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  • Locations: Milan, Italy
  • Program Terms: March Break
  • Restrictions: Babson applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
March Break 2019 11/25/2018 ** Rolling Admission 03/15/2019 03/24/2019

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Class Status: Graduate Program Type: Elective Abroad
Eligible Populations: See Eligibility Link Below Pre-requisites: See Below
Academic Highlights: Cultural Studies, Economics Program Advisor: Alexandra Nesbeda
Program Description:

ECN 7575 Competing to Win in the EU and Global Markets

>Italy - Ducati

Lidija Polutnik
Professor and Division Chair, Economics

Spring Semester 2019


Important Dates

Information Session

Graduate Pub Night - Spring 2019 Courses

Monday, October 1, 2018
4:30 - 6:30 PM
Roger's Pub


Application Deadlines

Application Opens

Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 1:00 PM ET

Initial Application Deadline

Sunday, October 21, 2018, 11:59 PM ET

Rolling Application Opens

Thursday, October 24, 2018, 12:00 PM ET

Rolling Application Deadline

Sunday, November 25, 11:59 PM ET

Mandatory Course Dates

No partial participation is allowed.
Admitted students must participate in ALL program activities.



Pre-Departure Class #1

Thursday, January 31, 2019
5:30 - 9:00 PM ET
Wellesley Campus (Location TBD) - WebEx available for BL students

Pre-Departure Class #2

Thursday, February 28, 2019
5:30 - 9:00 PM ET
Wellesley Campus (Location TBD) - WebEx available for BL students


Course Travel: Friday, March 15 - Sunday, March 24, 2019
Class Dates: Saturday, March 16 (evening) - Saturday, March 23, 2019 (evening)


Final paper due April 5, 2019

Academic Overview

Course Description

In ECN7575, students will get the chance to develop a deep understanding of how companies organize themselves to compete and grow in the European Union (EU) through a combination of classroom lectures, discussions, and company visits. The EU’s institutions, history and culture provide unique opportunities and challenges for firms. For example, students will see firsthand how global companies refine their solutions across different markets within the EU to better capture customer value and increase profitability. Current market dynamics and disruptions, such as trade wars, Brexit, changes in technology, and evolving EU regulations, make strategic thinking based on understanding of global markets critical to firm success. This course prepares students for such thinking and provides a rich context for evaluating the decisions made by companies engaged not just in global competition, and sales, but also in global supply chain management. 
Students will apply economic fundamentals to evaluate how companies position themselves for success in global markets. These fundamentals include:  defining the relevant markets; evaluating market structure and competitiveness across geographies; understanding  the impact of pricing on profitability; understanding the impact of the EU regulatory environment on profitability; evaluating scale and supply chain decisions; and outlining a firm’s business model to understand how their choices in production, pricing, distribution and geographic reach impact firm performance.
ECN7575 is divided into two parts: two on-campus lectures (WebEx available for Blended Learning students) and a week-long site visit to Milan, Italy. During the Milan visit, faculty from Bocconi University, a leader in business and economics education in Europe, will deliver lectures and case discussions pertaining to current developments in the EU and global markets, and relate them to company visits. In the past, we have visited global online firms, such as Amazon and PayPal, automakers Lamborghini, Ferrari and Maserati, luxury fashion brands such as Ermenegildo Zegna and Armani, the Italian food disruptor, Eataly, and business-to-business product and service companies such as Brembo and DHL. These are just a few examples of the types of company visits that students can expect to experience.  We will especially focus on luxury brand management, integrated supply chains, and consequences of specific business model choices for valuation, revenue potential, and brand equity objectives.
Last but not least, several activities are planned that will allow students to engage in and embrace Italian history and culture. Past excursions included a night at La Scala, one of the oldest opera houses, a viewing of Leonardo DaVinci’s The Last Supper, and attending a soccer game at San Siro Stadium.
Students who have taken this course have gone on to pursue careers in international business, global brand management, strategy, consulting, and have benefitted greatly by their deeper understanding of how companies can manage their positioning and financial goals in light of global competition, regulation, and market disruptions.

Faculty Video


Course Information

Course Type



3 credits


Open to students who are halfway through their graduate program and have completed pre-requisite requirements.

Student must be, and remain, in good academic standing with the college for duration of the course.

Student must be in good standing with the Office of Community Standards by time of travel.

For specific eligibility information by program visit the Eligibility page.


ECN 7200 Managerial Economics
ECN 7201 Managing at the Crossroads, Business, Government, International Economics

Course Documents

Course Syllabus  |  Sample Schedule  |  [Information Session Materials]

Academic Accommodations

Students requesting accommodations due to a disability should visit the students with disabilities abroad page for more information.

Course Logistics


Milan, Italy


  • Students will be staying in 3-4 star hotels in Milan during the course in double occupancy rooms.
  • Students will have the opportunity to choose single room accommodations prior to departure for an additional fee. Single Supplement Fee: $500.
  • Students interested in requesting housing accommodations on an Elective Abroad, should visit the students with disabilities abroad page for more information.


International Flight (Not Included in Program Fee)

Students will be responsible for booking their own international flight to/from Milan (MXP or LIN). A recommended international flight itinerary will be provided to students registered for the course. Students are responsible for booking their own flight AFTER the course has been confirmed to run (i.e. participant minimum number is reached). The international flight cost is not included in the program fee.

  • Arrival Airport Code: MXP or LIN
  • Departure Airport Code: MXP or LIN

Local Transportation

The program fee includes the following transportation: charter bus and subway tickets. Students should also expect to pay for additional individual transportation around the city.


Students should also expect to pay for additional individual transportation around the city and to do significant walking.


  • Breakfast will be provided at the hotel.
  • The following meals are also included in the program fee: welcome dinner and farewell dinner.
  • Students are responsible for paying for most lunches and dinners on their own.
  • Students with food allergies, intolerances, or other dietary restrictions are encouraged to contact their Program Manager prior to committing to the course to discuss any questions or concerns.
Electives Abroad Cost Elements

Estimated Total Cost:  $3,400 + Tuition (3 credits)

Program Fee: $1,800

  • Included: Accommodations, breakfast, ground transportation, program planned meals and cultural excursions. 
  • Not included: Tuition, international flight, single room supplement (additional $500), visa costs, additional meals and personal expenses.
  • Payment: The program fee is paid to the Glavin Office.
  • Cancellation Policy: All students who confirm their placement and later withdraw from the course are subject to the Elective Abroad cancellation policy. Please review this policy to understand any additional financial obligations.

Babson Tuition: 3-Credits

  • Tuition is paid directly to SFS and is billed at the 2018-2019 credit rate. Elective Abroad course is 3 credits.
  • To discuss tuition or your financial situation or to learn about grant opportunities, visit Student Financial Services.

Travel & Meals: $1,600

  • Airfare (Individual estimated to/from BOS): $900
  • Estimated Additional Meals: $500
  • Estimated Incidentals: $200
    • Incidentals and additional meals (lunches and dinners) are based on estimated expenses from the previous year's course.
    • Expenses may be higher or lower depending on student's meal preferences.
  • Visa (if applicable)
    • All students are asked to research the visa requirements for their nationality to travel to Italy (including countries transited through) before committing to the course.
    • Students are responsible for securing visas (as needed) before travel.

Grants & Scholarships

Contact Information

Lead Faculty

Lidija Polutnik  

Professor Lidija Polutnik 

Dr. Lidija Polutnik is a Professor of Economics. At Babson she teaches mainly in the MBA program in the area of managerial economics, pricing and competitiveness. Since the Fall 2014 she is also a Visiting Professor at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.Dr. Polutnik's research and consulting work has mostly been focused on pricing, revenue management and strategic cost management. Her work in this area is based on the analysis of the relationship between the firm's costs and customers' value and the influence of this relationship on the firm's profit. Dr. Polutnik also conducts research in public finance and examines the role institutions play in market economies and specifically in countries in transition. Dr. Polutnik's work has been published in numerous academic journals and books including: The European Accounting Review, Advances in Management Accounting, Journal of Cost Management, Journal of Corporate Accounting and Finance, Industrial Relations Journal, and Comparative Economic Studies Journal. She has received several grants and awards for her work; most recently she received The Davis Educational Foundation grant for the project entitled "Containing Costs While Enhancing the Educational Mission: A Study of Best Practices for Small Private Colleges".

Dr. Polutnik has extensive consulting and executive teaching experience and has developed and delivered customized corporate training programs for many multinational companies in the area of tactical and strategic pricing, customer value, cost, and profitability analysis. She regularly teaches in the Executive MBA Program at the University of Bologna, Italy.


Program Manager

Alex Nesbeda  

Alex Nesbeda 

Alex Nesbeda manages the programming for Electives Abroad & Away, International Consulting Experience, and the Global Entrepreneurship Experience for the undergraduate and graduate student populations. She is the program manager for undergraduate Electives Abroad in Japan, the United Kingdom, Uruguay/Argentina, and Israel; graduate Electives Abroad in Italy and Japan; and the MSEL Global Entrepreneurship Experience in Tanzania.


Course Administrator


Amanda Malin

Amanda Malin is the Senior Associate Director for the Full Time Graduate programs including the One, and Two Year MBA programs as well as the Master of Science in Entrepreneurial Leadership (MSEL), Master of Science in Finance (MSF) and the Master of Science in Accounting (MSA). In her role, she oversees the day-to-day operations of the full time MBA and MS programs including curriculum development, faculty support, course scheduling, and student onboarding and advising.


Student Quotes & Testimonials

"The Italy elective abroad was one of the highlights of my Babson experience. In addition to experiencing the culture and delicious Italian food from the city of Milan, we were able to hear firsthand from professors and business owners on the impact of political change and economic uncertainty (e.g., Brexit) throughout Europe. We visited several niche/luxury companies, learning about the unique positioning and high standards these companies must uphold. Now that I work for a French data analytics company that works with mostly luxury brand management teams, I could not have asked for a better course to prepare me." - Isabelle Engelsted (Italy Elective Abroad - March 2017)

"Participating in the Milan course expose[d] us to important political and macroeconomic trends, diving deep in debates of nationalism and trade policies with International renowned Universita Bocconi Faculty members, providing context for many of today’s most widely discussed news regarding trade wars.
The mix of academic sessions and company visits is so well balanced that you can really put in to practice what is being discussed in the academic sessions, reinforcing that these topics will contribute in your professional life. I still maintain contact with Bocconi faculty lecturer Stefano Riela and have also continued business discussions and received professional advice from Zegna’s family owners." - Max Valdes (Italy Elective Abroad - March 2017)

"The graduate elective abroad in Italy was an amazing adventure that allowed me to learn the local economic landscape, visit amazing sites in Milan, and listen to passionate professors from Bocconi University. The second part of day, we were on location at manufacturing sights from Ducatti, Brembo, and Zegna. In the evening, we had some of the best pasta and gelato that Milan had to offer, recapping the amazing day with my classmates." - Mark Kolodziej (Italy Elective Abroad - March 2017)