My experience studying a MSc in transformative sustainability

My experience studying a MSc in transformative sustainability

By Craig OCallaghan

Updated January 26, 2024 Updated January 26

Sponsored by Bocconi University

Jing Wang is a student at Bocconi University, studying an MSC in transformative sustainability. A fast-growing area of interest for both students and employers, transformative sustainability refers to the changes in societal practices, policies, and mindsets that are required to ensure long-term environmental, social, and economic well-being. 

It goes beyond incremental changes, advocating for radical transformations in industries, governance, and individual behaviors, allowing graduates to have real impact on the future of our planet, by addressing the root causes of environmental degradation, social inequality, and economic instability.

The potential for high impact is what attracted Jing to studying the subject. We spoke to them to learn more about their experience studying transformative sustainability at Bocconi University and living abroad in Milan, Italy.


When did you first develop an interest in studying sustainability?

I attended a seminar on low carbon and smart energy, and this experience proved to be transformative, introducing me to a realm of ideas. During the seminar, I gained profound insights into sustainability innovation across diverse industries such as architecture, urban planning, the internet, materials, and third-party ratings. 

One particularly impactful moment was when a speaker shared how they integrated the location of a tree in front of a building into green building rating criteria, influencing residents' traffic choices. This narrative, highlighting the profound impact achievable through small details, resonated deeply with me. 

This experience taught me that we have transitioned into a new era of sustainability—one that extends beyond individual green lifestyle choices to encompass the transformation of entire industrial structures.

What attracted you to the transformative sustainability programme offered by Bocconi?

Once I had clarified my career direction, I embarked on a meticulous exploration of sustainability-related programmes. Bocconi University's two-year programme stood out as a distinctive offering, combining the academic strengths of a business school and a polytechnic. 

The curriculum is comprehensive, encompassing diverse facets such as environmental technology, finance, management, and law. This holistic approach aligns with my belief in the necessity of a multifaceted knowledge background for professionals in this rapidly evolving field.

Because I studied finance at undergraduate level, I view this programme as a unique opportunity for a seamless transition into the sustainability track. Furthermore, the prospect of learning a new language as part of this programme adds another layer of enrichment to my educational journey. 

This endeavor not only enhances my adaptability but also underscores my commitment to embracing new challenges in pursuit of a more sustainable future.

What have been the highlights of your learning experience?

This programme offers a wealth of learning opportunities. The first semester's curriculum is exceptionally comprehensive, spanning fundamental business school concepts and delving into innovative models within the sustainability field. The learning methodology is diverse, incorporating lectures, guest lectures, group assignments, individual tasks, and examinations. Group assignments, in particular, are invaluable in consolidating and applying acquired knowledge. Beyond the academic benefits, they foster in-depth communication among classmates, facilitating the development of lasting friendships. 

The overall class atmosphere is friendly and harmonious. Activities led by class representatives, such as Christmas gift exchanges, contribute to my vibrant and engaging experience. Particularly for me, coming from a university with no scheduled classes during this period, the Bocconi class environment has been instrumental in building connections and expanding my social circle.

What have you enjoyed the most about living in Milan?

Milan boasts an exceptional geographical location and a well-established transportation system, I went to some diverse Italian towns around Milano with distinctive styles. Exploring these unique destinations is conveniently facilitated by efficient train services, enabling day trips that are both relaxing and cost-effective. The accessibility to a variety of charming Italian towns adds a delightful dimension to my overall experience in Milan.


What would you recommend to other Chinese students considering a degree at Bocconi?

Primarily, Bocconi's programmes typically span two years, offering an ideal timeframe for students seeking ample opportunity to fortify their backgrounds before entering the job market. 

Secondly, Bocconi's prominent standing in Europe makes it particularly well-suited for those intending to establish their careers in the European professional landscape. 

Lastly, the programme's rigorous curriculum ensures a robust educational experience, allowing students to acquire valuable knowledge and enhance their skills. Therefore, for students seeking an extended academic journey with a focus on practical learning and future European career prospects, Bocconi emerges as a highly advantageous choice.

This article was originally published in January 2024 .

Written by

As editor of, Craig oversees the site's editorial content and network of student contributors. He also plays a key editorial role in the publication of several guides and reports, including the QS Top Grad School Guide.

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