This was certainly the case for Italian-born Andrea Mannori. From Belfast to Poland to San Francisco, Andrea volunteered in hostels and secured an internship at multinational investment banking firm, UBS, after his bachelor’s in business.
Seeing more of the world, he knew he wanted these global opportunities to be at the heart of his career.
After upskilling with a Master in Management, he’s now landed a top role as a junior planner with leading global fashion company H&M at its Stockholm headquarters.
Choosing a Master in Management that would lead to a global career
When embarking on the Master in Management, Andrea wanted a program that would mirror his global ambitions and add to his growing portfolio of exciting international experiences.
This led him to choose the Masters in International Management and Strategy at Vlerick Business School in Brussels, Belgium.
Considered the heart of Europe, the Belgian capital city is hugely diverse with internationals making up around 62% of the population.
“Whenever I was out and about in the city, I would come into contact with so many different nationalities and ethnicities which really made my master’s a cultural, as well as a learning, experience,” Andrea says.
The Master in Management at Vlerick applies an international and strategic lens to core management topics. There are also courses dedicated to broadening students’ global business perspective, including ‘Challenges of the Globalized World’ and ‘Managing Human Resources in the Global Firm’.
Case studies explore global organizations and local companies that employ international talent.
“The program opened me up to both local and global job opportunities, which allowed me to explore all dimensions and possibilities for my career,” Andrea says.
Gaining international exposure during the Master in Management
While studying his Master in Management, Andrea put theory into practice to gain a first-hand perspective of how global companies operate.
As part of the program at Vlerick Business School, students take part in the two-month Global Consultancy project, travelling abroad to work on a business challenge for a company.
For this, Andrea travelled with two classmates to the DHL headquarters in Bonn, Germany.
"This was my first time working for such a big company. I worked on valuable skills like assessing different business opportunities, working with large data assets, and practicing computing skills," he says.
Not only that, students then embark on a month-long Global Immersion, where they travel to destinations such as the US, China or Japan, to visit partner schools and companies.
Andrea travelled to the US, exploring Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York City, Washington D.C., and Chicago.
During the US immersion, students connect and strategize with companies from startups to multinational firms such as Microsoft and World Bank Group and take part in classes at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
“We worked on a project with PwC, and it was so interesting to be exposed to an American mentality and logic in business that you have to experience in-person to truly understand,” Andrea says.
He adds that being exposed to different international markets throughout the program helped him to grasp the complexity of the business environment and competitors in different countries.
At Vlerick, Master in Management students also take part in the European Strategy Tour, where they can leverage Belgium’s close connection to the European business world during company visits and real-life case studies.
Students are introduced to a range of industries and initiatives from sustainability at Dow Chemicals or automation at software company UiPath.
Andrea believes this international exposure introduced him to different behaviors and mindsets and helped him learn how to be adaptable when approaching business problems across regions.
“When you speak with people from all over the world, you experience different ideas and ambitions,” he says.
Embarking on a global career at H&M after the Master in Management
Before graduating, Andrea landed a role with leading global fashion company H&M at its Stockholm-based headquarters. Now in his position as a junior planner, he has become an expert of the trends, market characteristics, and target consumers in different regions of the world.
“When studying the Master in Management, we did the exact same type of analysis of markets and regions that I do day-to-day in my role to advise designers of the best products to allocate across the globe,” he says.
He travels to countries such as Vietnam and the UK, where he conducts in-depth quantitative analysis and strategy of different markets.
Working with a global company, Andrea says he’s constantly collaborating with a diverse and global team of people.
“There’s always this environment of innovative, stimulating ideas that have interesting results, which is exactly why I wanted to launch a global career after business school,” he says.
For Andrea, finding a Master in Management degree that gave him a wealth of business skills and international experiences across the globe was the essential step to landing his dream career, one in which he is excited to see the new heights he can reach.