Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Luisa Locatelli, Yale SOM

Luisa Locatelli

Yale School of Management

“I’m an energetic, warm, and socially driven person who is always up to social, bonding activities.”

Hometown: São Paulo, SP – Brazil

Fun Fact About Yourself: After watching Brené Brown vulnerability TED in 2020, I became her #1 fan, a little obsessed. I read, listen, and watch her talks almost every week and I am always telling people that I know to watch her talks or buying her books to them to read.

Undergraduate School and Major: Bachelor’s in Marketing and Advertising at ESPM-SP (Escola de Propaganda e Marketing) and Post-grad in IT Management at FIAP-SP

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Senior Product Manager of Growth and Engagement at iti, Itaú Unibanco

The Yale School of Management is regarded as a purpose-driven program. What is your mission? How will your MBA at Yale SOM help you fulfill that mission? My mission is to try to give back to the world all the opportunities and privileges that I had by always trying to find “my role” in every activity or group I’m involved with. That way, I can have a positive impact in the people and the environment around me. For me to be an MBA at Yale is to continue to pursue this commitment. I intend to do that by preparing myself better to spread the view of how critical, to any business to thrive or any person to be a good leader, is to think about what net impact that you can create in society and the environment around you.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of Yale SOM’s MBA curriculum or programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The core curriculum was one of the parts of the program that I was most excited about. It really resonates with the mission of Yale SOM, “Educating leaders for business & society”. It is crafted in a way to give us a deep dive in the perspectives of all the stakeholders involved in and impacted by business decisions. This creates in the students a critical view and understanding of the whole organization. Even more, it gives to us the skills and frameworks that are necessary to navigate leadership roles while having a positive impact in the society.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Yale SOM? As I talked to alumni, one thing that stands out in their own experience was how the community and clubs helped them to get that “home away from home” feeling. It is a place where you have a family that will be there not only to grow together with you, but also to do it in with a genuine desire to help in a tight knit community. In this way, being a part of the Association of Hispanic and Latin American Students (AHLAS) is a thing that I want to prioritize. I am really excited about so I can help more Latinxs to feel at home, leverage their potential in their career and life and to accomplish great things.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I feel like my biggest accomplishment in my career was getting good feedback about my leadership style from the two teams that I got the chance to directly manage. In both experiences, I’ve faced a lot of different challenges with learning about different customer needs; creating a new team and working methodology; and helping the fintech to monetize and working with other leaders that had different goals. Together, these challenges, along with the challenge of leading and helping my team to grow in their careers, was one of the most challenging moments that I have encounter during my career. As of today, this whole experience made my leadership skills with my team and peer leaders evolve so much. I learned a lot about putting myself into a vulnerability and empathetic position. At the same time, I was driven to results and getting good feedback from my teams was a way for me getting my efforts acknowledged so I really felt grateful and accomplished.

What do you hope to do after graduation? My short-term goal is to become a Senior Group Product Manager at Itaú Unibanco, applying all the 360-degree business management view and customer behavior skills that I’ll learn at Yale to help to maintain the sustainable growth of the company. At the same time, I will continue to be a leader in DE&I team helping not only to create a better, inclusive workplace, but also creating Product boot camps focused on minorities to prepare them to work in product roles at Itaú. Long term, I want to be a Head of Product at one of the big five tech companies. By doing that, I can maximize the power of the impact of the work that I can do – not only for Brazil but worldwide to create a more socially-driven world. I will do this through diversity and inclusion, being a part of the coaching, mentoring, and training minoritized people gain the support and ongoing development they need to thrive in their careers and life.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I have applied to Fuqua – Duke University and to the MMM dual-degree program at Kellogg – Northwestern University.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Yale SOM’s MBA program? I would say to them that it is important to have great scores at the exams. However, the business schools really evaluate the whole application and GMAT and GRE scores are only one of the criteria they assess you on. So it is really critical to lean in the process of the application and essays to know how to tell your story in the best way. It will show your profile, goals and why the schools fit in your career and life. Besides that, the whole process is a really good tool of getting more self-knowledge about strengths and gaps that will help you beyond the MBA process.


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