November 27, 2009

Io sono Dorfmeister e arriverderci!

So lastly I'm finally off to Dusseldorf, and this 1 year blog is over, anyone still reading or who is interested in what I'm up to next please follow me on Twitter at @martinprice

all the best!



November 17, 2009



So with our last few weeks before moving, we decided to take a quick holiday to Japan, stopping at Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Osaka & Hiroshima among others..

Loads more amazing photos on Silvia's flickr

We spent a lot of great time at Sushi counters in our two week stay, from breakfast at the food market (above), to an amazing place in Kyoto (below), to even some farewell pieces with some morning sake at Tokyo Narita before our flight!


Leaving Italy...

Some last thoughts before I leave Italy for work, although I’ll be back often to see Silvia’s family, overall it will be a real shame to leave but sadly the work opportunities are limited for me despite the Bocconi experience.  I hope to be able to return to live here again in the next few years but what I've learned in my year below about the country is condensed below.

What I love about Italy
•    The country – beautiful of course
•    The food – nuff said
•    The wine - nuff said - also helps my italian
•    The lifestyle – summer on the beach, winter in the mountains or round the table, stylish clothes - amazing
•    The people – funny, welcoming and great to spend time with

What is hard about Italy
•    Public administration, Timekeeping and getting anything done quickly
•    Everything is subject to change, and nothing even the law is fixed
•    Queuing doesn't exist
•    Parking (a Milano)


October 28, 2009

End of MBA program and some thoughts

Well its the end of my course, after over 1 year in total around 14 months including a brief 3 months working in Berlin.  This was my 'year off' present after 8 years at Yahoo! and for me a chance to get back to Europe, learn more about it and live outside of the UK in Italy for the first time. 

However the MBA was a big investment financially and physically and I've had many people approach me about it with questions so I wanted to note down a few things they might find useful.

  1. Good 1 yr program overall - Overall looking back I think the MBA as a program is interesting, its given me a grounding in traditional business which I hadn't had before and forced me to learn 'the basics' of business in addition to working on some things I've wanted to do for ages, namely Entrepreneurship and writing and pitching a business plan and learning about a new part of the industry - in my case the mobile and mobile services business.  Plus it was a pretty quick year program including 3 months of work/internship, for those at the usual 2 year classes in US schools I don't know how you do (did) it!
  2. Out of date? - However in particular at SDA Bocconi the program is in need of serious modernization, arriving in Milan from San Francisco last year was also a bit like a step back in time. Bocconi is known for finance and to a lesser extent marking and strategy, and finance was excellently taught. However there is a knowing wariness to technology - this was not all due to the 'old country', in my belief institutions that are teaching the leaders of tomorrow (their words not mine) need to understand that technology is going to play more of a role not less in all their lives, yet the focus was far away from any modern technology for much of the program.  Technology was still seen as the same as IT and even the careers service at the school struggled to understand the opportunity for placing graduates and roles and find opportunities for those interested in the tech industry, despite it being a major recruiter for MBA grads in the US over 14%, its less than 1% at SDA Bocconi.
  3. Job hunting for me spoiled the program - it made the focus on the next job rather than on finding out what you want to do and exploring other careers.  For most of the 1 year course students, (Jan - May) then Sept onwards students were interviewing either for internship or full time vacancies, and I think this did a bit more harm than good. It meant working on group projects harder and therefore the quality of the work suffered throughout. Due to the crisis the amount of vacancies were reduced then meant tough time for students, as many companies could be more choosy, and many incredibly even interviewed up to 30 people for 1 internship position.  Surely a complete waste of time for both parties.  Also at time of writing the majority of students out of 110 total leaving the program had not secured a permanent job.
  4. Social Aspects - Also while I took value from the course, the social aspect is probably the most appealing aspect for some people, and I think younger people got more from the course for that reason.  I were to recommend it I would suggest it for slightly younger people,  25-28 ish max and single, a few people my age or older said they would be interested but maybe an exec program is more suitable or look at IMD or similar would be my advice.
  5. Timing is crucial, while taking the year out after the US was perfect for me, I wasn't expecting a huge financial crisis and neither were my classmates; this affected the classes, the mood and the opportunities after graduation. However on the flip side, classes became much more interesting as we could see around us what was happening and get detailed explanations as to why and what it meant.  It would've been a much different experience 2 years earlier, or indeed 2 years after.
  6. Workload - At times was very intense particularly in the first term, but was manageable in a 1 year full time program and is achievable easily in 8-9 months.  The tough trick I think is to give yourself more time to study the things you want to on top of the things you have to..I can imagine it being tough in a 2 yr part time course on top of a full time job, a friend who had did this called this 'the worst two years of his life..'.