Italian Graduate Students Study Leadership, Marketing at SJU

Monday, January 8, 2018

by Katie Smith '15

Saint Joseph’s University will welcome a cohort of 36 Italian graduate students on Monday, Jan. 22, to a joint interdisciplinary program of the Organizational Leadership and Development (ODL) department in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Haub School of Business Center for Professional Development. The partnership, in its third year, enables master’s students at Gema University in Rome, Italy, to earn credit toward their graduate degrees, as well as a certificate in international marketing and leadership from SJU.

“The collaboration across schools at SJU allows us to expose students to a uniquely holistic, innovative experience,” says Felice Tilin, Ph.D., director of graduate programs in ODL.

Over 100 students have participated in the program since its inception in January 2016, where they study international marketing, leadership and design thinking during the spring semester. Participants then have the option to continue their study through the summer, receiving faculty mentorship on a practicum in the Philadelphia area.

Past projects include the development of a business plan to expand a student’s family-owned coffee business to the U.S. and the intensive study of marketing a luxury clothing brand, preparing the student for a future internship with Prada.

Tilin first developed a relationship with Gema University during a May 2015 study tour to Rome that visited the Italian business school. She will run the tour again in 2019.

According to Tilin, Italian businesses are ranked among the lowest in their use of the Internet for marketing.

“The program’s focus on leading marketing strategies and social media gives the cohort something they won’t get in their own business school’s classroom,” says Tilin. “They go back home with a leg up on their colleagues.”

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