Thiago de Assis Silva- Kellogg (Northwestern)
Describe a typical day as a MBA student: A typical day can vary a lot depending on each quarter, especially during recruiting season. On top of that, students differ on the amount of time they spend studying and preparing for classes depending on each person’s priority and on the workload demanded by each professor. Usually, at morning I will be reading cases and preparing for upcoming classes. Lunch time at Kellogg is quite busy since there are tons of great speakers on campus and usually their presentation is during lunch hour (Kellogg offers free lunch if you attend, which is one more incentive). In the afternoon I will attend classes and group meetings. During evening I will do some exercise and then try to meet friends for a drink or to watch a game.
Where did you work before enrolling in business school? I worked for 5 years as a management consultant and then 2 years as Global Business Controller (corporate finance) for a global industrial minerals company.
Why did you choose this business school? For the following reasons: A) Academics: Quality of professors, Ability to get a Major in Finance (other major available though), Global Programs. B) People: Kellogg students are ambitious, really smart and down to earth. C) Alumni & Networks: Kellogg’s reputation both in the US and internationally translates in terms of solid alumni and relationships with great companies. If you send an email and asks someone for help or advice, they will answer you.
What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? In my view, there are two essential parts in the application. The first one is the GMAT. I could not stress more the importance of planning, focus and discipline. GMAT is hard! We always hear stories about those who can nail the GMAT in 2 weeks. If you are one of those individuals, congratulations. But, in my experience, the vast majority of successful applicants are not like that. The second one is what I call the “fit” part between an applicant and the school. Do your homework and try to get to know as much about the school and its alumni as possible. I promise you, this homework will payoff in both increasing your application chances but also will add to your experience at the school.
What is/was the most enjoyable part about business school? There is more than one. For start, the people (students and professors) add a lot to this experience. In addition to that, every week there must be at least 20 great speakers at the campus (Dan Ariely was speaking to students yesterday, for example). Furthermore, the chance to step aside from “real life” allowed me to evaluate my personal and professional from a completely different perspective.
What is/was the hardest part of business school? At Kellogg, I was accepted to the 1 year accelerated program, which challenged me to get the most out of the MBA in a shorter time frame. On that perspective, the hardest part for me was to organize my schedule in order to be really productive. I wanted to “fit” in a typical day enough time to get with my wife, go to the gym, prepare and attend classes, attend social events, hang out with friends and keep in touch with the old ones. In order to achieve a realistic balance I had to make concessions. Naturally, all this is easy said than done.
Where will you be working after graduation? M&A Consulting at Strategy&.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career or at your school? I had a vision of what success would look like for me during the MBA. This vision included objectives related to Academics, Recruiting, Extracurricular Activities and, on the Social aspects of the “mba life”.
Favorite MBA Courses?
- Public Economics for Business Leaders: Federal Policy with David Besanko
- Mergers and Acquisitions, LBOs and Corporate Restructuring with Jose Maria Liberti
- Financial Strategy and Tax with Mitchell A. Petersen
- Managerial Leadership with Harry Kraemer
- Personal Leadership Insights with Paul Corona
- The Rookie General Manager with Bill White
- Leadership in Organizations with Loran F. Nordgren
- Negotiations Fundamentals with Jon Maner