Online MBAs Help Students Reconnect With Their Roots |

Online MBAs Help Students Reconnect With Their Roots

By Linda M

Updated March 23, 2020 Updated March 23, 2020

Data suggests that digital learning might be the future of the MBA.

The number of applications for campus-based programs has been declining since 2018, but the demand for online MBAs continues to grow.


First, digitalized courses – whether they are MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) or full-fledged degrees – are gaining more and more credibility in education and the workforce. This has undoubtedly increased their appeal to younger generations who have grown up with technology at their fingertips and are used to communicating with others from a distance.

A second reason for the growth of online MBA programs is that it is career-friendly for those who can’t balance a rigorous study schedule, a full-time job and their personal life. Being able to learn from home is comfortable, convenient, and cheaper, helping workers boost their curriculum while allowing them to keep on top of their steady career progression within the workforce.

This is one of the benefits that attracted Giuseppe Stefanetti PhD, an Italian scientist working in Boston as a Principal Investigator and Research Fellow in Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School, to MiP Politecnico di Milano’s online EMBA.

Giuseppe said: “I chose an MBA to gain the set of cross-sectorial hard and soft skills necessary to expand my area of expertise, opening up new prospects and learning how to turn an idea into a business plan and eventually into a profitable venture.

“But I also needed the flexibility to balance studying and working activities I have here at Harvard.”

MiP’s online EMBA program is fully taught in English and mostly online, with the exception of two weeks of face-to-face classes. This allowed Giuseppe to work around the time difference between Boston and Milan without having to compromise on participating in learning group activities with his classmates.

But there’s another unexpected benefit he soon noticed to doing an online course: being able to reconnect with his roots.

He said: “I enjoyed reconnecting with my country during the course. I found the MBA a valuable, cost-effective opportunity to gain the desired skills and to expand my network both internationally and in Italy.”

In fact, Giuseppe says that over half of the students undertaking the course were Italian – most living and working abroad like him. This allowed him to enter the MBA world with a sense of familiarity and with a degree that is of value both in his home country and abroad.

He said: “MIP’s MBA provides many opportunities to reconnect with Italy. Frontal lessons week, lots of optional bootcamps on different topic, plenty of seminars to be attended and even social events.

“All these events flourished interaction between peers, professors and business players located in Italy and sometimes abroad.”

Giuseppe said he was “lucky” to meet what he considers a “group of great people” during his MBA. He said that, despite the physical distance, all Italian students shared the same desire to gain a highly ranked MBA education while reconnecting with Italy for networking and career opportunities.

While he is enjoying his time at Harvard, Giuseppe hasn’t ruled out the possibility of starting his own business venture in the startup field.

He said his online MBA has been crucial in the path to achieve this goal.

Giuseppe said: “I think the dual scientific/business education can be a very valuable asset, as well as the network of people met over the years in both academia and other industries.

“Throughout the MBA, I have learned that the business is full of intellectually exciting problems. While my original plan was to develop my skills and gain more opportunities both in academia and the science industry, I’m now open to other fields and ideas. I want my future career to intersect science and business.” 


This article was originally published in March 2020 .

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Written by

Linda is Content Writer at TopMBA, creating content about students, courses, universities and businesses. She recently graduated in Journalism & Creative Writing with Politics and International Relations, and now enjoys writing for a student audience. 


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