CIMBA Newsletter
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Meet the Alumni

Batley profile picture

Mauro and Shanna Schiavon returned to Asolo this month to visit the CIMBA campus, where they met as MBA students in 2000. While they were here, we took a few minutes to catch up with Mauro.

Where are you living and working?
We are living in St. Louis, but I have worked out of Chicago for Deloitte for about six years. I work as a manager on large-scale strategy implementation and supply chain management projects.

What was the best aspect of your time here at CIMBA?
Well, of course I am going to say meeting Shanna, my wife. But in terms of the program, I'd have to say the intensity of life here. With the groups, you really learn how to deal with other people, very different people, and those skills teach you how to better lead co-workers. I went away with a whole set of personal skills I did not have before CIMBA. The social aspects of CIMBA are huge, from fellow students to professors - I had no idea how to live with people from other cultures.

Working for a big company (Deloitte), how do you keep a work/life balance?
Well, as Shanna will tell you, it has been an adjustment we have had to make along the way, and it has changed over the years as she has gone from working at a high-level position for Payless to having a family. Deloitte is good about allowing a flexible career management strategy which allows for fewer hours, less travel, less intensity, if that is what you want.

For us, during the week we have a schedule for "baby duty" depending on the day, and weekends are considered off limits for work. But realistically, we have to set expectations depending upon the projects I am working on. Both of us are happier when we communicate.

What tips do you have for the current MBAs, considering the state of the economy and job market?
Overall, there is a talent shortage in the consulting industry, so that shortage means there are jobs out there. Focus on interview skills, which I had not worked on as much as I should have. Really exploit your skills and strengths, the things that come most naturally to you, the core competencies you have to offer a company.

Once you have an interview, follow up to the point of pestering the company or your contact in the company. Of course, experience is always key, so do not do a bad job at a position you do not want or think you will stay in. Do a great job because that will allow you to reach higher when you see a job that you want. Work on gathering a pool of contacts for references, because employers will look at those. Having strong references will make a difference.

Anything else?
My time here at CIMBA changed my life, obviously, so the best thing I can say is do not waste a single opportunity. Do not waste a single moment here. There will never be a time in your life like this, with so many good resources so close. Make sure you do not take them for granted. Enjoy it!

Quick Links...
CIMBA Calendar - December 2008

December 1-3 - Six Sigma Green Belt Certification
CIMBA Asolo. 9:30am - 5:30pm

December 12 - MBA Holiday Season Dinner

December 4-6 - Finals

December 6 - Last day of the semester

December 5 - Executive Program in Business Communication, International Cross Cultural Communication Workshop
CIMBA Asolo. 9:30am - 5:30pm
December 12-13 - Executive Certificate Program in International Management and Strategy, Strategy Formulation, Problem Solving and Decision Making
CIMBA Asolo. 9:30am - 6:00pm
December 18 - Presentation, Executive Certificate in Leadership Development 
CIMBA Asolo. 6:00pm - 7:00pm

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If you are a CIMBA Undergraduate, MBA or Executive Programs Alumnus, we want to keep in touch with you. The CIMBA Alumni Network gives you a way to connect with other graduates from the different areas of CIMBA.
Join the CIMBA Alumni Network by clicking on this link: CIMBA Alumni Network
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Asolo holiday lionHappy holidays from all of us at CIMBA! It's hard to believe that December is here. The first semester of the 08-09 academic year is over and our first group of undergraduate students has already finished the fall semester and returned to the U.S.
The MBA students are enjoying the holiday season in Asolo (see the feature below), and are nearing a holiday break. They will return shortly after the New Year for a packed January, with both consulting and Six Sigma projects being high on their activity list.

If you have any news or updates, let us know for our Alumni Update feature - we'd love to know where you are and what you're doing! Send an e-mail to and your item will appear in the next edition of this newsletter.

MBA - Asolo
Reunion  pictureReunion!
The MBA class of 2006 had a mini-reunion in Asolo on November 23 with the arrival of Meg Mrkonic and Max Brewster from the U.S. They met up at Epoca in Asolo to relive their student evenings. Here from left to right: Fabio Domevschek, Max Piarulli, Meg Mrkonic, Max Brewster, Julie Ariens, Matteo Vecchiato and Fabio Da Ros.

Batley profile picturenksgiving Dinner
CIMBA MBAs hosted a complete, traditional Thanksgiving dinner with alumni, professors, staff, family and friends at CIMBA Asolo. It was a festive evening of food, conversation and cultural sharing, an excellent evening of holiday festivity.

Celebrating the Holidays
Holiday Dinner
On December 12th, members of the CIMBA MBA full-time and part-time programs, staff and faculty gathered for a dinner celebrating the end of the first semester of the full-year MBA program. Classes will resume the fifth of January.
CIMBA Undergraduate

Talent Showcase
Talent Show Fall 08The Fall '08 UG students and faculty children strutted their stuff for a talent show filled with dancing, singing, and other skills in the Fillipin Theater. The event was entirely organized and hosted by the students tehmselves, and was quite a success, showing that CIMBA undergrads certainly have a variety talent and are not afraid to share them!

Returning to CIMBA
Batley profile pictureStephanie Werner studied at CIMBA undergraduate in 2001, and returned to teach financial accounting this fall semester.

"It's a dream to come back," she said. "CIMBA was a life-changing experience for me and it is great to give back."

She is an advocate of study abroad for all students, and says as a hiring manager, she hires candidates with a lower GPA with a semester abroad over a high GPA student with no study abroad experience, all other aspects being equal. "Study abroad gives students flexibility and a special insight" she said. "It says a lot about them as a person."
CIMBA Executive Programs
Certificate in International Management
In December, the executives finished their strategy and problem solving and decision making modules. They are working to applying what they are learning to their company strategic projects. The next module, in January, will be International Business Law.

 Exec. reunion
On December 5th, graduates from the Certificate in Leadership Development from the spring of 2008 gathered for a reunion dinner: Ivo Folle, Roberta Virago, Marta Gazzola, Luigi Negretto, Christian Tamantini, Elisa Scomparin, Luca Fantinel, Diane Robazza, Paul Rindler and Katiuscia Baggio (CIMBA).

Certificate in Leadership Development
The next edition of the Cerificate in Leadership Development will start February 20th. If you are interested, hurry up! Seats are limited, and given the success of past editions the course will soon be overbooked.
Ready for a brush up?
We are organizing refresh sessions for those students who took the certificate in leadership in the past. If you have particular skill areas that you would like to go into deeper, let us know!

To share your ideas and particular needs, please contact Katiuscia Baggio at
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.

Undergrad (by
semester and class year)
Fall 2007 - Nicki Anthony will marry Tanner McBride in October 2009 in Oklahoma City, Okla.

MBA (by class year)
2000 - Patrick McClelland competed his PhD from the University of Kansas and is now an assistant professor of strategic management at the University of Delaware.

2001 - Spela Trefalt completed her DBA in management from Harvard University and accepted a position as an assistant professor of organizational behavior at Simmons College, School of Management in Boston, MA. She is also a faculty affiliate to the Center for Gender in Organizations at that school.
Al's Book Corner
Mirrors in the Brain: How Our Minds Share Action and Emotions Mirrors in the Brain: How Our Minds Share Action and Emotions by Prof. Giacomo Rizzolatti

Last month's book by Prof. Marco Iacoboni, Mirroring People, and the accompanying videos elicited considerable interest from several of you. I enjoyed the questions I received - clearly, CIMBA brains are always thinking. To learn more, I suggest going to the source: Prof. Giacomo Rizzolatti and his book Mirrors in the Brain: How Our Minds Share Action and Emotions.  Perhaps the best tribute to Rizzolatti's work was provided by Prof. Ramachandran, Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at the University of California, San Diego (and, who appears prominently in last month's recommended PBS 'Mirror Neuron' video), who stated: "Mirror neurons will do for psychology what DNA did for biology."

At CIMBA, we believe that in addition to the impact on psychology, mirror neurons will also impact thinking on leadership and leadership development. Within the leadership literature, social awareness relates to one's ability to understand others - socially aware leaders practice empathy, which means being able to put oneself in other people's "shoes," sense their emotions, and understand their perspective. As Adam Smith observed more than 300 years ago in Theory of Moral Sentiments, we all wince when someone else cuts their finger - clearly, our brains respond to other people in ways that are involuntary and automatic. Rizzolatti and his colleagues refer to this phenomenon in the brain as "mirror neurons." As we saw last month, observing an action being performed by another activates the observer's mirror neuron system, bringing about a reaction in the observer's brain very much the same as the person performing the action. As Prof. Rizzolatti and his colleagues point out, not only is the mirror neuron system activated through the observation of a physical act but also through facial expressions associated with such emotions as guilt or embarrassment.

At CIMBA, we are exploring several questions related to mirror neurons: How can a deeper understanding of mirror neurons assist a leader in better interpreting and appreciating facial expressions, body language, intonation in speech, and other social cues to allow the leader to more accurately form impressions of another person, including the ability to adapt their perspective and assign mental states and intentions to that person? How is that impacted by the degree to which a person is in social pain or, as in the case of a business meeting, performance evaluation, or other incidences of feedback, in expectation of social pain? In the same sense, with social interaction leading to social cohesion, can social cognitive neuroscience assist leadership theorists in understanding what affects the increased use of e-mail, texting and particularly video conferencing are having on both organizational and organizational member performance?

As we discussed in prior columns, the "explication" process that a leader goes through in taking deeply-embedded, implicit thinking such as basic beliefs or decision-making, problem-solving processes and making that thinking explicit (Think KT decision-making process) creates a new algorithm in the prefrontal cortex for that thinking. The new algorithm allows the leader to access that thinking much more quickly and to better articulate it to others. How much of that information might also be available to others through the mirror neuron system (think trust, charity, integrity, and shared values)? Prof. Rizzolatti will assist you in thinking about these questions in a different way.