The Global Economics and Social Affairs Master-GESAM is an international course organised by the outstanding University Ca’ Foscari in Venice, in collaboration with the International Labour Organization. The Master’s degree programme provides a wide range of interesting disciplines, from economics, global affairs to legal disciplines, entirely taught in English. The GESAM programme prepares future leaders, who can face global challenges, and equips students with the essential skills to identify and interpret global issues and their trends. The Master is designed for people who wishes to undertake an international career and acquire management skills in order to combine market and competitiveness trends with the ever-increasing need to promote sustainable development with special attention to social and environmental aspects. The last part of the course is a Summer School in Geneva, furthermore while working on the final dissertation the student will have the chance to attend a period of study and research at one of the university partners of the GESAM. This year will be its fifth edition and the enrollment for this unique international Master is currently open
International Careers team interviewed Joanne Houston’s a former student attending GESAM. Let’s have a look and read about the importance of choosing GESAM for her career and life!
Why did you choose Master GESAM?
J: Over the last few years I have developed an ever-increasing interest in economic sciences and their connection to social issues. Before starting the Master program, I attended courses such as International Trade, Labor Economics, Foreign Direct Investment and Financial Crisis, that make me analyze the connection between economics, politics and social phenomena. This allowed me to understand that the political and institutional system is closely related to its economic development, which, in turn, strongly influences social phenomena. So, the elements that most pushed me to choose this Master were firstly the chance to deepen this complexity, furthermore to understand which aspects are to be considered fundamental for a sustainable economical approach, are. The way the Master is shaped, pushed me to choose it. Thanks to lectures, workshops, internships and theses, it offers varied solutions, and therefore the possibility to observe issues from different points of view.
Do you think it was useful to follow the Master's course in English?
J: Yes, a lot. A Masters in English makes possible to gather not only students from different cultures, but also teachers. During the Master's Degree, I could follow lectures taught from teachers of different countries, such as: Italy, China, France, Germany and Switzerland. This was extremely interesting, as it allowed me to experience various teaching methods; in addition it gave me the possibility to have a confrontation with new points of view. Carrying out a Master's degree in English is also more practical, because it allows to write the dissertation and address topics in the most esteemed/ required language for an employment.
The Faculty Committee consists of University professors, of Officers of Non-Governmental Organizations and Institutions and Technicians, both national and international, experts in the economic, legal and social fields. Would you share with us the most positive memory fixed on your mind about a lecture in class?
J: I really appreciate to have lessons with professors of several background. Every single day I could take advantage from a different teaching method, which made the whole programme more fascinating. Raymond Saner and Lichia were among the first professors we had. Fantastic, like many others! They challenged us, from the first moment, they motivated us to think about very interesting as complicated issues. With them we have deepened Sustainable Development Goals, from one hand through a more traditional lecture, and from the other hand through a more interactive activities. For example, we were divided into two groups and we played a simulation game in order to find a solution to problems in relation with Sustainable Development Goals. In few hours thanks to this kind of activity I had the chance to understand how difficult it is to tackle topics related to sustainability, because you need to consider several perspectives.
What about the Summer School experience in Geneva?
J: Very interesting! First of all, I had the opportunity to visit a new city and to meet all my classmates a month later the end of the lessons. Together, we followed interesting presentations and lessons at the International Labor Organization (ILO), we learned a lot of this institution during the weeks in Venice. This allowed us to look more closely at how the ILO works, and to better understand its structure. Some officials of this institution, we met, talked to us about some of their projects. We also had the chance to see again some professors, known in Venice, during lessons we have had before the Summer School experience. The last day in Geneva was instead dedicated to guided visits to the World Trade Organization and the United Nations, another amazing experience.
Thanks to the Master -GESAM students are offered the opportunity to apply for an internship. The Master-GESAM arranges internships to students in several working environments, in Italy or abroad, at NGOs, Research Centres, Enterprises, Banks, Institutions, in order to create a suitable solution tailored to the needs of each student. How was your internship experience?
J: Currently, I am doing an internship in Brussels at CSR Europe. I've been in Belgium for three months, and I'm halfway through my internship experience. I am lucky to work with experts in the field of sustainability and social responsibility, which is allowing me to deepen the topics covered in the Master, and to learn more. I work with people who are passionate about their work, prepared, and available all the time, in a lively and very interesting city. This experience helped me to affirm my interest in working in the field of sustainability for the forthcoming scenarios, in an international environment. Therefore, I can say that my internship experience has been, and still is very interesting. An advice: organize well and on time because many organizations and institutions have precise deadlines for the applications of traineeships.
Who would you recommend to enroll in the Master-GESAM?
J: I would recommend Master-GESAM to all those interested in learning more about issues related to sustainability, work, international law, anyone is interested in deepening the connection between economy and social issues, and to those who are generally interested in understanding deeply the link between economic, social and political contexts. I would also recommend this Master to those who want to put themselves to the test. Certainly, I had the opportunity to share the study experience with students from different educational paths, which allowed me to consider topics from new points of view.
What are you in now?
J: At the moment I am in Brussels, where I am doing an internship at CSR Europe, an organization that deals with projects related to corporate social responsibility. In particular, I deal with projects related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the circular economy, topics that strongly fascinate me. Thanks to many of the lectures attended during the Master's Degree, I had the opportunity to deepen the SDGs from different points of view, something that is helping me a lot in this experience. This Master and my current internship experience give me the opportunity to get into the world of corporate social responsibility more deeply, and convinced me to look for future opportunities of employment in the field of sustainability.
More interested in GESAM? To learn more about this unique programme just have a look at the previous article, which gives you more details about Master-GESAM
TEd. Maria Longombardo
edited by Maria Longombardo
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