Academics with cultural mix was the essence of my exchange semester
India is a hub of several ethnicities and cultures, albeit their thought process and way of working converge eventually to the same methodology aka ‘Indian style’. Exchange semester is an opportunity to explore the world, gain international friends and live life as a local in another culture.
My exchange semester at Università Bocconi in Milano was an unforgettable journey of personal growth and self-actualization. The package consisted of – Multiple specializations taught by world-class professors shared resources such as the magnificent library, study bunkers, data labs, student clubs, international clubs like Erasmus, sports clubs etc. and a whole lot of new experiences.
Among all, exchanging thoughts and engaging in tasks with so many intelligent people from different nationals appears a treasure for life. I worked majorly with Germans, French, Russians, Hungarians, Belgians, Canadians, Chinese and last but not the least the Italians, during various group assignments and class discussions. In the tenure of the course, I witnessed the variance in the attitudes and the point of views associated with these nationalities. Certainly, I wouldn’t generalize the countries based on interaction with a bunch of people from there nevertheless, I perceived Germans as punctual, very direct and result-oriented, on the contrary, Hungarians as slow-paced but considerate and welcoming in nature. Italians that I encountered, were technically sound, systematic and dedicated, I would say. There is no right or wrong about their ethos, it’s just about doing the same things in distinct inherited manners.
Meanwhile, rest of the activities vis-à-vis academics and live projects ran in parallel. I got opportunities to work with Bain & Company and PSA automobiles as a part of course curriculum and I continued burning the midnight oil in order to meet the deadlines. All these episodes have impacted me greatly; I am more open to new things now and want to explore more than ever.
Apart from academics, the fun-filled times in Europe, such as get-together parties in Milano, journey across dummy borders by short- distance flights, trains and buses with just a bag pack, navigating around the cities like Budapest, Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Sirmione etc., Oktoberfest in Munich, chilling at Garda lake and lots of other beaches in summers and whatnot; these are invaluable adventures which will remain in my book of memories forever.
Now I am much more aware of the world by experiencing different cultures, different lifestyles, and different languages which changed my perception about life and people. I am more patient now and I try to grasp everything without judging them on the first impression. There is always something more to everything and everyone.
The semester is over as all good things must come to an end eventually, but the next chapter of bigger things awaits……
Written by Sagar Khandelwal PGPB Alumni Class of 2015-17 currently working with Universal Consulting.
I completed my B.Tech. from MNIT Jaipur in Electrical Engineering. I have worked with Maruti Suzuki India Limited for 2.5 years and I am passionate about automobiles. The culture of MSIL imbibed in me a strong know-how of all the aspects of an automobile organization. Here in MISB Bocconi, I pursued my PGPB with specialization in Finance and consulting. I worked with Ipsos Business consulting as an intern for 6 months and completed four consulting and research projects successfully for them. Moreover, I worked with Elara Capital as a full-time summer intern to sharpen my financial edge.
I received Dean’s Scholarship worth USD 7,000 based on excellent performance during my MBA. My team secured a place in top 5 Global finalists amongst 60,000 participants, 873 Universities, and Business Schools, 89 Countries to qualify for the Global Marketing Competition (GMKC) with final held in Madrid, Spain.
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