Portraits of Success 2010

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International, creative, innovators: Bocconians at work

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Portraits of Success 2010

  1. 1. Portraitsof Success2010International, creative,innovators: Bocconiansat work
  2. 2. Contents*Vikram Has a Full Plate of Ideas 3by Tomaso EridaniAn MBA Student’s Blog 5by Tomaso EridaniA Visiting Professor Jogging Down the Naviglio 7by Fabio TodescoThanos, a Serial Entrepreneur and Professor 9by Fabio TodescoGiancarlo, a Serial Volcano at the EMIT 11by Fabio TodescoTexting for Serena 13by Tomaso EridaniWounded Chile by Edoardo Moruzzi 15by Davide Ripamonti24 Hours with Tanja, Massimiliano and Alberto 17by Fabio TodescoTwo Bocconians Develop the Capello Index 19by Fabio Todesco______________________________________* Portraits of Success is a selection of articles previously published in the Bocconi Newsletter. Articles are available on the webon ViaSarfatti25.eu, the Bocconi online newsmagazine, at the following address: www.viasarfatti25.eu.Translations by Office of International Communication.
  3. 3. Aldo and Riccardo, Representing Bocconi at the National University Tennis Championships 21by Davide RipamontiA Bocconi “Government” in Vancouver 23by Tomaso EridaniA Golden Apple at Bocconi 25by Susanna Della VedovaFabio, a Legal Studies Graduate Backstage at La Scala 27by Fabio TodescoAndrea and Barbara in Bangladesh with an IDEA 29by Andrea CelauroElena’s Decisions 31by Davide RipamontiCuocolo: On the Web with Il Ricostituente 33by Davide RipamontiMy Africa 35by Tomaso Eridani
  4. 4. People2010
  5. 5. PeopleVikram Has a Full Plate of Ideasby Tomaso Eridani A Bocconi student, Vikram Kandula has developed and marketed a line of ecological dishware, based on a local Indian tradition that uses fallen leaves. He predicts product sales of 1.5 million in 2010Creating a profitable business with a good product that is produced sustainably and used responsibly. Withthese good intentions, Vikram Kandula, a 27-year old Bocconi student from India, founded his own business,Hampi Products. The company holds dear to a practice held in rural Indian, and produces disposabledishware for catering which sport a stylish design and a very low environmental impact.After graduating in engineering in Delhi, Vikram already showed the first signs of an entrepreneurial spirit at 24when he opened his own business in clothing manufacturing company. The business was going well, butVikram understood that he needed to learn some more skills in order to better develop his ideas.“I needed to learn more about business and I knew Bocconi had a good reputation for teaching a wide arrayof management skills,” explains Vikram. “And I also liked the idea of living in Italy for a few years and getting toknow the culture.”But while he was thinking about making a landing at Bocconi, Vikram already had his next initiative in mind. Alight bulb went on when he went to a wedding in a rural part of India with a Dutch friend, Frederic Sanders,whom he had met in Mumbai while Sanders was doing an internship in the Sustainability Department at ABNAMRO. The two friends were struck by the disposable plates used for the wedding feast of over 1,000 guests.“They used plates made from the leaves of a local palm tree. The leaves fall naturally all year long and theplates are made by local producers without chemical or toxic products – so production is sustainable andresponsible,” says Vikram. “They are perfectly ecological and biodegradable. These are all factors whichtoday’s market values. The only thing left to do was to refine the plates’ design and think about how toproduce them on a larger scale.” 3
  6. 6. PeopleVikram and Frederic went to work, in collaboration with the local producers, and after a few months they hadput together and tweaked a line of products and were ready to begin exporting. Summer was approachingand they decided to try to sell their product to seaside clubs in Bloemendall on the Dutch coast. Theyreceived good feedback, with the fifth club owner they spoke to immediately ordering 5,000, and the businesstook off.“Frederic has an aesthetic eye and is good with emotions, while I have a good business sense and am goodwith costs. We argue a lot, but there’s a good balance between our skills,” says Vikram.Meanwhile, with a Merit Award under his belt (the Bocconi scholarship for international students assigned onthe basis of academic merit), in September Vikram arrived in Milan to begin work on his Master of Science inInternational Management. The hard work in class is intense for someone like Vikram who continues to work onhis ecological dishware project. A Dutch designer is broadening the range and increasing the number ofproducers in India who, continuing to use entirely handmade practices, are being trained with newtechnologies and processes.With Frederic working full time and Vikram working one week a month, the pair was able to sign agreementswith several distributors in France for the catering industry and make contacts with other distributors in Italy.Estimates for sales in 2010? 1.5 million items. It’s a commitment that will require a factory to be built in southernIndia to keep up with production of enough plates to cover requests.“Pursuing this business alongside my studies is a big job, but having my own business has always been a dreamof mine,” explains Vikram. “And everything I’m learning in the classroom, marketing for example, can beapplied right away. Professors like Markus Venzin and Robert Grant have helped me immensely in theiradvising.” From Bocconi Newsletter no. 81/2010 4
  7. 7. PeopleAn MBA Student’s Blogby Tomaso Eridani Seda Saracer keeps an animated online diary on the Financial Times website of her experience at SDA Bocconi. She and the other international bloggers at FT provide an insider’s view that rounds out official information about MBA progams in various countries.Born in Istanbul in 1984, Seda graduated with a degree in International Commerce and then worked inmarketing at a multinational company in the varnish sector for three years. During that period, she becameaware of the need for a turning point in her career path.“I chose an MBA because at university I learned simply through reading books, but then I wanted to learn newbusiness skills along with other people who had work experience, who I could exchange ideas with and learnfrom as well,” explains Seda. “And I chose SDA because it has a great reputation and it offers a specializationin marketing that interested me.”Just before the program began in October, the proposal to write a blog on the website of the Financial Timescame to her through SDA. Seda’s outgoing and curious personality encouraged her to accept the proposaland so she found herself with eleven other bloggers, including a student from Kenyan who studies at INSEAD,an Indian student in Chicago and an American at Cambridge.“I was familiar with Facebook and Twitter but I didn’t think of myself as a potential blogger. But I was curiousabout the proposal and now I’m really into it!” says Seda. “I started with the goal of offering a real view ofwhat it means to complete an MBA. Often, in fact, only official information about MBAs can be found, whilewhat I want to do is to describe what really goes on behind the scenes, personalizing my story as much aspossible.”In her various posts (an average of two per week) Seda has in fact talked about the intensity of the program,the importance of networking, and job prospects at the end of the program, but also about the recreationalmoments among students such as parties and soccer tournaments. 5
  8. 8. People“At the beginning it was a big effort, partly because I tried to plan my posts. Now I can be more spontaneouswhen I write, it comes easier and its almost a relaxing break from the frenzy of the program,” says Seda.Between the program, the blog and clubs (Seda is a member of both the MBA SDA’s Marketing Club and theWomen in Business Club), Seda’s commitments keep her from spending time on her greatest passion, oilpainting. So, at least for now, her dream of painting the Duomo of Milan will have to wait. From Bocconi Newsletter no. 82/2010 6
  9. 9. PeopleA Visiting Professor Jogging Down the Naviglioby Fabio Todesco Last semester Tomer Broude held the first compulsory course in English in Law at Bocconi and ran the Venice marathon. His training was along Milan’s canals.Milan for teaching, Venice for running. Thanks to Tomer Broude, 40, a Visiting Professor from Hebrew Universityin Jerusalem, last semester students in the second year of Law at Bocconi participated in the first compulsoryclass held entirely in English: a course in International Law. Broude took advantage of his time away fromhome to train along the Naviglio Grande and participated in one of the most difficult Italian marathons, heldin Venice, on 25 October.One of the subjects Broude is most interested in is the WTO (the World Trade Organization), where GiorgioSacerdoti, Full Professor in International Law at Bocconi, served as European justice for eight years, untilNovember 2009. That’s why it was natural for Broude to think about Bocconi for the last semester of his yearand a half sabbatical leave, part of which was spent at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.“At first the students seemed a little intimidated, maybe because of the new experience of having to interactin English, or maybe because they were used to classes that are more traditional than mine,” explains Broude,thinking about his experience in Milan. “After awhile, however, they loosened up and, thanks in part to theirexcellent English skills, they proved to be very good students. They were also very competitive, which iscertainly positive on one hand, but which also poses the risk losing sight of the real goal of study, which is not agrade but knowledge.” The experience was especially interesting for the professor and students when a Mootcourt, a simulation of a trail in front of an international court and based on a hypothetical case, was heldduring class.According to Broude, a marathon can be an antidote to short-term planning. “Both in training, which has tofollow a schedule, and in running, where you have to follow predetermined rhythms, marathons have onlylong-term goals.” 7
  10. 10. PeopleBroude started running again a few years ago after a long break. “I started running when I was a kid andduring my military service,” he says, “and for me it became a lifestyle, something that your body starts to need,and that helps you stay in shape and stay healthy. A marathon, with its 42.195 kilometers, however, was a non-professional challenge, which I wanted to take on after awhile. I chose the one in Venice because I thought itwould be amazing, so I started training in Toronto, Canada and I didn’t stop even when I moved to the UnitedStates and Finland.”Over the semester, Broude ran two half-marathons in Monza and Sanremo, and he discovered a running worldthat was different from the one he experienced in Israel or the United States. “In Italy,” he says, “I saw lots ofgroups with their social uniforms and people who would run in groups, while running abroad is much more ofan individual sport.” The opposite is true, however, for university life. “In the United States and Israel, structuredactivities that involve the entire faculty of an academic subject are more frequent, and can act as socialgatherings.” From Bocconi Newsletter no. 83/2010 8
  11. 11. PeopleThanos, a Serial Entrepreneur and Professorby Fabio Todesco Papadimitriou, a SDA faculty member of Operations and Technology Management, has twenty years’ entrepreneurial experience in radio, market research, web semantics and music.To interact with the top international managers who participate in SEP, the Senior Executive program at SDABocconi, which he coordinates, “you need to have company experience,” says Thanos Papadimitriou, 39-yearold Athens native and SDA faculty member in Operations Technology and Management. And he has plentyof experience: Conversation Starter, a Harvard Business School blog, defines him as a “serial entrepreneur” atthe bottom of his post Are you the bottleneck in your organization?“I was lucky to among the first in Greece to get to know the world of computers and electronics,” he says. At17 he opened a free radio with a few friends, at a time when only the state radio stations were legal. “YoungGreeks were following the Italian example from a few years earlier,” explains Thanos, “and for a period of time,our radio had the most listeners in Athens.” The radio station didn’t accept advertising and the initiative neverbecame a business, “but lots of my partners stayed in that sector and are now some of the most popular DJsin Greece.”Papadimitriou left Europe right after to study computer science at MIT and UCLA. His first job was consulting fora spin-off of MIT, Cambridge Technology Partners (CTP). “I was there for four years, and I went from acompany with 400 people to one with 5,000 people. It was a highly tumultuous moment: the United States hadjust gotten out of the crisis from the early ’90s, created by the end of the Cold War, and industries likeaerospace were substituted by technology industries. From my point of view, since I had to bring IT systems tocompanies, I had to analyze processes in detail and the process-based approach turned out to be useful inmany other phases in my professional life.”Papadimitriou left the CTP when he decided there was no more room for professional growth in the short term(“I was too young for the next step”) and he started a PhD in Management at UCLA. “But I missed my previouswork, so I founded Alpha Detail with two friends, a market research company in the pharmaceutical sectorwhich analyzes doctors’ behavior. We started with a PowerPoint presentation, and thanks to that we raised 9
  12. 12. Peopleone million dollars from our former employers and we opened in February 2001.” When things seemed to bestarting well, with several projects and promising contacts for the start-up, the US economy was shaken bySeptember 11 and everything stopped for a few months. “We weren’t able to pay our salaries in Novemberand December,” says Papadimitriou, “but we bet on our future and it worked. After a short while, thecompany started invoicing 14 million dollars a year, but I had left all operative roles to finish my PhD.” Anacademic effect of his entrepreneurial experience was a paper accepted at the prestigious VLDB (Very LargeData Base) Conference in 2000. The statistical methodology developed for Alpha Detail is also at the base ofanother article, written with Valeria Belvedere and Alberto Grando, to be published soon on the InternationalJournal of Production Research.At the end of the PhD in 2003, Thanos contacted two students at the University’s School of Engineeringspecializing in natural languages processes and computer science who had a great idea: to compete withGoogle with a semantic search engine, which is able to understand searches in depth and provide only trulyrelevant responses. “I was their advisor for the start of Infocious. But technical excellence is not enough.Google was so well-established by then that it couldn’t be ousted, so we modified the project and createdLingospot, a service aimed at anyone who manages information websites or group sites to increase thenumber of pages visited and advertising revenue.” Actually, thanks to semantic search engines, published textis interpreted and the most important words are automatically linked to other text on the site or the group ofsites that deal with similar terms, while advertising based on keywords are analyzed and presented in an orderthat follows the effective relevance compared to the text.Papadimitriou came back to Europe in 2004 continuing a double academic – as a SDA professor at theOperations and Technology Management Unit at SDA Bocconi – and entrepreneurial track. “It’s true that here,I have to admit, starting a company is much more difficult, both due to a larger aversion to risk and due to theabsence of an efficient venture capital market.” Establishing himself in Milan, where he teaches courses inOperations, Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship both at SDA and at the University, he foundedmBryo along with two other people. It is a sort of incubator with offices in New York which helps developentrepreneurial ideas and write good business plans, and he collaborates remotely, managing a deliciousblog on entrepreneurship, Chefs Not Bakers.In Greece he is involved in M2C Media, a company that manages music transmissions and advertisingmessages in large distribution spaces, which reached a market share of 25%, along with InHouseMusic, a musicproduction company that creates both advertising jingles and commercial tracks (Sandyman can be foundon YouTube to get an idea of the genre). “You can’t escape your past,” he says now, commenting on hisreturn to radio even though today’s media has a more technologically advanced form. From Bocconi Newsletter no. 84/2010 10
  13. 13. PeopleGiancarlo, a Serial Volcano at the EMITby Fabio Todesco In their production phases, his ideas revolve around social networking and smartphones. He began an internship in Germany to study from entrepreneurs and imported an interesting idea into Italy.Giancarlo Garibaldi, a student in his second year of the EMIT, the Master of Science in Economics andManagement of Innovation and Technology, may become a serial entrepreneur in the future. For now he iscertainly a serial “volcano,” very active in spewing forth entrepreneurial ideas, some of which are already inthe testing phase.The idea for Post-Here began at EMIT, within an existing initiative which required a business plan to be draftedand presented to a group of faculty and business angels. “Combining messaging and geo-localization, Post-Here aims to be an application for smartphones that allows users to exchange geographically-constrainedmessages,” explains the student, who came up with the idea with classmate Gabriele Rodriguez. “We canimagine that participants in a community may leave comments in front of shops, for example, or thatsomeone may leave a colleague instructions on what to do once they get to a certain place.”With a Bachelor degree in Engineering of Automation, Giancarlo has always had entrepreneurial aspirationsand, when looking for a Master of Science, he sought out a less technical MSc than Engineering. He choseEMIT after seeing a Bocconi recruitment presentation reserved for engineering students.Garibaldi had a good idea about the technical and entrepreneurial possibilities of Post-Here thanks to anotherproject of his which is in a more developed phase. MatchMe, another smartphone application, aims toreconcile real life with social networks. “Participants in a community track their profile and the people theywould like to meet,” says Garibaldi. “When two people with a compatible profile find each other in the rangeof a few meters, the application notices this and informs the two of the reciprocal proximity.” Unlikematchmaking sites, the match doesn’t look at just romantic characteristics, but all kinds of shared interests.Here, though they use different methods, the business should hold, as in the case of Post-Here, thanks toadvertising revenue and sales of premium versions with advanced functions. 11
  14. 14. PeopleThe idea of MatchMe began a few years ago when Garibaldi was still studying engineering, and it has alreadyevolved. At the beginning, the match wasn’t communicated through smartphones but through“Abbraccialetti,” a brand name registered by the student which is a blend of the Italian words for hug andbracelet, and which were created for the application. “Then we realized two things: that starting physicalproduction for the abbraccialetti would result in high production costs and that smartphones were beginningto become more established.” The “we” Garibaldi is referring to are the other three engineering students whocollaborate with him and two advisors: a manager in the telephone sector and a specialist in market research.The student believes he’ll have a beta version for the first market tests by the summer.His ideas are not destined to remain just ideas. He has recently been working on his latest ambition inGermany. Through the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs network he contacted a German entrepreneur who isactive in customizing several common objects in a company, with the aim of enhancing the brand value ofthe companies that use them. Garibaldi thus decided to do a 3-month curricular internship at the Germancompany, utilizing Bocconi offices for the bureaucratic issues. “Over these coming months, I will be his assistantto see what an entrepreneur really does. If everything works out, I might be able to become an Italianreference, importing the business.” From Bocconi Newsletter no. 85/2010 12
  15. 15. PeopleTexting for Serenaby Tomaso Eridani A Bocconi student, Serena Cocciolo is a volunteer at Project for People, an organization which promotes text messaging to support microfinancing projects for women in India.Serena Cocciolo wants you to text her, not for her but for the women in West Bengal who need funds tosupport their agricultural business or start a small entrepreneurial activity. A student at Bocconi in her first yearof the Master of Science in Economic and Social Sciences, Serena is a volunteer at the association Project forPeople, which launched a text messaging campaign to raise funds for microfinancing projects to help womenin the poor rural area south of Kolkata.Serena dealt with microcredit projects firsthand last year, during her third year in the Bachelor in Economicand Social Sciences at Bocconi. As part of an internship program for the degree, she spent three months inIndia with Project for People, a non-profit organization which has been sponsoring cooperative anddevelopment projects to promote self-sustainability in local populations in India, Benin and Brazil since 1993.“My goal for after university is to work in the field of cooperatives and development, and in particular in themicrocredit sector. I chose this internship because it gives me the chance to get experience directly in thefield,” explains Serena.In January 2009 she left for India and stayed in Kolkata for three months, traveling to villages within a 100kmradius from the city. Serena observed current projects and worked on accounting expenses, loan allocationprocess analysis and gathering data on operations. She also helped monitor the Women Peace Councilproject which aims to develop the role of several women as Judges of the Peace to resolve legal and familyissues in the villages.“I saw how microcredit worked firsthand, along with the effort of involving women and most women’shappiness and satisfaction about what they were able to create,” says Serena. “It was a very educationalexperience. I learned a lot from the local staff, but also from the communities involved, observing theirdifferent worlds.” 13
  16. 16. PeopleAfter returning to Milan, Serena wanted to continue her collaboration so she started working at the microcreditgroup of the association, working mainly with the organization and coordination of internships in India forBocconi students (about six per year) as well as with accounting and analysis of several microfinancingprojects.Project for People recently promoted a campaign for text messaging to raise funds for microfinancing projectsin India to allow “women and their families to get out of a state of poverty and redeem themselves from therole of marginalization,” as the association explains. Funds are intended to provide small loans which allowwomen to support or launch a business (both traditional handcrafts and agricultural) and allow their childrento attend school (a mandatory requirement to take advantage of microcredit). Collected funds will alsosupply drinking water to the villages. From Bocconi Newsletter no. 86/2010 14
  17. 17. PeopleWounded Chile by Edoardo Moruzziby Davide Ripamonti A law student and photographer, Edoardo was on vacation in the South American country for a relaxing visit with his brother when the devastating earthquake struck. He has produced a very touching photographic report, and he tells of his experience and his hopes for a career in photojournalism.To transform your childhood passion into your career is everyone’s dream, but only a few can actuallymanage to do it. Among them is Edoardo Moruzzi, a 21 year-old from Bolzano, who is in his fourth year of thelaw program at Bocconi – and is an up and coming photographer.“I started when I was young, messing around with my mother’s cameras,” he recalls, “then I went up the linefollowing the changing technology, from analogical reflex to the first digital cameras and now to the modernprofessional digital cameras.”Together with his partner and friend Giuseppe Balacco (a NABA graduate), Edoardo was just starting to getsome recognition when his first big job came along: “In 2008 we were hired as the official photographers forthe European canoe championships at the Idroscalo here in Milan, then other jobs came through, such asproduct catalogues. In the last few months, it has been insitutional videos for various companies.” Edoardo’straining is not the typical path through photography school and apprenticeship – he is largely self-taught. “Itrained myself through practical experience and by reading a few basic books. I believe that formaleducation is important, but direct experience counts even more”.Together with talent, that is. Because a good photographer does more than making portraits of reality, butrather interprets reality from his own point of view. “It’s the photographer who decides what part of theobserved reality he will transmit”, he explains, “combining creativity and the ability to deal with the unforeseenevents that so often occur.”Tragic unforeseen events, sometimes, which can often turn into great opportunities to grow professionally andpersonally, as happened to Edoardo. “I had gone to visit my brother in Chile, where he is a diplomat at theItalian Embassy”, he says, “and our plan was to stay in Santiago for a week and then go to Easter Island, but 15
  18. 18. Peoplethen I was involved in that terrible earthquake.” It was a tough experience for Edoardo, who accompanied hisbrother, helping with reflief work along with everyone at the Embassy. But it was also the chance to puttogether an extraordinary photographic report, “which will stay in my personal portfolio; I took pictures of thetragedy,the people, a country deeply wounded but which always kept faith in its institutions, as you could seefrom the Chilean flags that were flying eveywhere.”At only 21, the road to being a complete photographer is still a long one. In what aspects does Edoardoconsider himself strong, and where is there room for improvement? “I’m pretty good at landscapes, buildingsand studio shots. In a way, those in the studio are the most interesting because you have to build them fromscratch, which emphasizes creativity. But I need to improve in portraits, I don’t think I have yet developed theability to interact well enough with people”.In the future, he sees himself as a photoreporter, “because it’s a job that would allow me to combine mypassion for photography with my love of exploration and research, and above all because it would allow meto do the photos I like best, the ones that tell a story.” From Bocconi Newsletter no. 87/2010 16
  19. 19. People24 Hours with Tanja, Massimiliano and Albertoby Fabio Todesco The Bocconi team who won the CaseIt business game in Vancouver talks about their big day. The key to victory was teamwork based on equal roles for all members of the group, with in-depth discussion of every point of strategy.A team of Bocconi students recently won the most important international information technology businessgame in the world, CaseIt, held in Vancouver. In front of a panel of academics and managers in the sector,participants were asked to find a solution to an unpublished case and defend their decisions during thediscussion that would follow.During the long weekend from 31 March to 3 April, Tanja Collavo (1st year in the MSc in InternationalManagement), Massimiliano Spalazzi (in his 2nd year of the same program) and Alberto Xodo (1st year in theMSc in Marketing Management), led by IT Systems Professor Gianluca Salviotti, beat out 15 other universitiesfrom all over the world to become the first European team to win since the competition began in 2004.“The 24 hours between 9am on 1 April and 9am on the next day were decisive hours,” said Tanja. “That waswhen we were forced to deliberate in our hotel room, using only computers and the material provided by theorganization to discuss the case and prepare our presentation slides.” “We read the case, worked it out, put astrategy in place, then we reread it, worked it out in a different way, put another strategy in place and so on afew more times,” said Alberto, describing a seemingly chaotic process, but one which seems to have worked.“The idea,” explained Massimiliano, “was that no one in the team had a specialized and exclusive role. Weactually discussed everything several times and each time we all participated, without leaving anything out.”The case wasn’t the most clear-cut, as it was divided into two parts. “On one hand,” explained Salviotti, thefaculty tutor who accompanied the students on their trip to Canada, “they were asked whether to slow downor speed up the implementation of a project. On the other hand the issue was whether to introduce provisionswhich in the future would skirt all the drawbacks that had affected it.” The double timeline and the need tomake both an operative decision and a strategic decision made it difficult for several teams. 17
  20. 20. People“The three students were selected out of those who were taking the IT Systems course and who had showninterest in the event, which the International Relations Service had announced,” explained Salviotti. None ofthe three students, however, is specialized in IT, like most of the students from other universities. “Talking withthe other participants,” said the three students, “we realized that many of them had an engineeringbackground and knew sophisticated IT packets inside and out, so we got a little scared. But the case wasdefinitely more focused on strategy, which gave us the advantage.”“The panel recognized the teamwork involved, the simplicity and elegance of the solutions and the decisionand readiness with which they responded to objections,” said Salviotti.Despite the prestige of an event perfectly organized by students at Simon Fraser University (“theprofessionalism 22- and 23-year old students have shown is truly incredible,” the members of the Bocconi teamsaid), Tanja, Massimiliano and Alberto wanted to participate so they could have an international businesscase game experience with students from around the world, they felt less pressured than most of theCanadian, Asian and US teams. “In some cases,” they explained, “you could see how stressed they were anda few teams even skipped the dinner with international speakers on the first day so they could keep training.”Language wasn’t a problem for the Italian team either. All three are in programs held in English and they allhave international experience on their résumé. According to Alberto and Massimiliano: “During ourpresentation our only tactic was to let Tanja start and finish, since she speaks English the best.” From Bocconi Newsletter no. 88/2010 18
  21. 21. PeopleTwo Bocconians Develop the Capello Indexby Fabio Todesco Francesco Bof and Sergio Venturini have worked out a system that objectively evaluates soccer player performance in real time. Presented in London, it will be tested at the World Cup in South Africa and extended to analyze league players in various countries.The presentation of the Capello Index at the London Stock Exchange caused quite a stir in the British press. Theidea that the coach of the English national side had developed an index to measure player performance –and wanted to test it during the World Cup in South Africa – was seen as a disturbance to the team. But it’sreally an attempt to inject some scientific objectivity into the world of soccer, and important roles are beingplayed by Francesco Bof, professor of sports management at SDA Bocconi, and by Sergio Venturini, whoteaches quantitative methods at Università Bocconi and SDA Bocconi.“Our work began more than a year ago”, says Bof. Fabio Capello and Francesco Merighi, an entrepreneur infantasy sports games and soccer social networking, had the idea of an index to measure objectively theperformance of players on the field. The intention was to use it in fantasy football or as a support for coachesand managers considering roster changes. Bof was brought in because of the book Management del Calciothat he wrote with Fabrizio Montanari and Giacomo Silvestri in 2008.“The first time we met, Capello already had a table of criteria that reflected his conception of how to measuresoccer performance”, explains Bof. “Over the months, this has become a list of over 500 possible events in amatch that could affect a player’s evaluation.” The events involving a player during a match are workedthrough statistical algorithms to produce a grade similar to those published on the sports pages and useful to aprofessional audience. Each match updates the overall grade of a player, and the system works up dozens ofstatistics that show strengths, weaknesses and trends of play, over a season or a career.Bof, who became chief index developer of the company formed to manage the index, oversees its structureand content, as well as the resources to run it. He and Venturini develop the algorithms for crunching thenumbers, and their goal is to make the data available two hours after the end of a match. 19
  22. 22. PeopleIt is a remarkably large project, when one considers that to analyze a match live requires two technicians anda supervisor. Then consider that after testing it on the World Cup matches, the entrepreneurs look to be fullyoperational for league play in England, Italy and Spain. Germany and France are also very interested.“This system is a huge step forward in the objectivity of player evaluation”, states Bof. “Compared to sportsjournalism ratings, the subjective element is eliminated, as is consideration of the final score. It is the teamindex, which is the average of the individual indices, that correlates with the result of the match.” It is aperfectible system – already revised several times - that can be integrated with other evaluations.“For example”, Bof continues, “at this point we can’t evaluate movement without the ball. There are someexceptions, but it is just too difficult, even if we knew all the schemes run by the coaches. But we have runthousands of tests, and the system is very robust and innovative. It doesn’t rehash stats available elsewhere,and doesn’t substitute other analysts. It simply gives them the tools to raise the quality of their work, and tokeep improving indefinitely.” From Bocconi Newsletter no. 89/2010 20
  23. 23. PeopleAldo and Riccardo, Representing Bocconiat the National University Tennis Championshipsby Davide Ripamonti Two top players, 19-year olds De Florio and Stiglich, represented the University at a leading tennis tournament held in Italy’s Molise region. Both enrolled in the Bachelor of Business Administration and Management at Bocconi, they have learned to balance athletics and academics.They’re both the same age, 19, with the same ranking, 2.6 (though Riccardo has already earned enoughpoints to move a step up), and the same study program, the Bachelor of Business Administration andManagement. Aldo De Florio and Riccardo Stiglich are two athletes called to represent Bocconi at theNational University Championships, which were held from 21 to 29 May in Campobasso, Molise. They’re bothregistered for the tennis tournament in the singles as well as the doubles, where they played together. They’rea lot alike, but they’re also very different from each other: “I started playing tennis when I was 6 or 7 years old,”says Aldo, originally from Rome and a former under 12, 14 and 16 regional champion in Lazio, “and when I was10 years old I started participating in my first regional tournaments. Then, since I was doing well, I startedplaying more seriously, with my own coach and an athletic trainer. I did all this while continuing to focus onschool.”Riccardo’s introduction to tennis was a little later, who, until he was 13, chose to play basketball in hishometown of Sondrio. “But then I wasn’t tall enough,” he jokes, “and so I decided to start playing tennis,where I realized that I could be pretty good.” To do so, however, he had to leave his hometown, “because Icouldn’t grow anymore as a player there,” he explains, “so I came to Giussano where there was a greatteacher, Argentine Marcelo Charpentier, a former professional player who was at the 100th place in the ATPrankings in the late ’90s.”It might be a little late to talk about going pro, but Aldo and Riccardo have different opinions about the topic.Aldo, who won the first edition of the Bocconi Tennis Tournament hands down in December (Riccardo didn’tparticipate), is the star on the Bocconi Sport Team at the CUS Milano Cup. He says, “I think I can get a littlebetter, but this is my level more or less. Up until last year I trained every day, but now I only train 2 or 3 times a 21
  24. 24. Peopleweek because I’d rather focus on my studies.” Tennis, one of the most meritocratic sports, isn’t forgiving afterbreaks, and players who train less lose places in the rankings because there are no team dynamics whichcould hide individual performances. For him, however, currently placed around 400th in the national rankings,competitive matches are continuing, “with tournaments and with the Serie B team National Championship,where I’m playing with Rome’s Circolo Antico team. It’s a hard championship with lots of traveling.”Riccardo Stiglich, who won the only previous competition between the two, “at a tournament in Gubbio, twoyears ago,” is taking his time and dedicating time to both his tennis and his academic careers. Because hestarted playing tennis relatively late, he still has time to fully explore his limits. “My life right now is very busy,” hesays. “I have tennis, then classes and I study in the evenings. I’m trying to get as high as I can in the rankings” –he’s around 320th in Italy right now – “so I can get into the ATP rankings and then participate in tournamentswith cash prizes. I still haven’t given up the idea that I can make a living off of tennis.”He’s also participating in the Serie B teams, with the Pro Patria Milano, but he’s aiming for Campobasso:“Looking at the board of registered teams, it looks like it’s going to be an interesting tournament,” they say,“and we hope we can get as far as possible and earn some important points for the rankings. Then there’s thedoubles matches, even if we’ve never played together.”Last year another Bocconi player, Matteo Romanò was also in the championship. This year it’s Aldo andRiccardo’s turn to represent the university. From Bocconi Newsletter no. 90/2010 22
  25. 25. PeopleA Bocconi “Government” in Vancouverby Tomaso Eridani Eight Bocconi students were part of the 9-member Italian delegation in the Canadian city for the 2010 G8/G20 Youth Summit, a forum for young leaders from around the world. The team debated world issues and presented their final document, which they may take back over the Atlantic.A Bocconi majority government, with 8 members out of 9 from the University, in positions incluidng the head ofstate and the Minister of Economics, represented Italy in Vancouver at the G8/G20 summit for youths lastmonth, taking part in lively debates with their peers from all over the world.Now in its 5th edition, the G8/G20 Youth Summit brings together university students from member countries,hosted in the same country as the official G8. Its objective is to give youths a voice that is heard on the mostcurrent global issues which make up the program for the leaders at the official summit.Candidates for the Italian delegation were chosen by Youth Engagement Promoters, one of the manyinternational student organizations which help organize the event, while the nine final delegates wereselected by a committee of three Italian university professors. Bocconi had good reason to be proud, sincethe majority of the final delegation, which was chosen out of hundreds of candidates, was such a largemajority of Bocconi students.Stefano Greco, Claudia Fraccalvieri, Claudia Pereira da Conceiçao, Chiara Rivera, Francesco Fasiello, GiuliaOberti, Folco Cioni and Lucia Brambilla (along with another student from LUISS) were assigned various roles inthe Italian government, from the head of state to various responsibilities for foreign affairs, development, etc.Each student was also assigned the task of preparing two position papers to present in Vancouver fordiscussion during the various panels.“The idea behind this summit is to give youths’ suggestions and our views regarding these global issues a voiceand visibility,” explained Claudia Fraccalvieri, a student in her 2nd year in the Bachelor of InternationalEconomics, Management and Finance. 23
  26. 26. PeopleAt the Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, five full days were given over to debates between the 130students. Participants attended plenary sessions, and meetings between representatives of the individualareas to discuss various issues such as global governance, the fight against terrorism and food security. Thefinal objective is to produce a final document, like at the official version, which includes the various proposalsand purposes which emerge.“It was nice to be able to contribute to these important issues and come up with feasible proposals,” saidClaudia Pereira da Conceiçao, originally from Brazil, enrolled in the 1st year of the Bachelor in Economics andSocial Sciences.“I found it really interesting to see how these issues are dealt with differently around the world,” said ClaudiaFraccalvieri. “In fact, outside the classroom we were all friends, but debates were very lively and animated!Then, in the evenings we went back to a fun and friendly atmosphere.”“It was also a great opportunity to socialize and network. There was a lot of truly intercultural contact,” saidStefano Greco, graduating in the Bachelor of Business Administration and Management, the “head of state” inthe delegation. “In particular, it was nice to see how us European delegates were able to easily coordinateourselves and work together, thanks in part to the EU Voice meeting we attended in Germany before leaving,where we laid out our shared European position. Since we’re all young, we hope that this is a good omen forthe future of the European Union.”“Now we’re discussing how to continue this experience and the ideas that came out of it,” concludedStefano. “The dream, which we’re trying to bring about, is to present our final document in Toronto at the endof June at the table of the real G20.” From Bocconi Newsletter no. 91/2010 24
  27. 27. PeopleA Golden Apple at Bocconiby Susanna Della Vedova The Marisa Bellisario “mela d’oro”, recognizing women in business who contribute to the development of Italian society, was recently awarded to Bocconi graduate Barbara Torre. This was the first time the award was given to a cum laude graduate in Economics.“I’m proud to be a Bocconi graduate!” These were the words Barbara Torre used to begin talking aboutherself and the award she had just received directly from the hands of Italian Ministers Tremonti and Sacconion behalf of the Marisa Bellisario Foundation at Confindustria on Friday 18 June.The award, a golden apple with the awardee’s name engraved on it, was given to young graduates inEconomics for the first time this year. For the past 22 years, the Foundation has recognized those femaleentrepreneurs, managers, professionals and bright businesswomen who contribute to the development of thecountry every day with their perseverance and commitment.At 24 years old, Barbara is a young woman, but she already has the determination, the will and the skills tocontribute to the development of Italy as a nation. “I studied management at Bocconi and I graduated cumlaude on 24 October of last year with a thesis on the topic ‘Corporate Governance in Italian Companies Listedon the Stock Exchange: CEO tenure, performance and sector effects.’ Along with my academic background,my thesis is what helped me win this award.” Her academic background is good enough to make even thosewith more experience jealous. Barbara has built up her résumé during her years at university by takingadvantage of the “opportunities that Bocconi offers its students. It’s true,” says Barbara, “that determination,the desire to put yourself out there and to get things done are individual qualities, but Bocconi provides thetools to use them.”A Campus Abroad program in Australia, Exchanges in Barcelona and the United States and a permanent full-time position at Procter & Gamble in Geneva after graduation, where she works with financials for initiativesand competitive intelligence. The position is stimulating and in an international environment that allows her totravel to other parts of the world for business. She sees herself returning to Italy in the future, however, because 25
  28. 28. People“I’m proud that I was awarded this prestigious recognition since I am the first Bocconi student to havereceived the award, and I would like to be a woman whose everyday commitment works to improve ourcountry.” From Bocconi Newsletter no. 92/2010 26
  29. 29. PeopleFabio, a Legal Studies Graduate Backstage at La Scalaby Fabio Todesco The youngest assistant director at the world-renowned Milanese opera house is 29-year-old Fabio Ceresa, a Bocconi legal studies graduate who changed career paths after graduation to begin working with music. He has also recently written several opera libretti.In the complex of the former Ansaldo plant on Via Tortona in Milan, Rossini’s opera L’Occasione Fa il Ladro wasbeing rehearsed, which will be performed at La Scala by the Academy’s students starting on 18 September. Inthe large rehearsal room, young singers dressed in casual attire alternate on stage, listen to advice from thedirector, Sonja Frisell, and ask another young man jumping up and down on stage with a large book in handfor repeated explanations.The large book is the director’s score, a volume which has the score printed only on the left-hand pages; theright-hand pages get filled in by the director with detailed instructions about the artists’ movements,expressions and behavior. The young man helping the La Scala director is Fabio Ceresa, born in 1981 and aBocconi graduate in law. “These are the scene rehearsals,” he explains, “and they’re done to improve acting.Singing rehearsals happen at a different time.”Fabio is the youngest assistant director at La Scala, though he honed his professional choice relatively late,during his university studies at Bocconi. “I’ve always been passionate about this kind of music,” he says, “andwhen I was a kid in Rivolta d’Adda, I would buy opera music albums with my allowance. I played music and Isang, but only at an amateur level.”His interest was clear during his exam in private law with a musician like Giovanni Iudica, where the discussionturned towards opinions on legal events in opera storylines. “One of the conclusions we came to,” remembersFabio with a smile, “is that the contract between Faust and Mephistopheles should be nullified because a soulis not an available good.”It was during his second year at university that Fabio decided to try out an artistic venture, while continuing hisstudies (“my parents insisted on it,” he says, “and now I am grateful to them”). The road that leads to La Scala 27
  30. 30. Peopleis full of rather random opportunities that must be seized quickly. “Through friends of friends,” he says, “I met adirector who was staging an opera outside the city and, knowing about my interest, he asked if I wanted tohelp. Then someone else asked me to act as director for another small production and then a real directornoticed me and offered me an internship at La Scala. That was three years ago and I’m still here.”For Fabio, a parallel vein to directing is writing music. “When I was younger, like a lot of other kids, I wrotepoetry, but I paid a lot of attention to the structure and the metrics in particular rather than the content. Later Idiscovered that lots of musicians need people who know how to write text based on their metrics, or theirmusic.”In this case too, you can see a chain of events that, since the first attempts he showed his friends, turned intowriting a libretto that would act as the base for a musical composition contest that never happened. “ButDaniele Zanettovich, a musician involved in the project, enjoyed the libretto and wanted to add music to it. Soit was published.” His most recent success was winning the CIDIM, the Italian Music Committee, Kinderszenenfor an opera for children: Fabio wrote the libretto for “Once upon a time there was... King Thunder!” based onLuigi Capuana’s fairy tale, and Daniela Terranova put music to it.“In the world of music, no one is ever required to have a university degree,” says Fabio, “but the fact that Ifinished my studies at Bocconi marks me as a reliable person right away and that’s important. And, a fewyears ago, when we needed to move a table to let the audience exit at the end of an opera, I had to askone of the artists for help, someone who at first had told me he was an international singer. I told him that I hadgraduated from Bocconi and then we moved the table together, as equals.” From Bocconi Newsletter no. 93/2010 28
  31. 31. PeopleAndrea and Barbara in Bangladesh with an IDEAby Andrea Celauro The organization is called IDEA Onlus and it’s an association that promotes child sponsorship and social assistance for families and communities in the South-East Asian country. And it was co-founded by two Bocconi employees along with two of their friends.Inside Bocconi’s walls, Andrea Borghi and Barbara Alfieri work with advanced technologies used to run themost hidden but most vital aspects of the university. Outside its walls, they are faced with the worst poverty inBangladesh. For Andrea, part of the Bocconi IT Services (ASIT) team and Barbara, who works at SDA Bocconi’sInformation Technology Service, something that for many people is a normal move from virtual reality to thereal world occurs for them as radically as possible: since 2007 they have dedicated their free time to IDEAOnlus (www.ideaonlus.org), an association they co-founded with two other friends to create and developchild sponsorship, social and healthcare assistance projects and projects promoting education in the South-East Asian country.IDEA Onlus is the latest step in social work that has brought Andrea to Bangladesh since 1997. That was theyear in which he sponsored a little girl from Bangladesh through the non-profit organization RishilpiDevelopment Project. “I decided to see her in person to understand what it’s really like to live in that country,”says Borghi. It was an exposure to a world that was very far from his own and not just in terms of geography.“You can only fully understand the devestation of a population living in a slum in the forest if you see it inperson.” It was a personal experience that began to consume him, though it didn’t turn into a concretecommitment right away. “I just started talking about child sponsorship at the office, more to tell people aboutmy experience than as a way of promoting the Rishilpi mission. In the end, sponsorships at Bocconi reached atotal of two hundred.” That was the moment in which Andrea’s view of the problems in Bangledesh started tochange. In 2002 he returned to the country with Barbara, who had he met in ’97 and married in the followingyears. After they came back to Italy they decided to found a branch of Rishilpi in Italy, in Pinerolo. It was abusiness that lasted four years, until the couple decided to go even further. “We wanted to be able to domore. That was how IDEA Onlus was started.” 29
  32. 32. PeopleFounded in 2008, IDEA can operate all over the world and currently has an active projects in Mato Grosso,Brazil and three projects in Bangladesh. One of these, carried out in collaboration with the Bangladeshi non-profit organization Banchte Sheka and created as a child sponsorship project for social and healthcareassistance for children, has turned into an attempt to save an entire community. “We operate in Jogahati, afishing village whose activities were completely upset when a section of a canal used by the community wassold to a private party. The inhabitants were allowed to fish only for their own survival and not for sales, acondition that devestated the village.” The work of Andrea, Barbara, Gabriele and Maria (the two friends whoco-founded IDEA), along with the local non-profit organization, was used to build ten new houses for thepoorest members of the community, “people who in some cases currently live under a rented outdoorcanopy,” says Andrea.Since founding IDEA, Andrea and Barbara have sponsored an entire family (a woman who escaped from anabusive husband with her two daughters). He is adamant about the importance of not abusing the welfarestate (“IDEA’s idea is to transform the village into a co-op that over time becomes the real engine of thecommunity’s rebirth”) and about the mark that experiences like these leave on well-to-do Europe. “These aresocieties in which social and cultural differences do not allow adults and children to have relationships. Theseare communities in which an invalid is literally emarginated, in the sense that he or she will be picked up andthrown into a trash heap. These are places where children dream of a glass of clean water. By seeing thisextreme poverty we should not simply re-evaluate what we do, we can also more fully understand how muchthese situations are often the result of rich countries speculating over poorer countries.” From Bocconi Newsletter no. 94/2010 30
  33. 33. PeopleElena’s Decisionsby Davide Ripamonti This year’s Bocconi Run winner in the women’s category, Elena Vittone participates in running events at a national level and is a student in the Bachelor of Business Administration and Management. She is undecided whether she wants to keep running, currently juggling athletics and studies.Though it deputed only two years ago, the Bocconi Run is already well-known for its high quality participants.One such participant is 19-year-old Elena Vittone, the winner of this year’s women’s competition, who isenrolled in her first year of the Bachelor of Business Administration and Management. She is a member ofRunner Team RT 99 and trained with Andrea Monti (“I started in GS Chivassesi with president Claudio Clerici,”she says).Tall, thin and a little shy, Elena has the typical body type of a mid-distance runner, partly due to natural giftsbut mostly because she trains hard and makes some sacrifices. She has been repaid with results: “This year Iwon the regional championship in Piedmont, in the Juniors category of cross-country running,” explains Elena,“and I placed fifth in the national finals in Pescara for the 5-mile track race.” These are excellent results,following her work in 2008, when she won third place in the 1500 and 3000 track races in Piedmont and eighthin the 3000 in the Youth category at the National finals in Rieti.These performances didn’t happen by chance: “When I was younger I played volleyball,” says Elena, who isfrom Chiasso, not far from Turin. “Then when I was 14 I started track and field, the only other sport other thanswimming that you could play where I’m from.” It was a completely new world, where “there’s no team spirit,which reduces both disappoints and satisfactions. In track and field you’re alone, and happiness and pain ismuch more personal.”Her approach to track and field was positive from the start. She quickly tried out the various sports, then her firstcoach assigned her to mid-distance running, “because I didn’t have a very fast core speed, which is natural,but you can improve endurance with training.” For someone who is competitive and ambitious, training“means going out everyday, no matter what kind of weather,” even during the cold winters in her hometown. 31
  34. 34. PeopleShe makes the effort voluntarily, especially when she was repaid with her first victories: “The wins and timingimprovements generally come at the same time and, and, until you continue to improve you don’t feel tiredfrom training, and everything you have to give up doesn’t bother you. When you stop winning, that’s when it’stime to stop.”Elena is at a crossroads right now, with her life radically changed in the past few months after moving to Milanto attend Bocconi. “I thought a lot about my decision to come to Bocconi, and my family and decided that Iwould have better career prospects after graduation if I came here. But I know,” she continues, “that movinghere changed my training habits. Studying is hard work, and now I’m in a new group, even if my trainer hasconnections with Pro Patria Milano, one of the oldest groups in Italian track and field.”It’s a group that has included an Olympic, European and world champion like Alberto Cova. Whateverchoice Elena makes about her future, though, the Bocconi Run may have already found its ruler for the nextfew years. From Bocconi Newsletter no. 96/2010 32
  35. 35. PeopleCuocolo: On the Web with Il Ricostituenteby Davide Ripamonti The Bocconi Faculty member, who also works as a lawyer and consultant to local and European organizations, provides explanations of how the Italian Constitution is applied in his recently-launched blog. The aim is to make constitutional topics more comprehensible to readers.Lorenzo Cuocolo, 35 years old, Associate Professor of Comparative Public Law at Università Bocconi, holdsseveral positions and performs many activities: a lawyer in Genoa, his hometown, and Milan, consultant for theGenovese Port Authorities and consultant for the European Council for issues in environmental conservation.These are “roles in which my two psyches emerge,” he jokes, “the local one and the global one.”But Cuocolo is also interested in all forms of media, from printed material and TV to the web, the means ofinformation that is considered the most popular among the students and professors he meets with on a dailybasis in the classroom: “In 2007-2008 I collaborated as an editorialist for the daily newspaper Il Secolo XIX, thenthis year I participated in a TV program on the Genoa channel Primo Canale, Università Popolare. On theprogram I take five minutes to comment on constitutional issues which are connected to current events, allaimed at a wide audience.”The issue of making often difficult topics comprehensible to everyday readers and listeners with terms used byexperts in the sector is very dear to Cuocolo. It has led him to open a blog with some colleagues, IlRicostituente, published in Italian, which discusses current events that deal with the Constitution. “The startingpoint was that we would like to bring constitutional law to the average reader’s level, for anyone who wouldnormally read editorials and political pages, but who would never read long technical articles that our legalprofessionals write in sector journals,” explains Cuocolo. “Our objective is both civic and social in a certainsense.” Il Ricostituente gathers contributions from Bocconi faculty members who have supported the site fromthe beginning, such as Edmondo Mostacci and Oreste Pollicino, “but I also talked with other people about thewebsite, such as Maurizio Del Conte and Marco Ventoruzzo, who were very helpful and shared it withcolleagues from other universities, providing the widest reach possible. I would even like to create a trueeditorial panel soon.” 33
  36. 36. People“Articles in the Ricostituente need to be short, around 3,000 characters,” adds Cuocolo, who also acts as theblog’s coordinator. “They are not ideological, so they have a point of view and register that are suitable forthe web. The Constitution is actually a common topic of interest, and people who don’t work in the sectordon’t realize it, so our objective is to provide explanations about this area. Since it looks like we’re headingtowards a period of debate on reforms,” continues Cuocolo, “I believe that there needs to be a third-party,neutral voice that aims to give explanations. This is the role of the Ricostituente.”The main audience of the Ricostituente, however, according to its creator, are students. “They often observe aclear separation between what is learned in the classroom and written in their large textbooks and whatactually happens in reality. We try to bridge the gap of the separation between theory and practice.” From Bocconi Newsletter no. 97/2010 34
  37. 37. PeopleMy Africaby Tomaso Eridani MBA student Federico Pippo decided to complete his action learning project by doing an internship at the Dr. Ambrosoli Memorial Hospital in Kalongo, Uganda. He helped improve hospital management, improving his own skills, making new friends and experiencing a new culture along the way.It was an unusual choice, but one that made a big impression. Many MBA students follow the crowd by doingan internship in finance or consulting, but Federico Pippo, twenty-nine years old, chose to spend the three-month internship for his MBA at the Dr. Ambrosoli Mermorial Hospital located in Kalango, in Northern Uganda.After about four years in the field of tax consulting, and becoming certified public accountant, Federicodecided to begin his Master in Business Administration adventure, which he began at SDA in October of 2009,driven by the desire to expand his education and take on new professional paths. When the moment came tochoose his “action learning” project (a period of 3 months during the program when students complete aninternship or entrepreneurial, consultancy or research project), Federico was offered an internship in privateequity. But he was curious about a proposal by SDA Dean Alberto Grando, who had mentioned the possibilityof completing a field project at the Dr. Ambrosoli Memorial Hospital, with the objective of improvingadministrative and management procedures for the organization and supporting local personnel in applyingthese procedures.“Paola Galbiati, a Researcher in Corporate Finance at Bocconi who collaborated on the project alsodiscussed this proposal. I was curious right away and I asked Paola if we could meet,” says Federico. “Fiveminutes was enough and I immediately felt a strong desire to take on this experience. And then the interviewswith the Foundation made me feel even more strongly about it. It wasn’t an easy choice, but I felt like this wasan opportunity I had to take at that time that would never happen again.” Valerian Fauvel, a student in theMaster in Corporate Finance at SDA also joined the project, as part of the required internship for the program.So in early June Federico and Valerian left for Kalongo.The hospital, which is now a private, non-profit organization, was founded in 1957 by Father GiuseppeAmbrosoli, a surgeon and Comboni missionary who dedicated his life to treating the Uganda population. It is 35
  38. 38. Peoplelocated in Kalongo, Uganda, in the Acholi tribe territory, an extremely poor area, without many means ofcommunication and lacking developed areas. Today the hospital provides healthcare assistance to around50,000 people each year, almost half of which are children under 5 years old. It boasts 345 beds and 7 wards(including maternity, pediatric, malnutrition, TB and AIDS). In 1998, the Comboni Missionaries and FatherGiuseppe Ambrosoli’s family established the Dr. Ambrosoli Memorial Hospital Foundation, which supports thehospital and the St. Mary’s Midwifery School in Kalongo.During their three months in the Uganda town, Federico and Valerian analyzed critical elements regarding thehospital’s administrative departments, where some accounting was still being done manually. They introduceda more modern and effective accounting management system which uses Excel. They also worked on supplyroom management by cleaning them out, getting rid of obsolete materials and introducing an IT system tomanage supplies. Lastly, they worked on reorganizing the technical department which provides maintenanceservices to the hospital. This was all accompanied by daily training activities for local staff.“This was an extraordinary experience that will stay with me forever. I was impressed by the people there, wholive through such difficult situations (Northern Uganda has been afflicted by a long civil war that startedaround two years ago), but they are always ready to give you a smile,” remembers Federico. “They were veryfriendly and grateful for the simple fact that we had decided to come there to help.”“I also played on the local soccer team, the Kalongo United. And after the last game I was moved when myteammates gave me a shirt with my name on it,” says Federico. “And I’ll never forget our Good-Bye Partyorganized by the students at the Midwifery School, who said good-bye with songs and dancing in our honor.”But this experience in the heart of Africa also enriched Federico considerably in a professional sense. “Itcertainly wasn’t easy to communicate the need to implement an efficient business management based onthe application of correct economic sustainability principles in both the medium- and long-term to such adifferent environment, not only distant in terms of geography. Moreover, I had the opportunity to try out andimprove several aspects of my ‘soft skills,’ which are nowadays fundamental professionally. Like knowing howto interact with people from a completely different culture, leadership skills, analysis and problem-solving.”“Lastly,” continues Federico, “being able to work knowing that you are contributing to helping others ispriceless in terms of personal and professional satisfaction.”The MBA is now over and Federico is looking forward to the graduation ceremony that will take place inDecember. “In the meantime, I’m looking for opportunities in finance – as long as my desire to go back toAfrica isn’t too strong. But if I do go back, I’ll definitely go back to Kalongo.”Federico still keeps in touch with the Foundation to continue what he and Valerian started in Kalongo. From Bocconi Newsletter no. 98/2010 36
  39. 39. Bocconi Newsletter takes a look at current topics in the fields of economics, management,law and more in order to highlight the importance of economic researchand disseminate Bocconi’s vast store of culturaland academic knowledge. It also provides periodic updateson the many initiatives held at the University:• conventions, workshops and other meetings• institutional events• counselling and training at all scholastic levels• exhibitions, concerts and cultural events• presentaions and meetings at the Egea Bookshop in via Bocconi 8• new publications from UBE and EgeaThe newsletter is published every two weeks.To receive the newsletter, fill out the subscription form at http://info.unibocconi.eu/newsletter

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