For nearly a year, LUISS graduate Cecilia Giannini has been working as a business manager for the Italian market for a consulting firm in Pune, India.
Completing both a bachelor’s and master’s degree program at LUISS, Cecilia graduated in November with a degree in International Management. “I original wanted to study Economics in Rome or abroad,” explains Cecilia. “LUISS allowed me to study in English during my undergraduate career in Rome, while still setting my sights outside of the country, both in terms of preparation and experience.”
Still interested in an international career, during her master’s program, Cecilia applied for the Double Degree with Fudan. “I was really struck by something Professor Fiori said,” recalls Cecilia. “'If you study International Management, you have to go abroad. Studying in English is not enough.' Starting from the application phase, the Double Degree is a true learning experience in managing stress and deadlines. There are two important things to keep in mind when studying in Shanghai: deadlines are taken seriously and there are a lot of group projects. The teaching style is much more concentrated on practical work than on books. Constant contact with people from different countries and cultures changes you and pushes you to keep moving. Staying in Rome, I would have never developed this approach.”
Among many reasons to choose Shanghai is the chance to see China from a privileged point of view. “The DDIM group is really close-knit and energetic. The group receives a lot of attention, travels frequently and spends so much time together discovering Shanghai. You don’t just see the East, you see the whole world.”
Her urge to travel and find new career challenges was not satisfied with her year in Shanghai. As soon as she came back to Italy, Cecilia began looking for a new experience in the East. "The adrenaline from the Double Degree pushed me to use my last year in Rome to finding an internship. All of us in Fudan worked while we were preparing for graduation, and LUISS gave us the tools we needed to do it in the right time frame. Personally I was looking for something that made me stand out. I didn’t want to be just another fish in the sea.” The support of the Career Services Office was crucial, they were always at my side with new proposals. In the end I chose India, one of the fastest growing countries in the world, but still relatively unfamiliar to Western professionals. A year ago I took off for a six-month internship and after graduation I went back for another period.”
The challenges of living and working so far away from home is compensated with rapid professional development. “When I arrived, the Italian market didn’t exist and in a year I worked on business development and made partnerships with third parties. Recently I moved onto auditing and transfer pricing in order to strengthen my skills. There are few places in the world where you can learn like you can in India. The challenges can be tiring, but there are so few European professionals there and you immediately have the chance to work alongside people with so much experience. You have to learn everything so fast.”
Like all obstacles, cultural differences really motivate you to improve and overcome all difficulties. “Going abroad is fundamental. It’s the only way to acquire the skills you need to work in international management. Just a few years ago, leaving Rome for Shanghai seemed impossible. Once I arrived, it was all so simple. The opportunities are endless. Those moments that seem like sacrifices,” concludes Cecilia, “are precious occasions to get the best out of yourself.”