The SDA Bocconi MBA: What You Need To Know
With the Alps, the Mediterranean, Rome, Florence, Venice, and Tuscany all within a three-hour drive, students at Milan’s SDA Bocconi School of Management will never be short of ideas for weekend excursions. More pertinently, the school also has a unique combination of world-class businesses nearby, being smack-bang in the middle of the Northern Italian industrial belt, in the heart of the country’s luxury goods industry cluster, and at the epicenter of its main financial hub.
As one of the best-established schools in continental Europe – it was the first university in Italy to offer an economics degree and has been educating executives since 1971 – SDA Bocconi is by far the best-ranked business school in Italy and is unsurprisingly a big draw for locals. 23% of its intake comes from Italy, with another 20% from other European countries. But this is not a parochial MBA, as Asians account for 17% and North Americans for 14% of the rest. Typically, the MBA course has more than 30 nationalities.
The school is ranked third in Europe by the Financial Times for salary increase in 2022 and fourth by Forbes for ROI among non-U.S. schools. In the last cohort, 84% changed either location, industry, or function, with 30% taking jobs in technology or e-business and 21% taking jobs in financial services, just above the 11% who went into consulting. Amazon and Bain were the two biggest recruiters this year.
It’s not all heavy industry and tech, though. One of the Bocconi MBA’s five “concentrations” is in luxury business management, run in partnership with Gucci, Valentino, and LVMH.
Partners for international exchanges include top-flight schools such as Duke Fuqua, CEIBS, and HEC Paris. And if all gets to be too much, there are plenty of extracurricular activities: the school organizes both a regatta in summer and a snow sports competition in winter.
Stefano Pogutz, MBA Director, SDA Bocconi Professor of Sustainability
“In a world of abrupt discontinuities and planetary challenges, our MBA aspires to be a game changer for the careers of our students, providing a unique experience, where craftsmanship and flexibility are intrinsic to our approach. We are committed to shaping leaders that go beyond the rigorous learning of business fundamentals, combining entrepreneurial spirit with a mindset for organizational citizenship.”
Eszeter Sztrannyay, Hungarian, MBA 2021
“SDA Bocconi MBA offers a very diverse cohort. I got the chance to do this program together with 32 other nationalities, so I can only praise the diversity of the cohort from nationality and from a professional background perspective. An environment that, because of its strong small community, provides more opportunities and more visibility to an MBA student. The program increased my self-awareness and also my cultural sensitivity. My MBA in three words was eye-opening, challenging and rewarding.”