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Frankfurt am Main, 17.10.2019 12:00:00

Every year, the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) awards an international student at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, who not only distinguishes himself by academic excellence, but also by social and intercultural engagement. This year´s winner of the DAAD prize, which is endowed with 1.000 Euro, is Riccardo Silvestri from Italy. He studies the Master in Management at Frankfurt School. 

Riccardo Silvestri: This year´s DAAD Prize winner

Congratulations for receiving this year´s DAAD Prize. What does the award mean to you?

The prize pays off my effort as a student. It is a result of working hard for my own future. It is important to say that, regardless of the money, the prize shows you that you have done things right and that hard work always pays out – also in a social context. Moreover, it is a public recognition of your effort and it pushes you to do even more and better.

How did you find out about the DAAD Prize?

It was a big surprise. I was sitting at home and I got an e-mail from Frankfurt School that they awarded me. I had already heard about the award but hadn’t applied. The reason I received the award was my overall performance at FS – in academia as well as within the student community.

What did you bring to Frankfurt? How do you experience studying at Frankfurt School?

During my bachelor’s studies, I did an Erasmus semester at Goethe University Frankfurt. Back then, I enjoyed living in Frankfurt. It was really international and rich of opportunities. Following, I took a gap year and worked at Bettzeit in Frankfurt. I recognized and appreciated that companies in Germany judge you by your performance and not how old or experienced you are.

What are the most important things you learn at Frankfurt School when you think about your further career and on a personal level?

First, at Frankfurt School I achieved the absolute comfortability to interact in an international environment, whose learning path started in Frankfurt during my Erasmus semester and now I continued in the Master in Management at FS. I improve my soft skills through the courses. Frankfurt School gives everyone the chance to stand out and show who you are. Aside a thick academic content, they push you to get in touch with others and to present yourself. Exposure, self-presentation and rhetoric are key capabilities that I am now able to lever. 

How would you describe the differences between living in Germany and your home country?

Food. I just love the food in Italy. However, in Germany young students are more valued for what they know and who they are. Hence, there are a lot of career possibilities in Germany. You can lever your skills and convince different companies that you are the perfect candidate even at a young age. In general, here are more chances for young people than in Italy.

What do you like most about living in Germany and Frankfurt?

I really like the lifestyle in Germany. You can find a cool job and enjoy Frankfurt as a city during your free time. I like the Main and especially summer in Frankfurt.

What do you recommend students who want to receive a scholarship?

Just be who you are, before blindly committing to endless library sessions. Obviously, you have to work hard. However, it does not mean that you have to work every night. It is important to be committed in different activities and that you develop all the traits of your personality, like being equal, fair to others and a social person, that enriches and inspires others. Last but not least – be kind and respectful when talking to professors and others. When you work hard on every aspect of yourself, great accomplishments will follow.

Can you imagine staying in Frankfurt/Germany long-term?

I can imagine it. However, I have a really international life. Thus, I might also move to another country in order to gain more experience. In general it is important to be open. Nevertheless, Germany feels like a second home to me.