Putting Time Aside with a QS Community MBA Scholarship Winner

MBA scholarship winner interview

The winner of a QS Community MBA Scholarship, Gennaro Bozza, spoke to TopMBA.com during his last month at CERN, where he has been putting the finishing touches to the second of two major projects conducted during a two-year stint at the renowned research institute based in Geneva.

There, Gennaro – who has a background in mechanical engineering – has been helping to design the cooling systems that ensure CERN’s Large Hadron Collider can function at the extremely low temperatures it requires, using what Gennaro describes calmly as “special super-conductive magnets that create the highest magnetic fields on earth, and that need to be cooled down.”

Gennaro could have stayed on in search of a new position at CERN at the end of his current contract, but says: “What I wanted to do was to complete my education with an MBA.” 

Taking a desire to give back from CERN to business school 

Gennaro Bozza, QS Community Scholarship winnerThis fall, therefore, he is joining the full-time St. Gallen MBA, the fees for which will be lessened by his MBA scholarship winnings of US$2,000 – a prize awarded for the way in which he has continually demonstrated a determination to give back and work towards making a difference in society over the course of his academic and professional life.     

 “I always look to put some time aside for community engagement - this is something that is very important for me. I always feel like I don’t do enough but, of course, I am busy with my work,” he says. Gennaro found time, during his university years, to take on the role of student representative and to help create a way of providing professors with individual feedback that is still in use today. He was also able to improve the university’s procedure for scheduling exams – a seemingly small detail that led to an immediate surge in the exam completion rate. Most recently, however, he has been volunteering his services as an Italian teacher at the nonprofit adult-learning institution, the Université Populaire of Geneva Canton (UPCGe):

“The average age of my class, I would say, is 55 years old – much older than me, but it’s very rewarding and I always have a lot of fun in the class,” he says, expressing his sadness that his voluntary teaching must come to an end, at least for the time being, when he joins the incoming St. Gallen MBA cohort.

Of course, the importance Gennaro attaches to social responsibility is something he will take with him to business school:

“When you develop a company, of course, a very important part of it is considering sustainability. A responsible leader means not making profit at any cost but rather, making profit in a sustainable way, from an environmental point of view, from an economical point of view and also with an eye on the stakeholders,” he explains.

Choosing the St. Gallen MBA for location and language

Gennaro opted for the St. Gallen MBA because of his desire to continue working in Switzerland. A further attraction was the university’s location in a German-speaking part of the country, something that will give him the opportunity to improve his level of German and make it the third foreign language he speaks fluently:

“German is a very important language in Central Europe where I’m living and working, and especially in Switzerland. I like learning languages but, of course - from the professional point of view - it helps.”

Career progression…and startup ambitions

Gennaro wants the St. Gallen MBA to enhance his prospects for career progression and he’s keen, for example, to add expertise in project management to his toolkit as he seeks to take on managerial functions in the future – whether that be with an international organization, such as CERN, or a company in the private sector. However, he’s also keen to explore the possibilities of entrepreneurship:

“My idea has always been, at some point, to find an opportunity to launch a startup,” he reasons. He has been happy working in the energy sector (he spent a year with EDF Energy in the UK before his two years at CERN), but his entrepreneurial ambitions certainly aren’t restricted to this field: “I’m open to ideas; because I have a science and engineering background, it would be great to open a startup company in the field of renewable energy, but you never know in life. If I can find a great opportunity to be involved in a startup elsewhere – perhaps through MBA alumni or future classmates - I would definitely be interested.”

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Written by Tim Dhoul

Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).

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