The DNA of the School
The origins of the Scuola Mattei
What was the spirit in which Enrico Mattei decided to found the first post-graduate master’s degree in Italy? In a television interview in 1961, the then chairman of Eni stated with great conviction that “the many people and many workers were not a sign of poverty for Italy, but a sign of wealth.” That was at a time when company employees were not yet seen as a resource and shortly after a period of substantial emigration by many Italians in the 50s who wanted to try their luck in other countries of Europe and America. Thought strict and very demanding, Mattei had confidence in the contributions that people could make to business development and much of the secret of the success of Eni under Mattei was linked to the speed with which he managed to train and put in place a formidable network of technicians and managers. Conscious that a country like Italy, which had emerged from the war in a disastrous state and without significant natural resources, could rely only on the quality of its people, Mattei used the “levers" of recruitment and training to quickly train, during the fifties, an excellent staff. In his time as a partisan, Mattei had shown great flair in assessing people and a substantial ability to attract and motivate them, conveying a sense of mission. In a period in which new business initiatives were being born all the time, he considered it important to have what he called “professional reserves”, people who were perfectly trained and ready for immediate operation anywhere in the world, should the need arise.
He launched an extensive training policy for all jobs in the company, from the most operational to middle managers and executives, with seminars (some at individual operating company level, others at group level) also for the top management. Training was both in the classroom and on the job and the engineer Mattei would frequently send his best collaborators to the United States to observe innovative organitational methods to be replicated in Italy.
The creation of the Scuola Mattei: internationalism and enrichment
In 1957, therefore, on the initiative of Enrico Mattei the School of Higher Studies on hydrocarbons was founded. Some years after the death of Mattei, in 1969, the institute was named after him, becoming the Scuola “Enrico Mattei.” Since its foundation, it has trained more than 2,800 graduates, of which 57% from 110 countries around the world. Apart from the educational aspects, one of the drivers of the professional and personal growth of students is the school’s strong international dimension. A significant portion of the students come from areas in the developing world, such as Africa (20%) and South America (19%). The Scuola Mattei is a rare example of cultural exchange. The proportion of internationalisation is very high, which implies the possibility of greater cultural exchange. Different skills, heterogeneous approaches to work and study, traditions that are often very different, a wide range of opinions and diverse viewpoints coexist, contributing significantly to students’ enrichment. This multicultural approach has always been a significant asset of the Scuola Mattei, which, in this, merely reflects Eni’s tradition and orientation, also in terms of the contribution to the training of the managerial class of the countries in which it operates.
Many students who have completed the course have gone one to develop high-level careers in their own countries. For example Kandil Abdel Hadi, who was a student in the academic year 1963-1964 and, from 1984 to 1991, the Oil Minister of a major oil country such as Egypt. Over the years the school has renewed its programmes, while preserving its original, distinguishing characteristics: internationalism and an interdisciplinary approach, with a specific focus on the issues of the economy and energy.In 2006, in order to ensure greater consistency in the training programmes with Eni’s activities and the need to recruit young graduates, the curriculum was radically altered, with the introduction of new subjects, a new programme and two new crossover study areas. On 30 November 2006, the Scuola Mattei celebrated its 50th anniversary ding with a convention. On this occasion, around six hundred alumni from around the world gathered in San Donato Milanese to talk about energy and the environment, and consolidate their professional network.
The ex-alumni association: a network of experts in energy, economics and the environment
The Scuola Mattei has always maintained strong relations with its former students. In 1996, it set up the “Scuola Mattei Ex-alumni Club” to exploit the enormous wealth of professional experience and the potential for relations between those who have studied at the school. Meanwhile, on 21 September 2007, the International Alumni Association of Scuola Mattei (IAASM) was established. The Association pursues, in an independent, exclusive and non-profit, an for non-cultural or scientific purposes manner, in the areas of energy and the environment, mainly to enhance and promote the cultural heritage of the Scuola Mattei. IAASM produces scientific publications, promotes meetings, conventions and conferences and, through the web and social networks, consolidates the professional network of ex-alumni. The association’s main objectives are the dissemination of knowledge, professional exchange, friendship, solidarity, and dialogue among different cultures. More generally, IAASM pursues the consolidation of a global network of professionals in the energy and environmental sector.