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A week in the life of a management master’s student in Milan

By Chloe Lane

Updated May 12, 2022 Updated May 12, 2022

Sponsored by Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore 

Known for its buzzing cultural scene, thriving fashion industry, grand parks and, of course, its incredible architecture, Milan is clearly an exciting place to be a student. 

TopUniversities spoke to Lena and Maria: two international students studying at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, to find out what an average week looks like to them. 

Lena is a final year MSc degree in Management student and Maria is one-year specialising master in Strategic Management for Global Business student. Although these are both management postgraduate programmes, these two courses have many differences, as Lena and Maria demonstrate.  

A week in the life of Lena, a master’s in management student 

Serbian student Lena was looking to expand her international outlook and gain some valuable work experience in management. As an internationally focused university with extensive business connections, Università Cattolica seemed like the perfect fit for her.  

The MSc degree in Management at Università Cattolica gives all students the chance to customise their own study plan. Lena liked this as it meant she could study some broad modules, such as General Management, as well as some more specific modules that suited her interests and career aspirations. 

Interactive lectures  

Each year in the two-year MSc degree is split into trimesters, featuring around three modules per trimester. 

Generally, students attend several lectures per day, with an hour’s gap for lunch. “We always have at least an hour for lunch at around 1pm, which is very important to me,” said Lena, who usually goes out for lunch with her friends.  

The lectures are very interactive, and students are encouraged to discuss ideas and ask questions. They are given projects which enable students to practice what they’ve learnt and then they present these projects to the rest of the class.  

“There is a lot of group work involved and before starting the programme, I hadn’t done a lot of group work. In the beginning I was a bit anxious, but after a year and a half I am a lot more comfortable working in a group,” she said.   

During the week, Lena spends most of her free time studying and working on these projects. She usually likes to do this at home, but she has recently started going to the library. This balance allows Lena to focus on her work and be productive.  

Business labs 

Another aspect of the programme that takes up a lot of Lena’s time is the business labs – an integral part of Università Cattolica’s MSc degree in management. Students choose between five sectors. “We make a wish list of the sectors we are most interested in and then are selected based on our grades and past exams,” said Lena.   

These business labs encourage students to put theory into practice by working side by side with leading companies in the industry. Students will get the opportunity to work within a business setting and learn how to be a good manager in different kinds of business organisations. The business labs involve site visits, case studies, as well as participation in a field project or internship. 

Lena explains that after completing the business lab introductory module, students are split into groups of six and then set a small consulting project to complete, helped by a mentor from that company. These projects are then used in real businesses and students will see the impact this has on the company. 

Lena was working with a firm called Comau, a technology company looking to enter the education market. Lena’s team helped with the market segmentation and market analysis, contacting and interviewing potential clients.  

Lena also secured a six-month internship in global sales at a multinational company, with the help of Università Cattolica’s career services, which offered advice on shaping her CV. She is excited to work as part of a multicultural team in a global company. 

Exploring the city 

When Lena is not studying, she loves to explore Milan’s cultural activities with her friends. Lena regularly visits museums and galleries around the city, and loves trying the city’s cafes and restaurants. As someone who loves to travel, Lena likes to explore other cities in Italy and the countries surrounding it.  

“My favourite thing about studying in Milan is the opportunities it provides – both personally and professionally,” said Lena. “The city has a lot of social opportunities and is very international. It’s just a beautiful city as a whole.” 

A week in the life of Maria, a strategic management for global business master’s student 

After studying her undergraduate degree in Spain, Colombian student Maria wanted to continue her international education by studying a year-long specialising master in Strategic Management for Global Business at Università Cattolica.  

Maria’s goal was to progress her career in the private sector, working in corporate global responsibility. The strategic management for global business master’s seemed like a great way to build the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in this industry.  

“I chose to study the specialising master in Strategic Management for Global Business  over the MSc programme in Management because I wanted to develop my skills in international cooperation,” she said. 

Maria attends lectures and classes around three times a week, from 9am to 1pm, although she points out that there is no typical week. “The days and weeks vary a lot,” she said. For example, on some days Maria will have classes extending until 6pm, focusing on one module in the morning, and another in the afternoon.  

Like all postgraduate programmes at Università Cattolica, the lectures are very interactive, and students are encouraged to work closely with their classmates in group projects.  

The year-long specialising master helps students improve their soft and technical skills through labs on design thinking, public speaking and Microsoft Excel, where students create business and financial plans for real companies.  

Maria particularly enjoys these practical elements of the programme.  

“For me, one of the main differences between studying a bachelor’s and a master’s degree is the level of practical study you undertake,” said Maria. “Theory only takes up around 30 percent of classwork in my master’s programme, whereas at undergraduate level it was much higher.” 

Action project  

Students undertaking the1-year specialising master in Strategic Management for Global Business will complete a three-month action project. This action project is a unique practical learning opportunity to further test and develop the skills acquired through your master programme.  

There are four different types of action project to choose from: an internship, a business plan for a start-up or an existing company, a consultancy project or a research paper. 

Maria’s action project is the corporate social responsibility project, involving coursework, working in the department and completing an internship at an energy company.  

Café culture  

When Maria is not in lectures, she likes to study with her classmates in one of Milan’s many cafés. “I just love the atmosphere of the cafés in Milan. They’re a great place to study with friends and drink lots of coffee,” she said.   

Maria spends her free time with her friends, making her way around Milan’s restaurants. Maria also enjoys travelling around Italy when she gets the chance, making the most of Milan’s excellent transport links. With three airports and high-speed trains, it couldn’t be easier to travel around Europe. 

 “The best part of studying in Milan is how international it is,” said Maria. “I have made friends from all around the world.”  

This article was originally published in March 2022 . It was last updated in May 2022

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Written by

As Content Editor for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Chloe creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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