Meet Washington Olin’s MBA Class Of 2020

Bruno Moreira Yamamura

Washington University’s Olin Business School in St. Louis

An engineer by training and an entrepreneur at heart.”

Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil

Fun Fact About Yourself: Even though I am from Brazil, I am a descendant of immigrant families from Japan, Portugal, and Italy.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Campinas, B.S. in Mechanical Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Ponta Iluminação, Head of Marketing and Business Development

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Over the course of three years, I was able to establish an online store in partnership with the family business (a small lighting and décor store in São Paulo) and maintain a 30% growth per month on average. By the end of 2017, the total sales of the e-commerce platform alone represented about 35% of total revenues of the company (both the storefront and online channels).

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Diversity in training, experiences, cultural or ethnic background. From the experiences I have had so far, I can foresee enhanced learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? While visiting Olin Business School last fall and connecting with current students, I was impressed by the intimate community and the feeling of belonging and inclusion. This was particularly important to me because I really felt that my personal needs and interests would be recognized and addressed. I didn’t want to be just a number, but a valued member of the program.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Participating in the CEL (Center for Experiential Learning) projects, where I will have a unique opportunity to apply classroom concepts to real companies with real issues, with the ultimate goal of creating impactful solutions.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? The Brazilian market has developed rapidly in the past several years, making entrepreneurship more difficult. Existing companies are experiencing increased competitiveness and facing new challenges, such as the e-commerce expansion and cannibalization of traditional retailing stores. Conscious of the evolving market, I am confident that an MBA is essential to my future success as an entrepreneur. Business schools are certainly not the only route to gaining expertise. However, the MBA is the most accelerated, rigorous, and integrative path – one that also provides benefits, such as networking and soft skills, that work experience alone cannot give me.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? As an engineer with little business expertise, it was necessary to set aside the next two years to invest in my future career as an entrepreneur.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I prioritized a school with a strong entrepreneurial platform and a flourishing startup community where I could get hands-on experience. I evaluated schools through rankings and success of recent alumni in my field of interest. I also contacted graduate offices and current students to better understand the school’s culture. After visiting campus and talking with current students and program recruiters, I was confident that Olin Business School could provide me with the tools I needed to fully grow personally and professionally.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? My path to the business world started when I studied abroad in Australia. Due to my flexible program curriculum, I took courses in economics and marketing to expand my knowledge of relevant topics outside of engineering. My internet marketing class ultimately inspired me to establish my own online retail store in partnership with the family business.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? I plan to expand both the storefront and online channels of the family business using the expertise and experiences gained through the MBA program.

Where do you see yourself in five years? With five more years’ worth of training and experiences, I aim to branch out from the family business to establish a new company of my own.

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