Thursday, May 14, 2015

SAIS revolutionized my way of thinking

The academic year at SAIS Europe will end tomorrow, May 15. Students have been busy doing exams and writing papers before they take off for their summer internships and travel. Below, Carlotta Munini, a first year student from Italy, tells us about her experience at SAIS Europe. 

I started my M.A. degree at SAIS Europe only nine months ago and I would have never thought that my brief time here would have had such a lasting impact on me. As an Italian national and recent college graduate, I wanted to pursue graduate studies at a top ranked academic institution in International Relations.

Today, as I conclude my first year of study in Bologna, I realized that my year at SAIS not only deepened my conceptual understanding of world affairs, but, more importantly, as a life changing
experience, it broadened my global perspective.

I came to SAIS with a degree in Finance and a “Business School” way of thinking.  I initially believed that knowledge of the world could only be acquired from reading Economics textbooks or by solving a mathematical formula. SAIS revolutionized my way of thinking.

While a student in class, I became blown away by how my professors transmitted their passion for the subjects they teach. From them, I learned how important it is to debate issues, to be curious and above all, to question. My combined courses in Energy, American Foreign Policy and Risk illustrated the interconnectedness of today’s world and how important it is to develop an understanding of the “global picture”. (This was quite a learning curve for me, as I was previously used to books filled with numbers!)

Learning about the Cold War’s containment strategies, financing biomass plants and risk in political economies was a day-by-day discovery process for me. Upon reflection, as I attended my last classes at SAIS Europe , I can finally say with confidence that I am better able to interpret and understand world issues and the complexities that lie beneath the surface.

When I began my studies at SAIS, as was one of the younger students, I felt quite intimated by my peers. (With an average class age of 26, the majority of my classmates had CVs with interesting professional experiences.)

As a professional school, SAIS gave me the needed support, coveted advice and provided me with an extensive alumni network to prepare me for the job market. Following an intensive interview process with 15 employers, I was offered two great internships. I chose to spend this summer in London working for a risk advisory firm. Landing this internship was proof that I am now ready to apply theory to practice in the work place.

Final exams have arrived and we are all preparing for our fall transition to Washington DC. As I say goodbye (or arrivederci) to Bologna, I look forward to continuing my journey on the other side of the Atlantic next fall.

Carlotta Munini
(SAIS Europe '15)

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