Giacomo Summa on the value of MIT Sloan’s Master of Science in Management Studies Program

Being a student in MIT Sloan’s Master of Science in Management Studies (MSMS) Program is a bit like being a kid in a candy store. There are so many course offerings available within your area of study that it can be very difficult to choose which ones to take.

Launched in 2009, the MSMS Program offers top MBA or master’s degree students from non-U.S. business schools an opportunity to enhance their expertise in specific management concentrations. Students can customize their curriculum by enrolling in MIT Sloan elective classes or electives in other MIT departments. They also can register for electives at Harvard University.

In addition to courses, MSMS Program students are required to write a thesis on a topic within their concentration area under the direction of an MIT Sloan faculty advisor. After two semesters, they graduate with a Master of Science from MIT.

While studying management at HEC-Paris, I decided to apply to MIT Sloan’s MSMS Program in order to focus on technology and entrepreneurship. MIT is at the epicenter of technology and innovation so I knew it would be an ideal environment for me to finish my final year of studies. What I didn’t expect was just how many choices I would have in terms of courses, hands-on learning opportunities and activities.

I ended up taking courses at MIT Sloan as well as other schools at MIT and Harvard. I wrote my thesis on “Social Television: The Future of Television in the Internet Age” supervised by Professor Michael Cusumano. I took a class about social TV in MIT’s Media Lab in which I helped prepare a demo for a social TV app that we presented to TV executives. I also took a class on TV in MIT’s Comparative Media Studies Program and classes at MIT Sloan on economics and information. In addition, I took a class at Harvard’s Kennedy School on media, politics and power in the digital age. If time allowed, I could have even taken MIT Sloan’s Global Entrepreneurship (GLab) Lab and worked on the development of a startup. There were so many options for relevant courses that it was tough to narrow down the choices.

After graduating last May, I joined startup incubator Rocket Internet as entrepreneur-in-residence, moving around the world to help ventures in our portfolio. So far, I’ve worked on startups in Italy and Germany and am currently in Brazil. It was MIT’s experience that motivated me to work in the startup world.

To me, the MSMS Program was all about flexibility and academic rigor. Being able to spend nine months creating my own knowledge base in the fields that I’m passionate about at one of the top business schools with world renowned faculty was extremely valuable. Not only was it an exceptional way to enrich my graduate studies, it also provided a strong foundation on which to launch my global career.

Giacomo Summa, a 2011 graduate of MIT Sloan’s MSMS Program, is entrepreneur-in-residence at Rocket Internet

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