2018 MBAs To Watch: Gabriel Sinisgalli Reginato, UCLA (Anderson)

Gabriel Sinisgalli Reginato

UCLA, Anderson School of Management

I love listening to people’s stories, paying attention to details and having some good laughs.”

Age: 31

Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Fun fact about yourself: In the year before business school I almost became a politician.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Mackenzie University, B.B.A. and Fundação Getulio Vergas, Masters of Business Economics.

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Galeazzi & Associados, a leading turnaround consulting firm in Brazil, as an Engagement Manager. Prior to that, I worked as an associate at one of the first private equity firms in Brazil and as a consultant at Deloitte Financial Advisory.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? Angeleno Group, a clean energy private equity firm in Los Angeles.

Where will you be working after graduation? Undecided.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • VP of Finance of the Class of 2018 – Anderson Student Association
  • Admissions Ambassador Committee (Admit Preview Day and Anderson Days)
  • Class of 2019 Orientation Leader
  • Director of Impact Investing – Net Impact
  • Director of Admissions – Latin American Business Association
  • VP of Internationals – Section Rep
  • Anderson Exceptional Student Fellowship

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? As the VP of Finance of my class, I oversaw the entire budget of all the clubs and associations. During my tenure, I increased our revenues by 39% and developed a new budget formula that I believe was more inclusive towards clubs with less representation in terms of memberships. These changes allowed these clubs to promote activities not possible thus far. As an outcome of this initiative, panels on diversity and sustainability such as “Sustainability and Purpose in Fashion”, “Diversity, Inclusion and Finance at Anderson”, and “The Anderson International Film Festival” were made possible, with the financial support of the Anderson Student Association. In addition, I implemented a reporting process that gave more transparency to all the leaders in our class on how our financial resources were being used. That was the first time that the Anderson Student Council, which comprises all the clubs and associations leaders, analyzed and voted on how our funds should be invested.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? There are a couple achievements I am proud of, such as suddenly taking over a Director’s job in a marketing project for the largest food manufacturer in Brazil and successfully restructuring their portfolio and leading the spin-off of a $1 billion dollar business unit. However, what really gives me joy and the sense of accomplishment is having managed and helped my direct reports to find their ways. There was one colleague, in particular, who asked me for advice. After a couple of discussions, he took my advice to pursue a six months certificate in the US to develop his skills. The impact we can have on the lives of those around us is huge and I am proud to have helped others make difficult but fruitful decisions.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Eric Sussman. Eric exhibits his passion for teaching during every class in the most vibrant and genuine way.

What was your favorite MBA Course? Negotiations Behavior with Professor Miguel Unzueta. I guess the lesson I incorporated the most was that there is not a single situation in our lives where we can’t improve our stance.

Why did you choose this business school? The day I got accepted at Anderson, I received a personal handwritten note from Alex Lawrence (Dean of Admissions). This personal touch, combined with the diverse career paths that Anderson graduates take, made my decision easy. However, what really caught my attention was one of the school’s principle of Sharing Success. This principle could not have resonated more with my values and when I experienced it during Anderson Days (for admitted students), I decided to accept the offer.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Talk to as many people (staff, alum or current student) as you can so that you can understand the school’s values and culture. Also, in the essays and interviews, be yourself. There is nothing more convincing than speaking genuinely about your personality and dreams.   

What is the biggest myth about your school? Being located only a few miles from Silicon Beach, applicants could think that Anderson is all about the tech industry. Although we do a phenomenal job recruiting for tech, Anderson does great in several other industries. It is one of the strongest finance schools to the west of the Mississippi, sending several students to investment banking and investment management across the US. Also, UCLA has unparalleled exposure to the entertainment industry, a solid Real Estate department, and a substantial presence in the Healthcare industry. There is nothing you can’t achieve out of UCLA Anderson.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Not having talked with more senior alums before the MBA to learn what really matters out of this experience and where to devote most of my energy.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I would like to divide this question in two parts. On a professional side, I have to recognize three people: Katie Donovan, Guilherme Gomes, and Pepe Diaz. I had the pleasure to work with each of them in different settings and their passion for what they do and their power to accomplish things was inspiring. Katie, together with her co-president, led UCLA Anderson to win the Net Impact Graduate Chapter of the Year. Gomes, also with his co-president, took the Latin American Business Association to a different level. And Pepe was a reference for all international students supporting them in all sorts of challenges. On a personal side, Ryan Dumlao and Terence “TJ” Wynn couldn’t be better friends.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? During undergrad, I had a professor who said that we should never stop learning and the best learning experience would be from a top US MBA.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…a politician, which I still think I will end up being at some point in my life.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? I would create an alumni program where a 5+ alumnus is paired with a current student and follow up with an agreed frequency during their entire MBA.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Pay my loans and visit Germany to learn more about the country´s unique history

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Gabriel strived to build meaningful relationships, help others in the first place and always had a smile on his face.

What is your favorite movie about business? The Pursuit of Happiness. The message of never quitting is very motivating.

What would your theme song be? Anything from Howard Shore or Hans Zimmer.

Favorite vacation spot: Jerusalem was definitely the best vacation spot I have ever been, but I am happy anywhere by the ocean.

Hobbies? Solo backpacking in exotic places, camping and following politics.

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

“What I love about Gabriel Reginato is that he embraces life and opportunities with open arms, making the most of everything that comes his way. He has done that his whole time here at Anderson, whether it was in being “Rah Rah” about Anderson, participating in student clubs, interacting with fellow Brazilians or welcoming others into their group’s customs and celebrations, or observing interactions in local LA communities.

As his career advisor, I saw Gabriel work extremely hard to be as well-prepared as he possibly could be, so that he could represent himself and the school very well. Gabriel spent his summer at a local private equity firm, a job coveted by many. When he went into that role, they were very clear that this would not become a full-time opportunity. Regardless, he impressed them starting Day 1, and within the first few weeks, they told him that his performance was more like someone who had been there for years, as compared to a summer intern of just a few weeks.  By the end of the summer, the firm said that they would love to find a way to make him a full-time offer. He’s still thinking about that, which brings up another admirable point about Gabriel. He is incredibly thoughtful. He observes situations around him, and he has made many astute comments after processing his observations. He is someone who believes in building relationships as compared to treating interactions transactionally, which has made for some wonderful and cherished conversations between us. He also thinks long and hard about decisions, taking his considerations a few branches out on the decision tree.

Gabriel is doing everything he can to give back to the community whether it’s to fellow classmates or the Anderson of tomorrow. He is active as an Admissions volunteer, again thinking out a few years to make sure we have the best possible future students. He also stepped up to the plate in student government when another student stepped down from the VP of finance role. Gabriel doesn’t hesitate to give back and lend a hand.

Whether Gabriel stays in the US or moves back to Brazil, I envision him being someone who not only carries the Anderson flag in whatever he does, both professionally and personally, but also someone upon whom I will be able to rely if the school or I need something. I am grateful for what Gabriel has given and what I know he will give in the future!”

Regina Regazzi                                
Dean, Parker Career Management Center

 

DON’T MISS THE FULL LIST:

100 MBAS TO WATCH IN THE CLASS OF 2018