2018 MBAs To Watch: Antonio Mont’Alverne, HEC Paris

Antonio Mont’Alverne

HEC Paris

Age: 30

Innovation enthusiast who seeks to solve complex challenges while building meaningful relationships.”

Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fun fact about yourself: I never get tired of driving, and I will surely agree to drive (almost) anything with four wheels and a motor.

Undergraduate School and Degree:  

Ecole Centrale Marseille – Master in Engineering

Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro – B.Sc. In Mechanical Enginnering

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? HELIBRAS – Project Engineer

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? Dassault Systèmes – 3DS Vélizy Campus (Paris)

Where will you be working after graduation? Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi – Alliance Rotational Development Program Global (ARDP-G)

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: (Include school awards and honors)

  • MBA Ambassador Program Student Coordinator
  • Industry Club Director
  • Organizing Committee of the TEC Program Annual Reunion
  • Logistics Manager for the MBA Talent Show
  • Transportation Coordination for the Winter Gala
  • MBA Tournament Medical First Response Volunteer
  • Awarded HEC MBA Excellence Scholarship

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? My summer internship in Dassault Systèmes was one of the richest periods of my MBA, and certainly what I list as my top achievement during the program.

Dassault Systèmes has a broad solution portfolio of engineering and business software that faces very strong competition in a market that is being ruffled by several emerging digitalization technologies (Internet of Things, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain etc). In such a complex environment, I had to hit the ground running and put to test all my engineering past experiences and what I had learned in the MBA so far in order to complete my work in DS’ Corporate Strategy team.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Before the MBA, in late 2015, I became the project coordinator for the engineering activities related to the H-XBR Program in Brazil – the integration of multiple mission systems for seven custom-tailored configurations of Airbus Helicopter’s H225M heavy helicopter for the Brazilian Armed Forces. In the Brazilian office, not only I was the younger project manager in the team, but I was also heading the largest project we had at that time!

Who was your favorite MBA professor?  It is very difficult to mention only one, but since I got in HEC as a complete finance novice I would say that Professor Pascal Quiry certainly amazed me.

Leveraging his incredible M&A experience obtained while working for BNP Paribas, he was able to expose very intricate cases in a simple and direct way. With his subtle humor and calm speech, he drove our Strategy Specialization class through elegant financial structures he and his colleagues had created and that shaped – sometimes saving – some of the most famous European companies.

What was your favorite MBA Course Behavioral Strategy taught by Professor Olivier Sibony was a mind-opening experience. It is surprising to learn how human beings can be extremely non-rational, even when we are consciously and carefully trying to make rational decisions!

In this course, we began by deconstructing the assumption that human beings behave as rational agents – one of the foundations of classic economic and management disciplines – and went on to study how biases can affect strategic decisions. Even more importantly, we also discussed what the latest researchers indicate to be good measures to detect and reduce risks related to biases, both in individual and collective settings. Impossible to attend this course and not change the way we make decisions!

Why did you choose this business school? There are mainly three reasons I chose HEC Paris:

(1) Cohort Size and Diversity: Each intake has between 100 (January) and 140 (September) students, what allows us to know each one of our colleagues, their individual stories, and characteristics. This favors the exchanges among our cohort and is a major part of the overall learning process.

(2) Industry Connections: I wanted to come back to an industry-related role after my MBA, and HEC is known as being the European “Alma mater of CEOs”. No better way to understand the context of leadership in a given sector than by discussing with leaders. This was made possible by the numerous events where we had eminent executives – such as Louis Gallois and Bernard Bourigeaud, just to name two of them – coming to Campus to share their experiences with students. Besides, the Alumni network is very strong and active, organizing events that mingle former students from all HEC Paris programs.

(3) Academic Excellence: The HEC Paris MBA is rooted in classroom-based experiences, so having very qualified professors, with both academic and corporate knowledge, was a key factor in my selection process.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? From the beginning, always try to see the big picture: how will the MBA align with your past professional background and desired future path? Not only will it allow you to more easily prepare your essays, but it will be also a guiding thread during your whole MBA experience. This will allow you to more efficiently network in your target industry(ies) and sharpshoot job opportunities, saving a lot of precious time and effort.

It does not mean that you must get to HEC with all your detailed career plans laid out and carved in stone. I suggest to have a clear heading and a first plan how to get there. This will make any career discussion way easier, and allow you to iterate this plan with the support of colleagues, alumni, career services and professors.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Hard fact: HEC Paris is not in Paris! This is a recurring joke among the students and the staff, as our Campus is located in a small village in the outskirts of the French capital called Jouy-en-Josas.

Initially I believed that this would be a downside of the program, but, in the end, this was no issue at all. People who wanted to live in Paris commuted daily, and those who lived on campus always found ways to go downtown. Those willing to be in touch with the French culture and companies could easily go to Paris on evenings. Besides, I found out that campus life also has big advantages, such not worrying about daily commuting and being able to enjoy walks and barbecues in the park inside HEC’s grounds.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Sitting out some of the evening student-organized activities. There is so much to do in a business school environment such as HEC that sometimes I just had to take some time to rest amid the very busy schedule. But now that I am out of the program, I would have loved to enjoy more presentations, discussion panels, workshops, and – why not – even more parties!

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Paul Lemaire is not only an exceptional colleague and a friend, but throughout our MBA he was a leadership model to all of us.

An operation-proven Foreign Legion commander of the French Army, Paul demonstrated every day his natural leadership style, uplifting everyone’s spirits whenever possible, but also always providing a couple of words of wisdom when necessary. Never boasting on his previous military achievements, he always stated that he was there to learn from all of us.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My father had a very positive influence on my education and fully supported my decision to pursue an MBA. Being also an engineer who later moved to business functions, he is to me a role model and a mentor; always willing to share his hard-learned life lessons. Early on, he taught me how important it is to never cease learning during our lives, and to challenge myself to always become a better person and professional.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…not who I am today.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? Allow students to take additional elective courses at the end of the MBA Program. In the spring term we had to choose between doing a long summer internship and taking elective classes. As I believe that the on-the-job experience is an exceptional way to apply mid-course what we are learning and test in a real setting our career move, I opted for that. However, after hearing the feedback from my peers who attended the elective classes, I believe it would be great if we could optionally extend our MBA course for an additional term to also get those electives to complement our academic experience.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

(1) Have a happy family life: Marriage is on sight, kids will come one day…

(2) Retire knowing that I did my best whenever I faced any challenge.

All the rest is bonus!

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A good trustworthy friend, just a call away!

What is your favorite movie about business? The Big Short – It’s easy to watch a movie about one of the biggest economic bubbles in modern times. It shows that sometimes, in life and in business, issues are so huge that people tend to ignore it, until everything collapses. But the signals are there, you just have to filter out all the noise.

What would your theme song be? “Roll the Bones” – Rush

Favorite vacation spot: Portugal. It is incredible how it can be so small and diverse. A couple of hours drive, and you can see completely different settings. And I will not even start talking about the food there…

Hobbies? Photography, automobiles, and travelling. I hit the jackpot when I get to combine all these three into a given activity, like going to endurance races to get the best shots I can from the races!

What made Antonio such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“Antonio’s intellectual curiosity and determination makes him an engaged student in class. He has strong analytical and problem-solving skills and can easily follow both theoretical and practice-based arguments. Antonio is also an articulated speaker with excellent communication and social skills. He delivers clear and convincing oral presentations and is an inclusive and collegial team member, always showing great respect for his colleagues’ viewpoints, which facilitates the collective learning experience in the classroom. In sum, Antonio is a bright and committed team player and his positive attitude helped transform the Class of 2018 into a vibrant student community.”

Gonçalo Pacheco de Almeida

Associate Professor of Strategy and Business Policy

Academic Director of the MBA Strategy Specialization

HEC Paris

“Antonio headed the student ambassador program and was therefore a vital part of our efforts in promoting the school. He was a very pro-active student, always available, quick to reply and bringing in great suggestions to improve our communication with candidates. What stands out in working with Antonio though, is his positive attitude that made it an all-around pleasure not only to work, but also to be around him.”

Susanne Hofmarcher

Marketing & Recruitment Manager






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