Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Luiz Fernando do Nascimento Vieira, UC Riverside

Luiz Fernando do Nascimento Vieira

Resolute, disciplined, always eager for new challenges and turning dreams into reality.”

Hometown: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve skydived, bungee-jumped, sailed globally, visited 17 countries, and ran a half marathon. And, I love Disney, which was my destination of choice for proposing to my wife!

Undergraduate School and Major: Brazilian Naval Academy, bachelor’s degree in naval science with an emphasis in management

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Brazilian Navy Budget Management Board, advisor

What word best describes the UC Riverside MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far?
Receptive. The UC Riverside MBA community radiates a spirit of openness and readiness to embrace diverse perspectives and experiences. As I am in the beginning of my MBA journey, what consistently stands out is the willingness of staff members, students, and alumni to share, support, and collaborate. There’s a pervasive sense of inclusion and welcoming—from staff members who promptly offer their assistance, sharing invaluable resources and guiding choices, to students and alumni who participate in the orientation process providing a unique point of view.

Aside from classmates, what was the key part of UC Riverside’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? 
A standout feature of UC Riverside’s MBA program is its global networking opportunities. Interacting with professionals worldwide enriches my understanding of various industries and broadens my perspective. The program’s opportunities for direct engagement with businesses, coupled with the job market guidance from the Career Development Center, add immense value. As a graduate student, these facets enhance my learning and provide practical insights.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at UC Riverside?
Participating in the Hylander Student Investment Fund (HSIF) is what I’ve really enjoyed most so far at UCR. This program lets students take what they’ve learned in class and apply it directly to real investment decisions. It’s not just theory; it’s about making actual decisions that affect real money. The fund’s focus on balancing risk with returns aligns with my view on finance. At the weekly HSIF meetings, we discuss stocks and assess their investments, which is an excellent opportunity to gain hands-on experience.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far:
Being selected by the Brazilian Navy’s commander to study at UCR is undoubtedly one of the most significant achievements in my career. My journey toward this accomplishment started with a simple childhood dream: becoming a Navy officer. This aspiration started during my brother’s recruitment ceremony at an air and naval base. Impressed by the aircraft on display as an 8-year-old, I confidently told my mother that one day I would fly in one of those helicopters.

Little did I know then about the hurdles that lay ahead, coming from my humble upbringing in an underprivileged part of Rio de Janeiro and the challenging path to becoming a Navy officer in Brazil, which requires years of preparation and financial resources. Even those who receive an excellent education may need to pay for extra courses. Due to finances, my parents could not afford my preparation for the admission exams, so my extended family shared the costs. I moved to Rio de Janeiro for better preparation but failed on my first attempt. Despite the setback and my family’s concerns, I tried again and succeeded, ranking 11th out of all candidates nationwide in 2007.

This began my 16-year career with the Navy. Not only did I achieve my childhood dream of flying in a helicopter and landing on a ship, but I also traveled to 17 countries and learned a lot from remarkable experiences. I performed well in my studies, ranking in the top six of the Naval Academy’s Quartermaster class. I worked in several positions: managing supplies on a ship, overseeing the procurement of supplies for Brazilian submarines, advising on financial matters for the Submarine Force staff. My growth continued as I delved into public management, taking on the significant responsibility of planning the budget for the Brazilian Navy for three years. During this period, I kept updated with Brazilian legislation, authored reports, and provided expert advice on budgetary decisions.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far:
In the early stages here at UCR, I’m pleased that I’m gaining a holistic understanding of modern business practices that emphasize both hard skills and soft skills. By immersing myself in UCR’s diverse environment, I’m learning to approach challenges with a global mindset and considering the multifaceted aspects of every situation. Collaborating with peers from various backgrounds and industries, I’m exposed to different perspectives and innovative solutions. This experience is molding me into a next-generation business leader who values inclusivity, adaptability, and forward-thinking.

What is your class’s favorite hangout away from school? Why do you gather there?
Our favorite hangout away from school is the Getaway Café. We gather there because of its relaxed atmosphere, which provides a perfect setting for unwinding and bonding outside of the classroom.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation?
As I progress and take on greater responsibilities in my naval career, the weight of my decisions becomes increasingly significant. After graduation, I hope to be equipped with new skills and knowledge that will not only guide these critical decisions but also allow me to improve my organization and establish a broader worldview and perspective. In the subsequent stages of my career, I will either lead entire organizations or be tasked with advising on pivotal decisions within the Navy. Hence, it’s imperative to remain informed and continually seek innovative solutions and ideas to better serve my institution.

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