by Ge Chen, Marzia De Giuli
ROME, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- “I am Sara, from Shanghai, and I am studying finance at Rome’s LUISS University. In the future I want to go back to China and I would like to find a job related to Europe,” Sun Dongxue said in a recent video interview.
Sun was in Italy thanks to the double degree in international management, one of the programs through which LUISS, a private university based in the Italian capital, seeks to form students with an international curriculum vitae, which represents their passport for mobility in the global job market.
After completing the two-year program, held half in Fudan University in Shanghai and half either in LUISS or Bocconi in Milan, students obtain both a master’s degree in management by LUISS and the equivalent of a Chinese master’s degree in international business by Fudan School of Management.
Pu Yu, also from China, has the dream to open her fashion company to create a Chinese luxury brand. “Coming to Italy to study was an opportunity and a challenge,” said the girl, who is studying luxury and fashion management in another joint program at LUISS.
Besides Fudan, several other Chinese universities are also involved in the LUISS courses, including Beijing Normal University, Renmin University of China, University of Macau, Hong Kong Baptist University and Zhejiang University, in a variety of fields from economics and finance to political science and law.
“The world today is a global market, and therefore we have to prepare our students to move in an international scenario,” Executive Vice President for Global Development at LUISS Barbara Poggiali told Xinhua in an interview.
“China is one of the important pieces of that, and that’s why it is one of our priorities in terms of all kinds of exchanges,” she highlighted.
Sun, the student of finance, said she particularly appreciated the ability of professors at LUISS to “always combine the theories and reality together,” which is something that the university has put at the center of its programs.
“I worked in companies for 25 years before I came to university, so for me having practical experience is very important,” Poggiali said.
Having a solid education is fundamental, but universities have to give opportunities to students to also have some work experience, she stressed.
For example, she went on to say, through LUISS’ joint programs with China, students have an opportunity to spend time in three different countries and since the program is sponsored by some companies they also have an opportunity to do internships.
“In today’s markets you have to be able to speak languages, to deal with different cultures, to go somewhere and live there for six months,” she said.
Things have changed very much since she started working 30 years ago, the executive vice president recalled.
“We used to do ad campaigns on television or in the newspapers, now you do them online, there is a new-skills set that you need to have,” she noted.
For this reason, she insisted, international experience is a “huge asset because it opens your mind, you meet people that work differently, think differently, which does not mean that you have to physically put your company in a different country. You can have your business in China but your clients are everywhere else, because the global exposure helps you understand the markets and needs.”
This is particularly true regarding the small- and medium-sized companies (SMEs) that are typical of both the Italian and Chinese economies, and are often family-run.
“The best practice that I have seen in my years of experience is where the family realizes that the new generations should be differently prepared from their parents. They need training and new tools, because the world evolves,” Poggiali explained to Xinhua.
“The companies that I have seen to be successful in transferring one generation to the other are those that often send their kids to do something else first, for example gain some experience elsewhere and then come back and bring a different mindset into the company,” she said.