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Real Humans of INSEAD’s MBA Class of 2020

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Guilherme Gurgel Prado, INSEAD’s MBA Class of 2020

Guilherme Gurgel Prado, INSEAD’s MBA Class of 2020

Age: 29
São Paulo, Brazil but lived in Santiago, Chile and Boston before joining the program.
Undergraduate Institution and Major: FGV-EAESP – Bachelor in Business Administration
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 1.5 years art/culture investment consultancy, 5 years in aviation

Why business school? Why now?
An MBA poses itself as a complement to and consolidation of what I have learned and worked with before. I think it will be refreshing and stimulating to revisit some of the subjects and theories I had in my undergraduate degree, but now compare them with my professional experience.

Why INSEAD? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
The easy and obvious answer is diversity. The 3-language requirement sort of summarizes it. In a way, it helps to select candidates that are likeminded and understand the importance of diversity, not only in others, but to themselves, while still from a variety of backgrounds.

Also, on a practical note, I liked INSEAD for the one-year program, for its location in Asia, and for being located in a big city, which, by the way, fits my partner’s personal plans as well.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2020?
A good question since usually I would answer open-mindedness and embrace of diversity, but I guess that in INSEAD this is not a big differentiator. I would then say that it is my approach to variety that knowledge will be relevant.

What I mean by this is that I firmly believe that business managers (and basically any other profession) must have a variety of interests and cultivate hobbies and uniqueness. In my case this translates on my love for arts and culture, on how this helps the development of many soft skills, which are not learned in hard business courses.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
Hard to say, as one of the things I liked most in the INSEAD application are the personal questions that are asked.

Post-MBA career interests?
For now, the focus is mainly geographic, not in a specific industry. I would like to relocate to Asia for a couple of years, before moving back to South America with my Chilean wife.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Be honest, don’t be scared to show your vulnerabilities.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
Take your time to do the GMAT, but don’t overdo it.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
Nothing much. It is a fun first step to start thinking about your aspiration and answering questions you hadn’t asked yourself before.

What is your initial impression of INSEAD’s students/culture/community?
In fact people are really diverse. So far, I haven’t seen an arrogant attitude I would have expected from students at a top MBA program.

One thing you have learned about INSEAD that has surprised you?
The self-awareness that gender balance is still not in equilibrium. It is good that the schools are aware and work to fix it.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Setting the time to do well in classes and dedicate myself to my career.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Learning! I love learning and it is never enough.

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.