Francesco Corea chose LUISS for his entire academic career, focusing on foreign countries and on his passion for studying finance. He got his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management and a master’s degree in Financial Economics here, and today he is enrolled in the PhD program in Economics after having obtained a Double Degree with LUISS and the Nova School of Business and Economics in Lisbon.
Francesco has always loved to travel: for his summer holidays during his first few years at university, he traveled around Europe, going to Spain, England, France and Switzerland to study the languages and cultures of different countries. "This made me want to have an intense study abroad experience," he says.
For his master’s degree, he chose the program in Economics and Finance, held in English, as it gave him the possibility of doing a Double Degree, which is a course of study abroad that allows the option of earning two degrees. "It would have been much easier to do my master’s somewhere else in Italy or to apply for other Double Degrees where there are more places available. I tried my luck, applying after the first semester for the only two available slots in Portugal."
What attracted him was the prestige of Nova University, which holds nineteenth place in the latest world ranking of financial studies compiled by the Financial Times. "I knew the university’s reputation and, for Finance, it was the best choice among the Double Degree programs offered by LUISS. From that point on, all of my decisions, whether life choices or study choices, were aimed at getting admitted to the program. I did extra exams, internships, seminars and other activities in order to be able to bring the best possible CV to the interview and to demonstrate that I was the right person."
During his year in Lisbon, Francesco decided to specialize in Financial Markets and to work on a thesis analyzing several problems linked to exotic options pricing, with Professor Joao Amaro de Matos, Dean of International Affairs. "We defended the thesis two times, before two committees: an Italian one and a Portuguese one, therefore it had to be a strong, well-done work." The work he put into his thesis increased his interest in going more in-depth into a number of topics and his decision to continue his studies with a PhD. "I received various offers from banks and consulting firms after my year in Portugal but, at a time of decline in the labor market on the one hand and the extreme specialization required for some positions on the other, in the end I opted to do a PhD."
Among other things, Francesco has also been a tutor at LUISS, talking with many students about his experience doing a Double Degree. "I was able to help at least half of the students who left recently for Lisbon." Some of the activities at Nova that he recommends are the wide variety of extracurricular activities and participating in clubs: "I was a member of the Consulting Club. Clubs are a great way to learn concepts and fundamentals that otherwise you would not have, to get to know people and forge bonds and also to get noticed by companies."
Francesco now feels a lot of nostalgia for his year in Lisbon. "Nova is in fact a community, a big family dispersed throughout the world. It made me understand how many smart people there are in the world and how much you need to work to continue improving yourself, to create a better future for yourself and to realize your dreams. Nothing is given to you, there is no such thing as a free lunch (as the economists say), but this is exactly what Nova teaches you: how to make the most of your strengths in order to get what you want both professionally and personally."