23 January 2023

MBA: a life-changing experience

Author: Diana Sofía López Zuluaga - International Full Time MBA student

After three months living in Milan and attending the MBA, I have collected a countless number of experiences, both academic and personal, and the common thing is the amazing people that have been with me on this journey, my MBA colleagues. In my perception, POLIMI GSoM has a big commitment to the personal side of the program, encouraging collaboration and empathy among us, which has been very clear in these past few months. I have found an environment in which we study together, and we help each other in every assignment, with no judgement but only reciprocity. As we all come from different backgrounds, there are some students who stand out more in some subjects, and they become our tutors out of class in a safe space for questions and new ideas. This has made the learning process very interesting, being able to listen to different people’s ideas and approaches, but also very enriching as I have reached a greater understanding of the lessons thanks to my colleagues.

Nonetheless, this is not only the case for the academic side of the MBA. Building new personal connections with people all around the world has been an amazing experience with the different languages and perspectives, and different cultures, yet all of us trying to reshape our future and our careers through the MBA. But living abroad is not easy, and almost all of us share the same feelings, the homesickness, missing the lives we had, and this has created a network and an environment in which we talk about this among ourselves, and share feelings that most certainly the other person will understand. Being this close has built a network in which we are not just interested in our academic lives, but we have also shared our social life here in Milan — and attending the new Navigli campus has made it easier. Aperitivos after class with long chats about our home countries, birthday celebrations, and the most recent, our Christmas dinner party. At this last one, we organized a dinner in which 55 out of 60 students attended, and we played “Secret Santa”, sharing our gifts and an amazing time to celebrate what we have been through, our achievements in the MBA, our new friendships, and to be in that company on the eve of Christmas.

For me, the people I’m sharing this journey with go beyond the concept of “colleagues” — they have become my friends. The challenge has been huge, but the personal connections I have made on the way are priceless, and I’m sure they will last not only in the professional frame, but also in the personal one. We are sharing a year together, that most likely will end up with some of us leaving Milan and even Italy, so what is better than having the most amazing connections all over the world?



23 January 2023

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