Elite runner joins UCD Smurfit School CEMS Programme to achieve success on the track and in the classroom

Waking up before dawn to attend classes at the renowned Bocconi University in Milan, Alberto Mondazzi commuted three hours a day while also competing as an elite runner in Italian national competitions. 

“In order to grow and improve academically, athletically and professionally, I faced a very challenging situation for years, working hard every day to excel,” said Alberto. 

“Ultimately, I believe it’s your passion that drives you to bring out the best in yourself and achieve your goals. Therefore, I tried to focus, not only on the final target, but also on the journey and enjoy it.” 

His perseverance paid off as he graduated with first-class honors from his undergraduate degree. During this time, he also competed for the Italian Athletics National Team winning the Half Marathon National Championship in 2020, which was the third national title of his career. To acknowledge his efforts and achievements both in the academic and sport environments, he was honored with the University’s Dean’s Award for the 2019-2020 academic year. However, in Italy, student athletes receive little to no support and sporting facilities are lacking at collegiate level.

“As my academic and athletic aspirations became higher, I began to search for a school where I could continue to excel in both areas,” said Alberto. 

His search led him to him to UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School where he applied for the School’s CEMS Masters in International Management Programme—ranked 3rd in the world by the Financial Times and in turn Ireland’s highest ever ranked business programme. 

“I chose the CEMS programme because of its great international exposure and reputation. Furthermore, I really value the combination of theoretical and practical approaches, beyond the opportunity to select my electives based on my career interests and across a wide range of disciplines.”

As he continues his course work, Alberto also competes as part of the UCD Sports team after being awarded the UCD Graduate Sports Scholarship. The scholarship programme is specifically for students who are competing and succeeding at the highest sporting level–nationally and internationally–while simultaneously completing a post graduate programme at UCD. The scholarship supports athletes in their pursuit of sporting and academic success.

Alberto’s goal for the 2022 season is to run a 10,000m under the 28 minute barrier, to medal at the World University Games in China next July and to make a marathon debut in New York next November.

UCD Smurfit School was recently named CEMS School of the Year, a first time honor for the School. CEMS is the global strategic alliance of 34 leading business schools, over 69 multinational organisations and 8 NGOs that together offer the CEMS Masters in International Management.

“This award firmly establishes UCD Smurfit School’s reputation as a global leader in the CEMS Masters in International Management Programme,” said Professor Gerardine Doyle, Director of UCD Smurfit School and Associate Dean of UCD College of Business. “It is a tremendous honour for the School and our students, and highlights our outstanding team of academics and professional staff within the School alongside the relationships we share with partner schools, corporate partners and NGOs.”

The course offers an unparalleled connection between the academic and corporate worlds, combining world-leading academic theory and real world expertise of corporate members.

“Dublin is perfectly located for those interested in cutting edge, leading technology as the majority of the world’s major technology companies base their European Headquarters here. As a core element of the programme, UCD Smurfit School has cultivated strong relationships with these firms to help to develop, work with and employ many of our graduates,” said Associate Professor Andrew Keating, Academic Director of UCD Smurfit School’s CEMS Programme.

The programme welcomes leading practitioners to deliver various aspects of the curriculum, and also hosts various events throughout the year. These range from company visits, skill seminars with both professional trainers and CPs such as Google and Meta (Facebook) and mock interviews with the likes of Salesforce, Google and Vodafone, to name but a few.

“UCD Smurfit School has worked hard to build an outstanding reputation and is now recognised as a leader in corporate relations and engagement,” continued Professor Doyle. “A key strength has been the College’s ability to leverage their access to multiple European Headquarters in Dublin ranging from technology, consulting, finance, medtech and more, to build on a core CEMS value of business embeddedness.”

These connections will help Alberto to achieve his career aspirations once he completes his degree. 

“After graduation, I aim to work for a multinational corporation that is committed to make a remarkable impact on people’s lives. I believe that the teamwork, leadership and management skills I’m acquiring at UCD will enable me to make my best contribution to the company’s success.”

Learn more about the UCD Smurfit School CEMS Masters in International Management here and apply today.

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