I need to constantly manage the financial performance of my company – but most importantly, in order to effectively do my job, I need to understand and monitor the global economic landscape to be able to present the most pressing topic that could have an impact on the international discussion.

The MBA gave me the tools to successfully achieve this.

What was your experience at the United Nations in Switzerland like?

It was fantastic. It felt amazing to be part of such a dynamic environment, learn from a great team and contribute [with] my passion and skills.

You have worked in multiple countries. Did international experience help you land your current job at Global Initiatives?

Definitely. Being in contact with different cultures and working all over the world gave me the background knowledge and maturity to fully understand how to run projects effectively, and manage international teams.

What is a typical working day like for you?

A large part of my day is meeting with partners and coordinating the joint efforts of companies and personalities to tackle global sustainability issues.

Since [I] cover North America and EMEA as well, it is very important for me to always keep an eye on the latest developments in these regions, and the wider global environment.