Which part of Melbourne's culture is Mario Di Gregorio's favourite thing about Melbourne? Hint: He's a Juventus fan.
Mario Di Gregorio has led a varied life: living in Hong Kong and, later, Shanghai during his primary school years before moving back to Melbourne for high school, and studying a Bachelor of Science (Geology). He then worked in a technology start-up before choosing to undertake a Master of Management (Human Resources) at Melbourne Business School (MBS). We chat with him to find out what he loves most about Melbourne, and whether for him, the saying ‘variety is the spice of life’ holds a certain appeal.
You’ve had quite a multifarious experience so far, growing up in two of Asia’s busiest cities, majoring in Geology, and working in a tech start-up. What attracted you to this next phase of your life: pursuing a Masters of Management (HR) at MBS?
I have always been intrigued by the value individuals can bring to an organisation and I felt that with my somewhat uncommon undergrad/postgrad pairing I could differentiate myself and provide a unique perspective on some of the contemporary issues in HR. It also helped that a good friend of mine, Eliza Kelly, ex-Melbourne Business School Student Association, or MBSSA, Vice President, who lauded its merits and convinced me of its pivotal nature in career development. She was right!
There is also another aspect that has been largely appealing to me: The MBS reputation for drastically improving your employability, particularly for those who have not studied undergraduate business. Through the breadth of elective options, you develop strong grounding in essentials such as accounting and marketing, on top of your major, which in my case, is human resources.
Let’s talk about what happens outside class: what is your favourite thing about Melbourne?
There is literally always something going on in the sporting world here! From A-League soccer to AFL and Rugby, there is always a consistent and vast array of world class sporting events on offer every weekend. And that’s not even including the marquee events such as the AFL Grand Final, Australian Open Tennis and Formula 1 Grand Prix. The greatest sporting spectacle I have witnessed in Melbourne was hands-down the 2007 A-League Grand Final that I attended with my family. Etihad Stadium was at capacity with over 55,000 fans. The atmosphere was electric throughout the game, which culminated in a Melbourne Victory win of 6-0 against Adelaide United!
So you’re a soccer fan! Are you involved at a University level as well?
Yes, I am a passionate soccer fan supporting Juventus (Italian Serie A), and also get around the Socceroos and the Matildas in their international endeavours. I play for the Melbourne University Soccer Club as well as a social futsal league with friends. I was Initially introduced to the (University) club by my younger brother, Carlo, who is, incidentally, a student here. It has been the best decision I’ve made since joining MBS. The club provides a physical outlet for me during the semester, which can get quite demanding at times, whilst at the same time being part of a great community. In this way, I have inevitably met and made lifelong friends.
It sounds like you have found the perfect combination of work versus play! Do you think sports is a good way for students new to Melbourne to create a sense of belonging?
Definitely. Just based on my personal experience, I’d say to anyone considering joining a sporting club that I definitely recommend doing so as it creates the opportunity to develop an incredible work-life balance, whilst at the same time meeting like-minded individuals you wouldn’t have otherwise met. I think joining a sports club enables you to experience a deeper level of the local culture enabling a fully immersive and comprehensive Australian cultural experience, developing your sense of belonging within the University and wider Australia.
That’s great insight, Mario. Thank you. Lastly, given your keen sense of community, what does MBS do to build a cohesive and collegiate environment for students?
I believe the MBS is unique as it provides a world-class postgraduate business education all located right in the heart of Melbourne. The sense of community amongst the career-driven MBS students combined with the high calibre of lecturers create such a strong base for you to learn and excel in all aspects of business. This is also driven by the MBSSA and all the extra-curricular events that they host all semester long. These events allow you to connect with other students and inevitably spend a lot of time studying with them in the Masters' student lounge. There is always something new to experience here, someone new to meet, and new skills to pick up. You'll never find a dull moment at MBS, or in Melbourne for that matter, and that is one of the things I love most about living and studying here.
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