Posted by: Francesca Di Meglio on September 08, 2008
In Italy, food is everything. It is family. It is love. It is culture. It is tradition. SDA Bocconi, placed in the second tier of the 2006 BusinessWeek rankings of full-time international programs, is a Milan, Italy-based business school that is combining its knowledge of teaching business with its home country’s tradition of fine foods and beverages. The result is a one-year, full-time MBA program that incorporates education on the fine food industry and general management.
Some of the non-traditional highlights of the program, set to launch in January 2009, include a wine and oil tasting and a trip to various parts of Italy, such as Friuli and Venezia, which are known for certain food products. Since the school is broadening its international scope and is offering courses only in English now, there will be discussion of other countrys' specialties. "We don't believe the Italian style is the only way to do something, but sometimes it's a good way," says Massimiliano Bruni. Still, the program will include a broader discussion of the industry as a whole. For example, says Bruni, Scotland's whisky and France's champagne are likely to make an appearance in the course.
The administrators at Bocconi want people to understand that fine food does not have to be expensive. It's a cultural choice and it's about the kind of experience that you're having with the food, says Bruni.
To apply to the course, you must have an [undergraduate] degree, and at least three years of work experience (not necessarily in the food business). The program, says Bruni, is most practical for people who want to be in this business. A chef, for example, he says, who wants to better decide when to open his restaurant, how to handle payments, etc. would benefit from courses like these.
For the first two years, the program will accept about 25 students per year. Eventually, says Bruni, the administrators would like to expand to 40 students per year.