When your expectations, that justified by undeniable facts are, in the best sense, ambitiously high, start being pleasantly exceeded from the very start, you realize you took the right decision.

I was received by a friendly and welcoming staff that guided me and provided me with the needed information to start the journey. Clarity and frankness were present from the very beginning: an inspiring and eye-opener session with the dean showed us the foundations and values in which MIP philosophy is based on, and the resources and opportunities available for us as part of MIP team to achieve together our academic and professional goals.

Later sessions with the Career Development and the ICT groups we received information about the extensive list of services offered by MIP for us to be able to not only to meet our academic duties but also to develop and grow both personally and professionally within a large network of talented people and organizations which somehow and gladly make it appear more as an international family based on a cooperative relationship between the corporate world and the academia, instead of just a network of professional links.

During the day, we had the chance to meet the coordinators and directors of our program. We had the opportunity to properly introduce ourselves and to talk about our backgrounds, motivations and expectations. Even when it is known to be an international program, it is inevitable to be surprised with the different cultures, experiences and points of view of all of us who decided to be pioneers in this path: we ended up conforming a true intercultural group with people from 16 different countries, with diverse interests and skills that still complementary converged in one shared belief: the power of data in our daily lives as part of an evolving society. To my grateful surprise, the warm and comprehensive way in which communication was established among all of us made me realize that we all, including directors and coordinators, wanted to make this possible and successful together, sincerely supporting and assisting each other from our own roles.

We ended the day at campus with an inspiring session with Dr. Naguib Attia from IBM exposing and highlighting the relevance and benefits of big data in our daily contact with the environment, which shows an evident and permanent tendency to rely much more in technology-based ways of interaction, as well as in business applications that, due to their data-driven nature and criticality, demand high levels of automation and real-time processing of different types of information. As part of one of the most relevant and innovative players in the analytics sector, Dr. Attia shared with us the current state and trends in the analytics and big data field, which gave us a clearer idea of our potential contribution and input to the industry, as well as possible opportunities of application, research and innovation.

To the best Milanese style, the day ended with a traditional aperitivo, in which we had the chance to know each other better and also share some time with the colleagues from the other master programs starting that day, thus enriching the whole experience in many senses. A lovely Milanese evening and a fraternal feeling in the atmosphere set up the ideal environment for building , for closing an intellectually stimulating and motivating day full of insights, emotions and high expectations, and to prepare ourselves to start a new challenging and significant stage of our lives.

I have nothing but gratitude towards MIP staff for fostering a heartwarming and highly motivating kick-off, to all my classmates for making me part of this path we are following and building together, to the mystic and beautiful Milan for making me feel at home, and to those events that had lead me to know that I am in the right place, in the right moment.