Julia Cavalcanti Fadul
University of Pittsburgh, Katz Graduate School of Business
Hometown: Salvador, Bahia – Brazil
Undergraduate School and Degree: Universidade Catolica do Salvador – Civil Engineer
Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Odebrecht S.A – Junior Project Manager
Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? Kiewit Power Constructors – Scattergood Unit 3 Repowering, El Segundo, CA
Where will you be working after graduation? Kiewit Power Constructors, Project Manager I – MBA Associate
Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Project Bundle-Up, Mission Continues (rebuilding together), Student Executive Board President
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am proud to have been elected Student Executive Board president and to have been able to have the voice of the student body heard by faculty and administration. Also, I motivated my board and the student body to participate in International Friendsgiving, an event where each country represented at the school would bring food from their culture to share with everyone.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Prior to coming to the MBA program, I was the junior project manager at the Itaipava Brewery. I was responsible for 11 people, had direct communication with the owners of the project, and was part of the decision-making process.
Who is your favorite professor? Finance Professor David Dennis. He was able to turn a subject I thought I would have difficulty grasping into something interesting and understandable.
Favorite MBA Courses? Corporate Finance, Negotiations I, Economics, and Global Energy/Russia Energy Program
Why did you choose this business school? I chose Katz because of its broadly focused MBA, so I would be able to focus on my interest (finance and strategy) and have an understanding of all the aspects important to a business such as organizational behavior and marketing. Moreover, I was able to pair my MBA with a master’s in civil engineering, which enabled me to enhance my technical skills.
What did you enjoy most about business school? The experience-based learning classes and the collaborative atmosphere of the program were what I enjoyed most. Katz’s commitment to experiential learning forged an interactive classroom environment that allowed for a hands-on experience with real companies and enabled students to work on real problems. It helped me to put the techniques and skills I learned in the classroom to use immediately in a controlled educational environment.
What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? The importance of networking is the biggest lesson I learned from business school. Sometimes in business school you can get lost in all the school work but you need to pick your head up and connect with other students, faculty, and alumni to expand your opportunities.
What was the most surprising thing about business school? The most surprising thing about business school was the diversity in my class and how we are able to work with people from different backgrounds and learn more about their business culture.
What was the hardest part of business school? The hardest part was getting adjusted to my new academic routine. After working for eight and a half years, I had to re-learn how to study for an exam. When you are working, work is done when you get home; however, in business school there is always something else that is needed to be completed or something requiring my attention. It was a challenge, but I was able to quickly adapt to my new routine.
What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? Katz is looking for future leaders so make sure you focus on what differentiates you from the other students and how that makes you unique, and more importantly a good leader.
“I knew I wanted to go to business school when… I was ready for a management position and a new challenge but I needed the business skills to round out my technical engineering skills.”
“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be… working in construction management in Brazil.”
Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? My father. He worked and owned various businesses. As I grew up, he constantly challenged me to be better and understand the processes behind decisions and their ramifications.
What are your long-term professional goals? My goal is to be in a high management role where I am able to make influential decisions for the company and ultimately make a difference in my community.
Who would you most want to thank for your success? My parents for pushing me to go above and beyond and helping me believe in my potential.
Fun fact about yourself: I have been educated in three countries and speak four languages. I was born in Brazil, and moved to France with my parents and two sisters when I was 7, and I lived there for four and a half years before returning home. Additionally, when I was 16, I lived in Minnesota for one year as an exchange student. I speak Portuguese, French, English, and Spanish. It was interesting to grow up in different countries and experience different cultures.
Favorite book: Gone Girl
Favorite movie: Mary Poppins
Favorite musical performer: Celine Dion
Favorite television show: “Friends”
Favorite vacation spot: Paris, France
Hobbies? Traveling, running, and cooking
What made Julia such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?
“Julia Fadul was an easy choice for this nomination because she epitomizes student leadership. Julia serves as the President of our Student Executive Board (SEB) for full-time students. As such, she has been instrumental in improving communications between the student body and the school administration on a range of important issues. Julia has also used the SEB as a platform to increase student engagement in community-building activities including dances, cultural nights, social outings, and in fundraising and volunteering activities.
“As a joint-degree student pursuing her master’s in civil engineering along with her MBA with a concentration in finance, Julia is very strong academically. A highlight for her occurred this past spring term, when she conducted research while traveling in Washington County, PA, Russia, and Bulgaria to study the global energy industry. This experience contributed to her success during her summer internship at Kiewit Power Constructors – Scattergood Unit 3 Repowering in El Segundo, Calif., where Julia will be returning for full-time employment after graduation as a Project Manager – MBA Associate.
“If I had to single out one quality that separates Julia from her peers, it is her professional presence. She is friendly, mature, humble, and able to connect with anybody; yet she exudes professionalism in all her dealings. In that sense, Julia is a role model to her peers for the type of leadership that we wish to cultivate in our students.”
Director of MBA programs
Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh
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