Embracing Global HR Challenges: Insights from a BBS Master’s Student

8 May 2024

Pursuing a master’s degree in Human Resources & Organization in an international context opens up numerous learning avenues. In this interview, Maria José Costa Noguera, a student nearing graduation in HR & Organization at BBS and a consultant at Perspective Developing People, shares what drew her to this particular programme, the skills she has developed, and her reflections on how these experiences have prepared her for a global HR career.

What aspect of the Master in Human Resources & Organization at BBS sparked your interest and motivated you to pursue this course of study in an international context?

When I was researching master’s programs abroad, I sought more than just theoretical knowledge about human resources; I wanted hands-on experience that would truly enhance my learning. The Master in Human Resources & Organization at Bologna Business School caught my attention because it goes beyond theory—it incorporates real-world applications. Every class was engaging; we actively participated in case studies and had opportunities to visit companies. What excited me the most was the chance to learn from industry experts who shared their insights, providing a glimpse into the realities of the HR field. The emphasis BBS places on practical learning and exposure to real HR scenarios convinced me that it was the ideal place to pursue my passion for HR on an international scale. Additionally, the opportunity to undertake an internship was a key factor that attracted me to BBS. Since I was interested in staying in Italy after my studies, the internship seemed like the perfect opportunity to immerse myself in the Italian work culture and gain experience in the country. This expectation proved accurate, as my internship has offered valuable insights into the working culture, and I am hopeful to secure employment at the same company where I completed my internship.

During the Master’s program, which skills do you believe you have developed that will allow you to bring added value to organizations and companies in the HR field on an international scale?

During my time in the Master’s program, I picked up a bunch of skills that I think are super valuable for working in HR globally. Besides all the lessons, getting to work with people from all over the world was priceless. It really taught me how to see things from different angles, which is crucial in today’s diverse workplaces. Plus, all the group work and discussions helped me brush up on my communication and teamwork skills, especially in cross-cultural settings. And, of course, the importance of empathy, which is key for creating inclusive environments. With all these skills under my belt, I’m confident I can make a real difference in HR on a global scale.

Can you share an experience or a project you undertook during the Master’s program that particularly shaped you or that you believe had a significant impact on your view of human resources and organization?

One particular project during my Master’s completely transformed my perspective on HR and organizations. We collaborated with a company to address a genuine HR challenge they were encountering. Our goal was to enhance their HR practices to be more sustainable, which introduced me to a whole new aspect of HR. Through extensive research and brainstorming, we developed innovative ideas to integrate sustainability into various HR processes. This project was part of a competition that our team won, and as a reward, we had the opportunity to attend the AIDP Young Summit 2023, a two day conference in Napoli. At the summit, we collaborated with young talents from across Italy to generate ideas on addressing the current challenges facing HR. Winning the top spot for our project was thrilling, but more importantly, it underscored the significance of HR considering both people and sustainability

As class representative and one of the brightest students in your course, what advice would you give to those considering enrolling in the Master in Human Resources & Organization at BBS? And how do you plan to use your global network and the skills acquired in your future professional life?

My advice would be to make the most of the experience in every possible way: attend all the lessons, delve deeply into every concept provided, and most importantly, participate. I believe participation is the most crucial aspect, there’s no more efficient way to learn than by collaborating with others and engaging in discussions. Additionally, take full advantage of interactions with people both within and outside the university, find moments to connect with them, learn from their different views, cultures, and perspectives. But above all, enjoy each day, be present, and give your best while having fun, a year passes quickly when we’re enjoying ourselves. 

One of the things that will undoubtedly benefit me in the future is the network I’ve built. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting amazing people whom I’m confident I’ll stay in touch with both professionally and personally. I’m already utilizing my network by seeking advice when I encounter challenges at work or sharing information. I’m also sure my network will help me stay updated in the field of HR.

How did you find living in Bologna, coming from Colombia? What aspects of life, culture, and the quality of life in the city have enriched your educational and personal experience?

Moving from Colombia to Bologna was like stepping into a new world. The city’s beauty and friendliness captured my heart right from the start. Bologna’s historic streets and architecture gave it this magical vibe, and compared to the hustle and bustle back home, the slower pace was a welcome change. But what really made my time in Bologna special was the people. They welcomed me with open arms, crossing cultural boundaries to make me feel at home. Whether it was bonding over local traditions, enjoying delicious food, or just chatting around with people, every moment in Bologna was filled with warmth and cultural richness. It’s a city that I’ll always hold dear to my heart, reminding me of the beauty of diversity and the joy of simple pleasures in life.


Back To Top