In 2013, Francesco Pisani graduated from Frankfurt School of Finance & Management with a Master of Finance degree. He currently works at Earnst & Young as a specialist for EMEIA Financial Services / Transaction Advisory Services. While he was studying, he also worked in the Private Equity division of FERI Trust GmbH in Bad Homburg. Francesco grew up in Italy and gained his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Università la Sapienza di Roma (Sapienza University of Rome). He then went on to do his first Master’s degree in Economics and Management at LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome.
Judging by your educational background and work experience to date, your guiding principle seems to be ‘the more international, the better’. What was the deciding factor behind your decision to study at Frankfurt School?
Well, that was definitely an important consideration. After finishing my Master’s degree, I spent a few months in various European countries learning the local language. I spent time in England, France and Spain. Next on my list was Germany, where I wanted to complete a second Master’s degree that would enhance my specialist knowledge. Because Frankfurt is regarded as Germany’s main financial centre – even outside Germany – and Frankfurt School has an excellent reputation, I opted for the Master of Finance programme there. Of course, the programme’s international character made it easier for me to settle in, too. Another important criterion for my decision was the fact that I could combine my Frankfurt School studies with my job.
What were your expectations of the programme before you started? And did it live up to them?
To be honest, I didn’t have any specific expectations of the course and I was pleasantly surprised. The academic staff are genuine experts in their respective fields and also very skilled at imparting their knowledge. They also make plenty of time for students outside classes and lectures. My fellow-students were very open and friendly as well, which was a good thing because much of our work was done in groups. Getting to know the many international students and their cultures was particularly exciting.
Did you learn a lot from each other?
We certainly did! Both the programme and my fellow-students taught me a lot. You always try to improve, don’t you, which is why I always try to develop and acquire those personal qualities I most admire in others. For example, I admire the German work ethic and now strive to do my work in a similarly structured, conscientious and thoughtful manner – albeit without sacrificing my relaxed Italian attitude to life!
What’s your favourite memory of your time at Frankfurt School?
Undoubtedly the mutual support between students. I love to think back on our group projects, for example, and the commitment shown by all members of the team. We would often work right through the night preparing our presentation for the following day. The semester I spent abroad was another wonderful experience. I went to China, and was able to explore a truly fascinating culture. And I have to say: Chinese is easier to learn than German!
Having already mastered English, French and Spanish, did you really find it hard to learn German, too?
Yes! German was the most difficult language I’ve ever had to learn. But motivation is the key. I came to Germany to work and study, so I was determined to learn German. Being able to work alongside my degree course was very helpful, but I also attended language classes.
Now that you’ve graduated, which field would like to work in?
While I was studying, I worked in the Private Equity division of FERI Trust GmbH in Bad Homburg, where I was responsible for due diligence, team analysis and performance evaluation. I really enjoyed it and it taught me a lot. I’d love to work in this field or an associated field again, ideally in Frankfurt.
What’s the motto you live your life by?
I don’t really have a motto as such, but I find that every day brings more things to discover and more to learn. One should always be open to new experiences.