The SIMC master in Vienna from the perspective of an international SIMCie
written by
Stefano Gentili

My Name is Stefano Gentili and I am from Bolzano, Italy. I came to Vienna in order to start the Master Program in Strategy, Innovation, and Management Control (SIMC) at WU Vienna. The reasons for my decision to come to Vienna were, on the one side, to improve my German language skills in a German-speaking country and to truly become trilingual having been raised Italian and English. On the other hand, Vienna is also one of the best cities with regard to quality of life – so what better city could you move to?

How did you take notice of the SIMC Program at WU?

I was informing myself about different Master Programs all over Europe and was especially looking through the rankings to help me make the decision. The SIMC Master was ranked higher than most of the other programs that I was interested in. Therefore, I started to look more into it to make sure that SIMC at WU Vienna was the right program for me.

Why did you choose to apply for SIMC and was it important for you that the Master Program is taught entirely in English?

It was very important to me that the whole program would be taught entirely in English as my German skills are still far from perfect and I wanted to leverage my English knowledge. I chose SIMC, because it is a very interesting and innovative program and I am really interested in the entrepreneurship and innovation world. I had an experience in a start-up and I really liked the idea of having one myself sooner or later. SIMC gives you enough space to develop your own ideas – especially with the ‘Garage’ project, where you can come up with your own start-up idea.

What was your first impression of WU Vienna?

Well, flabbergasting to say the least. I was very impressed by the campus, its buildings and the whole architecture. There is so much to do with all the integrated technological features and all the different areas where you can either study, relax or meet others. It is very well organized and allows every student to find the perfect spot for whatever occasion while having a stunning view. With this perfect infrastructure in place, nothing is missing in order to enjoy my everyday student lifestyle.

What do you like in specific about SIMC?

What I like a lot and did not really expect is the high level of interaction in every class. There are high-leveled discussions with professors and a constant exchange of knowledge between all participants. I also feel like the professors are “one of us” as they are easier to approach, seem a lot closer and are always available if you need them. On the other hand, I appreciate that we are being challenged and motivated.

What makes SIMC so special in comparison with other (European) Master Programs?

I only can say what I think, because I have no comparison, but I bet it is about the special community we have here. It is highly active, important and plays a vital role in the students’ everyday life here. It allows you to build up a network of like-minded people, participate in a variety of events and embrace the Viennese life more on and off campus. Additionally, it is very teamwork-oriented, so you work closely with all the others which broadens your view on different aspects even more.

Would you recommend the SIMC Masters’ program at WU Vienna to your companions at home?

I definitely would! Especially because German is not a pre-requisite for the program or the student life in Vienna. The level of English here is excellent, and I would simply suggest it because it offers you endless opportunities to integrate, educate yourself and develop your future trajectory here. Speaking of which, I did not imagine it, but having started SIMC here I can see myself starting my own career here in Vienna.

How do you perceive the spirit of your student community “SIMConnect”?

It is a very strong spirit – let me tell you that. Probably because we all have shared values and ambitions. Moreover, everyone is highly motivated to do one’s personal best and contribute to the group, because we care for one another. We are also being offered a variety of events for informative or team building reasons. For example, skill-sharing workshops where students share their skills with others and foster mutual learning. Coming from a rather opposite background where there were hardly any events offered at my last university, I feel overwhelmingly positive to be a part of such community.

What is your favorite spot in Vienna to enjoy a relaxed moment?

Well, I live really close to the Naschmarkt in the 5. district, which is a perfect place for almost everything. Whether to have a coffee, enjoy the sun or find all kinds of exotic groceries. It is a very vibrant area, where you can observe tourists, but also Viennese people enjoying coffee in their spare time. If there is something you need, you will definitely find it there – especially if you like cooking like me.

In your opinion, would you say, Vienna is an attractive city for students?

Oh yes! There is a reason why Vienna is ranked the number one city in the world regarding the quality of life. It offers a perfectly established public transport system and endless possibilities. Whether you like cultural events, nightlife activities or sports – you will find it here. The city just allows you to be yourself and feel like being at home.

Lastly, what quote would you use to summarize your past months here at SIMC in Vienna?

It would probably be something along the lines that “you do not realize why Vienna is the best city to live in until you have been living here and you do not know how interesting SIMC can be unless you have been part of it and experienced it personally.” So, if people are in doubt: Just give it a try, you will definitely fall in love with it!

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Stefano Gentili

Intake 2019
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