Daniel Amorim de Paiva
Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Fun Fact About Yourself: When I first started studying Chinese, during my very first exam, my teacher asked me to say a sentence. I got quite nervous as my vocabulary was quite limited and I said “Wǒ ài nǐ.” (I love you). The teacher kept looking at me for 10 seconds or so, not knowing what to say.
Undergraduate School and Major: Industrial Engineering – PUC Rio
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: I was a Blockchain analyst trying to offer a tool on-chain that would allow people to sell a percentage of their future income (Income Share Agreements on the Blockchain). Unfortunately this project didn’t succeed.
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the MBA curriculum or activities that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The curriculum has many classes specifically about China and I was quite interested in learning more about this fast-growing country. Also, the location – being in Shanghai – was a crucial factor, as this financial hub offers many opportunities to network and to meet many companies.
What is the biggest appeal of earning an MBA in China? Earning an MBA in China not only gives me the China knowledge I seek, but also helps immensely with my Chinese studies. Studying Chinese without being fully submerged in a Chinese environment is quite difficult.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I had a manufacturing company in Brazil that I decided to close years ago. At the same time, I was starting to study for the CFA exams and to look at blockchain. That moment was quite difficult, as these transitional phases are never easy. So, I managed to study for the CFA Level 1 and did the exam. One week later I received an email saying that the truck carrying my CFA Level 1 exam was hijacked and I would need to redo the exam. Tough week that one was! In the end, I managed to close the company without major problems and to pass the three CFA exams on the first try.
Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? It has been being able to open my mind and to see the world from new angles, as I’m interacting daily with dozens of different cultures. It has only been three months and I can already tell how much I have changed, being much more conscious about how different cultures have different approaches for solving the same problem.
What quality best describes your MBA classmates and how do they demonstrate this quality in your interactions? Everyone is very open-minded. We are all very curious to learn more about our peers’ backgrounds and life lessons. We often have a small party with a specific nationality as a theme to learn about its culture (and food). I seriously need to improve my ability to eat spicy food though, as I’m not quite there yet. One time we had a small Indian party and the food was sooo good, but I couldn’t eat more than two or three bites.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? National University of Singapore
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I wanted to open my mind to the East and learn Chinese, as I started to realize that only understanding the West would not be enough to be prepared for the next decades. Over the past few years, almost every time I opened the newspaper in Brazil, I would read news about how China is rising. So, after being done with the CFA exams and having completely closed my company, I figured it would be a great moment to move to China.
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