Finding a sense of belonging at ESMT Berlin

Andrea Manzi has found a sense of belonging at the ESMT Berlin MIM Program. He had studied business administration in Italy after which he took some time out to start a sustainable clothing brand. Not wishing to interrupt his studies for too long, he started looking for Master’s degrees and was quickly convinced that ESMT Berlin is the right place for him. He shared with us how feeling at home is really important and valuable and how the program is like being in a big family.

In short

Can you compare your experience at ESMT Berlin with previous academic experiences?

In my previous experience, lectures were carried out by the professors to the students. So, you basically were a passive user of the lecture itself. Here, you learn from others. You learn from a very broad and diverse environment. You need to be an active part of the lecture and you will often be the one who will teach something to someone else in class. This has been really great.

Why did you choose the ESMT Berlin MIM Program?

Coming from a small entrepreneurial adventure, I was looking into this world of entrepreneurship and it turned out that Berlin was a great place for this reason since the ecosystem presented here is great. Everything that relates to technology an innovation and the startup scene is really big. This was one key point that attracted me to ESMT Berlin.

The social impact project also really attracted me. This is an activity that is carried out during our second year and we have to propose a project that adds social value. You are free to do the activity wherever you want. If the university accepts the project, you build a team with your fellow students and for one month you work on a social project. Many people do some pro bono consulting in NGO’s, some travel and visit new places to try and make an impact there. All ESMT Berlin students have this desire to make an impact in common.

How did you secure your internship?

The internship module is a mandatory part of the MIM Program. In the first semester you have lectures on campus and then the second semester is mainly the internship. You are required to do an internship for at least twelve weeks but are free to extend it for as long as you wish until the next semester starts. I’m doing an internship at Bosch in South Germany in a product management team. I got an offer through the network of ESMT Berlin.

They contacted me through email and it worked out pretty well. ESMT Berlin is a great provider of opportunities. It does not necessarily mean that it is easy to secure an internship or employment, but ESMT Berlin has a great network with companies. There is a very big and effective pool of alumni that is very supportive.

The sense of belonging at ESMT Berlin is really powerful in this regard – I saw a person on LinkedIn that attended ESMT Berlin six years ago who is working in a company in the US that I am interested in. I messaged him to let him know I am a MIM student and he replied instantly. This is a very powerful thing which makes the connections really effective.

Tell us about the ESMT Berlin Career Services Team

There is a brilliant Career Services Team who constantly works for us students, finding opportunities for us and organizing great events such as the careers fair and company visits. I think it is really effective and valuable.

What have been some of the main challenges during your program?

The intensity of the program. Especially in the beginning, it was really hard. I was absorbed by the whole program, which is fine, since this is the reason why I decided to come and study abroad at ESMT Berlin, but it was hard. Keep in mind that it is not an easy journey, it is quite tough but at the end it is really pleasant and joyful. There will be highs and lows but overall, it is on the very high side. Also, I had no experience abroad so the fact that I was away from my home town and country was really hard. However, all the students at ESMT Berlin are in a similar situation as it is such an international environment so we built friendships really fast which made being away from home easier. I quickly formed new relationships.

Andrea has craved the opportunity ESMT Berlin has given him to “be part of something that is greater and to provide value to other people.” The experience has instilled a desire in him to carry this forward as he completes his program and prepares to make his mark in the world.

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