CIMBA Newsletter
                                                WAKE UP THE
                                    LEADER IN YOU!

October 2008

Meet the Alumni

Frank Farrall

Frank Farrall

What year were you at CIMBA? Where have you gone since then, professionally?

I graduated in 1998.  After finishing the degree program, I took a position with Sprint Corporation in their broadband Internet area, in the dotcom boom days, and ended up working with a team of consultants that hired me into KPMG Consulting.  At KPMG, I specialized in telecommunications and Internet projects and ended up moving to Melbourne, Australia in 2003.  In Australia, I continued to deliver telecommunications consulting engagements, but also expanded into financial services and the defense sector, working in countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region.  I made partner in 2006, after building a practice of 100+ consultants, and moved to Deloitte Consulting at the beginning of 2008 to focus on strategy and business consulting.

What was your best "CIMBA" moment?

I would have to say that the tour of the Ferrari factory was a definite high point for me at CIMBA. I had been a lifelong enthusiast of their cars, and to get inside the operation and have a CIMBA alumni working in a management role with them facilitate a day of learning for us there showed me that a high-quality MBA could lead to very exciting things!

How has CIMBA affected your life, professionally and personally?

My CIMBA experience really opened up the world to me - I took the opportunity to travel to areas of Eastern Europe that had been "off limits" because of the Cold War until the early 1990s, areas of the former Yugoslavia that had only recently come out of a nasty wartime experience as well as Africa and the Middle East.  CIMBA allowed me to learn Italian, regularly practice Spanish and even learn how to swear in several other languages!

Given the diverse backgrounds of the students in my classes, I was exposed to many points of view that were different to mine and gained experience managing international teams in high-stress situations - something that I do every day in my role at Deloitte.  I also learned a lot about how high achievers from different cultures interact and some tips and techniques for jump-starting cooperation.

How do you keep a work/life balance? Any tips?

Maintaining any sort of work life balance in the consulting industry requires forethought and discipline, particularly given how pervasive and intrusive modern technology has become.  Some rules that I've set for myself are as follows:

  1. Turn the Blackberry off after 8pm and on Saturdays
  2. No work on Saturdays unless there is an emergency, short-term requirement
  3. Take two holidays each year
  4. Go to the gym twice a week
  5. No work calls during dinner

What advice can you give current CIMBA students?

Build your personal network proactively and read as much as you can.  You success will be determined by both WHAT you know and WHO you know.

Anything else?

There's nothing quite as good as an interesting story about going to graduate school overseas or an experience you've had with someone's country or language to help the flow of an interview, introductory meeting, etc.  Make sure you get out and have as many interesting experiences as possible and be conscious of them when you're interacting with others.
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It's time already for a new year of students, professors, classes and, best of all, exciting changes and developments.
As most of you know, CIMBA's core mission is its commitment to the continuous development and improvement of its unique learning environment, an environment specifically oriented toward developing the leadership skills and attributes of our students.  
In support of that mission, and with the blessing of the Consortium member universities, CIMBA is both pleased and proud to announce that in September 2008 the University of Iowa became the Consortium's degree and credit granting institution.  Not only is the University of Iowa's Tippie School of Management highly regarded and highly ranked worldwide, the University also brings a strong commitment to student development as evidenced by its Belin- Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development and by the depth and commitment of its research into the science in "soft skills" through the University's recognized brain imaging and psychology departments.
CIMBA would not be what it is today without the support of our longtime colleagues and friends at the University of Kansas. We would like to express our profound gratitude as an organization for the wonderful years of affiliation we experienced with KU, and we look forward to our continued cooperation in the years ahead. 

Enjoy the newsletter and, as always, let's hear from you! 
After finishing a month at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, the CIMBA MBA class of 2008 graduated in an intimate ceremony with family and friends. The MBAs of CIMBA 2008
The full class, both full-time and part-time students is shown at left in graduation regalia.

The night before the graduation ceremony, students, faculty, families and friends gathered for an dinner of awards, thanks and speeches.

For consulting, team Maus won the Project of the Year award for their work benchmarking Maus in the vertical turning machine market.
Batley profile picture
Team SMEV, shown at right won the Six Sigma  Project of the Year for their work in purchasing.

Eva Murko from Ljubjana, Slovenia, won the Student of the Year award for her contributions to the class both in and outside of the classroom.

New class
The MBA class of 2009 convened at the CIMBA Asolo campus on September 11 to begin their journey through the program. More on them will come in the following months.
CIMBA Undergraduate

Tommy Thompson joined CIMBATommy Thompson joined the staff this year as the new program coordinator joining Adam Brahl at the CIMBA undergraduate campus in Paderno del Grappa. Here's a little bit more about him.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a 23 year old student from Plano, TX. I hold degrees in International Business Management and Information Systems from my alma mater: the University of Texas at San Antonio. I am a huge fan of music, and in my spare time I like to play the guitar. I like jogging, playing tennis, and rock climbing ... all of which I plan on doing on a regular basis here in Italy. Other than that, I consider myself someone who loves a challenge and an adventure,  which I believe is a large part of why I am back in Italy to start with.

What about this position appealed to you the most?
To me, what was most appealing was the ability to, in some small measure, be a part of other peoples' study abroad experience. The time that I had at CIMBA as an undergraduate was incredible. I learned an incredible amount about myself and the world, and came away from the whole experience with a new sense of direction in life. The possibility to help facilitate this experience in others is something that is very appealing to me.

What are you looking forward to this year?
I am really excited about working with so many new faces. This is my third time at CIMBA, and judging from my first two experiences here, I know that every session is different. Also, I look forward to learning as much Italian as possible. I think that the Italian language is a beautiful thing, and I cannot wait to learn more of it.
CIMBA Executive Programs
Roberta ViragoRobert Virago, head of the marketing and sales office at Virosac, a family-owned local plastics company, recently finished one of two executive programs she's taken here at CIMBA.

What program did you complete at CIMBA?

At CIMBA I completed two programs: the Certificate In International Management, concluded last year with a week-session in Kansas, and the Executive Certificate in Leadership Development, completed on the 30th of May 2008 with my last session of one to one coaching. Really, though, I'm not finished yet because my process of self-growth is still going on. I have more long, hard work to do.

What was the most useful aspect of the programs?
Both the programs have been very useful in my job and life.

During my first course, I gained some very interesting and easily applicable tools for problem solving, decision making and so on, complemented with a wide overview of financial, legal and informational aspects of international business landscape.

During my last program, I surely gained something different, though just as important as in the first program. The program isn't only about knowledge, but first of all, it's been about building up my personality and implementing my leadership skills. It's been great, and the more time passes, the more this program is becoming helpful!

What was your favorite aspect of the program?
The most important aspect of the program has been working on all the emotions and concepts tested during the Leadership Breakthrough session.

Leadership Breakthrough, a three day-program, was very intense and powerful. From it, I learned that we need to make things more clear, more applicable during our lives, so from that I got a lot from the one-on-one coaching sessions, during which I felt something unique happening to me. I felt I was someone unique and with many things to give to others, thanks to my coach. The processes I learned will be useful during my life, including how to fix emotions, how to manage them and how to focus on goals.

What advice can you give future participants?

I really wish that many people could complete the leadership program not only for being better at work, but first of all, for living better and for going on living every single moment as it was the last, with enthusiasm, projection, interest, passion and, in a single word, with love! That's all.
CIMBA Calendar - October 2008
11,12 - 18,19 October MBA Financial Accounting, Dr. Roy Pettibone, University of Iowa
21,22 October Consulting Project Oreintation 
24,25 October Statistics Class, Dr. Al H. Ringleb
5-11 October  Travel week.
October 4  
"Executive Program in Business Communication" - 3rd Edition. Public Speaking Workshop. CIMBA, Asolo. 9:30am - 5:30pm
October 9  Presentation "Executive Certificate in International Management and Strategy" - 7th Edition. CIMBA, Asolo. 6:00pm - 7:00pm
October 17 "Executive Program in Business Communication" - 3rd Edition. Effective Presentation Skills Workshop. CIMBA, Asolo. 9:30am - 5:30pm
October 23  Presentation "Executive Certificate in Leadership Development" - 4th Edition CIMBA, Asolo. 6:00pm - 7:00pm
November 7
Executive Certificate Program in International Management and Strategy ."Low Rope Course"  CIMBA, Paderno del Grappa. 9.30-5:30pm
Neuroleadership conference in NY
From October 28th through Octobre 30 at the Hudson Theatre in NY the world's leading neuroscientists and leadership experts will explore new paradigms for developing today's and tomorrow's leaders. As many of you will recall, CIMBA held the first such conference in Asolo in May of last year and is a proud sponsor of this event.
Dr. Ringleb will present the CIMBA leadership development model.  For more information on the program visit . Note that CIMBA alumni and faculty can register at a special discounted price following this link CIMBA Registration
Alumni Updates
New job? New move? Getting married? Keep your fellow alums in the loop! Send your news items to and your item will appear here next month.

MBA (by class year)
1998 Anna Felettti and Marco Migliazzi got married in Vittorio Veneto on September 13th, 2008. Congratulations Anna!
Congratulations, Marghe!
Campus manager Margherita Lago gave birth to Lorenzo in the afternoon of August 7th. He was a healthy 8 pounds and 20.5 inches (3.68 kilos and 52 centimeters). Both mother and baby are healthy and doing well back at their home in San Martino di Lupari.
A-B-C: Al's Book Club 
A fundamental CIMBA tenet regarding leadership is that to be effective a leader must communicate what information is important and how that information will be made actionable - that is, how it will be used in making decisions, solving problems or in other rational thinking processes.  Of particular current interest at CIMBA is the rational thinking process associated with innovation - the thinking process through which an idea, a change or an improvement is brought to social or commercial use.  As in any rational thinking process, a more thorough understanding of the "right questions" to be asked can arguably make more of the supposedly nonlinear thinking aspects of the process linear, which is particularly important in team environments where getting all brains on the same "thinking" page can pay significant productivity benefits.  Seeking to better define the innovation process through understanding the "right questions" takes the researcher in the direction of creativity and a desire to understand the neural basis that promotes it.  Interestingly, despite the commercial importance of innovation as a process, relatively little has been researched and written about the neuroscience of creativity.  Two interesting books in that regard began to provide us with a little glimpse of what might be ahead: The Creating Brain: The Neuroscience of Genius and The Creative Brain: The Science of Genius, both by Dr. Nancy C. Andreasen. Andreasen specifically states that the main goal of her research is to "drill down to the deepest level possible The Creating Brainand attempt to find the neural basis of creativity." At this time her research is the only published research available in the area.  Dr. Andreasen asserts that the parts of the brain which register activity during free association - a mental process brought about through brainstorming, thinking randomly, or simply daydreaming -  are the association cortex, those areas in the frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes which gather and link information from the senses and elsewhere in the brain "in potentially novel ways."  Her primary assertion is that the genesis of new ideas and concepts is attributable to this neural process with much of The Creative Brainthis linking occurring in (or perhaps even creating) the unconscious mind.  By understanding the anatomy and physiology of creativity, and then linking our understanding to the innovation process, our expectation is to more thoroughly understand the "right questions" necessary for leaders to both better communicate and lead the process.