It’s day 3 of my whirlwind adventure in Milano and I am just starting to fully realize the amazing, exciting and slightly chaotic journey that is ahead of me.
To those of you that don’t know the whole story, this past spring I was accepted into the full-time MBA program at SDA Bocconi. After a few years of looking into programs all over the world and narrowing down the list of what is the best choice for me, I was pleasantly surprised when my interests aligned so well with what Bocconi has to offer. When I first tell people about my school choice, I’m usually faced with the same reaction:
“Europe? What made you want to study there?”
It’s true, coming from the US where there are so many reputable b-schools around, it may seem a little abnormal to purposefully choose to apply elsewhere. However, for me an international experience was key in what I wanted out of my MBA experience; what better way to get that than to put myself out of my comfort zone and get my master’s while simultaneously exposing myself to a whole new culture. Furthermore, the extremely international student body was a huge draw to me. I don’t know if the statistics are out yet for my current class, but there are 34 nationalities represented in the 2012 MBA class. I am only now starting to meet my classmates in person, but from being a part of our Facebook group these past few months I have gotten to “know” them and already feel that I am learning so much just from hearing about their experiences in their own countries. Like how Dina from Cairo told us about the violence that happened in Nile City at the beginning of the month that broke out right in front of her office building. Or of how Dmitriy from Russia had a ticket to Milano until Windjet went bankrupt and put a damper on his travel plans. Aydin from Turkey even just told me today about how the company he worked for is working on getting a new taxi design for New York cabs! Classes haven’t even started and yet I’m already learning more than I would get out of just reading the morning paper.
As I sat and enjoyed aperitivo with some other classmates today while watching a rerun of last week’s Barcelona/Real Madrid game, a huge smile crept on my face in anticipation of what’s to come. I think Italy and I will get along just fine this year.