Networking to success: the impact of the Global MBA Alumni Network on professional growth

18 March 2024

An Interview with Alessandro Bonfiglioli, General Manager of CAAB S.p.A., commercial and food logistics hub in Bologna. Bonfiglioli in BBS is Professor of Industrial Design and Branding for the Global MBA in Design, Fashion and Luxury Goods and for the Master in Business Management – Made in Italy.

Through your role at BBS, you have a unique perspective on the path to which a person can aspire thanks to the Bologna Bussiness School’s support programs:

– What do you see as the role of Career Service in shaping the careers of Global MBA graduates?

Choosing to start a challenging path such as a full-time MBA requires strong personal motivation and involves a determination to invest in one’s professional future to improve one’s career opportunities.

Career Service helps Global MBA students focus on what is the best path to follow to achieve their goals.  In this way, they do not lose sight of the steps needed to achieve their long-term goals.

Career Service helps identify the intermediate steps and the strategies to be put in place. We engage students face to face, talk by asking questions to clarify each person’s real goals, and then set a path to achieve them.

– The Alumni network is now a very important international network: what do you think its impact is on the professional success of those facing a Global MBA at Bologna Business School?

 In more than 20 years of activity, BBS has graduated more than 14,000 alumni who now hold senior positions in many companies around the world. This network is a powerful asset for our students, who become part of a Community and thus have access to a large number of privileged contacts.

In an increasingly global business world, building a network with executives who have been BBS students is a key opportunity that is not always immediately evident to those approaching a study path. The networking events at Villa Guastavillani are informal opportunities to make very important connections, to match an international Faculty, where professors from academic backgrounds are combined with professionals of the highest level.

– What do you think are the best practices to recommend to Global MBA alumni to maximize the benefits of networking and create lasting professional relationships beyond the immediate post-MBA period?

One of the added values of Bologna Business School is that its Community has only one way in: you join when you enroll in a course and become part of a large network for life. We see this at Graduations, where more and more alumni return from all over the world to meet former classmates, and professors and to contribute to the development of the BBS network.

The many events organized during the academic year, then, are excellent opportunities to meet each other, but also to make themselves known to top managers of the more than 500 companies that are part of the School’s business network.

Capitalizing on these opportunities is a formidable plus that BBS offers its students and that remains an asset well beyond the moment of the start of one’s career: it is a human and social capital to be used, in a virtuous circle of relationships boosted by Bologna Business School, throughout one’s career.

– How are MBA students supported after graduation to make and maintain valuable lifelong connections?

Especially for international students, who are the majority of Global MBA participants, becoming familiar with a new city, colleagues, and school is a challenge at first, both in terms of academics and daily life. This can lead to focusing on oneself and not having an open and engaging attitude. One of our commitments is to help students overcome this phase, and then open up to the BBS Community, which is the real plus of our MBAs: update and orientation webinars to connect and reconnect with the School, events at Villa Guastavillani or such as the Regatta, which allow informal meetings and in unusual settings lead to increased bonding among participants and engagement with the School.

– The added value of the Global MBA in BBS is its location. Why facing a program of excellence in Bologna is a plus?

We are based in Bologna at Villa Guastavillani, a beautiful 16th-century villa in the heart of Emilia-Romagna, one of the most important economic regions in Italy and Europe. Bologna is the center of a unique economic and social world: home of the world’s oldest university, it is a natural logistical hub in Italy and, not surprisingly, the center of a network of excellence in a wide range of business fields. From automotive to technological innovation, from the development of green energy policies to the food and wine sector, Bologna and its territory are one of the most important hubs for local and global companies, with roots in an ancient and noble tradition and eyes always turned to the future. The best place to start one’s career.


Back To Top