Alumni of the month Emma Smith, Italy
Name: Emma Smith
Specialization(s): Global Management & Leadership; Human Resource Management
Place of work: American Overseas School of Rome
Graduation Year: 2018
Current Job: Communications and Development Assistant and New Teacher Mentor
Favorite Quote: “Don’t be afraid to walk alone. Don’t be afraid to like it.”
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 5 years time, I see myself having lived in 1-2 more countries gaining experience with international companies while building my own. After 5 years, I hope to have gained enough knowledge and experience to launch a global business.
So you finished your classes in 2018, tell us about your experience after your MBA Degree Program.
After finishing my MBA, I have been able to continue to grow in my current career path working for an international school. Most of the courses I took while attending SSM such as Marketing Dynamics, Human Resource Management, and Global Management and Leadership have been directly applicable to my current job. It’s been an amazing experience to be able to see the knowledge and skills I gained during the program, being used to improve in my current role. I’ve been able to convert my study permit into an Italian work permit, which is a long term goal I have been working on for the last 3 years. I’m absolutely thrilled to be working in this international job setting. I feel have I grown immensely not only in terms of finding direction towards my career goals, but also as a person. I have become more decisive, more driven to achieve my goals, more fearless in going for the things I want out of life, and more aware of the skill set I have! I think the biggest gift SSM has given me, was showing me all that I have to offer to the world, and helping me see my own value and potential.
What skill set do you need to do your job?
The role I’m currently in requires a lot of organization, project management, and leadership. My job also requires the ability to work with all types of people, have extreme flexibility, and work under pressure to come up with solutions. I have found that I am much more comfortable now taking the lead on large projects and supporting my teammates towards achieving unified goals. I have a job which requires skills in a lot of varying areas, so I have to remain focused and organized and be able to multitask. For example, in the same day, I could potentially meet alumni on campus to give a tour and chat about their memories, update our website, work with new teachers to plan their arrival logistics, design an advertisement, plan components of an event for the school, communicate with our Parent Teacher Organization and the list goes on! I have to find balance and use a different skill for each one of these tasks, so I think the most important aspect of my job is flexibility!
What are your future plans?
I am gaining an immense amount of knowledge and skills from my current job, and I absolutely love the atmosphere I work in. This job has definitely inspired me to achieve my dreams and continue to work internationally. In the near future, I plan on simply soaking up as much knowledge as I can before heading off to another part of the world to seek something else. I feel It’s important for me to be constantly stimulated and I’m constantly seeking growth. I will continue in this role until I feel I have learned the most I can, and then I will seek a new challenge, role, and country and maximize my experiences and growth through that opportunity! All the while however, while building my own business. The future for me looks like leadership, and I can’t wait to take everything I’ve learned about being a leader and apply it to my own business one day.
If you could describe your experience in Rome during your MBA how would you sum it up?
My year in Rome was a huge challenge, but it was WORTH IT! Like I mentioned, I’ve grown more than I could imagine. I balanced working and studying, and I learned a lot about what being an adult means! Growing up is already tough, but figuring out how to navigate the world in a foreign country is tougher! This experience has been life changing in so many ways, but so rewarding. I would say aside from the challenge, this year was also incredible in terms of feeding my soul. I made an amazing group of friends I now consider family while studying at SSM, traveled to 9 different countries over the year, moved a million times, learned how to make it in a foreign country, and grew up a lot! With the support of my professors at SSM, and in particular Dr. Massimiliano Bracalé, I learned how strong I am capable of being, and how much potential I have!
Can you share an experience that is most memorable with relation to the MBA Degree program?
I would say my most memorable experience while studying at SSM, was creating the vision board during one of my first classes at SSM. Now I don’t want to give this away, since it’s definitely a highlight, but it was super amazing to put your goals on paper, and start to see them come to life throughout the year. I also will never forget when we presented our life story and strengths and weaknesses to our peers. I think that this program taught me so much more about myself as a person, and made me reflect on so many aspects of my life!
What was your favourite class in the program and why?
My favorite classes were Negotiating Globally with Dr. Massimiliano Bracalé and Marketing Dynamics with Mr. Gianni Manente. Negotiating Globally was such an important and practical class for me. Dr. Massimiliano Bracalé really taught me the importance of how to speak up for myself and demand my worth! I struggle a lot with that, but in business, this is the KEY! I’ve already been able to use what I learned in the course multiple times, both in my career, and just in my day to day life! The Marketing Dynamics course on the other hand, showed me an aspect of business I’m truly passionate about, but also helped me learn so much which I could directly apply to my current job! I began that course the same month I started working on marketing projects for my school, and I’m so thankful for everything Mr. Manente taught me.
What advice would you give newcomers to the MBA Degree program or for those interested?
Put in the work, invest in yourself, and use the course as an opportunity to explore and develop your strengths and career path. I would encourage students of all fields, all ages, and from anywhere in the world to join this course. The course is tailored to YOU, and helps you take your experiences, and your goals, and make them a reality.
What do you think differentiates this MBA from other MBA programs?
The flexibility and support offered by the faculty of these courses make it stand out from all the others in Rome. You’re able to continue to work by attending night courses, and it was amazing to see how many people with careers were in my courses were working to better their skills and themselves. The SSM faculty is so supportive and understanding, and each professor brings their own unique personality and knowledge to the team. I would say the international environment is one I haven’t seen anywhere else. I made amazing friends with people from all over the world, and those friendships have continued to flourish across seas even after the program. I’ve also bonded with many of my professors and been able to learn so much from them both inside and outside the classroom and for this I am thankful.