Going back to where it all started

At the beginning of December, I had the great privilege of going back to Venice and to the monastery of San Nicolo to teach project management to the current 90 students of the master programme.

This module took place as a preparation session to the project week (something which did not take place when I studied there). The project week was this year on an extremely topical issue, namely the refugee and migration crisis in Europe. In a dynamic and constantly changing environment, it is crucial for those students to learn how to use their human rights knowledge while managing projects or doing advocacy. Human rights are promoted and protected in practical ways and project by project. The work in small groups helped the students to articulate their newly acquired knowledge and confront it with reality. The discussions became lively after they had an opportunity to work in small groups. The session on project management was limited to three hours; it was therefore only an introduction to the topic. The students I talked to at the breaks and after my session were grateful for getting this introduction and learning from somebody who had done the same master.

The fundamental advantage of having alumni teaching at the master is the professional baggage they bring with them and the knowledge of the transition from the Master to a professional life. This is why I strongly believe that the mentoring scheme and the career day are essential features of the E.MAlumni Association. Students and alumni do not yet see the full value of belonging to such a vast alumni network and need to learn to tap into it.

Veronique Lerch, E.MAlumna ’98