Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Golfer who turned into a multi-lingual travelled civil engineer specialized in dredging and offshore construction
Hometown: Lisbon, Portugal
Fun Fact About Yourself: I used to play high competition golf and played for the Portuguese National Team and was three times Portuguese Junior Champion; at some point I seriously considered a career as a professional golfer. I am also passionate about skiing in particular extreme skiing and once came extremely close to be caught in an (huge) avalanche.
Undergraduate School and Major: Instituto Superior Técnico (Lisbon Portugal) – Civil Engineering
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Jan De Nul Group, Tender and Proposals Engineer. Jan De Nul Group is a worldwide leading company in Dredging, Marine and Offshore Construction with 6,500 employees and €1.85B revenues in 2017
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In my previous job before joining INSEAD, I was responsible for the preparation of proposals for dredging services for the offshore industry and served as main point of contact with customers. We prepared an offer for a major Oil & Gas client. After intense negotiations, changes, re-negotiations, things were looking on the right track for the award of the project to Jan De Nul Group. Unfortunately, it was time for me to leave for the MBA before we managed to sign the contract.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Everybody is driven into maximizing the learning experience both inside and outside the classroom, not only for themselves but for everybody.
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? INSEAD is one of the most recognized MBA programs in Europe with an incredible alumni network that not only shows the potential impact the INSEAD MBA can have in a career but also shows that it is a global school. Also, the fact that the INSEAD MBA is only a 10-month program suited me best.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? The Energy Club – I believe the energy sector is key for modern societies that are facing enormous challenges due to more demand in power, the needs for sustainable energy, and climate change.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? As an engineer, I realized that I somehow didn’t master the hard and soft kills that would help me successfully run a business. An MBA would help me develop those skills, both inside and outside the classroom, by being among extremely driven and bright classmates and excellent professors. Also, an MBA would give me self-knowledge and flexibility which will be key to be able to accommodate my family goals and needs throughout my career. After the INSEAD experience, I believe I will have the capacity to perform in a variety of functions and geographies while keeping the heading of my professional career.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? Working as an expatriate civil engineer, I managed to save a considerable amount of money having already in view the idea of doing an MBA, thus reducing the risk and allowing for a long-term view on whether or not the MBA was worth the investment. Considering this long-term approach and that I wanted to pivot my career, I decided that the tuition fees and cost of opportunity of the INSEAD MBA wouldn’t mean so much if I look over an entire career and would bring excellent value for money.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? I only applied to INSEAD
How did you determine your fit at various schools? As a married man and now a recent father, I prioritized the location of the school, the duration, and the recognition. I knew I wanted to stay in Europe and have a one-year program, having said that INSEAD was an obvious choice.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I became a very proud father only two weeks before the start of the MBA program. This changed me as I realized that not only do I have an added responsibility, but that my behavior and actions will have a huge impact on my little daughter. As such, I aim to lead by example and that my daughter will see me as someone who always strove at his best to reach his goals, both personally and professionally.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? I am planning to remain in the energy industry, but not on the contractor’s side; at this point in time I am still undecided if I should aim for the Wind Energy sector or Oil&Gas. I understand these sub-sectors may appear opposites but both are key for the energy mix of our societies and both have extremely interesting challenges.
Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself in a general management position in company within the Energy sector that is working in providing society with sufficient power while keeping a focus in sustainability. I also see myself as the father of three wonderful kids.