Please tell me a little bit about yourself
My name is Davide Baronio. I am from Brussels, Belgium and have an undergraduate degree in business and trade. I took a gap year during which I studied a module with the Open University in human rights and corporate responsibility. I like sport, going to the gym and power lifting.
Why did you choose to study International Development Management MA?
It’s quite complicated. I studied an undergraduate degree in business and trade but didn’t know what I wanted to do career-wise and so I started looking at additional courses. This led me to study a module with the Open University in human rights and I started getting interested in this subject. So I started looking for higher education courses and at the kind of modules available. I was interested in studying development but the management aspect was important to me – that’s the main reason why I chose to study International Development Management (IDM) MA at Westminster Business School. Another major trigger for choosing this Master’s degree was the Prince2 certification, which I knew I wanted to do beforehand. The foundation certificate was included in the course and I later had the opportunity to study the Prince2 Practitioner course as well. I want to pursue a career in development but from a project management perspective and being certified in project management, especially Prince2, is a big advantage.
What were your highlights over the last year?
Living in London – I lived in Hong Kong for a while and I really like that kind of place and living in big cities. In London the shops, bars, restaurants and cafés are open on the weekend and after after 6pm. Coming from Brussels where everything is closed on Sunday and in the evenings, I really find that aspect of London great.
I also really like university life. It’s very different to what I experienced in Belgium. In Belgium you have 3 hour lectures and then exams. At Westminster Business School you have lectures and seminars that you then put into practice and you have real case studies. The group presentations have also been great. We have had many of these but I really enjoyed the one where we explored the way in which Information and Communications Technology impacts development.
What have been your biggest challenges?
Working in groups and finding consensus has been the biggest challenge for me. In the beginning there were some clashes as to how thinking was to be done and how we could find an agreement. But we worked on this and tried to find solution – something that everyone’s happy with. We learnt that it’s all about compromise. Time management was also a challenge – it caught me by surprise during the first semester so it’s good to be organised!
Where would you like to be in five years time?
I would like to be in a developing country working in programme management. This might be in South East Asia – possibly in the Philippines or in Thailand but I am not really sure of the location yet.
What is your dissertation topic?
My dissertation looks at Foreign Direct Investment and its impact on growth in Argentina. My initial plan was to study the black market currency in Argentina but after my tutor told me that this wasn’t feasible, I found a new focus.
What were your expectations of the course?
I was hoping to get a lot of practice, which I got, and also I knew that the teaching system would be different – this is something that you adapt to. The course has met my expectations and I have found it to be a very professional experience, which offered a lot of opportunities that other places do not provide.
Westminster Business School is known also for having a lot of diversity both in the university and also in the class. We (IDM MA students) came from many different backgrounds and places, which was very interesting as we could learn from other cultures and from people with other professional backgrounds. I have also found the teachers here very supportive – they are always available when we need something and even when we were not directly involved with them we could always drop by and ask for help.
If there was one word that could sum up your experience at Westminster Business School what would it be?
Unique – studying this course at Westminster Business School is an experience that you just won’t get in other places.
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