Meet IE’s MBA Class of 2017


Renata de Carvalho

IE Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A person passionate about life, eager to have a memorable collection of amazing experiences!

Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil

Fun Fact About Yourself: I started to learn English by myself at age six while playing videogames!

Undergraduate School and Major: Business Management at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV)

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: I have started my career as an intern at Microsoft, but for the past 6 years I have worked as a Management Consultant at Falconi, a major consultancy company in Brazil. In my time as a consultant, I have worked in the financial services, aviation, steel, monetary policy, public sector and even fast-food!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Back in 2014, I was working in a project in the sugar cane industry in a city with 7,000 inhabitants. The project had two main goals: deploy financial and technical goals throughout the company and establish a variable compensation model for achieving those goals. For me, at least initially, it was another Excel and PowerPoint-heavy task; but for the 120 workers at the sugar cane plantation, it was so much more. After defining the goals at the managerial and operational levels, I was in charge of creating action plans with the sugar cane cutters in order to achieve those goals.

Three months later, they achieved their goals and each one of them received 200 Reais (roughly 50 euros) in bonus compensation. One of them came to me one day after lunch and said that the money allowed him to finish building his house and that he was very grateful, since he was confident he could continue achieving great results thanks to what he had learned. In that moment, I realized that the work I had done went well beyond the spreadsheet and into someone’s life. It is very easy to get caught up in our own problems and daily tasks, but I realized that knowledge is our most powerful weapon and it can generate great results even with the smallest actions.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? My main advice to future business school applicants is to give yourself enough time to prepare and, most important, take it seriously.

For the GMAT, I would recommend creating a study plan and following through. It is fundamental to understand how the exam works and then develop a plan to take it, focusing mainly on time management and on how to approach certain questions since some mental models can save you valuable time. Last tip: practice! Take online tests and do multiple questions. This will prevent you from being surprised on the day of the exam.

Before worrying about the essays and recommendation letters, I believe that the most important task is to take time to learn more about yourself and what are your goals during and after the MBA program. Then, map the schools that match your goals and values and where you would fit best. This will show up in your essays and appeal to the admissions team.

After doing this reflection, it will be much easier to sit down and write the essays. Be yourself, choose experiences that were meaningful to you, present your ideas and values and point out how all of this can contribute to your classmates in the future. Ask trusted colleagues at work and close friends to review your essays and give any further insights on how you are presenting yourself.

Regarding the recommendation letter, I highly suggest choosing people based on how well they know you professionally rather than the title they hold at the organization. It is best to have someone who will know how to highlight your unique features and your professional achievements up to date.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? There were mainly three reasons that led me to choose the program at IE Business School. The first reason is that I was looking for a program focused on innovation and entrepreneurship, which would allow me to think in a different way and also deal with companies’ problems with an innovative approach. Second, every single alumni that I’ve met gave me such positive vibes and were so welcoming that I instantly felt part of the IE community. Last but not least, I wanted to be surrounded by as many different nationalities as possible while also living in a multi-cultural city such as Madrid.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I would absolutely love to turn a personal interest into a career and, therefore, finding a job at the skincare industry is my current goal. I believe that this is an industry with constant growth and one that has experienced a lot of innovation in the past years. It fascinates me how you can combine both technology and natural ingredients into a single cosmetic bottle, which will be purchased by people who want to treat themselves. I love how skincare can be turned into a ritual of unwinding and taking a moment to take care of yourself, even if for just five minutes!

Due to my desire to pursue innovation, my dream employer would be a South Korean skincare company, since they are always one step ahead when it comes to new technologies. Also, coming from a country with such rich biodiversity, I would gladly work for companies focused on organic skincare.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I want to be remembered as a team player, someone who was always had a positive attitude, willing to help my peers, and ready to contribute to the academic experience. Not only the academic side of the MBA, I would like my peers to perceive me as a person who is always interested in the extracurricular activities, fun to hang around with, and ready to pursue memorable moments (especially if there is food involved!).

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