Tag: Europe

Studying abroad in Ireland has always been a dream of mine. I had the opportunity to fulfill that dream this semester. Ireland is a beautiful country and I have enjoyed exploring it. I have seen so many castles that remind me of scenes from Frozen. I have crossed the Rope Bridge and seen Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.

While in Europe, I have visited other countries. I spent my Easter Break traveling with a wonderful group of friends. I got to sit on the beach in Barcelona and relax. I got to see palaces in London and I have decided I want one. I have gotten to eat pizza, pasta, and gelato every single day while in Italy. It has truly been a semester of experiencing beauty in this world.

While studying abroad has afforded me the opportunity to explore the beauty of the world, I have also seen hate and ignorance. I knew that as a black woman, my experience might be different than the narratives I have heard before. I racial slurs spouted at me in Florence. I have heard people openly talk about white males having a harder time entering medical school. I have been stared down on the streets because I am such a novelty. While these are my personal struggles, I have also seen the bombings in Brussels affect the continent. I have heard waiters talk about refugees being the reason for increased rape. During the time I have been abroad, I have seen the widespread effect of intolerance for difference.

During my time abroad, I feel as if I have experienced some of the best and worst this world has to offer. I have learned so much about myself. I now know that working abroad after graduation would not be ideal for me. I have learned to be fearless while exploring. I have learned that I am capable of doing so much more than I thought before this semester. I am also learning how I am seen in this world because of the identities I hold. This semester has prompted me to be confident in the power of my existence. I have had to believe in my value, strength, and power. I am a better, wiser human for studying abroad. Most importantly, I have awesome pictures as proof.

Assiatou Jallow is a sophomore majoring in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. She is currently studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland. 

“The European Union is the second largest agricultural export market in the world. The Italian agriculture sector represents over 17% of Italy’s GDP. These two factors make Italy an ideal location to study the European agriculture industry,” explained Brandon Smith, MBA’15, before he left for two weeks in Italy over Spring Break. Smith who is Graduate Business Student Association President and trip coordinator for the CHS Italian Agriculture and Energy Market Immersion Trip was instrumental in obtaining sponsorship support for the trip through the CHS Foundation.

The sponsorship support from CHS will help cover travel, and travel related expenses for nine students to participate in a number of agricultural and energy related site visits and tours across central and northern Italy.

CHS Inc. is a multibillion-dollar Minnesota-based Fortune 100 company with interests in food processing and wholesale, farm supply, and financial services, among many others. Carl Casale, EMBA’92, is president and CEO of the company.

ItalymapOver the next week, members of the CHS tour will contribute blog posts and photos from their trip. Companies that stand out on the travel itinerary include:

Students will also visit cultural and historic sites across the region. The support received from CHS will allow Olin students to bring back priceless knowledge, real-world experience, and exposure to the opportunities present in the agriculture and energy industries.

Smith said, “In the world today, MBA students often overlook the opportunities in the agriculture and energy sector. Through this sponsorship, CHS, and the CHS Foundation, has demonstrated a commitment to investing in future leaders and exposing a new generation of MBA leaders to the agriculture and energy sector”.

The CHS Foundation is the major giving entity of CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company. As a part of the CHS stewardship focus, the CHS Foundation is committed to investing in the future of rural America and agriculture and cooperative business through education and leadership development.


When Milan, Florence, Paris, and London are on the itinerary, can you guess what the subject is for a study tour? Art, history, cuisine? Mais, non! Olin students in Prof. Martin Sneider’s Luxury Goods Industry course were studying the business of global brands from Gucci to Chanel and Burberry. Undergrad students on the tour sent us virtual postcards and photos.  This is the first in a series from Christina Ruggieri, BSBA’14.

One of the highlights of our group’s stop in Italy was a visit to Zagliani in Milan.

Zagliani is a very small, niche provider of handbags and wallets specializing in exotic skins like crocodile and python. The bags were unbelievable – and with unbelievable price tags to match! However, after learning more about how much care and artisanal craftsmanship goes into the making of these bags, the high prices (almost) start to become justified.

Based in the historic exotic skins fashion district of Milan, Zagliani embraces this heritage and creates every item 100% by hand using age-old craftsmanship methods that have been tied to the area for decades. In addition, its practices are completely sustainable given its ownership of several crocodile and python farms in Africa and Asia. The end result is a showroom full of absolutely gorgeous bags that we were lucky enough to see!

Not only was Zagliani’s exotic product offering unique compared to the other designers we visited, but Zagliani was also by far the smallest-scale luxury goods provider that we had the opportunity to speak with.

This provided an interesting, alternate perspective in comparison to the giants that we saw like Louis Vuitton. It was surprising to learn that the company has been around since 1947 but is still such a tiny niche player in the grand scheme of the luxury market. We learned that they have remained small by design, however, so as not to dilute its brand and uphold a standard of extreme luxury.

In remaining small (Zagliani distributes exclusively through Barney’s in the U.S. and operates a singular retail store in London), Zagliani has created an air of exclusivity about the company and has become known as being absolute experts in the realm of exotic skin bags. Limited production and distribution have made Zagliani items hard to get and therefore very popular amongst trendsetters and ultra-wealthy consumers.

Zagliani was arguably the most exclusive brand our group visited, and its stark contrast to the other companies we visited, beautiful headquarters, and hospitable employees made it my favorite visit of the trip!

Itinerary in Italy included visits to the Gucci Museum, Gucci flagship store, Ferragamo Museum, Zagliani, and Loro Piana headquarters in Quarona (pictured at left).