Meet The MBA Class of 2022: Leonardo Machado, Fordham University (Gabelli)

Leonardo Machado

Fordham University, Gabelli School of Business

“A passionate, dedicated learner and professional who strives for a brighter future.”

Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have loved reading since childhood. During college, I started to build my library of business books, and now I have more than 200 books, from strategy to presentation skills.

Undergraduate School and Major: Faculdades Oswaldo Cruz, major in Business Administration

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Syngenta – Senior Business Intelligence Coordinator

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Of all business schools that I visited, Fordham made me feel the most welcome. Fordham’s principles resonate with mine, for I also strive for excellence, and collaboration. Business school is such an important investment – not only resources but also time and energy. I am aware that I must choose a business school that shares the same values as I have.

What has surprised you the most about the Gabelli MBA program? The intensity of the program has definitely amazed me. I heard that the first semester would be hard, but I had not imagined that the course would challenge me in so many ways. The learning process has been fantastic; not only have I learned about the core subjects, but I have also improved my time management, prioritization, networking, and interview preparation.

What quality best describes your MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Without a doubt, the collaboration pillar has been one of the things that have fascinated me about Fordham culture. Current students and alumni are always available to support you, such as in group discussions and assignments, and with insights and recommendations about how to get ahead in the marketplace and be a better professional and leader.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: It happened when I was the senior Marketing Planning Coordinator at Syngenta in Brazil. Syngenta has two divisions, Crop Protection and Seeds, and I oversaw Marketing Analytics for the Seeds Division. The business was growing, but we knew that with our competitive portfolio, we could grow much faster. I led a project to find growth opportunities within our business units and channels. I conducted a thorough analysis of our marketing share, market penetration, and sales growth by business unit and region – along with a sales teams’ performance comparison. From there, I presented my findings to the senior marketing and sales leaders across Syngenta units and showcased our immense opportunities. This project increased the Salesforce engagement and supported the business to continue growing at a fast paced rate.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? Studying at Fordham, I have received many opportunities to accomplish goals and evolve as a professional. I became part of the Marketing Club junior board. I was also selected to be Fordham’s ambassador at the National Millennial and Gen Z Community and a Graduate Assistant at the University.

Nonetheless, my greatest achievement so far has been to participate and win the Gabelli Launch project, which is part of the pre-MBA course that happens before Fall classes. In this project, my group competed against other 18 groups, and we needed to understand specific companies and industries to elaborate recommendations for the sector regarding ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance). Before this project, I had a superficial knowledge on ESG, but the more I learned about this topic, the more engaged and excited I became. It is such a comprehensive and passionate theme. Therefore, working on and winning this project has been my biggest accomplishment so far because it also changed me as a consumer and a businessman. Having a grasp about ESG goals, best practices, and challenges faced by industries made me much more aware and ready to engage in being not only as a conscious consumer but also a business leader who wants to contribute to, achieve, and add value to ESG goals.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I have always dreamed about pursuing an MBA. In the end of 2018, my wife received an offer to work in the US. Thus, it was the perfect moment to I pursue it. Furthermore, I believe that an MBA at this moment of my career is an important step to move to a leadership position and strengthen my business acumen.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? I do not have only one specific moment that shaped my career or my path to business school. I believe that all my personal and professional experiences have shaped me until now. During my career, I had many mentors, worked in many areas, and asked many for feedback to continue growing as a professional. I have always had a passion for learning and developing myself, and I have always strived for improvement. Hence, I embraced all opportunities that could add value to my learning journey; I even attended acting classes in Brazil to improve my communication skills. Therefore, all those learnings, opportunities, experiences, and feedback sessions prepared me for business school.

DON’T MISS: Meet Fordham Gabelli’s MBA Class of 2022

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