Elena Villar (Italy, 2013/2014 edition)
When I decided to submit my application for the Master of Science in Applied Labour Economics for Development, I expected to live another long year of studying. Surprisingly, this was not what I found. The exciting international environment, high quality of teaching and kindness and availability of all staff members contributed to make this a unique experience.
In fact, for the first time, I had the opportunity to have a daily contact with students from all over the world, with different cultures, backgrounds and ways of thinking. Most of us were from Africa, Latin America and South Asia; only three of us were from Europe. This had a fundamental imprinting on my growing process, both as an individual and an economist. Listening to my colleagues describing the realities of their countries taught me that I have to look further than what is commonly seen and that I have to be more careful and accurate. This stimulated my curiosity and encouraged me to learn more.
The Programme has been hard, but extremely useful given its applied nature. We had the possibility to learn how to use economic tools to understand the real problems of a country and identify the most suitable forms of interventions. Lecturers were coming from different environments: the academia, government bodies and international organizations. This fact gave an incredible value added to our learning process, since we could listen to different experiences and ask for specific advises.
After the end of the face to face phase I was given the opportunity to start a three months internship at the ITC-ILO for the Programme on Employment, Research, Analysis and Statistics. My main task was to review the empirical researches of the Turin School of Development. This has been a great chance to improve my knowledge on economic papers. Additionally, I wrote the policy briefs related to these studies and this allowed me to deal with the definition of public policies and plans. I had also the possibility to follow many activities of the centre, courses and other initiatives, meet participants, know lecturers and be involved in group exercises and case studies.
I can say that thanks to this Master I found the international energies and expertise required to continue my career as a researcher, with a specific attention to the concrete utility and application of my investigations.
I'm currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Economics at the Graduate School in Public Economics. This program is organised jointly by the Università Cattolica di Milano and the Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca.