Martina Zipoli - Junior Project Manager at UNIMED
Martina completed her master's degree in 2012, and now works as a Junior Project Manager at UNIMED - Mediterranean Universities Union.
Can you tell us a bit about your present work? What are your specific work tasks?
I am working for UNIMED, which is a network of Universities in the Mediterranean. UNIMED in engaged in international cooperation activities in the field of higher education and research. I am specifically working with European founded projects in Higher Education, and my main tasks are related to: proposal writing, project management, dissemination and communication activities, networking, quality assurance and project monitoring, administration and financial management.
What is the best about your job? And the most challenging?
BEST: international dimension, possibility of travelling, the feeling of working for a mission not only for an employee.
CHALLENGE: understanding cultures from so many different countries, language barriers when working with Arabic, overwhelming the burocratic and administrative aspects
How do you use your education at work?
I use my education in several ways:
- Language skills
- Critical thinking
- Methodology of research
- Knowledge of organization theory
- I did my thesis on how the cultural dimensions of Hofstede impact HEIs, it keeps helping me understand how the Universities we are working with function and how to strenghten collaboration beyond our cultural differences
- How to work in an international dimension
What made you decide to study administration and organization theory at UiB?
I had my Erasmus in Bergen.I loved the city and the opportunities offered by UiB.I had my bachelor in Political Sciences and Cooperation studies and I wanted to integrate with the study of administration and organizations, plus I was very much attracted by the idea of doing research, not only studying on books.
What do you think of as the best part of your study period at UiB?
How it challenged me. Living abroad, having to study in a foreign language, loneliness and friendships, doing research on something new, having to take your own decisions, all aspects have challenged me and I would do it again 1000 times.It is a way of growing up and it is a wealth of knowldge which will stay with me forever.
Why should others choose our masters program?
It is a way of growing up and it is a wealth of knowldge which will stay with me forever. It is a very good programme, it allows students to confront themselves with theoretical approaches, with research, with fellow students and with very open and supportive teachers.
Why should others choose UiB / Bergen and Norway for their studies?
UiB is a very well qualified, organized and welcoming University. Bergen is a great city to live and it opens the doors to Norway.
Is there anything more you would like to add?
My only regret is that I could not really find good job opportunities in Norway. The University trains you well, but then it leaves you (at least many foreign students) quite alone in a job market which is flexible but not very open to foreigners when it comes to qualified positions (despite I had learnt norwegian).I worked for few years in the turism field (housekeeping, waiter, shop assistant, etc) but could never even get a job interview for positions related to my studies.When back in Italy, even thanks to my international experience, several positions were open for me to choose. I am grateful to this Norwegian experience, but I would have loved to have the opportunity to exploit it there.