Benedetta, program coordinator of the GEMOS, brings us into the first week of the Master. She tells us about 19 professionals going back to school at MIP and experiencing enriching lessons and company visits.

Wednesday, October 25th.

Winter is quickly approaching in Milano but the sky on Wednesday was still blue and sunny. It was a beautiful day to welcome the new students on our Global Executive Master in Operations & Supply Chain (GEMOS), who come from twelve different countries representing almost all the continents: Africa, Asia, Europe and America. A melting pot of cultures, experiences and different mindsets will shape their behavior and knowledge and nurture their common goal of enhancing their personal and professional growth. 

Indeed, they will spend a year together attending the GEMOS program, studying at MIP in Milan, EADA in Barcelona and Beijing Jiaotong University in China. Lectures, business cases, company visits, networking opportunities and international weeks will be the leitmotif of their lives for the months to come.

The GEMOS participants landed in a MIP classroom on a sunny afternoon during this exceptionally warm Italian autumn. In order to break the ice, everybody introduced themselves by placing a colored post-it note on a big world map projected onto the white board. They started to get to know each other, each having different expectations of this program and different stories to tell.

The introduction and program presentation was led by the GEMOS program Director, Professor Roberto Cigolini, expert in operations management and industrial engineering. Their first class was held by Desirée Knoppen, the EADA GEMOS Director and Professor, whose academic research focuses on learning capabilities and sustainable innovation within supply chains and networks. After four hours, the students were beginning to realise how challenging it can be to go back to school after a while away from the classroom – but also how fulfilling it is.

Thursday, October 26th.

The second day comprised a series of lectures and business cases on inventory management and lean thinking with Professors Roberto Cigolini and Alberto Portioli, the latter an expert in investigating the main problems in implementing Lean in service companies’ supply chains.

Working in teams, the students started to form stronger relationships, learning from each others’ skills and different professional backgrounds. Everyone was able to contribute their own know-how to the problem and together they found creative solutions. But only one team won the game!

To relax a little after the day’s efforts, we went on to the city center together to share some great cocktails and Italian food at the Milano FIFTYFIVE, a popular and very elegant club in the “Milanese movida”.

Friday, October 27th.

The third day started very early in the morning. Helped by a generous serving of strong Italian caffeine, we climbed inside a huge bus taking us to the Intercos Group, a leading Italian cosmetics manufacturer providing research and innovation to the world’s biggest companies in the cosmetics industry. After walking along corridors and up a few flights of stairs, we reached a nice room full of colorful samples from a woman’s realm: lipstick, foundation, mascara, powder, creams, eye shadow… an exhibition of several different famous brands.

After a warm welcome and company presentation by Ms Elisabetta Rivolta, Recruiting and Employer Branding Manager, the Industrial Operations Director for Europe – Mr Paolo Bonfanti – took the floor, providing an interesting technical insight of the company’s operations throughout the European market.

We had a long break together during lunch in the company’s canteen, an opportunity to have friendly conversations and taste some good Italian dishes.

Going back to the colored room at Intercos, the day was brought to a close by Professor Cigolini, MIP’s GEMOS Director, with an afternoon lesson on production planning, providing the students with a business case to analyze, to keep those neurons active and responsive!

Saturday, October 28th.

The last day in Milano was conducted entirely by Prof. Cigolini, who guided the participants through the costs related to decision-making processes. In the afternoon, he closed the production planning section with a very challenging interactive business game.

Although this first session was intense, it was also extremely rewarding and I am sure that all the students have gone back home with a big smile and a great deal more knowledge. I encouraged them to make the most of this experience so as to create new ideas and opportunities in their lives. During the following weeks, before the next face-to-face session in December in Barcelona, they will be working in teams to deliver their first group assignment launched by MIP. Their goal: to find the solution to a planning problem of a Croatian firm that manufactures small lots of printed parts for some famous motorcycle producers.

Dear students, enjoy this new game and good luck with your work!