2016 MBAs To Watch: Fernanda Karoline de Souza Agostini Alves, UCLA (Anderson)

Fernanda Karoline de Souza Agostini Alves-UCLA-PoetsAndQuants_MBAsToWatch2016

Fernanda Karoline de Souza Agostini Alves

UCLA, Anderson School of Management

Age: 31

Hometown: Florianopolis, SC – Brazil

Undergraduate School and Degree: UDESC – Business Administration

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Claro (Telecommunications Company in Brazil) – Junior Manager

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? McKinsey Sao Paulo – Summer Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? McKinsey Southern California – Associate

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Community work: Junior Achievement, Special Olympics, and Book the Future; Leadership Roles in Business School: Management Consulting Association Alumni VP, Retail Management Association Events Director, and Women’s Business Connection International Director

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? The extracurricular achievement that I’m most proud of is coaching first-year international students who were seeking a career in consulting, during my second year in business school. It was very rewarding to be a small part of other classmates’ success and help them to get their dream offers.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I was assigned to a very challenging project just before I came to business school in Brazil. I had to deal with multiple stakeholders internally and external to the company in a very tight schedule and, in the end, the project achieved US$25 million in efficiency savings.

Who is your favorite professor? Eric Sussman, who teaches Corporate Financial Report. Even though I had no finance experience, he was able to share his knowledge in a way that people from different backgrounds could benefit from it. Besides that, he was very engaged with the student community and promoted several extracurricular events with us.

Favorite MBA Courses? Insight to Outcome and Persuasion & Influence

Why did you choose this business school? Anderson was the most rounded option for me, considering great academics, the size of the alumni, and being located in my favorite city.

What did you enjoy most about business school? I enjoyed learning from successful stories, not only from the faculty but also from other classmates. My class in Anderson had students from 35 different countries and every group had a lot to offer, both academically and socially.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? The MBA is an opportunity to reassess strengths and weaknesses. I was able to re-evaluate career goals and make a career change that I wanted with confidence. I leveraged not only my new academic knowledge, but also a better understanding of myself and my goals.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? Before coming to business school, I thought everyone would have had a fairly similar background. After joining Anderson, it was surprising to see how they chose people with very different experiences and how this contributes to the business school experience.

What was the hardest part of business school? Being an International MBA certainly presents extra challenges. On top of having to write well in a second language, you have to learn fast about the cultural differences in situations such as the recruiting process and work groups. Having a group of classmates and school support on this is probably the most rewarding part of the MBA.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? When I visited Anderson for the first time, I fell in love with the school. Besides being a gorgeous campus inside one of the greatest cities to live in the world, Anderson is a very friendly and open-minded school, so my recommendation would be to visit the campus and talk to as many students as possible.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when… I made a semester as an exchange student at Nottingham University and I saw how much I could learn from different perspectives and other cultures.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… regretting until now! I have no doubts about the cultural and academic benefits of an MBA to my career and life.”

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? Susan Wojcicki, YouTube CEO and UCLA Anderson alumna. I attended a presentation Susan made at Anderson, and I was very impressed by her story and how quickly she adapted to so many changes in the market to become the most influential woman on the Internet.

What are your long-term professional goals? I’m fully focused on my consulting career at McKinsey and becoming a partner of the company, possibly returning to Brazil. In the longer term, I’d like to evaluate entrepreneurship opportunities.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents, who always invested in my education and supported my career decisions, even though it would mean that I would have to live away from them in a different city or country.

Fun fact about yourself: I made a Personal Stylist course in Brazil and I love to help my friends with shopping for a special occasion or just to renew their wardrobes.

Favorite book: Dream Big by Cristiane Correa, about the story of Jorge Paulo Lemann, a very successful Brazilian entrepreneur and his partners. By hard work and values, they built a solid company that is now a major shareholder in companies like Budweiser, Burger King, and Heinz.

Favorite movie: Inception

Favorite musical performer: Florence and The Machine

Favorite television show: “House of Cards”

Favorite vacation spot: Maldives

Hobbies? Practicing yoga, going to new restaurants, and spending time with friends and family

What made Fernanda such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?

“During her first quarter at UCLA Anderson, Fernanda fully explored her career options and decided to pursue consulting in October, which is fairly late compared with other students. However, once she set her mind with a clear goal, she was very committed to the process, rising quickly to the learning curve with her due diligence. As a professional and enthusiastic individual, she successfully navigated the on-campus recruiting process with multiple offers from prestigious consulting firms and well represented UCLA Anderson beyond campus at the 4th MBA Brazil Networking Event, where she cultivated a powerful network. She will be going back to McKinsey full-time in the Los Angeles office. That is not an easy role to get for anyone, but this is especially true for an international student. Her ability to make this happen is a direct result of her diligence in preparing for the career search process and performance in her summer internship as well as her engaging personality.

“Fernanda has also been an amazing student leader. She actively participated in webinars sharing her experience and advice with prospective and incoming students, and was selected as a career coach working with first-year international students who target consulting.”

Regina Regazzi

Assistant Dean & Director

Parker Career Management Center

UCLA, Anderson School of Management