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MBA Bobcat Q&A: Francesco Marini

Tuesday, July 5 2016 12:00am

Francesco Marini decided to go back to school to pursue a career he was passionate about and chose OHIO's MBA/MSA dual-degree program to help make his career change.

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FrancescomariniName: Francesco Marini

Program: MBA/MSA  

Class year: 2016/2017

Undergraduate Degree: History at the University of Siena, and political science and international relations at the University of Turin in Italy

Why did you choose Ohio University’s MBA/MSA dual-degree program?

After graduating from the University of Turin in 2011, I started my internship at Italian General Consulate in Sydney, Australia. Following my internship, I worked for SAP, a business software company in Germany. I was trying new things and working in different industries, but I wasn’t happy in my career. That was when I started to consider a career in sports business. Ohio University offered the MBA/MSA dual-degree program that would give me the business and sports administration knowledge I needed to make my career change.   

How would you describe your experience in the MBA program?

Choosing Ohio University’s MBA program was definitely worth it. The program prepares you with the technical skills, leadership skills, and teamwork experience you need to be successful in the workplace. This program is great for someone looking to become a manager or leader in business.

What was your favorite MBA course and why?

My favorite MBA course was organizational behavior with Dr. Stoner. His course taught me how to relate to others while working on a team. I also learned managerial and leadership skills. Dr. Stoner puts a lot of thought into the way he teaches this course. He genuinely cares for his students and wants all of us to succeed in class and after graduation.

Which College of Business mentor/faculty/staff member has had a positive influence on your education?

Everyone I’ve worked with in the College of Business has made a positive influence on my education. If I had to choose, in addition to Dr. Stoner, I would say Dr. Kirch and Tanya Barnett. Dr. Kirch is great at teaching the hard skills, but there was always a portion of the class that was dedicated to the soft skills. He taught us how to be professional and be a good individual. I learned many life lessons in his class.

I also worked closely with Tanya Barnett to plan the study abroad trip to Ancona, Italy. As the full-time MBA program director, Tanya made sure the curriculum and international immersion experience provided students with as much business experience as possible. 

What would you tell someone considering Ohio University’s Masters of Business Administration degree?

Be prepared to work hard. A lot of the coursework is done in a group, and you will learn a lot from your peers. As someone who came from abroad, I think the cohort structure is the perfect setting for this kind of experience. You work hard with your classmates throughout the year, and working with the same students helps you bond and network with everyone. Getting to know the people in the program is also a lot of fun. If you can strike a good balance between having fun and working hard, you’ll be very successful.

What are your career goals, and how did you figure out what you wanted to do?

I was working for about three years after graduation before I started thinking about the future of my career. I didn’t have a passion for the work I was doing, but I did have a passion for sports. This passion gave me the motivation I needed to go back to school fulltime. Getting my MBA/MSA dual-degree was the right decision for me, and my experience in the program confirms that.

Right now, I hope to pursue a career in sponsorship or marketing for a professional soccer team. I’m still exploring my career options, and I look forward to learning more and networking with OHIO’s alumni community.

Where is your favorite place to hang out on campus/in Athens?

I’m a coffee addict, so I like to hang out at the coffee shops on campus. I call them my fuel stations. I typically visit the coffee shops in a rotation depending on my mood, but I have to say Court Street Coffee and Donkey Coffee & Espresso are two of my favorite spots. I also spend a lot of time in Copeland Hall, the MBA lounge, and the library.

Anything else about the program you would like to share?

The faculty and staff in graduate programs at Ohio University are very mindful of the student experience and always ask for feedback on ways to improve. This was very important to me. It let me know that the faculty and staff care about their students’ success. I felt like I was part of the College, not just another student in class.

About the MBA/MSA Dual-Degree Program

Ohio University's Master of Business Administration and Master of Sports Administration dual-degree program gives students an edge in the marketplace and prepares them for leadership roles by combining the holistic business knowledge of the MBA program with sport-specific industry knowledge of the MSA program. The dual-degree program provides students with real-world consulting experience working with companies, sports organizations, and athletic departments across the country.  

Ohio University's MSA progam ranked first in the 2016 SportBusiness International Postgraduate Sports Course Rankings. This is the fourth time OHIO’s MSA program has been ranked first in the world out of the five years that SportBusiness International has ranked graduate-level sports programs.

To learn more about Ohio University's MBA/MSA dual-degree program, visit