MHR experience

Meet Darius

I fulfilled my dream, as I always wanted to study for at least one year abroad in Italy or Spain. Studying in a different countries is in many ways challenging. You have to adapt to new ways of studying, a different culture, different organizations etc. However, after a week of two you can see how it works. Looking back, I think joining the master program was the right decision for me. Studying abroad, in a completely different environment is the best learning experience a person can get. The study itself is for me in some ways challenging. In general, I like the focus on economics of this study as it is to my opinion one of the most important aspects of life. Also the wide range of topics of the master is interesting. There are courses in management, sociology, statistics, law and as earlier mentioned economics. The only problem for me is when people ask me what I study. It is difficult to explain for outsiders what I am precisely studying.

When I joined this program, I was aware of the possibility to be able to go a trimester abroad as an Erasmus exchange student. The exchange experience this program offers is a big pro. Students can go to a partner-university for one or two trimesters. In April 2015, I was selected to go to the London School of Economics (LSE). This was an amazing learning experience. LSE is one of the best universities in the world, and this experience has really benefited me. However, is it probably in the future not anymore possible to go to LSE, because of the Brexit. The British have in my opinion really shot European students in their feet.

What are you going to do after the master?

At the moment, my life after the master is undecided. In April 2017, I will graduate and I am already looking for different kind of jobs in several countries. At the moment my preferences are in a political environment. For example a political risk firm. However, at the moment I am not excluding anything.

In what ways do you think your experience in the master prepare you for your next steps?

In general, this master experience has prepared me in two ways. First, I think this experience has improved my adaptive qualities. As explained earlier, living abroad is challenging and makes one more flexible in difficult situations. Also learning a new language is very interesting. Secondly, I think that the wide range of courses helps you to get deeper knowledge of many important topics related to labour.

What is your fondest memory of your time at the master?

My fondest memory during my time at the master was the moment I was selected for the London School of Economics. It was a difficult process to be selected, and beforehand the chances were slim that I would be chosen. However, due to my persistence I was selected to go. Also my time in London was really great!

As someone who’s been through the entire master experience, what’s some advice you have for incoming freshman?

My advice for new students is that they have their key to their success in their own hands. Set the bar high for yourself, and try to reach it. Being ambitious is the key to have success in life and in this master program.

Meet Erina

I enrolled in this master’s course in September 2013 because of its ‘internationalization’ in terms of both academic contents and opportunities abroad. After the first semester, I carried out an internship for six months in HR department for a pharmaceutical multinational company in Milan, which gave me the opportunity to link and enhance what I was studying in classrooms with what I was learning at the workplace.

Then I applied for the Erasmus+ programme and was selected for the London School of Economics and Political Science. I spent six months in London challenging myself to ‘think outside of the box’ and to study with a different academic system, which, coupled with my solid academic background that I gained in Italy, rewarded me with excellent academic records.

After the experience in London, I moved to Brussels for three months for the Erasmus+ Traineeship programme at the European Social Observatory, where I carried out research on European social dialogue and collective bargaining of the public administration.

Later, I was selected to work for six months at the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) of the University of Amsterdam as a part-time student research assistant, which allowed me to improve my research skills in decentralized collective bargaining in Europe. Lastly, I was selected through a national competition promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Education and the Association of Italian Universities to carry out an internship for three months at the Human Rights committee of the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations in New York, where I attended and drafted reports on the plenary meetings, negotiations and adoptions of the resolutions of the 54th Session of the Commission for Social Development and of the 60th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

What are you doing now?

I am about to defend my Master’s thesis on Human Rights and Women’s Rights, based on my experience in New York.

In what ways did your experiences at the master prepare you for what you’re doing now?

I am very grateful for all the academic preparation and the multi-disciplinary analytical skills that Labour Studies provided me. I’ve learnt to question my assumptions and to double-check my knowledge. This Master’s has provided me with a mindset that fruitfully challenges my objectives.

What is your fondest memory of your time at the master?

My fondest memories are the people. I made very close friends both in Milan and in London I still get along with, and even the academic researchers and professors were very friendly and engaged in inspiring conversations that developed my preparations and conscientiousness.

As someone who’s been through the entire master experience, what’s some advice you have for incoming freshman?

If there is one thing that I learnt from this master’s is to always question myself. I would advise any freshmen that it’s up to them to make the best out of any opportunities provided, and surely the master offers plenty of opportunities to seize.

Meet Janosch

Hi! I am a master student from the University of Trier, Germany. In the mid of 2015, our home university offered the possibility to us to apply for the Erasmus+ program in European Labour Studies, through which I would be able to visit one of the 13 partner universities of the MÉST–EMLS program. Hence, I didn’t hesitate because I really wanted to get a more international view on some topics.

I chose the master’s program in Management of Human Resources at the Università degli Studi di Milano, and I just can say that this has been one of the best decisions I have ever taken in life.

It was really interesting, because of the variety of students from the other partner universities and their different experiences and views. In the first trimester, we had a lot of comparative courses in e.g. Sociology, Political Science and Labour Law and there was not that much time to see the city or the culture.

Therefore, a fellow student from Germany and I decided to stay in Milan for longer. We just have one further course in “Organizational Behavior” and a ‘Coaching Laboratory’ in the second trimester and finally the time to see a bit more of the culture, the city and also the cities around.

It was certainly the right decision. I enjoyed my time here and the experiences in Milan. It was interesting to get to know the different types of teaching, the Italian at some point really practically oriented way – I really appreciate the high number of presentations from people of some Italian companies within some courses – and the German, at least for our master’s program, more theoretically oriented way. The aim I had at the beginning, to get a broader and more international view on topics like labour and employment, I now can consider as fulfilled.

What are you going to do after the master?

Since I already finished all my courses at my home university, I decided not to go back to Trier for the first time. I will move to the north of Germany, write my master’s thesis there and will also do a 6-months internship in the Global HR Development department of a multinational company. Afterwards, I may consider doing my PhD, maybe also in Milan and in cooperation with the master, but for this, I have not decided yet.

In what ways do you think your experiences at the master prepare you for your next steps?

Well, I think there are two points. The first is that I got to know a broader and more international view on economic contexts, especially in the HR and labour sector, which will help me for my next internship and also for the job after I graduated. The second would be that I got the chance, not just to improve my English, but also my Italian and my French because of the internationality of the program and the people I met.

What is your fondest memory of your time at the master?

Definitely the friends that I made. I am very thankful for a lot of new experiences that I was allowed to share and the new network I created.

As someone who’s been through the entire master experience, what’s some advice you have for incoming freshman?

Especially for this program I can advise to not stick to some specific subject. The exchange program is quite interdisciplinary and at some points, it is really helpful if you already have a good basis from further universities or through work experiences in international surroundings. In a globalized economy and international labour markets, there is often not just one specific solution. If you want to grow and to improve your skills in nearly every aspect I think this approach is essential.

Meet Simone

The Double Degree (DD) programme of the University of Milan in partnership with the University of Bremen has been a great opportunity for my personal and professional development. On the practical level, the integration of a stronger theory oriented teaching-style such as that of “La Statale” and that more research-oriented of Bremen University, is a perfect balance for whoever wants to learn to make proper scientific research. In Milano, I learned how to develop focused theories on socio-economic and political phenomena and I learn advanced statistical techniques to test my hypothesis. In Bremen, I made a lot of practice writing many research papers working closely to the researchers of the university.

On the personal level, I made the best friends since many years. We were a small group of people (five), we moved together to Bremen and then Milano, we supported each other during the exams and the thesis, integrating each other strength and weaknesses. I strongly suggest the Double Degree programme to anybody that wants to learn a lot, make an inter-cultural experience and have fun.