2018 MBAs To Watch: Andre Matos, Warwick Business School

Andre Matos

Warwick Business School

A motivator with a high degree of initiative. Caring cross-functional leader passionate about teams and technology.”

Age: 32

Hometown: Braga, Portugal

Fun fact about yourself: I played bass guitar for an audience of about ten thousand people.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

Masters in Mechanical Engineering – Energy and Environment

University of Minho, Portugal

Where did you work before enrolling in business school?

Jaguar Land Rover – Process Engineer

Bosch – Industrialization Engineer

Bang & Olufsen – Product Development Intern

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? N/A

Where will you be working after graduation? I am exploring management positions with premium players in the automotive industry.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Team leader on the WBS/GE Case Challenge 2018

Staff Student Liaison Committee Member

Warwick Midlands Alumni Network Member

Warwick Global Energy Professional Network Member

Warwick Strategy and Consulting Professional Network Member

Warwick Entrepreneurship Professional Network Member

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I’m proud of conceiving, proposing and helping define the content of a series of seminars with the Professors of Practice, there are 10 of them here who have been brought in from executive positions in finance, business and industry to pass on their considerable experience. The objective of the series is to establish highly interactive sessions between MBA students and professors on topics such as real world leadership, management decision-making, applying theory into practice, and entrepreneurship. These sessions provide students with world class practitioners’ advice on key topics, therefore adding immense value to the MBA experience.

I’m also really proud of leading the winning team in Case Study Saturday, which is an internal competition at WBS involving students from various Masters courses that simulates the role of a team of consultants pitching for a contract with a client. The assessors of the challenge were seasoned WBS alumni with great experience in consulting. This made it very enriching and provided excellent opportunities for development feedback and networking.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? During my time at Jaguar Land Rover, I managed the Lessons Learnt process of a Jaguar model, co-ordinating seven engineering teams and resulting in over 65 engineering improvements estimated to save £2.1 million over 4 years. Even more than the technical challenge, what I really enjoyed about this project was its soft skills aspect. This project meant that I had to create, facilitate, and manage the communication loop of vehicle quality Lessons Learnt between the Manufacturing and Product Development teams. Often in the automotive industry, relations between these two stakeholder groups are cold at best. So, success depended on breaking silos, facilitating communication, and promoting true cooperation by making common goals clear and obvious. That’s what I achieved.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor John Colley. John is one of the Professors of Practice. He brings to the lecture theatre his vast experience of being the CEO of a FTSE listed company, blended with the critical thinking of a top academic. His Strategic Thinking lectures have shaped and broadened my perspectives and understanding about business.

What was your favorite MBA Course It’s very hard to pick a favourite module. For example, I really enjoyed Entrepreneurial Finance because it was taught in Silicon Valley and offered me a real perspective and feel of how the West Coast sees entrepreneurship, failure, and venture capital.

As I said, I also loved Strategic Thinking because it made me see and understand business in a different way, challenged my perceptions, and opened new doors – all while giving me tangible tools I’ll use throughout my career.

Why did you choose this business school? When I came to the Open Day, I was really impressed with the quality of the taster lecture by a Professor of Practice. Being an Engineer, I value the knowledge that comes from practical experience, and I believe we get to learn a lot of real-world wisdom from the Professors of Practice. WBS is also very well ranked, it’s close to where I live and offered me a good scholarship.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Show how curious you are, how much you want to learn and meet new people.

What is the biggest myth about your school? I’m not sure if it’s a myth, but I feel there is a perception that WBS isn’t in a great location. In reality, Warwickshire is fantastic, with lovely towns such as Royal Leamington Spa, Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon, and so are the picturesque Cotswolds villages just 40 minutes away. I’ve been living in this area for five years and really enjoy it.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I have no regrets so far, I feel I’m making the most out of my MBA experience.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Azad Aafo. As a Kurd from Syria, Azad had no right to adequate education, decent employment, or even use of his own native language. He had to fight very hard to achieve university education and a career, which shows his extreme resolve and determination. Azad eventually left Syria because of the war, heading initially to Iraq and then the United Kingdom where he helped vulnerable people, the homeless and refugees, before starting the Full-Time MBA at WBS.

I’m sure Azad will one day do a lot for his people. His life shows resilience and perseverance that I’ve never encountered before, and in each story he tells me, I learn as much as in a good lecture. Even having gone through personal adversity, Azad is incredibly positive and kind. I find him incredibly inspirational and am honoured to be his friend.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? Mariana, my wife. Her unwavering support and belief in me, filled me with the confidence of knowing this would be a journey of two.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…very bored.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? I would ask and encourage the students for more student-led initiatives on the MBA, such as visits, talks, seminars, and clubs. Planting that seed of entrepreneurship would promote very useful and practical skills that would enrich their MBA experience and increase the level of ownership.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? In Portugal we say one must do three things in life:

  • Have children
  • Write a Book
  • Plant a tree

So far, I’ve only planted a tree, so I still have the remaining two to do.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Andre asked great questions that helped me see things differently.

What is your favorite movie about business? Ahead of the Class – 2005.

This movie is about leadership. It shows the life of a brilliant headmistress (Julie Walters) appointed to rescue a school that’s facing closure after the murder of its previous headmaster. In this movie, we can see amazing moments of leadership from which great lessons can be drawn.

What would your theme song be? “The Times They Are a-Changin’” – Bob Dylan

Favorite vacation spot: Azores, Portugal

Hobbies? – Playing the blues on my Stratocaster

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

Andre is an outstanding MBA student. I first met him on the Entrepreneurial Finance module in Silicon Valley in December and I was immediately struck by his passion for entrepreneurialism and his country Portugal.

He asked very insightful questions during the classes and I spent several evenings with him discussing the finer points of being an entrepreneur and the structures needed for it to thrive in an economy. He wants to invite me over to a couple of initiatives in Portugal to help build a start-up community one day. He wants to take what he is learned back to his home country and start a project to build the entrepreneurial spirit in Portugal and I have no doubt he will succeed, he is a very determined young man.

I have dealt with many entrepreneurs over the years and the one thing that defines the successful ones is passion, perseverance and tenacity. Andre has that in bucket loads and I am sure Portugal will benefit from his passion and knowledge as he already has great technical skills thanks to his engineering background.”

John Lyon

Angel Investor and Professor of Practice Entrepreneurship & Innovation





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