If you expect a Master’s program “only” to boost your skills and network, you are not expecting enough. In their learning experience, the young MAMA - Master in Arts Management and Administration professionals have actually developed a thorough understanding of the art sector along with a personal vision. And they have put them to the test, either working on their own or collaborating with excellent organizations; all with a decidedly entrepreneurial and experimental slant.
All this clearly emerges in the words of the winners of the 2020-21 edition’s final project challenge. Charlotte Senger and Domizia del Gallo di Roccagiovine were awarded the Best Internship Project prize. Senger has worked as a Junior Art Consultant at Art Consulting in Milan and has followed several projects focusing on innovative digital experiences, such as augmented-reality (AR) books, while del Gallo di Roccagiovine was a Cultural and Political Trainee at European Historic Houses in Brussels, a federation of 24 national associations representing 55,000 privately-owned historic buildings all over Europe, where she dealt with the most diverse individual “clients” in geographical and age terms, as well as institutional ones, mostly EU bodies (the latter being the direction she wants to carry on in the future). The Best Entrepreneurial Project award went to Paul Thüroff for his conceptualization of a digital platform to connect emerging visual artists with each other, local communities and the public via new, unconventional exhibition and event venues. This creates a cultural community that promotes the diversity of art to a broader audience and serves as an e-commerce platform for the works of art as well. Evolving in many ways, the start-up has catalyzed the energy of its founder, and will continue to do so in the future, while Senger’s experience with the founders and numerous partners of Art Consulting has enhanced her all-round understanding of the art business and confirmed this is the journey that she wants to travel.
In the world of art, experimenting is especially necessary for bridging the gap with the business world. A gap which often causes artists and institutions to be stuck with outdated models or management inefficiency, challenging their ability to support themselves financially. Bridging this gap is exactly what MAMA has taught the award-winners to do – Senger with her background in international management, Thüroff with his studies in design and his experience managing an artist’s studio in Berlin, Del Gallo with her degree in Art history and – despite her young age – stints ranging from an art gallery and a law and a consultancy firm to the Quirinale palace in Rome (which was “life-changing for me”). “The master allowed me to join the dots between my academic education and my professional experience,” Senger said. Del Gallo added: “Besides being a mind-opening experience, it anticipated most of the situations I would face in the workplace: cooperating in teams, supporting colleagues and being supported by them, multitasking on various projects, working under pressure and… working hard!”
Today, experimenting is even more vital, not only because of the disruption caused by the pandemic, but also because the blockchain and NFT technologies “are going to revolutionize a lot of things in terms of secrecy, transparency and traceability,” Senger explained. The 3 MAMA graduates agree that the pandemic was certainly an obstacle but also a great opportunity for them: “We have been able to witness change in real time, starting with the fast and creative way SDA Bocconi reacted while facing the initial shock. Also, we could see immediately which new things worked and which didn’t,” said Thüroff.
“MAMA is an experiment in itself, it’s different every year; we, the students, with our different backgrounds, mindsets, and ways of working are the ingredients,” Senger continued. Not only an interactive experience, diversity with a purpose, but also an iterative one, as Thüroff defined it: “In our relationship with teachers and colleagues, we see how one idea leads to another, one connection takes us to others. And this is how you build your project, brick by brick.” That is also how you grow your network, simply looking to interact with other people, as del Gallo pointed out: “If you are open and interested in them, they will be interested in you – it’s as simple as that.”
SDA Bocconi School of Management
In the picture, from left to right: Domizia del Gallo di Roccagiovine, Paul Thüroff and Charlotte Senger