The 3-month management bootcamp finished about two weeks ago, together with all my MBA classes. When I look back, however, it feels as if this only happened yesterday. After having been offered a huge buffet of knowledge, I am still digesting what I have gained in the past 3 months and excitedly expecting to convert it into my own muscle in the coming 3-month project work.

Intense”, “informative” and “integrated” are the three words I would like to use to conclude this entire experience.

The bootcamp combined all the basic knowledge we had learned in the 1st term, “basics in digital”, and 2nd term, “basics in action”, and presented it under seven key topics via a combination of academic lectures, corporate case studies and group assignments involving partner companies. These seven topics vary from advanced business skills such as financial techniques and sales strategy to complex up-to-date business challenges, for example, luxury management, smart manufacturing, international business, sustainability and ethics, and entrepreneurship.

Due to the intensity of the bootcamp, I am unable to go into every single topic very deeply, but on the other hand, I was given a general idea of everything in only 3 months, including a more thorough perspective towards business and a better understanding of which direction to take as the next step in my career path.

Apart from all the above characteristics, the bootcamp also comprises several spotlights, from which I learned and which I appreciate the most:

  1. Everything is about technology and supply chain management.

Thanks to the Politecnico di Milano’s strong polytechnic background, even though I am not from a technological background I learned a lot about the status quo of the most up-to-date technologies. I also learned to look at the big picture of a business from different angles.
In other words, a business is not only about sales, nor finance, nor operations, but about the whole big picture. We have to look at it as a whole in a complete supply chain/network, a whole in an ecological environment, connecting the dots both inside and outside the organization.

  1. Business is all about people.

During these three months, thanks to the intensive group assignments, I worked even more closely with my colleagues from different cultures. Many of these assignments were on unsolved corporate problems, hence offering us the chance to communicate directly with companies from different industries and get first-hand feedback from them. Just as is usually the case in our lives, these experiences were not always pleasant.
Sometimes we fought within the team due to different priorities, disagreements or diverse personalities.
Sometimes the  companies’ realistic feedback frustrated us. Yet throughout these times, reviewing the frustrations, I learned that business is all about being down to earth and working with people rationally and objectively.

  1. Ethics and sustainability matter a lot. Is there a better way of applying these criteria?

Yes – by means of a circular economy!
Business is about making the right money smartly, meaning cutting costs and waste to boost profit.

Within the 2-week sustainability and ethics bootcamp, I had a 3-day course in circular economy taught by visiting professor David Peck from Delft University of Technology, which was highly interactive and motivated us to ponder over the existing linear business models and to create our own circular business model. Quite a few students in our class were also inspired to create their own circular economy business plan later in our business plan activity.

If you want me to offer some takeaways for your preparation, just keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Be positive, be objective.
  2. Know that what you gain will be highly focused on operation.
  3. Leave aside your frustrations and always be goal oriented, considering the limited time.
  4. Take your time to learn a lot from your organizational behavior class before the bootcamp!

Good luck for your future management bootcamp study!