FGV double degree: Discover the international experience of a student in Italy

Learn about the journey of Luiza Amorim, a student who did the double degree program at FGV and Bocconi University in Italy and now works at a UN agency in Rome.
International Relations
11 March 2024
FGV double degree: Discover the international experience of a student in Italy

Luiza Amorim chose to pursue a professional master’s degree after accumulating a decade of professional experience, finding herself at a strategic point in her career. Her goal was to expand her knowledge in public policies and establish a more robust and diversified network of contacts. With a background in international relations, she chose the Professional Master’s in Public Management and Policy (MPGPP) at the Sao Paulo School of Business Administration (FGV EAESP) as the next step in her academic and professional journey.

During the selection process, she discovered the option of a double degree – where it’s possible to study one year in Sao Paulo and another year at a partner university, receiving two diplomas, one from each institution. At that time, the program offered two double degree options – at Columbia University in New York or Bocconi University in Milan. Currently, MPGPP has partnerships with the Institute of Development Studies in Bristol and it is negotiating with Georgetown University in Washington, Hertie School in Berlin and Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Wanting to broaden her academic and professional horizons, Luiza chose Bocconi for its internationally recognized faculty, all without additional costs in her FGV tuition. “Bocconi is the Harvard of Italy. I researched a lot about it before choosing and saw that it has an impeccable tradition, especially for those who want to work with international organizations and in the economic field, whether in Europe or globally,” she adds.

This choice was strategic, aligned with Luiza’s professional goals of transitioning to global positions in international organizations, such as the UN. She saw in Bocconi an opportunity for a competitive edge on her resume for this purpose. “I already knew that the UN had two agencies in Italy, and Bocconi would make my resume stand out. The double degree is a fantastic opportunity to have this cultural exchange, two diplomas from two very solid organizations, and potentially transition to a career working outside of Brazil,” explains Luiza. She also states that her transition to her current role as Senior Manager for Private Sector Partnerships at the United Nations World Food Program was facilitated by her double degree experience at FGV, providing a solid academic foundation.

Regarding her year at FGV, Luiza highlights the quality of professors, courses and course coordination. “The subjects are very well structured, with a variety of topics relevant to those who want to delve into public policies and specialize in specific areas, as well as extremely qualified professors, events on relevant topics, and numerous international opportunities, whether for exchange or double degree,” she adds. MPGPP stands out for being a course with a highly qualified and experienced audience, generating high-quality debates. Going to Bocconi already with her experience at FGV, Luiza could make comparisons of cases between Brazil and European countries, expanding the knowledge acquired here.

Tips for studying abroad

In Luiza’s case, her first recommendation is to acquire basic knowledge of Italian before studying at Bocconi. Although classes there are taught in English, and there are introductory Italian courses, mastering the language facilitates daily life in Milan, a cosmopolitan city, culturally rich, and full of professional opportunities, and in Italy as a whole.

Other suggestions from Luiza include dedicating time to reading to choose between the two programs offered by Bocconi, as they are distinct – PPA, with a greater focus on political science, and GIO, more focused on public management. Additionally, she encourages talking to the coordinators of MPGPP, the international programs team at FGV, and alumni to find out information about the university, the city and bureaucratic procedures in Italy. It is crucial, according to her, to create a strategic and financial plan for the next steps when moving to another country, whether seeking scholarships, internships or jobs in the local public or private sector. Having clarity on the thesis topic is also essential for better communication with advisors from both countries. In short, it is crucial to make the most of the opportunities provided by the double degree.

Finally, Luiza highlights that Bocconi’s program complements FGV’s in various aspects. For example, the program requires full dedication, has an international student community and has its own educational approach. In her view, the double degree experience is enriching for anyone interested in expanding their academic and professional horizons, enabling a career transition to the global market. “On top of everything, you will obtain two diplomas from renowned institutions, combining that with an incredible life experience and meeting fantastic people along the way. Certainly, this will transform your life,” concludes Luiza.

To learn more about MPGPP, visit its website.

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