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EleBocconi 2021: the Graduate School debate

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In the week filled with EleBocconi events, one of the final and most important debates took place. It is the Graduate School debate in which two candidates – Alessandro Corona and Adam Nowakowski – were able to take part in an elaborate discussion. With topics ranging from the admission process and electives’ selection to bringing better representation of students, viewers took part in an interesting debate. See for yourself!

In the week full of EleBocconi’21 events, one of the final candidate debates took place. On April 16th, the Graduate School live debate was held on the Bocconi TV YouTube platform, moderated by Giulia Negri. Representing B.Lab is Alessandro Corona, who is an EMIT student, class representative and student ambassador. Representing TEAM is Adam Nowakowski, who got his Bachelor’s at Warwick University and currently studies at Bocconi. Here is everything you need to know!

What can their programs improve the elective courses?

Starting the debate, Adam noted that TEAM focuses on helping students make an informed decision when choosing elective courses. According to him, the curriculum must include environmental education which seems to be lacking currently. He also emphasised the importance of elective days, as they allow students to familiarise with possible curriculums and choose the best course possible, making sure that they do well.

Responding to it, Alessandro said that the current process of selection is rather inefficient. The “first come first served” system has to be substituted with a new one, similar to the process of choosing an exchange program. He also noted that Bocconi already has enough courses on climate changes, as there is even a major in sustainability. Hence, according to him the priority is changing the entire selection process, rather than the curricular topics.

The discussion escalated further on with Adam saying that sustainability and environmentalism remain to be crucial regardless of what subject the student chooses. He noted that TEAM and B.Lab should probably work together to fill the gaps in networking and improve the system as a whole. Alessandro responded that courses like sustainability can be increased and improved, yet they already exist as an option for electives, hence, people have an opportunity to choose them.

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What will the candidates do to make the process of joining the working world easier?

Alessandro thinks that the Bocconi Career Service is good, yet can be improved. He wants to offer specific courses with companies related to each scientific course, for example summer investment banking classes for Finance students. He would also like to have official Bocconi telegram groups in which students could prepare for interviews together. Alessandro also wants to create a list of companies that would guide students in finding internships and jobs.

In response to that, Adam noted that understanding the market is crucial. He wants to synthesise possible professions for each course and prepare brochures that would guide students in understanding what jobs/internships are available. Such documents would also include contacts of alumni and mentorship programs to maximise the opportunities of getting a top quality internship. Adam emphasises the fact that students should have a symbiotic relationship with the university, as they can benefit one another.

How will they improve the exchange programs?

Adam noted that quite a lot of weight when applying for exchange programs is focused on prior experience. This creates problems in terms of how people are evaluated, as their pre-Masters experiences may differ largely. Adam wants to emphasise aspects like motivational letters, number of credits completed or extracurricular activities, as they are often undermined during the selection process. Alessandro said that he wants to introduce publications on exchange opportunities and multipliers that determine how much e.g. a student’s GPA influences his ability to get into an exchange program. He thinks that students should be more familiar with the programs available to them.

How will they ensure that off-campus students are included and not forgotten?

To answer the question, Alessandro said that the blended model benefits, like ability to watch class recording, should be preserved. This could help students who cannot attend classes on campus. Adam contributed to the question by emphasising the importance of communication, as some feel excluded from the community and ignored by the faculty. He hence says that organisation of activities like online aperitivos and dance classes as well as promotion of mental health help services would help to ensure that everyone feels included and appreciated.

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How will they standardise behaviour of professors who make students feel uncomfortable?

Alessandro noted that there are clear rules for students and professors that must be respected at all costs. He believes that the presence of a disciplinary board, ability to report inappropriate behaviour and implementation of standard procedures for e.g. reviewing the exams, can help students feel more safe. According to Adam, in cases like these it is crucial to report the inappropriate behaviour to class representatives. He hence wants to create anonymous feedback forms that would allow students to speak up about issues they endure in university. Adam also agreed with the point that sometimes there may be problems in terms of exams. He hence wants to fight for more transparency in terms of exams to ensure that students are treated fairly.

The conversation then shifted to talking about mental health solely. Adam said that mental health is often ignored in Bocconi, indicating that de-stigmatisation is necessary. He thinks that professors must receive training on how to help out and counselling must be made available to make sure students feel welcome. Alessandro agreed with Adam, saying that setting up contracts with external mental health services would improve the health of everyone.

How can B.Lab change the admission process and how can TEAM increase funding for foreign internships?

Alessandro noted that CV and a cover letter are very important, yet he wants to increase the importance of credits completed, as they could make the admission process more fair. When answering his question, Adam noted that Italian institutions give some funding for curricular internships abroad. However, he mentioned that the current system discourages some people from applying and still does not make it available to all. He hence wants to not only increase the funding but also better the division of funding time periods.

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In summary, it seems that both B.Lab and TEAM representatives came to the debate with elaborate programs prepared. With topics ranging from selection of electives to the mental wellbeing of students at the Bocconi Graduate School, viewers were able to take part in a very interesting debate. But regardless of all that, the final representative will be determined by Bocconi students, so don’t forget to vote!

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Student of International Politics and Government. Key interest areas: politics, international relations, history, and social movements. Incredibly passionate about debating tournaments, analysing global developments, and investigating a variety of topics through writing.

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