NEC Students Test Drive Business Purpose Design
8. November 2019
Celebrating the Start of Winter Semester 2019
12. December 2019

Meet Vittorio Tagliabue, Our Lecturer of the Year


Each year, one member of New European College’s faculty is selected to receive an ‘excellence in teaching’ award based on the feedback and ratings of our students. It is a great honor to achieve New European College’s Lecturer of the Year award because, as well all know, there is no harsher jury than students! This year, we were thrilled to deliver the award to Mr. Vittorio Tagliabue, who has been lecturing our MBA students in strategic and international management at NEC for the past 1.5 years.

In a recent interview, we sat down with Vittorio to get to know him better. Meet Vittorio and be sure to pay attention to his words of wisdom below:

Who are you and where do you come from?

I am someone that enjoys experimenting with multitasking every day, because I strongly believe in the value of trial and error and lessons learned. This is of course quite a challenge for my private life, and makes life for my wife and two daughters a bit hard … For that, I am sincerely thankful to them for their patience and for accepting my ups and downs …. Oh yes, by the way I am from Italy, Milan, but I have lived in UK, Switzerland and Germany over the past 18 years … so I don’t really recall the original taste of a true Italian pizza if you ask me!


Please tell us about your professional background (and how did you get to where you are today)?

I have several years of international experience in big multinational corporations, in the IT/Software industry in the areas of  Sales, Strategy, Business Development, Product and Partner management. I have an Industrial Engineering  degree from Politecnico di Milano and ETH Zurich and an MBA  from MIP. What helped me a lot is my focus driven attitude.

 Say to yourself (possibly write to yourself) – at least once every 3 months – what is your next target and what is your plan to achieve it. Then, make sure in all that you do, every single day, with perseverance (do not miss any single day!), to advance a small step forward in the path to achieve that target.

What do you teach at New European College?

I teach MBA students “Strategic management” in the winter semester and “Managing in a global economy” in the summer semester. I would love in fact to teach more and spend more time with the students; it’s such a valuable unique learning experience.

What are three words you would use to describe your teaching style?

Hands on, with direct exposure and fun. Teaching MBA students, who typically have a master degree and/or work experience already, requires a strong attachment to the real world. So, I tend to teach using practical case studies, sometimes bringing in my own direct experience to class, industry visits and guest speakers. From time to time with the support of simulations and games, to accelerate the learning curve with fun and teamwork; all of this with the objective to bring as much reality as possible to the classroom. For me it’s a no-brainer: After their MBA, students must be ready to go out and deliver concrete results from day one. No excuses.

How long have you been a lecturer at New European College?

In fact, not for very long! I started in 2018. I have been visiting and engaging with other universities in the past and I realized NEC can offer something unique. Not only to students but also to lecturers: it’s a truly dynamic university, future looking, with education quality at the very center and a genuine co-working driven atmosphere.

Why do you enjoy lecturing? Why at New European College?

What I love most is the exchange of ideas with the students. Sometimes we end up in tough discussions and brainstorming … and sometimes it gets very emotional too :-), but the beauty of it is, I guess, that each one shares his/her point of view with no barrier, just as it should be in a real business situation. It’s fun, and most of the times a learning experience ending up with “Hey, the case writer did not think about that  .. but it’s in fact a great idea, let’s pilot a new start up!”, because in business there is never (!) a single solution to complex problems…


What is your advice for students as they begin their business studies?

Be ready to adapt and explore. It’s sometimes called in academic language “business ambidexterity”, to describe the importance for the long term business sustainability of the co-existence between exploitation and exploration. Leverage what you are good at but don’t rest on it, because sooner or later what you are good at will prove to be not sufficient anymore … so while leveraging your current skills and competences, especially for MBA students, keep building up new ones and be ready to start new ventures, always … Those new ventures will be the ones in the future that are essential for your next business growth cycle or your next career step.  

In your opinion, what is the benefit of pursuing a business degree at a small, private institution such as New European College?

It’s clearly the flexibility to build your “academic experience” as you wish. The direct exposure and contact with the faculty, the offering beyond the traditional classroom lectures and a comfortable dimension to express the best of yourself and speak aloud, where each individual directly contributes to generating a creative and stimulating environment.

And, finally, what do you enjoy most about living in Munich?

The green in the city, which makes the jogging experience simply unique. The air, which smells like flowers in spring and like snow in winter. The feeling of safety, when you are out in the city or at home with your family. The vicinity to great nature such as lakes and mountains, and last but not least, a great airport from where you can fly (in an hour) pretty much everywhere in Europe, for a weekend or so…  

We sincerely thank Vittorio for his time and sharing his experience and advice with current and future students. Be sure to watch Vittorio’s acceptance speech from our 2019 Commencement Ceremony here: