Giacomo Campione, MBA’21, knows race car engineering.
After earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering and following an internship at Dallara, Giacomo has worked for the Italian race car manufacturer since 2011. Originally from Sicily, Giacomo moved to Indianapolis in 2015 to support Dallara’s expansion and restructuring here. Giacomo realized he needed additional business skills and decided to enroll in the Evening MBA Program at the Kelley School of Business.
“My goal was to gain knowledge on topics like finance, operations, organizational behavior, management, and leadership,” Giacomo said. “These are things you don’t typically think about as an engineer.”
Giacomo was recently promoted to general manager at Dallara. As the company supported his growth, he realized exposure to key business concepts and strategies through an MBA would give him greater formal training than simply trying to learn them on the job. Together with his supervisors, Giacomo selected the part-time Kelley MBA in Indianapolis.
“I checked out a lot of top-ranked schools. It was important to find a reputable school that offered a part-time MBA program so I could continue working,” Giacomo said. “Throughout the two years of the MBA, I came to work like normal. I work long hours, but the Evening MBA was perfect because we had classes in the evenings and weekends, and some classes were online. It was a perfect combination for my life and my job.”
On a personal level, Giacomo simply wanted to earn an MBA. “I really wanted to expand my education beyond the niche of car racing,” he said. Students in the Evening MBA Program come from a variety of professional and geographical backgrounds and career paths, ranging from engineering and pharma to healthcare and small businesses. The diversity of thought and experience contributes to the learning environment.
“People from all industries and all over the world come to Kelley, and it’s been great. You meet someone who’s worked in companies for many years and now wants to open a business, so they have different interests than me,” Giacomo said. “Learning how similar processes are approached differently in two industries is helpful. We learned a lot from each other.”
Giacomo feels that he gained the business expertise he sought, plus the confidence to put it to work. The hands-on nature of the Evening MBA Programs allows students to collaborate on real-world projects and present project findings to business executives from local companies.
“The presentations helped me gain confidence in speaking in front of audiences. And the coursework helped me understand new concepts that I’ve applied in my job,” Giacomo said. “For example, I found the lessons in organizational behavior really interesting, and I was able to apply these strategies immediately in one department of the company. I used one of the approaches we studied in an Evening MBA course to help a team that was going through some challenges. I used the concepts and methodologies I studied during the Organizational Behavior class to create an improvement program to help move them beyond the friction. After several months, we were able to solve the friction inside that group, and the people are now working well together.”
The presentations helped me gain confidence in speaking in front of audiences. And the coursework helped me understand new concepts that I’ve applied in my job.”
The Evening MBA Program is designed offers skills that can be applied to the workplace starting on day one. As an engineer, Giacomo was familiar with business topics like operations, but he didn’t have much experience in financial accounting. He not only enjoyed this newfound skill set, but he was also able to begin using it at work.
“I found that I really enjoyed the finance classes because they gave me the skills and confidence to read financial reporting at my company,” Giacomo said. “As I grew in my role and got exposed to all the financial reporting and technicalities within the company, I really applied those skills right away.”
In addition to the traditional business skills, Giacomo says he also gained insights into new and trending technologies and industry topics like machine learning, Industry 4.0, and sustainability.
“It was nice to have not only the classic MBA classes but also some exposure to new trends that inspired me to do my own research on those topics,” Giacomo said.
Shortly after he began the Evening MBA program in fall 2019, Giacomo—like most professionals—experienced an abrupt work slowdown during the initial days of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the racing industry came roaring back in 2021, even busier than 2019. Giacomo says balancing work was certainly challenging and made for some long nights, but it ultimately gave him greater pride in what he achieved.
“Knowing I have an MBA from a school like Kelley is something I’m proud of. And being able to do it while continuing working—that was a real accomplishment.”