Professor Enzo Peruffo explores the structure, activities and perspectives of MBAs programmes
A Master in Business Administration represents the excellence in managerial education for young professionals, middle and senior managers and entrepreneurs who want to seed and feed their skills, enhance their career, engage with the school’s network. Luiss Business School has created an MBA formula which mixes skills empowerment, networking, internationalization, connections with corporates. Professor Enzo Peruffo, Associate Dean for Education, Luiss Business School, explores the most important aspects of this weapon for success.
Professor Enzo Peruffo, how can an MBA seed and feed our skills?
An MBA fine-tunes and consolidates students’ skills as well as letting them acquire innovative and cross-sectoral skills required by contemporary competitive market. As presented in the latest 2023 WEF Future of Jobs Report, in-demand skills are: being able to leverage analytical and creative thinking to improve business practices; to push the traditional boundaries of doing business through exercising leadership, having entrepreneurship and social influence; having the ability to reinforce emotional intelligence, empathy and active listening to improve the relationship with employers, colleagues, customers/consumers and all other stakeholders affecting one’s professional life; being able to work on motivation and self-awareness.
How can an MBA enhance someone’s career?
An MBA acts as an accelerator to speed up students’ careers by empowering them to boost their personal and professional development with leadership and career-enhancement activities. Also, this kind of master gives students a mindset to always stay curious and eager to learn, in a lifelong learning approach that helps them shape (or re-shape) their professional goals.
How is the MBA involved in the school’s network?
MBA students are constantly called to put themselves to the test thanks to precious and fruitful exchanges with faculty, renowned guest lecturers/speakers and fellow participants, that encourage peer-learning and best-practice sharing. The MBA paves the way to invaluable networking opportunities with business leaders, institutional and company/corporate representatives, and it also lets participants enter a community of students and alumni that extends beyond the geographical and temporal boundaries of their programme.
What is the added value that Luiss Business School gives to MBA programmes?
Our MBA programmes stand out from those of other institutions owing to Luiss Business School’s key differentiators, namely: boutique approach; exceptionally strong connections with the corporate world; innovation of the Learning Journey.
What is the “boutique” approach?
Luiss Business School’s MBA is a relational hub where human connections are fostered, and the School’s student-centric approach creates a lifelong sense of belonging to the Luiss BS Community that goes beyond the 12, 22, 19 months duration of Full-Time, Part-Time, and Executive MBA.
The optimal composition of MBA classes is paramount to create that intimate environment that makes Luiss Business School stand out from its competitors. For this reason, when selecting its MBA students, the School considers their personal and professional backgrounds, talents, ambitions, age, nationalities and other key variables to ensure that each class is heterogeneous and stimulating for participants. At Luiss Business School, MBA students are placed at the centre of the educational journey since the beginning through teambuilding activities, ice-breaking labs and pre-courses to make their experience at Luiss BS as inclusive as possible. This intimate environment and feeling of belonging are enhanced by the so-called Edu-Care activities, where students’ learning goals and needs are specifically addressed through a series of specific career development activities and services that emphasise the School’s corporate DNA. The learning experience is tailored to each individual’s specific needs, so that MBA students are guided towards the acquisition and consolidation of knowledge and skills, but also the development of personal, relational, and intangible qualities, which are essential for them to generate value, maximise their potential, and have a positive impact on society. MBA students can avail themselves of one-to-one sessions with qualified assessors such as career advisors, mentors, coaches and industry experts, who provide them with a concrete and measurable toolbox for their personal and professional growth.
How do they do this?
They make students aware of their potential and teach them how to enhance it. Also, they assess their positioning at their company, teach them how to expand their network of contacts and which organisational behaviours to adopt when working in a team. Last but not the least, they elaborate an action plan for fostering constructive personal change and improving their performance and reputation at the company.
How does Luiss Business School relate with the corporate world and how does this relationship impact MBA students?
Built on Luiss Business School’sstrong relationship with the business community in general, and on its close ties with the Confederation of Italian Industries (Confindustria), Luiss Business School’s MBAs give students the possibility of learning from a world-class faculty and meeting regularly with experienced business managers and professionals, thus gaining valuable real-world advice in a boundless and dynamic learning space. As the School’s goal is to create leaders for a better world that positively impact their communities, MBAs aim to enrich students’ paths both by providing entrepreneurial skills and competencies as well as by promoting positive values. By offering them new opportunities to think outside the box and leave their comfort zone, MBAs represent “pathways to impact” that allow participants to contribute to business performance, leaving their mark and creating positive outcomes not only on their organisation but also ontheir community of reference.
What makes Luiss Business School’s MBAs innovative?
The School ensures its MBA students are highly attractive for the job market worldwide, through the innovativeness of the teaching methods adopted and the widespread use of digital technology within and outside the classroom, whether physical or virtual. Luiss Business School has perfected active and adaptive learning methodologies that enhance the interaction between on-campus and off-campus teaching, with a hybrid combination of synchronous and asynchronous innovative methods such as interactive lectures, break-out sessions, presentations, business game simulations, flipped classrooms, problem-based learning, active learning, MOOCs, case studies, group projects, seminars with experienced business managers and consultants, internships, simulations. The School also strives to stay ahead of the latest EdTech innovations (e.g., VR and AI-powered tools) and integrate them in its educational offering, in order to ensure the attractiveness of the School’s programmes in a fast-changing world, while the use of blockchain micro-credentials – in the form of badges and certificates – issued for both curricular as well as extra-curricular activities (e.g., MBA Talks), ensures the validity and quality of Luiss BS’ qualifications. In addition, all MBA students are led to challenge themselves and improve their cross-cutting skills through laboratories (Skill Labs) characterised by a highly experiential and practical approach, that aim to enhance the soft and transversal skills relevant in real-life settings such as organisations and top-level firms.
What do labs and electives allow for?
First of all, hyper-personalisation of the learning experience as students can customise their journey and construct their learning experience according to their needs, interests, and professional ambitions/aspirations by choosing the electives and labs that suit them best and by selecting both a functional track and an industry focus. Also, fertile cross-programme networking as labs are open to participants from all MBA programmes, regardless of the format (part-time, full-time, executive), and the location (Milan, Belluno, Amsterdam), exposing students to different backgrounds and encouraging the creation of valuable connections, with Luiss Business School acting as a true relational hub.
Networking. Today it is one of the most important resources for professionals. How is this value cultivated within the MBA path?
One of the main characteristics of Luiss BS is its long-lasting relationship with the business community, which allows theory to shape practice and vice versa. There are different kinds of activities offered to MBA students to expand their network and make relevant connections. There is the Week-long, highly experiential executive intensive programmes that combine educational, networking and recreational activities with an industry or functional focus on relevant issues that characterise the complex and competitive world of today, thus allowing students to gain a holistic view of the organisation and get real-world advice from top executives and company representatives. There are also networking conferences, seminars, cafés, which help students nurture useful relations for their professional growth and start a spontaneous process of reciprocal exchange of best practices, knowledge, and experience. Digital and physical events such as webinars, workshops, masterclasses, open lessons, virtual meetings, and Q&A sessions help students interact with academics and business leaders on trend topics and understand how managers, professionals and entrepreneurs can meet successfully present and future challenges. The field projects held during the final months of the MBA give students the possibility to apply the knowledge and skills learnt throughout the programme, supported by academic supervisors, and highly experienced managers with professional expertise.
Links with the international context: how important are they in MBA training?
After joining in March 2021, Luiss Business School is currently chair of an alliance of internationally renowned business schools (the FOME Alliance). Being part of the Alliance entails that MBA students are offered a comprehensive range of international experiences. Moreover, MBA students have the possibility of participating in Global Business Challenges that connect students from Italian and international business schools on issues brought forward by leading companies. There are also Business Case Competitions (team activities for testing and developing entrepreneurial, managerial, and problem-solving abilities in cross-country issues). The MBA International Week isfocused on the most recognisable “Made in Italy” brands and companies worldwide (e.g., Maison Valentino, Prada, YOOX, Lamborghini, Benetton Group), which are open to all MBA students around the world and allow participants to work in multicultural teams on a business case launched in collaboration with a leading Italian company in a specific sector. The initiative leverages the School’s reputation both at the national and international level, as well as its strong corporate connections to attract applicants from the best business schools in the world and thus allows for fruitful exchanges of people and ideas. There are also International Exchange Programmes (mutual international experiences organised with partner Business Schools); and Double Degrees with partner schools (such as NUCB – Nagoya University Commerce of Business, Japan), which allow students to complete part of their Master’s studies abroad and obtain two qualifications from each of the host institutions.
The link between Luiss Business School and the business world is solid: how does this asset emerge in the MBA programme?
Building on its solid relationship with the Confederation of Italian Industries (Confindustria) and the business community at large, the School helps sustain and encourage contact between MBA students and corporate partners through strategic projects: business challenges, laboratories, corporate involvement in the design of the programmes, as well as the cubic and compound dimension of its Faculty and Professionals.
Opportunity to study in Italy and abroad with MBA Luiss Business School: what is the advantage of being able to differentiate also the geography of an MBA?
MBA students can decide to attend the MBA in Rome or at the School’s hub in Milan and, regardless of the main location chosen, they can all spend an alternative term at the Amsterdam Hub, where they can create networks not only with Luiss BS’ students coming from other hubs but also with exchange students coming from prestigious partner business schools. However, the exchange of people and ideas is not only outwards, since the School also hosts a number of students from every corner of the world, thus making the MBA classroom an international and stimulating environment, in line with the School’s G-Local ideal of nurturing leaders with a global mindset who are able of generating value for their local realities and communities.