The University of Iowa

Fond memories of a study abroad experience in Milan, Italy, from Will Sobecki (BBA finance ’20)

January 29th, 2021
Photo of Will Sobecki

Will Sobecki

Bitten by the travel bug at a young age after a European trip with his family, Will Sobecki (BBA finance ‘20) set his sights on study abroad during college. After exploring his options with Cory Petersen, senior advisor and program coordinator in the UI Study Abroad office, Sobecki settled on a semester-long study abroad program through IES in Milan, Italy. “Milan blew my expectations away,” said Sobecki. “You don’t hear about Milan as much as Rome, Florence, and Venice, but Milan is the financial capital of Italy and it’s one of the four fashion capitals of the world.”

A finance major, Sobecki was able to take coursework in international finance as well as a course called Managing a Fashion and Luxury Company. “There’s no better place to learn about international finance than the financial capital of Italy. I took courses with industry professionals who work with designer brands. I was able to get professional expertise from people who actually work in the industry,” reflected Sobecki. Field trips included visits to flagship stores of Gucci and Prada in Milan’s fashion district as well as exploration of the Armani museum.

Sobecki also studied Italian and was able to pursue a personal interest in photography through an elective course—a skill he was able to practice in Milan and throughout Europe while traveling on school breaks.

"Getting that global experience is so valuable and not easy to do once you leave college and start working full-time. It’s not easy to just escape to Europe for four months, so do it while you can."

Now employed at Aon as a finance leadership program analyst, Sobecki is grateful for his time abroad. “Getting that global experience is so valuable and not easy to do once you leave college and start working full-time. It’s not easy to just escape to Europe for four months, so do it while you can,” said Sobecki. He relishes memories of daily routines such as a morning espresso and croissant at a Milanese café with fellow classmates.

Sobecki’s adventures are continuing in the professional world. At Aon he is part of a finance- and accounting-based rotation program that will expose him to three nine-month rotations based out of their Chicago office. His current rotation involves global financial planning and analysis for Aon’s reinsurance and retirement solutions lines.

In addition to his work at Aon, Sobecki is co-founder and CEO of Live Easy Solutions, a company he started six years ago with high school classmates (Buffalo Grove High School in Buffalo Grove, Illinois). Live Easy Solutions created the Hoodie Hoop–a tool created to re-thread drawstrings in clothing. The product is now available on Amazon Prime.

Sobecki plans to return to Milan in the near future. “Study abroad and international travel helps you to see how the world operates outside of your own little bubble,” said Sobecki. And you can bet he will bring his trusty camera to continue taking beautiful photos to share with the world.


University of Iowa alum Will Sobecki on his favorite memories from studying abroad in Milan, Italy:

University of Iowa alum Will Sobecki on his study abroad advice:


Some photos shared by Will Sobecki:

Duomo di Milano

Duomo di Milano
Will Sobecki and with his parents in Milan, Italy

Will Sobecki (right) with his parents in Milan, Italy

 

The Duomo in Florence, Italy, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

The Duomo in Florence, Italy, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Bunkers of Carmel in Barcelona, Spain

Bunkers of Carmel in Barcelona, Spain

 

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