Why did you choose the MiM?
After graduating from Bocconi University in Italy I thought it was time to move. At the time the economic situation in Italy was not promising for young graduates. I had the chance to visit Germany several times during my Bachelors and on these occasions I got to learn about its business environment. At the end of my studies in Italy I decided to write my thesis on the strategic growth of German SMEs, also thanks to the contacts I made with some companies around Frankfurt. I also noted that it is possible at German universities to work alongside studying and I found this aspect very important and somehow unusual coming from the Italian education system. I therefore looked for possibilities to continue my studies in management in Germany and Frankfurt School of Finance & Management was the most promising Business School in the country.
Even before moving to Germany I was told that without speaking any German I would have difficulties in finding a good job. The Frankfurt School Master programs offer the possibility of being at the university for three days a week and to work the rest of the week. At the beginning of my Master in Management I spent those ‘free’ days studying German and looking for jobs. It turned out that my fear of not finding any job was absolutely ungrounded. I found a very interesting job as a financial controller and assistant to the CFO of a multinational automotive company. I have worked for this company for one and a half years, learning a lot while deepening my theoretical knowledge at Frankfurt School. The most interesting part was that due to the fact that almost all of my classmates were working in different sectors, in class we were often having discussions about our professions and thanks to this exchange of practical and sector-related knowledge, I was able to grow professionally. During my last semester at the FS I realized I wanted to find a way of staying in Frankfurt, where after two years of staying I had built a good network. Thanks to Frankfurt School the solution came by itself. The Italian Chamber of Commerce for Germany organized a conference at Frankfurt School with the Italian Minister of Justice. On that occasion I was able to introduce myself to the German-Italian business community and a work relation with the Chamber started.
What does your current job look like?
Last June I started working for the ITKAM as project manager. After having done controlling for a fair amount of time I was interested in working more on sales and project delivery. During the summer, besides working on the projects, I also took the responsibility of the accounting department of the chamber where I started to make some improvements thanks to the experience that I had from the previous job. When I was appointed as CEO after the first eight months in the chamber, this combination of deep knowledge of the financial results of the ITKAM and the experience in delivering project became very helpful. Today I deal with supervising the different departments of the ITKAM.
On the one hand I have to focus on the administration of the company. On the other I have to make sure that the sales team together with the services delivery team can satisfy the customers' expectations. A big part of my working time is spent traveling between and within Germany and Italy. The headquarters of the ITKAM is in Frankfurt but we also have two other regional offices in Berlin and Leipzig. The work of our Chambers of Commerce could be summarized as being the trait union of the Italian and German companies that are interested in working in Germany or Italy respectively. These projects of internationalization involve the plans that the countries set in their economic development. This is the reason why it happens quite often that we have to work closely with the ministry or governmental bodies of both countries. The ITKAM also promotes some activities that help share the information between the two countries. We organize seminars or events to present the reforms or the economic opportunities of the two countries together with cultural and networking activities that are necessary in order to intensify and strengthen the economic relationship between Italy and Germany.
What are the key skills that you took from the MiM?
The courses that are offered in the MiM are structured so that students can have an overview of the different units and jobs that are present in a firm. What makes the MiM special is the fact that, given the small class size, there is a very close contact among the students and professors. Many ideas and experiences are discussed in class on a case base. Many courses require team work and presentations that are usually done as if the students had to do them for a real firm. These assignments were judged by professors on the contents but also on the presentation skills of each one of us. At the end of the two years it became clear that each of us was better in public speaking and exposition.
The fact that most of the students are working for 3 days a week beside the studies creates an environment of knowledge sharing that is difficult to find in other Master Programs. The MiM helped me in being ready to deal with the different inputs that I have to deal with during the day. Organization is essential when the schedule has to swing between working and studying. The MiM has also opened my mind on different sectors given that, thanks to my class mates, I was able to get precious insights on other sectors and jobs. This has also helped me to better understand which kind of career path I wanted to take.
How would you recommend the MiM to future students?
I get asked quite frequently if I would recommend the MiM to potential students and my answer is always yes. I do believe that those students who are interested in getting a deep theoretical knowledge in the management field but are also interested in a hands-on experience while working could not find a better place to study than the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. Now that almost one year has passed since the end of my classes in the MiM I am really satisfied with the knowledge that I brought with me in my career, the same knowledge that my classmates have and that lead all of them into finding a job during or right after the Master in Management was over.
When I look at the companies and positions that me and my classmates reached in this short amount of time after graduation I could not feel prouder. The concentrations in Manufacturing, Strategy and Banking lead us to the top players in the industries. That network and sharing of experiences that we had in class is still present today and enriching all of us. At Frankfurt School and especially in the MiM I haven't found only a great study environment, I have also found a family.