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Real Humans of Accenture: Cadu Mendes de Almeida, INSEAD MBA ’22J, Venture Building Manager

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In this Real Humans: Alumni, we meet Cadu Mendes de Almeida, who evaluated his life during the pandemic and decided he wanted to enter the business world. At INSEAD, he found the global opportunities and love for the institution he was looking for.

Cadu Mendes de Almeida, INSEAD MBA ’22J, Venture Building Manager

Age: 32
Hometown: Rio de Janeiro (currently living/working in São Paulo)
Undergraduate Institution and Major: PUC-Rio (Law)
Graduate Business School, Graduation Year and Concentration (if applicable): INSEAD (MBA 22J)
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 3 years in Tech (startups): Product Marketing Lead at Kovi (São Paulo, 2020-2021); Senior Creative Strategist at Winnin (Rio de Janeiro, 2018-2020). 5 years in Advertising: Copywriter at Africa DDB (São Paulo, 2014-2017); Copywriter at Saatchi&Saatchi (Rio de Janeiro, 2012-2014).
Post-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): Venture Building Manager at Accenture (São Paulo) since November 2022

Why did you choose to attend business school?
I wanted to transition from a creative background into a more business-oriented career, to live abroad, and to build a global network of connections.

Why INSEAD? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Most diverse MBA program (about 70 nationalities in my batch); Opportunity to spend time in Asia; Size and breadth of the alumni network in Brazil; I was waitlisted at UCLA and NYU, and about to accept an offer from Cornell Tech. However, after talking to several recent INSEAD graduates, I felt a spark in their eyes and love for the school that I hadn’t seen anywhere else. In the end, it was the way they talked about their experiences in France and Singapore and lifelong friends they had made that convinced me to take the leap.

What about your MBA experience prepared you for your current career?
Apart from giving me a broad knowledge of business concepts, it was after taking the “Strategies for Product and Service Development” elective that I realized that I should work in innovation consulting.

What was your internship during business school?  How did that inform your post-MBA career choice?
Since it’s a 10-month program, I did not do an internship.

Why did you choose your current company? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to work?
Accenture is a tech-driven global consultancy in the forefront of innovation; Pioneer in the venture building space; Opportunity to work with and set strategy for leading companies in Latin America.

How has COVID impacted your industry/career plans?
I’ve always wanted to do an MBA but kept delaying it. When COVID hit, l underwent a comprehensive self-evaluation of my life, and as I was about to turn 30, I decided it was finally time to apply and pursue my dream.

 Advice to current MBA students:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of the job search?
After listing dozens, if not hundreds, of target companies, spending even more hours on LinkedIn looking for people to reach out to.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
I would have traveled to every city I was interested in living in after the MBA (São Paulo, London, Madrid, Amsterdam, Singapore) and scheduled as many coffee chats as possible. We’re in a post-Covid world, and nothing builds empathy like face-to-face interaction. Also, since INSEAD is a 10-month program for the August intake, I would have tried to do an internship prior to its start.

–Were there any surprises regarding your current employer’s recruiting process?
Not really.

 –What piece of advice do you wish you had been given during your MBA?
Accept every invitation (especially if it involves traveling!). Talk to everyone. Build as many bridges as possible. Your experience is only as good as the connections you make.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.