My journey to Rome and John Cabot University started with a piece of advice from a friend. I was 17 years old, and I had no idea where to go for university. I remember all of my friends were applying to different universities in different countries and continents. I was a little bit nervous because I had to make a choice – one that would influence my future life and career.
My friend, who was also from Kazakhstan, had already started her studies at JCU, so she suggested that I come here. I told my parents about John Cabot, about Rome, and about all of the opportunities that I might have if I enrolled. Luckily, they agreed on the fact that John Сabot seemed to be a good option, not only in terms of getting a quality education but also to study different cultures and learn a third language.
My parents decided to visit John Cabot first. They went to Rome, and they liked JCU so much that when they came back, they immediately told me I could apply and go there to study. This is how I got into one of the best places in the world: Rome.
While in my third year at JCU, I realized that if I wanted to stay in Rome after graduation, I would need to find a job. I started researching available opportunities, and thanks to the Career Services team, I found some that interested me. Since I studied marketing, it was fundamental to me to work in this field. I applied to many different positions and eventually got an interview with the marketing agency Does Matter, formerly known as Agency 1284. Right after my first interview, I was accepted and given a three-month internship. After the internship, because they were happy with my work, they hired me.
One thing that I can say about studying and working at the same time is, it is not always easy, but it’s worth it. Because I’m from Kazakhstan, it was hard at first to adapt to the Italian work culture. The biggest barrier was the language. I’m lucky that the owner of the company spoke English so that I could communicate with him.
However, I realized that without learning the Italian language, the Italians would not be able to communicate with me seriously. They saw me as a foreigner, and this gap would have negatively affected my future if I wanted to stay in Italy. I decided to learn Italian – mostly at work. I was asking many questions, like “How do you say this? How do you say that?” I also was listening to what people were saying in the office. Finally, after a year and a half at Does Matter, I can speak Italian fluently and communicate with clients. Now Italian is my third language, as I also speak Russian and English. If I could learn Italian, you can, too!
I take this opportunity to thank my parents, as they put in a lot of effort to allow me study in one of the best cities in the world. Secondly, I want to thank John Cabot University and the JCU community. It’s been a long journey with its ups and downs that taught me how to live life. Finally, I want to say thanks to myself because I feel proud of what I’ve accomplished. I’m a regular guy that came to country and culture that was unknown to me, and I found myself. I graduated from one of the most prestigious universities in Italy, I have a good job, I have international friends, I can speak Italian, and I’m planning to stay here in the future.
Class of 2019
From: Almaty, Kazakhstan