Andrea Aprile
Professional Master in Finanza, Controllo e Auditing

7 October 2022

A practical approach, balancing the acquisition of managerial and hard skills in high demand on the market with the ability to build trusting relationships, has allowed Andrea Aprile, now Account Sales Manager at EssilorLuxottica, to enter the world of work with a confident and enthusiastic approach. Here is what he told us about his experience as a student of the Master in Finance Control and Auditing at BBS. 

The Master’s course you have attended is demanding, requiring study and the ability to apply it in the most diverse business contexts. How are the two aspects, the theoretical and the practical, balanced within the training course?

All the Master in Finance, Control and Auditing courses are built with the right mix of practical and theoretical parts. It is a very technical Master’s course that requires solid preparation from a theoretical point of view, but the contexts in which the professors allowed us to delve into practical cases created the right balance. In addition, during the classroom phase, we had the opportunity to have guest speakers from managers and professionals of a certain calibre who tried to make us understand what is really behind an academic course. Then, in addition to this well-balanced classroom phase, there is the internship in the company, where the concepts studied in class are elaborated in a company key. This is a fundamental and crucial step because I think that touching what you have studied just before in the company allows you to fortify specific basic themes and make them solid forever.

Your professional experiences include the names of important companies such as EssilorLuxottica and Brunello Cucinelli. You have gradually held roles of increasing responsibility, also varying in the type of tasks. How did your training at BBS contribute most during these experiences?

I realised, especially during my first few months of work after my master’s degree, that the extremely practical approach of our course was constructive in specific work contexts. Undoubtedly, tackling a problem from a theoretical point of view (however practical it may be) is very different from working in a business environment, but having already tested the ground with the support of our lecturers during the master’s course has been very useful to me in various situations. The Master in Finance, Controlling and Auditing is undoubtedly one of the most technical masters among the ones on offer at BBS, but this does not mean that it is limited to a few business fields or tasks; on the contrary, in my opinion, it is the master that offers a 360-degree view of a business core. This has allowed me to prepare myself for the most diverse contexts often. I firmly believe that important administrative, finance, analytical and strategic knowledge is fundamental to any successful career path, and the master’s program offers an excellent foundation on all these fronts. To date, my master’s classmates hold essential positions in auditing companies, within major international companies under various business units or even in leading consulting firms. I think this is the best calling card for our master’s degree. 

I will then conclude by reporting my own story as an examination case. After my first steps into the world of controlling, I discovered that my passion was Sales, and the necessary background of analysis and strategy that I learnt during the master’s course was beneficial in filing my first goals. Therefore, having a more technical mindset was not a constraint for me to move across the board into Sales, far from it. In essence, my training at BBS was instrumental in achieving my current professional goals, as I gained three fundamental strengths through the master’s programme: 1 the technical preparation, thanks to the excellent quality of the courses and teaching; 2 the comparison, the possibility of continuing to exchange views even after the master’s, both with former classmates and with teachers, being able to discuss and in some cases even receive support on work-related problems; 3 the School itself. I think that experiencing the reality of Bologna Business School is highly stimulating, or at least for me, it was. The possibility of interfacing with highly competent people from all over the world and from entirely different contexts has been the most significant stimulus and, subsequently, the baggage I take from my time at BBS.

The Master’s degree in Finance, Control and Auditing is a highly specialised course that deals with complex topics closely related to the most scientific aspects of corporate life. However, a specifically economic-scientific background is not required to attend the Master’s course. How are objectively specialised concepts and topics explained to those with different academic backgrounds? Can you give us some examples?

I have to be honest, if you decide to attend the Master’s course in Finance, Controlling and Auditing and come from an academic background that is far removed from the economic-scientific world, you can expect to work harder than colleagues who have previously gained experience with financial statements, double-entry bookkeeping, business management or corporate finance. However, also be aware that it is certainly possible to finish the course with high results if you have the commitment and willingness to put yourself out there. I have been very attached to the BBS world, and both during my academic year and in other years before or after mine, students from different educational backgrounds have achieved top results. The secret for students from diverse academic backgrounds is always to keep a very high concentration level and give 110% in each class. Knowing that the class can vary in age, preparation and academic background, the professors of each course devote a very introductory part to align everyone on the same level. Before starting the master’s course, there are two weeks of alignment courses, which are extremely useful for bringing the class up to a homogeneous group. For those from a less related pathway, these are basic to align to the class level, but they are also beneficial for those from economic paths. In addition, the lecturers are always available to deal with any doubts, uncertainties or insights. In conclusion, I have to say that, at least in our case, a perfect harmony was created in the class that allowed us all to work in alignment, helping each other and leaving no one behind.

Attending Bologna Business School, in addition to being an important part of one’s education, is also a way of discovering and getting to know new companies and building new friendships and networking relationships. How important do you think this element is in the choice of a young graduate?

The most important thing is the possibility that a context like BBS offers to get in touch and get to know new people, companies, lecturers, and managers. I think essential networking is the best curriculum vitae a young graduate can have. I joined BBS as one of the many young people with a bachelor’s degree who was a bit uncertain about the future and saw the world of work as a ‘strange’ place. I had a sterile Linkedin profile with few connections. I wasn’t shy, I never was, but sometimes I preferred not to approach too many people far removed from my interests. In BBS came the change, I started to experience any academic/professional environment proactively, and now I have almost 3,000 connections on Linkedin, an extremely active profile, and, thanks to BBS and the networking I got from it, I have active contacts with people working in hundreds of companies all over the world. Here, I would like to specify that the ball is in our court. I am highly convinced that BBS is a great networking and personal growth opportunity for young graduates if they are good at experiencing the environment proactively. The advice I would give to those starting on this path is to immerse yourself totally in the life of the School. Never have lunch alone. It is precisely in less institutional contexts that the best relationships of trust are born. Participate in the many initiatives that the School proposes. Even if you may think it is not exactly your field, something useful to take home will undoubtedly come along. Change the approach we all have had with professors, don’t look at them only as people who will judge you in the examination phase, but as future colleagues with whom you can compare and ask for advice. In conclusion, BBS can give a young graduate who wants to get involved something that is hard to find in other contexts, which I think is the key to success in today’s job market.

Would you like to share the most important lesson you learnt from the Master’s programme? Not necessarily from an exclusively theoretical point of view, of course. In summary: why attend the Master in Finance, Controlling and Auditing?

Perhaps the most important lesson I got from the Master’s degree is that studying can be fun and interesting if done with the right peers, teachers and, above all, the proper context. At least for me, it was essential to attend the master’s because it gave me the right push I needed after my bachelor’s degree. I often get people writing to me on Linkedin to ask my advice on which master’s degree to choose and, above all, whether the choice of master’s degree is the right one. Here is what I always write in these cases: in my opinion, the Master in Finance, Control and Auditing (but in general, all BBS full-time masters) is a more than sensible choice because it allows you to enter the working world at a minimum idea of what you can find inside, thanks to the practical approach and the many meetings with managers and companies. It is an excellent alternative for both Bachelor and Master students. In the first case, mine allowed me to enter the world of work very early but with solid preparation, which allowed me to grow quite quickly from a professional point of view. In the second case, on the other hand, as a master’s student, the master’s helps to deepen what has been studied so far, very often analysing concepts more practically and with professionals in the field.

Furthermore, I think attending BBS is an excellent choice because the School boasts relationships with many companies throughout Italy, companies that are familiar with the preparation of BBS alumni and willingly draw from this pool. In addition, BBS, as I said before, has allowed me to expand my network of contacts so much and to make real new friends. So, I attend the master’s course because its excellent quality in terms of training and teaching meets with BSS, a place where companies, students, managers and professors intersect, merging and creating something truly unique. Finally, I think being an Alumnus of the Master in Finance, Control, and Auditing is synonymous with excellent preparation and work skills. After the Master’s, we have to manage very sensitive data in companies. This qualifies us as prepared people that companies trust. Since I have the great fortune to still live in the BBS world intensely by being a member of the Board of the BBS Alumni Association, I hope to meet you in the future at Villa Guastavillani. Trust me: it will be an experience you will carry with you for a lifetime


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