Gastaldo and Risuglia on campus
People Social Mobility

A Scholarship Is Worth More Than Its Monetary Value

, by Davide Ripamonti
Financial aid is indispensable for funding the educations of talented young students, but behind that support there are people who act as an example and a guiding light. Two young graduates on their way to successful careers tell their stories

There is a lot of potential out there. In order to be expressed to the fullest, however, it must be found, encouraged and supported, for its own sake and for society as a whole. Despite being gifted, so many students are unable to attend leading universities because they are held back by economic reasons. This is precisely why scholarships are available: an indispensable tool that rewards merit beyond any other consideration. 

There are many stories of Bocconi students who have successfully finished their university careers and then achieved important professional goals, all thanks to the scholarships they received. And others are doing so now. This is the case, for example, of Claudio Risuglia, a 27-year-old Sicily native. He has a Bachelor degree in Business Administration and Management and an MSc in Economics and Business Law, and is now an Associate at the US consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal with a focus on private equity. Economics was among his passions, because "I saw it as an area where I could learn mathematical, management and also relational skills – all in line with my interests – and I knew that I would have professional opportunities like the one at my current role, whether at a company, a consulting firm or a bank. And Bocconi was obviously the university that could offer me the most from this point of view." After passing the admissions test, Claudio came to Milan in part thanks to a partial scholarship, "which was important not only from a practical point of view, but has also given me a lot of peace of mind." Unfortunately, talent can sometimes be wasted due to a lack of knowledge of these forms of support. "When I passed my admissions test, I immediately tried to find out what tuition waivers or scholarships were available and how to apply for them. Many ambitious and talented young people give up on playing the Bocconi card because they consider it out of reach in terms of costs, but they don’t know about the funding opportunities. So I encourage them to find out for themselves. And I encourage their families to do the same." 

24-year-old Leonardo Gastaldo, from Monfalcone, recently graduated with a degree in Law and is already working in one of Italy’s most prestigious law firms, BonelliErede, in addition to being a University Fellow at the Aspen Institute. And he has big aspirations: "One day I’d like to begin working in politics at a public institution, because I think that the vocation of managing public affairs is highly honorable. I believe that we should all contribute in some way to the wellbeing of society and one of the most effective ways is to get involved in politics." After passing the selection test, Leonardo was able to attend Bocconi thanks to the decisive contribution of a scholarship. "I wanted to get to know the people who funded it and I developed a close relationship with them. They made a big impact not only because of their financial support," says Leonardo, "but also because they have been – and still are – a point of reference." Because giving is important, but being an example and offering advice are just as important: "These are more than just benefactors. The very choice of the term ‘donor’ indicates that these are people who help others by giving back, donating. In addition to their finances, they also act as a guide, in the sense that I have always asked them for their point of view and they have always proved to be very important for my life journey. It's something I'd like to replicate. In the future, I too would like to be an example for young people and be at least as much an inspiration as my donors have been for me."


translated by Jenna Walker

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