Maria Luisa Graffeo

Maria Luisa Graffeo

Name                         : Maria Luisa Graffeo
Current job title      : Trainee Financial Management Programme at        
                                       General Electric (February 2018)
Nationality               :
Italian
Year of graduation : 2016

Why did you choose this MSc?
“I was looking for a master that would teach me practical skills that could be applied in the finance department of any big multinational company. I picked the MScBA in Accounting & Financial Management for two main reasons: my willingness to study and practise hard numbers rather than just theory, and my strong enthusiasm for accounting. This RSM programme taught me how to apply analytical reasoning, make assessments of the reality underlying hard figures, use financial information to draw inferences, and forecast.”

How would you describe the programme and RSM?
“It was the best choice I could make. I picked RSM over other highly ranked business schools, and I came to Rotterdam afraid that I would regret my choice. That never happened. Not only did this programme develop my academic background and my accounting and finance expertise, bus also soft skills such as how to get the best outcome when working in a group. I was also given the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant in Management Accounting, and to take my Certified Management Accounting exam. My year at RSM has been one the most challenging yet rewarding years of my life.”

What was the biggest challenge in this master?
“I’m Italian and started my master straight after finishing my bachelor in economics. The biggest challenge for me was having classmates that already had a strong background in accounting, and who had been working in one of the Big Four accounting firms for at least one year. It was difficult at times, but I tried to leverage their knowledge, rather than being scared: eventually this environment turned out to be really stimulating. This pushed me to work hard to overcome my limit, or what I thought it was my limit back then.”

What made the greatest impression?
“The diverse composition of our class: every day and every conversation felt different than the other. I was impressed by how our professors would push us to work in group: I got to RSM as a sole player and I left being able to work as a team player. I felt challenged every single day: this is where I realised that the only way to grow is to leave your comfort zone and go beyond your limits.”

How did your studies at RSM shape your career?
“The concepts I learned during my year in the programme, and RSM worldwide reputation, were definitely a condition sine qua non to get my first internship in controllership. Also, I’m thankful because during this master, I learned to draw rational and analytical inferences, I learned how to be a team player, how to be a critical thinker, and how to feel comfortable outside of my comfort zone. These are the skills I’m asked to apply in my everyday job.”

What are your future plans?
“I love the company I’m working for. After this two-year rotational programme, I would like to stay at General Electric, and join another accelerated career path programme, if possible. I definitely want to keep experiencing new things and being challenged every day. This is what I will be looking for, in the next few years.”