01 July 2020

Multicultural Spirit

Author: Marianna Trimarchi, International Full-Time MBA candidate 

According to a study from the HBR (Harvard Business Review), living abroad is one of the most impactful choices on a student’s career development, enhancing creativity, reducing multicultural and intergroup bias, and promoting success in their future search for a job. When I chose to enrol at MIP to study for an MBA, the promise of being in an international class of students was indeed my highest motivator. In the past six months, I have learned a great deal from my classmates. That’s why I want to leave the floor to them to talk about the multicultural spirit we have created together.

Ganapati, or GG, as we all call him, is a Financial Analyst from Pune, in India. GG, the choice of leaving your family must have been exciting but also challenging. Why did you choose Italy, and Milan specifically, for your MBA?

It’s true, moving to Milan for the MBA was a really exciting decision but also complex in terms of convincing my family, because of the financial commitment and, of course, also emotionally, since my wife is doing her master’s in India and we have a 2½-year-old baby to take care of.
I had previously been in Milan for a business trip and I fell in love with its architecture. I chose this city both for its strategic location and for the opportunities I wish to find here, with it being the fashion and financial capital of Italy. I had planned to live an international experience for a long time and an MBA in particular would be an upgrade to get ready for more challenging roles in my professional life. 

There are students like Lili, a Project manager from China, who had business and personal trips to Italy before the start of the program. Lili, during this year you have shared a lot about your country and culture. Tell us about the Chinese new year party we had!

The Chinese New Year party was amazing! Not only because of the traditional Chinese food we made from scratch and the things we did, but because we were all together for such a traditional and important event in my culture. The greatest and most meaningful thing for me, being away from home during that time, was to share it with people coming from different countries, cultures and backgrounds, and still wanting to celebrate together. I strongly believe that the multicultural environment we have built will have a big impact in shaping our future as people and professionals.

And talking about parties, Alejandro, a financial and operations strategist from Colombia has fully embraced the multicultural spirit of our Master, from the Milanese aperitivo to playing calcetto. Ale, how has this experience changed your life and what are the takeaways for you?

It has been key for me to understand that not everybody has the same energy and willingness to do some things. I’ve learned to be more respectful about people’s decisions and to be an active listener with regard to their needs. I have an easygoing and chilled personality, but not everyone feels comfortable in all environments, also because of the dimensions that model their culture. In order to interact with others it is important to understand that the other person also needs to be comfortable. This has been the basis for building more solid relationships and a healthy environment in particular when we were working in teams for some courses. It will be my takeaway whatever project I work on in the future. 

In my class there are also Italian students, like Federico, a lawyer who is passionate about social and economic issues. As an Italian candidate, how was it to dive deep into a multicultural experience for you and what made this journey special?

Being immersed in a multicultural environment was, for me ̶ and I can say for all the Italian students   ̶ a journey to explore the different cultural roots of every colleague. Sitting side by side with people coming from the other side of the world, it enabled me every day to gain a different perspective on the way we look at the world of business, on society and on approaches and attitudes to situations arising in our daily lives. Having the opportunity to wear glasses other than mine to observe our complex world was the true richness of this adventure! We are all children of the same tree: traditions and diversity are the essence of our journey together and allow us to discover humanity in its manifold nuances.

01 July 2020

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