CIMBA Newsletter
                                                WAKE UP THE
                                    LEADER IN YOU!

March 2009
In This Issue
Epoca Update
What's LEAP All About?
Meet the Alumni
Executive LIFE: A Recap
Al's Book Corner
Library Dedicated

Stefano Andreello

CIMBA's library at the Asolo campus was dedicated to the memory of Stefano Andreello, a tireless mentor, teacher and colleague, a true inspiration to all who knew him.

Stefano's father came to CIMBA to donate all of Stefano's books for the CIMBA library in Asolo. He shared memories of Stefano and spoke of Stefano's happiness in his time at CIMBA after MBA students unpacked the many boxes of business books.

Batley profile picture

A plaque in his honor will be hung in the library in the back room inscribed with a memorial written by a CIMBA student.

Unpacking books

"It's a fitting that the library be dedicated to him," Dr. Al Ringleb said. "He could be found here as late as two in the morning working on a project, helping students. He truly followed the basic beliefs of CIMBA in a way that fully encompasses the best anyone could hope for."
Update from Epoca
Student favorite hangout Epoca has been welcoming CIMBA students from the beginning, and Bajat (below with 2009 student Eva Murko), the owner and operator, says that won't change.

Bajat and Eva

"Seeing the new students every year and getting to
know them is one of the pleasures of our location," he said. "Just being down the hill is convenient, but I think the reason students come here is because they feel welcome and comfortable here."

And we think that's true! Epoca has hosted CIMBA students' holiday parties, birthday parties, baby showers, beer pong tournaments, study sessions and every other meeting possible. Most of all, it's the perfect place for that after-exam spritz session.


"I can tell when there's a test coming up," Bajat said. "I won't see any students for a while except for lunch or something and then one evening they'll all be here relaxing and talking."

Student reunions always end up at Epoca, and it's usually the first place new students land afer settling in to CIMBA's campus. It's part of student life, and we're glad it'll be here for future MBAs.

Mark your calendars

CIMBA MBA 2009 graduation will take place on July 18th, with the awards dinner the night before in Iowa City, Iowa. All alumni are invited to come and celebrate with us and cheer on the first class to graduate from the University of Iowa - we'd love to see you there!

Follow us on the Web!

Check out the CIMBA MBA blog on Businessweek's website at for updates and short takes on the happenings at CIMBA Asolo.
CIMBA Undergraduate

Getting Ahead With LEAP

LEAP - Learn, Enrich, Achieve, Perform - is the leadership development program at CIMBA Undergraduate offered since the fall semester of 2006. But what's it all about?

Julie AriensLEAP director Julie Ariens (right) says that LEAP's purpose is to raise students' self-awareness, confidence and prepare them for the next steps in their lives, including their professional lives.

"I think the best thing students walk away with is a greater sense of who they are and what they want in life, " Julie said. "That kind of awareness will help them in all their choices."

The program starts with LIFE, CIMBA's leadership development program, one of the highest-rated experiences on campus. After LIFE, students are paired with a development coach to help them in thier journeys of self-discovery and awareness. During the semester, students will go through various seminars and workshops to define their goals and direction for future careers.

"It all about helping students find where they are, where they want to be, and how to get from point A to point B," Julie said. "It's an amazing program for students who want that extra step - not just in terms of leadership in a professional sense, but in terms of their everyday lives."

Hop on the Blog Roll

What goes on at CIMBA? Where do people go? What is there to do? Students, staff, faculty and other CIMBA friends can supply the answers to all of these questions with their blogs, and we've gathered them on our blog feed so you won't have to hunt down the latest and greatest coming straight from Paderno del Grappa.

Check out our blog page at to catch up on the latest scenes and experiences from our undergrad community.

Jumping Cimbians!

For our official bloggers, check out the CIMBA ambassadors' blogs on for updates and perspectives from five of our undergraduate students throughout their semesters in Paderno del Grappa.
CIMBA Calendar - March 2009
March 1, 7-8 - Financial Management. David Carter, Oklahoma State University.

March 10-11, New Venture Development: Negotiation. George Seidel, University of Michigan.

March 16-17, 19-20 - Marketing. Baba Shiv, Stanford University.

March 21-22, 28-29 - Managerial Economics. Daniel Benjamin, Clemson University.

April 4,5 - Managerial Economics. Gerry Lynch, Purdue University.

April 18-19, 25-26 - Managing Information Systems. Ed Watson, Louisiana State University

March 2-4 - Group Coaching

March 5-8 - Travel Weekend

March 9 - Interviewing Skills Seminar

March 10 - Careers in Accouting presentation

March 14 - Trieste Field Trip

March 19 - Gourmet dinner

March 31 - Careers in Journalism, Careers in Marketing presentations

April 1 - Careers in Finance

April 8 - Final Gourmet Dinner
March 13-15 - Leadership Training, Full Immersion
L.I.F.E. - Leadership Initiative For Excellence 

April 17-18 - "Executive Certificate Program in International Management and Strategy"
Human Resource Management Module
April 18 - "Coaching Skills for Managers and Entrepreneurs"
MBA Part-Time Workshop open to executives
April 19 - "Leadership and Neuroscience" 
MBA Part-Time Workshop open to executives

April 23 - "Executive Certificate Program in International Management and Strategy "  Program Presentation

April 29 - "Executive Certificate in Leadership Development"  
Program Presentation
Join the CIMBA team!

CIMBA team

We're looking for campus life coordinator applicants to find the perfect candidate to complete our staff. Campus life coordinators lead the operations of the CIMBA undergraduate program in Paderno del Grappa while completing the CIMBA Master's program in Asolo.

Coordinators work directly with undergraduate students, professors, resident and senior resident interns, Istituti Filippin staff and others to manage and deliver the semester and summer programs. It's a dynamic, challenging job with a great degree of autonomy that requires excellent organizational and time management skills.

For more information, the application and a complete job description, visit
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Click here and then click on the "Archives" link to access past newsletters.
From there you can print, send, or link to newsletter of interest.
CIMBA Alumni Network
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
Quick Links...
Join Our Mailing List!

Spring has sprung! Northern Italy is finally getting green, and students are getting excited about traveling and enjoying Italy and Europe in the warm weather.

The MBA students are buckling down on their consulting projects and heavy class schedule, so instead of showing pictures of them studying industriously, we decided to talk to Bajat, the owner of Epoca, the favorite student hangout in Asolo.

In Paderno del Grappa, undergrads are making the most of their time left in the semester before the program ends in April. Check out their blogs to see what they're up to! See the Undergrad section for more on blogging, and for a special feature on LEAP, our leadership development program.

Are you a Facebook fan? Find us on Facebook at and become a fan of CIMBA!

Enjoy the newsletter and, as always, let's hear from you! Give us your updates and news at and your items will appear in the Alumni Update section.

Have a great month!
Meet the Alumni

Introducing Spela Trefalt:

What year were you at CIMBA? Where have you gone since then, professionally?
I graduated in 2001 in the two-year part-time program. I had my own HR consulting business at the time but once I got to University of Kansas, the degree-granting university at the time, I kneSpela Trefaltw I really wanted to go back to school and be a part of a university for the long run. So that fall, I applied to a bunch of doctoral programs in the U. S. and ended up at Harvard Business School. I graduated last year with a doctorate in management and I'm now teaching and doing research in organizational behavior at Simmons School of Management in Boston.

What was your best "CIMBA" moment?
Oh, there were so many great moments! The people I went to school with were wonderful, crazy, and fun and I'm still friends with many of them. We had great times driving to Italy and Austria and the weekends in Ljubljana were great, too. We had regular lunches at a Chinese restaurant and study groups and ranting sessions. But probably the best part was the month in Lawrence, KS. We got to spend more time together, have fun, and get to know our full-time colleagues better, too. It was unforgettable!

How has CIMBA affected your life, professionally and personally?
CIMBA has been a great experience for me. I would have never thought of becoming an academic before this experience! And although there are days when I'm wondering what on earth I'm doing, on the whole, I think it is the right thing for me. And the friendships we formed during that time are wonderful!  

How do you keep a work/life balance? Any tips?
Well, I study work-life balance. And they always say that in social sciences all research is really "me-search." In other words, the reason I'm so drawn to this topic is because I have trouble with it myself. I'm finding, however, that in order to work toward balance, one has to have clear priorities and set clear boundaries. I spent this holiday break figuring out what it is that I really want out of life and now I'm practicing saying no to things that don't qualify as top priorities. It's so darn hard, but so liberating!

What advice can you give current CIMBA students?
I would say definitely study hard and make sure you get the material but also take time to nurture relationships with your colleagues. That's what gave meaning to this whole experience for me and also, if you forget some of the content, you'll always be able to call someone and ask!

Anything else?
Thanks for your questions! It's been great to think back to the good times!
CIMBA Executive Programs

A LIFE Experience

CIMBA offered LIFE (Leadership Initiative For Excellence) training for executives in early March, drawing participants from Austria, Germany, Slovenia, the UK, Turkey, Italy and the USA.

Francesca Lavoriero, human resources manager of Jacuzzi Europe, completed the training with that group. Here are her thoughts on the experience:

What is your overall impression of the LIFE program?
LIFE is a great development opportunity for every participant to acknowledge - on a solid scientific base - the principles of effective leadership, communication and relationships within teams. It allows us, consequently, to raise the level of energy and performance of Francesca Lavorieroindividuals and team-members by showing the power of team support and of self confidence obtained by the 'genuine' ability of recognizing and overcoming barriers. The organization - teacher and trainers - has worked perfectly around the whole weekend session, giving the team of participant the necessary time to understand the process' purpose and the reflection moments to acquire the relevant insights. I've really appreciated also their ability to maintain at the same time a 'high pressure' on the team performance and a strong motivation to obtain successful results for every team member.

In other words, it has been much more than 'training', but a lesson of Life, thanks to which everyone of us has been positively challenged, towards better results in terms of happiness, projection and relationships both in personal and professional life.

What did you take away from your experience?
The greatest gift I've taken away from this experience is that I've learnt the beauty and the power of recognising and showing emotions and of speaking with more than words. This has given me the opportunity of thinking deeper about what's relevant in my life and to acknowledge how to leverage on my strengths to set and pursue the real personal and professional goals I'm living for.

Another great gift was the team support and the precious 'takeaway' of the feedback - both positive and issue for improvement - received from my class mates has given me important base for self confidence, ability to measure my results and reactions and motivation for improving my relationship ability and effectiveness.

How has LIFE affected your everyday life?
Colleagues of mine have immediately noticed a difference in terms of enthusiasm in finding solutions or exploring new paths for improvement. My relationships with co-workers and colleagues has also gained benefits from the attention I've put on giving feedback (especially the positive ones, which sometime we tend to consider 'obvious') and a more empathic communication either by expressing the feelings I felt or giving all my energy and humor to face even hard situations.

Looking with projection into the future and getting energy from higher self confidence/better knowledge of myself has also allowed me to look at the current economic environment - quite different from the past and therefore not to be faced with the usual set of solutions - as a challenge to be faced and not just as a problem to bear.
Thanks to this, I've noticed improvements in the relationships I have with co-workers and also in my ability to support and positively influence decisions in the teams I'm part of.

In my personal life, I've set also a number of targets to improve the quality of my support and presence in my family: I received some results, in terms of bringing more enthusiasm, being more transparent with my emotions - especially the positive ones - and in accepting differences in opinions and in results, but for a real improvement I need to discipline myself much more in balancing time for work and family (not easy at the moment !) and I've had to learn to say 'no' to some requests sometimes.
What was the most eye-opening thing about the program?
The importance of support, either by group of individuals, to foster energy and pro-activity in people; the effect of mirror neurons in positively influencing others.

The acknowledgment that a leader - independently from the position held or the background possessed - is not 'born' as a leader, but that everyone can build themselves to be leaders through commitment, self analysis and confidence in overcoming barriers or prejudice the characters of a leader in all life aspects.

The next LIFE training for managers and entrepreneurs will be offered June 12-14. Please contact for more information.

Workshop Opportunities!

On April 18, CIMBA is offering a one-day workshop,
"Coaching Skills for Managers and Entrepreneurs," with Katiuscia Baggio to teach some basic coaching techniques that will make a difference in the way you lead people and communicate in general.
This MBA work shop is open to executives.
CIMBA, Asolo. 9:30am - 5:00pm
On April 19, CIMBA is offering a second one-day workshop, "Leadership and Neuroscience," with Prof. Al Ringleb, PhD. He will be lecturing on how to help people think better in getting things done rather then telling them what to do. It's an innovative approach that scientifically explains how people learn, why they resist change and what it takes to get them to do their best work.
This MBA workshop is open to executives.
CIMBA, Asolo. 9:30am - 5:00pm
For more information, please send an e-mail to
MBA 2010 Recruitment

We're in the recruiting process for CIMBA MBA class of 2010 students! The deadline for application submission is May 30. If you know of a bright, talented young man or woman eager to get an international MBA degree with emphasis on leadership and consulting, please tell him/her to  visit us at for more information or contact us at
A-B-C: Al's Book Corner

The Origin of Mind: Evolution of Brain, Cognition, and General Intelligence by Prof. David C. Geary

One of CIMBA's fundamental basic beliefs is its commitment to continuous innovation in and improvement of its learning environment. With that commitment often taking us into "uncharted waters," it is always energizing when we find our charted course affirmed by the latest research. This month's book suggestion, Prof. David C. Geary's The Origin of Mind: Evolution of Brain, Cognition, and General Intelligence is just such a work. Prof. John Sweller, an educational psychologist best-known for formulating cognitive load theory, strongly asserts that Geary's work "constitutes an advance that is rare in any discipline."

As most of our alumni know, CIMBA has for many years divided its learning objectives into three components -- knowledge, process, and behavior.  To create our learning environment in each component, CIMBA Origin Of Mindsought the guidance of educational psychologists working specifically on design of instruction. It became clear that instruction theorists were divided into essentially two camps. One camp argued that students learn best in an "unguided or minimally guided" learning environment; the other, that novice and intermediate learners should be provided with direct instructional guidance on the concepts required by the particular discipline being taught. After some experimentation, we came to the conclusion that both camps were somehow correct.

When it came to our knowledge component, the traditional classroom has proven to be the most effective learning environment. The classroom-based, informational learning/assimilation process provides direct instructional guidance to the learner (consider learning the functional aspects of business such as accounting, economics, finance, or marketing).  For our process and behavior components, we have found a minimally-guided learning environment supplemented with the support of our process facilitators and leadership development coaches to be far more effective. Any effort on our part to alter this basic formula - using, for example, the classroom to instruct students on effective leadership behavior or an experiential learning environment to learn the axioms, theorems, principles, and formulas of finance - detracted significantly from the student learning experience. It was not until Geary and the subsequent research build upon his thesis, however, that we understood and appreciated why.

As instructional psychology moved into the early 2000s, insights from neuroscience began to impact and reshape thinking. Instructional psychologists placed increased attention on human cognitive architecture - specifically, examining the relationship between working memory and long-term memory and learning. Relying on this line of thinking, Geary's The Origin of Mind confirmed our approaches to the learning environment.  

While the book is interesting from a variety of neuroscience and psychology perspectives, most of which ABC readers will certainly appreciate, Geary was the first to draw a distinction between biologically primary and biologically secondary information. Geary's thesis argues persuasively why learners acquire some information easily and unconsciously (biologically primary) whereas other information can be acquired only through considerable conscious effort, often requiring external motivation (biologically secondary). Examples of activities driven by primary knowledge are listening to and speaking our first language, recognizing faces, using general problem-solving techniques, and engaging in basic social relations, all of which are acquired easily outside of educational contexts; explicit instruction is unnecessary for effective learning. From a neurobiology, evolutionary standpoint, the acquisition of such knowledge was and is essential for survival - recall past ABCs on implicit learning, limbic response, and the basal ganglia as they relate to knowledge, process, and behavior. Under Geary's thesis, both the process and behavioral components within the CIMBA learning environment constitute biologically primary knowledge best acquired in a minimally-guided learning environment - coaches assisting in making meaning out of student experiences and then building upon them.

In contrast, biologically secondary knowledge is associated with more advanced learning, learning that one would associate with a particular discipline or subject matter. As such, Prof. Geary's thesis asserts persuasively that we have not evolved to acquire biologically secondary knowledge openly, but that learners acquire such knowledge relatively slowly and with conscious effort through explicit instruction. The vast majority of knowledge acquired by learners through educational institutions consists of biologically secondary knowledge. As in other educational institutions, the student acquisition of biologically secondary knowledge at CIMBA is largely through classroom instruction.

Within this instructional psychology paradigm, there is relatively little difference between MBA (or undergraduate) programs with regard to the manner in which students acquire biologically secondary knowledge. Most serious programs rely on traditional student-teacher classroom environments to transmit specific discipline-based knowledge. However, it is in the acquisition of biologically primary knowledge that programs differ significantly. In those programs in which the learning environment is focused solely on the classroom experience students risk having the experience to which Prof. Snook refers in "Leader(ship) Development" (see last month's ABC) with regard to biologically primary knowledge:

I know something is happening, I'm just not really sure what or how. ... The learning part I get; it's just like [at my home institution], but there's clearly something else going on here as well. You know it; you feel it, but right now ... I [cannot] tell you anything more than that.

At CIMBA, we are committed to taking advantage of our out-of-comfort-zone learning experience and the rich and fertile opportunity for the acquisition of biologically primary knowledge it provides. It is highly-experiential, accelerates self-exploration and self-discovery, and stimulates mindful learning and thus by its very nature delivers a personal growth and development opportunity. The personal growth and development that engenders from the out-of-comfort-zone learning experience is best stimulated and encouraged in a minimally-guided learning environment supplemented through the support of process facilitators and development coaches who provide the foundation for a systematic leadership development process. We can now thank Prof. Geary for the theory to support this.