Meet UNC Kenan-Flagler’s MBA Class of 2021

Pedro Alhanat Dias de Souza     

University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School

“A refusal to think and act is a refusal to exist. I choose to be.”

Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil

Fun Fact About Yourself: Although I’m into finance, my main driver is philosophy.

Undergraduate School and Major: Fundação Getulio Vargas – Bachelor of Business Administration.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Financial Advisor at Acqua Investimentos

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Creating from scratch a portfolio of $700K+ under management in fewer than four months using LinkedIn primarily to prospect new clients.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Open and friendly.

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? Receiving a scholarship. I concluded that an MBA would be the best investment I could make, both intellectually and financially. However, I would not be able to pay the debt that would finance it in time without any aid. This led me to my plan B of pursuing a Master’s in Finance, which would have a more manageable cost. After receiving UNC’s offer for a scholarship, I exploded with joy to see my most desired path cleared before me.  

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? Investment Banking Club, Corporate Finance Club, and the Energy Club.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? Tell me about your work experience.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? My drive to become a great businessman focused on finance. To do so, I concluded that I could waste no more time in Brazil. I had spent two years working at Jus Capital during my undergraduate major at FGV and became convinced that I firmly admired the practice of finance. The sooner I arrived in a demanding and competitive environment such as the U.S. and began to accelerate my mental and financial growth, the better.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Wharton, Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Berkeley, Yale, Duke, Darden, Cornell, Austin, Rice, Vanderbilt.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? Knowing that my largest obstacle to admission was my young age and not so extensive work experience, I didn’t permit myself to consider any personal preferences regarding culture and location since that would narrow my chances. Instead, I bought an annual subscription to U.S. News and took into account only school reputation and ranking as search criteria to find top MBA programs. I know this next part is a little suspicious coming from where I am now, but it is true: From the beginning, I remembered UNC most positively because the admissions process had put a strong emphasis on the concept of “integrity.” This is a standard I hold as a practical tool to live on earth – it is nothing less than a precondition to plan and execute long-range objectives.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? When, at age 18, I decided to pursue my own personal goals – to become an excellent businessman focused in finance – instead of serving that which was desired and expected of me at the price of my happiness.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? Working as an associate and performing M&A energy deals in firms such as J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.

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