Katherine Castillo '19
The Luxury Management MBA program at SDA Bocconi typically requires students to be 25 to be admitted to its program. But at just 21, Katherine Castillo ’19, conducting her interview in Italian, persuaded the prestigious international business school to waive the age requirement. In January, she will be the youngest student ever to participate in the program, which is consistently ranked among the top 10 in the world.
“It’s truly exciting. My Italian language professor [Lecturer Elisabetta Misuraca] opened my eyes in exploring graduate programs overseas,” says Castillo, an International Business major and Italian minor. “Since I’ve been accepted, I have spoken to other students who have put into consideration schools abroad for their MBAs.”
Castillo said she wanted to study international business because of her love of traveling and she tries to visit various new countries each year. Since she’s been at Bryant, she participated in the Malaysia-Singapore Sophomore International Experience (SIE), and studied abroad in Sicily.
“Traveling to different countries and learning the culture is paramount,” she says. “You get to know the people, their way of life, their views on the world – and that expands your own knowledge. Studying abroad and SIE allows you to have these experiences that may have seemed impossible. I never thought in my wildest dreams I’d have the chance to go Singapore at the age of 20.”
She also took advantage of Bryant’s International Business program, considered among the best in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report.
“I don’t know if there is another school that lets you have hands-on consulting experience with an actual company, like we do with IB practicum,” she says. “Our recommendations may be utilized in the real world, and that adds more value to my studies than reading a textbook.”
In Bryant’s International Business practicum, students serve as consultants for real-world clients, identifying opportunities and developing market entry and expansion strategies by using the skills they’ve developed at Bryant.
Castillo created special connections with her professors at Bryant, particularly Finance Prof. Hakan Saraoglu, Ph.D., and Misuraca.
“My professors are so passionate and knowledgeable within their respective field. They aren’t only professors but also mentors,” Castillo says. “Bryant’s small classroom structure allows students to create relationships with professors, perhaps the greatest asset Bryant has given me.”
Castillo will graduate in December – a semester early – and will make her way to Milan next January for the year-long MBA program. Once she graduates she hopes to pursue a career in Italy or New York in marketing for a high fashion or automobile company.
Real World Experience
Marketing Internship, PwC Center for Diversity and Inclusion
• Assisted in the development of informational content and ensured consistency of branding message across various platforms,and assisted with the development of creative concepts and marketing strategies for promoting the work of the PWC CDI.
Marketing Intern, Museo del Castello di Mola
• Collaborated with other enterprises to create and publish promotional material, both in the native language of Italian as well as in English.
• Italian American Association
• Bryant Marketing Association
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“Communication plays an essential role in management and the workplace. From a company’s mission statement down to the hiring process, communication is critical to good leadership.”