Emanuele Julien Pellegrino

“Sooner or later, hardworking pays off. Being acknowledged for all efforts is gratifying and a good reason to continue in that same direction.”

Nome: Emanuele Julien Pellegrino

Provenienza: Piano di Sorrento (NA)

Studi: Mechanical Engineering

Why did you decide to study Mechanical Engineering at Politecnico di Milano?

If I told you I didn’t consider enrolling anywhere else, I would be lying. Still, POLIMI has always been where I wanted to go, which made sense considering my interests and ambition. In the end, I made the decision taking into account the quality of teaching and excellence in the vehicle field – which I specialised in. But also because of the partnerships that Politecnico has with other national and international universities, Research Centres, and enterprises. 

How was it moving to Milan? Which opportunities do you think Politecnico offers thanks to its location?

Moving to Milan was a dream to me, and it definitely met my expectations. Milan is a truly European city, which means it offers tons of opportunities at every level. I think it’s safe to say that Milan made me “smarter”, which I consider a positive outcome when adapting to a new lifestyle. Meanwhile, this experience made me yet learn to appreciate more the country life I left behind. In Milan, I also had the chance to indulge in old and new hobbies. Not only I kept on playing music, but I also discovered new sports that in remote areas are way less known and followed, like Krav Maga. I believe that being included in such an open and international context, puts Politecnico in the position to provide more academic and post-academic chances. Every moment is the right one to creating your network of contacts, even without you realising it.  

According to you, which has been so far the most satisfying moment of your academic experience?

Before I tell, there is something I need to say. As a student, mine has been an ever-growing path. I had to face many difficulties and, only with time, I learned to fit the shoes I wanted to wear. You will understand why, up to now, this has been the most satisfying moment of my career. When at TU Berlin, I had the International Exchange Coordinator personally check my marks with all my Professors there. Being all As, she wanted to make sure there was no mistake. To be honest, I would have done the same because I was just as shocked as she was: I had never received such grades before. Feeling so at ease and confident has been the secret ingredient to succeed and exceed my own expectations. Once agreed they were real, the coordinator – an Italian immigrant – printed a copy of my learning agreement and pinned it to her desk as an example of the “Italian excellence abroad”. This episode made me realise that, sooner or later, hardworking pays off. Being acknowledged for all efforts is equally satisfying and a reason to keep moving forward in that same direction.  

Politecnico offers many services. Which of them had an important role during your days at POLIMI?

For me, the studying rooms. Definitely! These spaces allow students to meet when asked to work in teams, and, in these moments, confrontation is essential. Every debate is an improvement, both as students and as people. Individual studying is crucial, but it is not enough. If today I am who I am, I owe it to the people I met over these five years, included two of my closest study-buddy that have been with me since day one. The constant exchange of ideas, along with perseverance, made me reach the grade average point to get a scholarship, which is something I’m really proud of. 

As mechanical engineering students, you can participate in many different exchange programmes. Did you? Tell us about your experience.

The available exchange programmes are numerous and diverse, and they benefit both the students and the Universities involved. The procedure is long – a lot of red tape – but it is important not to give up because, eventually, it will be worth it. It is impossible to describe how much you will learn in terms of life experience, new concepts, and open-mindedness. You’ll feel challenged all the time. Meanwhile, you will: learn to interact with people with different cultures and ideas, find the means to overcome all communication obstacles, dive into learning and speaking new languages, become passionate about new subjects, and live unique experiences. I took part in Alliance4Tech, and I am glad I did. Because these are opportunities that create new opportunities. For example, in Paris, I voluntarily joined a team working on designing a fully-autonomous vehicle made of only French-speaking people as the person in charge of the dynamics. No matter how hard it was, I was forced to speak French, which I knew already but hadn’t spoken in years. In Berlin, instead, I walked in a Wind Tunnel for the first time and learned how it works. Thanks to my previous experience, I had the chance to use the Wind Tunnel in Bovisa to carry out my Master’s Thesis research activity. Today I still find it difficult to express what this programme left me with. But I am sure of one thing: if the opportunity makes a thief, then, for once, it’s good to become a very reach one. 

Do you think studying mechanical engineering at Politecnico di Milano has helped you become who you wanted to be “when you grow up”?

My dream growing up was to be a firefighter. When I was about 7, I changed my mind because I started being interested in vehicles. Since that moment, the answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” has been “I want to design red cars”. I lightened up every time I heard the noise of an engine down the road. As a musician, recognising the sound for me was both an exercise and a game. Still, with time, I realised I wasn’t only interested in vehicles and engines. During my years at Politecnico I did develop my interests in engines, but I got fond of new aspects of them as well, especially the ones related to the design process. Thanks to my specialisation in Ground Vehicles, I found the right balance between my passion and the need for learning to fully understand all its parts and design. I believe my dream is not a reality yet, but I think I am on the way to achieve my dream-life.

Is there a piece of advice you feel like giving to future students?

Firstly, do not study to get a good mark because, at the given time, you’ll be paid off anyway. Instead, to those who are uncertain about studying abroad, I feel like saying: trust that spark you see in everyone who decided to leave. You won’t regret it.

Find out more about the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering.