Michigan State University Broad College of Business Full-Time MBA Class of 2016 students leveraged opportunities to interact with global companies and enjoy activities during a European study abroad in May. Here, they share what they picked up along the way.

In Milan, we visited Mediobanca, the largest investment bank in Italy. It and its subsidiaries, Compass and CheBanca, are big players in the Italian retail banking and lending space. We were greeted by a banker in the fixed income instruments segment, Sabrina Tan, who gave us a presentation on the history, culture, and current state of Mediobanca, and learned how Mediobanca began to assist in the rebuilding of Italy after World War II. This culture of investing in Italian business continued even as the company started to grow. The company culture understands that people, even bankers, have a life outside of the office.

On the financial side, Mediobanca had a 100 percent loan capitalization rate. This is impressive for a bank to do proper due diligence to ensure their payback.

At the end of the presentation, they invited us out to their courtyard for a nice meal, and they sent out more bankers to network and talk to us. We were surprised because these bankers stayed past their work hours to talk to us and feed us dinner.

—Adapted from Nick Hammer