Every year, the Ermenegildo Zegna Founder's Scholarship provides funding for graduates and final-year students of LUISS master’s programs that have been admitted to post-graduate research or specialization programs abroad.
The 2015-2016 winners, selected by Professor Leonardo Morlino for their résumés and their motivations for studying in a foreign institute, are: Giorgio Bassotti, an International Relations graduate heading to the College of Europe in Bruges; Arianna Pagliacci, a Law graduate about to begin the Master of Laws at Harvard Law School; and Martina Zago, a graduate of the bachelor’s degree program in Politics, Philosophy and Economics who will soon start an MPhil in International Relations at Oxford.
Originally from Perugia, Arianna has always dreamed of studying at an American college. “Even before coming to Rome to begin my university studies I was interested in college life. I came to LUISS convinced that it was a good first step in that direction. After graduating I applied for LL.M. programs in several different American universities. The satisfaction and joy I felt when I received my acceptance letter from Harvard are indescribable. This opportunity was an unexpected milestone and the beginning of a new phase in my academic career.”
Graduating with a thesis sponsored by Professor Marcello Clarich in April 2014, Arianna decided to continue her studies in administrative law and financial regulation abroad, motivated by international experiences through the Erasmus program. “My interest in banking law began while researching at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt and at Goethe Universitat where I completed my thesis on the reform of financial vigilance in the EU. I have nothing but respect and gratitude for my sponsor, Professor Clarich. Not only was he a model of integrity and professionalism, he also helped me make important decisions regarding my academic and professional future.”
Giorgio chose the College of Europe to pursue his dream of becoming a diplomat. “I’m convinced that the future of the country that I would like to represent is linked to the destiny of Europe. In the collective imagination, our country is not rich in opportunities for those in search of someone to invest in them. My story, however, proves that there are exceptions to the rule. At the College of Europe, I had the opportunity to complete my studies in a distinguished environment, surrounded by colleagues that shared my aspirations and convictions.
Training, cultural stimuli and the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds are the principal motivations that pushed them to look for new experiences abroad. “In addition to networking opportunities that make a year in an American university both valuable and exciting on a personal level,” explains Arianna, “the LL.M. program at Harvard offers so much variety thanks to its 400 different courses, and doesn’t have any mandatory courses. Everyone is free to choose what they need for their specialization or academic research.”
Arianna and Giorgio are prime examples of the type of students that the EZ Group seeks to finance: young people that want to study abroad in order to later contribute to Italian development. “The opportunities to study and work in the United States are interesting,” explains Arianna, “but I think that the most satisfying result for a young Italian graduate is to give something back to the country that invested in their education, enriching it with the knowledge and skills obtained abroad.”
“Working hard every day and the desire to grow are not enough to make your dreams a reality," concludes Giorgio. "You also need the right resources and a little luck. I was certainly lucky in that I always had someone to listen to me and understand what those willing to always do their best for themselves and their country need.”