My First Week at one of the Best Business Schools in the World

While I was already at one of the best business schools in Europe studying my Master of Finance, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to study abroad one last time in my educational career. Many students at Frankfurt School choose to study abroad their last semester and since I am trying to make the most of my time in Europe and of my masters degree, I knew long ago that I would be joining another university come my fourth semester.

Those of you who have been following my entire journey here in Europe may remember my search way back in the first semester for exchange programs. It was very clear even then that Bocconi was the place to be. They have incredible rankings, often putting them top ten in the world for various programs and by many standards they’re one of the top 3 business schools in Europe. For me, what really drew me to the university was their concentrated degree programs which offer really unique and interdisciplinary courses.

While I may have chosen a somewhat narrow masters degree program in Frankfurt, my personality and strengths have always been more suited to broad, interdisciplinary work and studies. While I feel like a finance background is extremely important for the current and future global environment, I feel even more that we need people to cross these (what are often arbitrary) academic boarders in their thinking in order to innovate both in research and in the corporate world. It’s very obvious Bocconi has the same mindset.

So when I didn’t get chosen for the formal exchange at Frankfurt School, I knew that I would just have to work a bit harder and come as a free mover instead. Come February, I packed my bags and moved to Milano (post coming soon) to complete the last two courses of my degree. Now that I’ve had a moment to gather my first impressions, I thought I’d share them all with you.

Green Management and Corporate Sustainability

When I decided to come to Bocconi, I knew that at least one of my courses would be from their MaGER program (Master in Green Management, Energy and Corporate Social Responsibility) since it’s such an stand out degree in the university and highly acclaimed across the world.

So far, I have not been disappointed. It is broken into many different modules and tracks with people having the opportunity to compete in a Model UN style climate negotiation conference in Switzerland or the opportunity to work on a consulting case with Accenture. I will be choosing the Accenture track since plan to pursue a career in consulting upon graduation and I am more than excited to grab every experience I can to prepare me.

The class itself is very engaging with lots of great discussions and guest lectures. The professors (there are 2 teaching the course together) are also very good and extremely qualified. To top it off, they are also really nice considering I have been pestering them after nearly ever class to bounce thesis ideas off of them. I had originally had trouble deciding between this class and a Green Finance course but now that I’ve gotten into the material, I think the management route was a much better fit for me.

Competition Policy, Regulation and Liberalizations

This class, while being the most classic in terms of academics, is also probably the hardest to describe. It within the university’s economic department and is an economics course revolving around mergers and acquisitions, cartels, monopolies, etc. It is taught in a standard lecture model which is not ideal considering I’d like to “go out with a bang” so-to-speak with my very last semester of uni (maybe) ever. But at the same time, it is extremely useful when looking at and analyzing the world around us, especially the political world.

Finally, I feel like, although it is not it’s intention, I am able to draw connections between it and my Green Management course. In the end, I’m happy that the final grade won’t transfer over to my Frankfurt transcript because it’s definitely one of those kinds of classes where I feel like I will learn more if I’m not learning with a test in mind.

Decision Making and Negotiations

I also wanted to give a nod to a class that I attended the first week but ultimately decided against taking. Although I really liked the class, I felt like I had already covered most of the material in my Bachelor degree in marketing and my Behavioral Economics class from last semester.

I kind of had a hunch that the class might be repetitive with decision making being in the title but the negotiation side of the class was compelling enough to make me want to sit through the first lecture. In the end, I took down the information of the textbook the course was modeled after and if I ever find myself regretting not having taken the class, I can always read it.

So that is my first impression of Bocconi University and the courses I am taking there. My finals will be in May/June and so until then I will be (of course) spending a lot of time on my classes but also writing my Masters Thesis, applying for jobs and (if I can find the time) seeing a bit of the city too.

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