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Online MBA Rankings Q&A: MIP Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business

Online MBA Rankings Q&A: MIP Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business main image

In conjunction with the launch of our Online MBA Rankings 2020, we’ve had the pleasure to interview different top schools.

 Here is what Federico Frattini, Professor of Strategic Management and Innovation, Associate Dean for Digital Transformation, Director of MBA and EMBA Programs, Head of the Strategic Management Teaching Area, and Director of the ICT & Digital Learning Division at MIP Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business, had to say.

 QS: How do you feel about being named as one of the top 10 online MBA programs globally in QS’ ranking?

 

FF: In a moment of lively debate on the need to approach education from a distance - where innovative, flexible and inclusive models are a choice and not the answer to an emergency - our school is once again showing its role as a trailblazer, presenting excellent results in this field.

 

I am extremely proud of this result, which was achieved through our efforts to continuously improve the program and extend the international dimension of the curriculum. Today, our school’s excellence is there for all to see, especially its development of digital solutions supporting the education process. Our objective is to find the optimal balance between ready and easy access to all course material, outstanding teaching and personalised learning experience.

 

QS: MIP’s online MBA program scored very highly for the Faculty and Teaching and Class Experience indicator. Why do you think this is? Is there something MIP is doing differently to other business schools?

 

FF: If I had to identify the specific reasons for this success, three words come to my mind.

 

The first advantage is the value of the interaction during the online sessions. Digital learning does not simply mean online; in fact, we strongly believe in the concept of “smart learning”. It is essential to integrate different tools within the learning experience and to use the most appropriate method for each teaching goal.

Our smart learning approach has two main advantages: full flexibility and personalization of the learning experience, and improvement of the interaction of the synchronous session. Synchronous sessions are always conducted through the discussion of case studies and the sharing of experience with managers. This is to allow our candidates to be inspired through discussion in class and brainstorming sessions – [these are] opportunities to really learning key concepts that can be translated into practice.

 

The second advantage is the value of the experience. The experience is digital, but we don’t forget the human and personal connections. Our online MBA starts with a face-to-face kick off to establish strong relationships by promoting networking within the class. We also schedule other face-to-face events during the masters to give participants the opportunity to strengthen these relationships and to network with the broader community of MIP Executive MBA students. This is a mandatory part of the course, differently from other business school where it is optional.

 

Finally, our online MBA is a master designed to inspire innovators with a higher willingness to shape a better future. All the master is designed with a clear idea in mind: we don’t want to simply train managers, we want to inspire agents of change in companies, committed to making a meaningful change in the society. This approach is embedded in the design of the master, in the strong attention to topics such as sustainability and social change, leadership, creative thinking, and in the desire to improve the journey in the master through important experiences that challenge each of our innovators.

 

QS: What sets your online MBA program apart from others across the globe?

 

FF: Our online MBA is 100 percent an MBA. Participants acquire the same knowledge and skills they would if they were undertaking a traditional on-campus MBA, and they are awarded the same diploma as these students.

 

Moreover, the technological developments at MIP Politecnico di Milano take our online teaching capabilities to the next level. Participants receive the same teaching, with the only difference being that it is applied to an advanced yet highly accessible digital environment. Students can access video recordings, participate actively in discussion and workgroup live sessions moderated by our professors, interact with other students by working together on projects and assignments, and retrieve additional multimedia material.

 

The online MBA is also linked to a dedicated app, social media and a discussion forum, so participants are always connected regardless of time difference and location.

 

QS: How important do you think online programs are today? Especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

FF: Although many have been slow to adopt online learning as a necessary function, at MIP we have always been strong supporters of digital learning, and in recent years we have gained a great deal of experience in this area.

 

My hope is that the coronavirus emergency will leave behind a greater familiarity with – and a better understanding of – the value of online learning, which is a flexible and inclusive approach to teaching, with huge potential applications beyond a situation of emergency like the one we are all currently experiencing.

 

QS: Have there been many changes made to the online MBA program at MIP since the last academic year?

 

FF: In 2019 the whole portfolio of our MBA programs was revised to be able to accelerate the growth of managers and entrepreneurs and to give candidates the opportunity to become real agents of change and innovation in their organizations.

 

Digital transformation is a topic included in each course of our online MBA program. [Students have] the opportunity to visit digital companies or to get in touch with managers implementing a digital transformation into their organizations. [We have put into practice] our goal of training innovators by introducing two pillars of brand new courses around innovation and entrepreneurship, with concepts such as design thinking or innovation strategy, which are essential nowadays.

 

We believe this is an important choice that'll help prepare graduates who are ready to overcome challenges that companies will face in future months. Only innovation and an innovative mindset can guide companies out of critical periods.

 

Finally, we have dedicated more attention to the topics of sustainability, social innovation and social change. Innovators must be able to understand the implications of their decisions on society in the long term.

 

QS: What can we expect in the future from MIP’s online MBA?

 

FF: We would like to keep innovating our programs starting with four main objectives: defining a clear purpose, inspiring our students, becoming a partner in the long term for the participants, and helping students become able to shape better organizations for a clear future.

 

These are core elements we will integrate into our online MBA to increase the value for the single participant, to assure a full experience and to transfer not just competences and information but real capabilities, able to last in the long term.

 

QS: What advice would you give to prospective students hoping to earn a place on the online MBA program?

 

FF: Since the online MBA’s benefits, educational approach and networking experiences are the same as those of a traditional MBA – though through digital technolgy – we suggest that candidates demonstrate as much commitment as they can during the application stage. They should be themselves during the selection process and prepare for a learning experience that is as challenging as it is rewarding. Online learning requires a lot more commitment to keep up with classes and assigned work, especially if you are taking the course whilst working full-time or looking after a family. 

Written by Linda Mohamed

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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