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When I was in Europe…

From enjoying the ethereal biblical figures embellishing the walls of mesmerizing duomo to
pondering over the gravity of human emotions at ‘the wall’ that symbolized the division of the
world into two; from being appreciated by a student from Peru for my imperfect Indian cooking to
appreciating a English-Pakistani for helping with the studies; from sharing drinks with some of
the world’s best professors to sharing a cab with three complete strangers hailing from Greece,
Poland and Hungary for a 7 hour trans-national journey; from figuring out the metro system and
city maps in 10 different nations to charting out new ways to the Bocconi university by bicycle in
Milan, the experience of studying in Europe was in every way ‘diversely enriching’.

I shared the classroom with the students of diverse nationalities (around 50), worked on group
projects with the students from different backgrounds and competed with some of the best minds
in the world (my batch mates are in fact among the two final teams competing for the Euro 15000
Barilla International Management Competition, final round to be held in Feb.

In terms of courses I took, it was a blend of four functional and conceptual subjects out of a more
than hundred or so interesting ones available for selection. I took Industrial Marketing and Sales
Management to add to my functional knowledge, Business Analytics to understand how a
complex decision making processes can be substantiated with data and vice versa, and
International Economics and Business Dynamics to get a detailed overview of how
macroeconomic forces affect governments and businesses across the globe. These courses
gave me an overall perspective of managing a business and understanding a wide range of
decision making complexities and ways to resolve those.

Though I already had the pleasure of learning from the best professors from SDA Bocconi who
were teaching us at MISB Bocconi in Mumbai, going to Europe shifted the learning curve to
another level, not just in terms of concepts of management studies but also in terms of the
macroeconomic, cultural and political views which, given the situation Europe currently is in,
have ironically become more interesting to learn about.

Now that the dream semester has ended, I have a lot of stories to tell and have a lot of amazing
memories to cherish. It was definitely a lifetime experience.

Gaurav Bhandari

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