Meet The Rotman MBA Class Of 2018

Henrique Sana

Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A Social/Quant paradox: a likeable Brazilian who enjoys networking as much as data-mining.

Hometown: Campinas, Sao Paulo

Fun Fact About Yourself: Once, after an exhausting Friday work day followed by a cheerful happy hour(s), I took a bus home but felt asleep. I woke up 4:00 AM at the last stop in a small city 200km away. My cell phone battery was dead and I had no money in my pockets (neither any ATM machines nearby). Thankfully, I convinced a very understanding bus-driver to free-ride me back home. When I opened my apartment door, just in time for a Saturday breakfast, I had to convince my not-so-very understanding wife about this surreal hangover story.

Undergraduate School and Major: Insper, Business Administration – Strategy and Finance.

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

  • [CPFL] Solar & ESCo start-ups – Associate
  • [CPFL] M&A/Business Development – Senior Analyst
  • [CPFL] Financial Planning – Senior Analyst
  • [AES] Strategic Planning – Senior Analyst
  • [SHV/Makro] CEO’s Office – Analyst
  • [Econcern/Ecofys] Carbon Credits Market –  Trainee
  • [Siemens] Strategic Planning – Junior Analyst

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I influenced the CEO and other senior executives to triple the Investment budget for a start-up subsidiary during a strategic plan review.

A couple months earlier, I noticed that the original business plan for the start-up had contained some fallacious assumptions that didn’t reflect the market reality. After data crushing the numbers and aligning with other departments, we came to the conclusion that the new business could only deliver it original value to shareholders if a drastic change in the cash flows and market approach took place.

During a very stressful presentation, I did a bold (but checkmate) argument to the Board of Directors: “Bottom-line this is an investment decision: should (a) the group allocate a small percentage of its cash to capture double-digit return market with this start-up; or (b) should it continue, as usual, maintaining slow growth in the other existing business?” The CEO just smiled at me and sponsored the 3x Investment review.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? Invest your time in a deep reflection on who you are and how could the MBA experience develop the best in you.

I know it sounds cliché, but it is a very effective strategy to guide you through the application process by understanding your true fit with the business school and consequently making a solid and genuine impression in your essays and AdCom interviews.

Don’t get me wrong: obviously, you should study hard for the GMAT and ‘brain-up’ even during coffee breaks for quick exercises with some very interesting apps/tutorials; but do not make the mistake of putting all of your efforts into acing the ‘Quants’ while neglecting the valuable ‘Quals’.

Therefore, count on the support of others to deliver an authentic assessment of your personal and professional experience (both successes and failures) Know your drivers, passions, and, bottom-line. Understand what makes you unique. That is what will keep you motivated during this stressful application process, and make you succeed: put your heart discovering your fit to set you apart from the crowd.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Rotman’s proposition overwhelmed me: an innovative and pragmatic approach to developing the full potential of their MBA candidates to address real-life and real-time problems.

Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to experience a glimpse of this mindset when I attended the Rotman Problem Solving Challenge: an intensive mind-blowing and multi-cultural teamwork experience that awed me every minute of it.

Now, for the journey that lies ahead, I am very excited to go through this unique program in an intellectually challenging environment that will constantly stretch me outside my comfort zone in order to do the following:

  • Develop my ‘soft-skills’ with the Self-Development Labs and the individual coach sections with the Career Center;
  • Learn ‘thinking-outside-the-box’ methodologies (i.e. Integrated Thinking and Problem Solving) aligned with ‘hard-skills’ of Quant analysis to deliver the best of team-work in the 1st term’s Capstone project;
  • Leverage my Finance skills through prestigious opportunities in the 2nd term such as the major in Investment Banking and the Creative Destruction Lab (a dream-come-true for Venture Capital/Private Equity enthusiasts).

To top it all, there is a strong sense of belonging to an international diversified community of remarkable people. It enriches your global awareness and enhances, even more, the lifetime experience to live in Toronto’s cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? After 10 years of work experience in the Energy sector in Brazil, I would be thrilled to leverage my expertise in a career in the Capital Markets/Buy Side developing e-Infrastructure and energy projects worldwide. So far, CPP IB and Brookfield are two very promising Canadian groups that I dream of working for.

Nevertheless, I will keep my mind open for many other fascinating career opportunities in financial services and private equity where I could also apply my expertise to influence and create value but in a much wider range of business.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I hope to leave a very positive and enduring legacy in the Rotman community. First of all, I wish to build and maintain long lasting global friendships and to be remembered as a team player, someone likeable at the happy hours and student clubs events.

In the midterm, I would love to become a mentor for international students and continuing a bond with the academic community (not only Rotman, but with other U of T’s campus as well, since they have a prestigious reputation in research). In the long term, why not to dream a little bit: Having my name in that respectful List of Donors by the entrance hall.