I have decided to create this blog to document my journey through Graduate School at Politecnico di Milano and give insight to studying abroad for Graduate Level Studies as a part of MIP’s Specialized Masters Program.

Why I chose MIP- I chose to study in Italy for a combination of reasons.

  • First of all I am not embarking on this journey completely alone as I moved to Milan from Des Moines, Iowa with my girlfriend who is also attending Graduate School to get her Master’s in Interior Design at Scuola Politecnica di Design.
  • Secondly, prior to attending a Masters program at the young age of 28 I spent the last 5 years in B2B sales and marketing focused in the IT/Staffing industry. I was working full desk sales as well as Market Strategy, Branding, Brand Management, Digital Strategy, and helping grow a new office from the beginning. I realized through this experience that there is a much bigger market out there and the trend is global. I wanted to be a part of the global environment and was looking for career advancement.
  • Thirdly, I wanted to immerse myself in a new culture and study in an environment that I do not know the language etc. I wanted to expand my horizons and my skills and really experience a multi-cultural experience while obtaining my Masters.
  • And Finally, MIP is triple accredited and one of the most respected schools in Italy! We also have partnerships with the brand Only The Brave, teamed up with major advertising firm UM McCann, leading Market Research company Nielsen, and the leaders in Global Analytics IBM. Throughout the year we will have the opportunity to study, learn from, and work hands on with and alongside of these companies as well as great internship openings.

I am studying in the 1st edition of International Multichannel Marketing Management through MIP. We are represented by 27 students representing 12 countries, that is truly a multicultural learning environment.

A quick background on me, I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. At 18 I embarked on my college career to Indianola, Iowa just 3 hours north of Kansas City to study and play football at Simpson College where I graduated with a BA in Marketing and a minor Sports Administration. After college I secured a job, moved to nearby Des Moines, Iowa and started my professional career in 2010. I have worked in Healthcare, Finance, and Information Technology sectors. Prior to moving to Italy I have never traveled to Europe and my only out of country experience was Spring Break ’08 in Cancun, Mexico.

Thus starts my journey into Graduate School and my desire to work in Marketing for Global Brands focusing, ideally, on the use of Big Data to help develop and create Brand Driven Digital Strategies.

Week 1: September 20th-26th

Lesson of the week:

In the States we just swipe a card for anything we need and cash is always handy. In Italia cash is king, coins are necessary, exact change is highly preferred, and using a card isn’t a normal thing.

There is a lot to take in, in the first week of moving to a new country. So many sights, sounds, smells, and emotions. The first week was a whirlwind! We had some travel trouble getting stuck overnight in Chicago after missing flight 2 of our 4 flight journey. Luckily we had family in Chicago and were able to sleep in a bed rather than a cot in the airport hallways. We departed for our final 2 legs of the journey on a 7 hour overnight flight from Chicago to London, then from London to Milano, leaving at 4:45pm from Chicago and arriving at 230pm local time Italy. Italy is 7 hours ahead of CST time in the states.

Once in Italy everything seemed to be in a blur, language barriers mixed with the excitement of being in Italy, a sense of feeling completely lost as I adjusted to my surroundings and the realization that this is it, I am here and here to stay, no turning back now!


The first week of class was a lot of introductions, meeting our classmates, professors etc. An exciting reason to study at MIP is the amazing partnerships with OTB, McCann, Nielsen, and IBM. We got to meet with all these companies and introduce who we are, and why we are here. It was exciting to hear about each company and know what exciting opportunities are ahead of me.