Posted on May 7, 2018

Kellogg MBA Experience- Second Year Student shares his Experience – Part 2

Eduardo Silva_Part 2

Eduardo Silva holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of São Paulo (USP). After working in different roles at Dupont for six years, he aimed to be a product marketing manager in an Industrial company to step-change his impact to innovation-led growth in Brazil. He partnered with MER (myEssayReview) for his application to 6 schools and received interview offers from all. Eduardo received admission offers from 4 schools with substantial scholarships. - Haas, UCLA, Kellogg, and Yale (Kellogg-70K Donald Jacobs scholarship, Yale SOM: 20k scholarship, UCLA Anderson: 70k scholarship).

In a candid video interview with Poonam, Eduardo Silva, now a second-year student at Kellogg, shares his application experience and amazing experiences that shaped his life and career. He also offers valuable advice to prospective applicants regarding the application process, goals, campus life, and recruitment.

The transcript of Eduardo’s video Interview is published in 2 parts.

In Part 1, Eduardo talked about:

In this second and concluding part, Eduardo shares:

  • His experiences in and outside of the classroom transformed him
  • His advice to the incoming  international students about their career goals, involvement  in events at Kellogg, and the recruitment process

Edurdo's Favorite Thing About Kellogg-Experiential Learning Opportunities

Poonam: What is your favorite thing about the program? Would you please share your best experiences in and out of the class that helped shape your career?

Eduardo: Definitely. There are a lot of things to share. I will share some of them; otherwise, we will talk here for hours and hours. I will definitely start with the outside-the-classroom experiences because these are the ones that really mattered to me. The Global Lab program was special for me as in this program, students go to a country and do consult for a client. The client can be a company, the government, or an NGO in different parts of the world.  I did a global lab in Ecuador this past spring break. This is a six-month consulting program wherein you get to visit the client. I was there in Ecuador for one week. I am on a project for the Government of Ecuador, our direct client, for which I visited farmers and food processing plants and helped the farmers to increase their income on their production of hearts of palm and golden berries, which grow very well in Ecuador. Having those interactions with farmers and government officials and understanding their struggles is what I enjoy most because I can use these learnings to make an impact. This is an amazing experience because in the process you visit different places and have a lot of fun with your colleagues.

So. in general, what I liked most about Kellogg was the opportunities for experiential learning outside the classroom. For example, I did a Marketing Lab, which is also consulting for revamping a digital marketing strategy for a large retailer in the USA. I visited the client a couple of times, and we had amazing faculty supporting our team along the way and providing us with coaching. We also had support from a consulting company for coaching purposes. We had a big challenge and a big outcome at the end. So what I learned at Kellogg was relevant and impactful to companies.

In addition to Labs, I did a couple of other things. Another experimental learning I would highlight is the mentorship for undergrad students from Northwestern, That has been an extremely interesting experience, so besides learning about coaching in a classroom, I was also able to practice that. For me, it has been an amazing way of connecting with people in a deep way, and I will probably continue to provide that coaching to undergrads beyond my time at Kellogg. Those personal relationships that you forge are amazing. In the classroom, I had amazing classes. Customer Analytics is the one that I would highlight for those interested in technology, and I had Professor Florian Zettelmeyer, who is amazing. There is also a Negotiation class wherein you practice a lot of negotiations with your colleagues, which is a lot of fun.

Poonam: Great. Great to know that you are having a wonderful time at Kellogg. I was wondering if there is there anything you would like to change about Kellogg.

Eduardo: Well. I am not sure how to change it. But one thing nearly everyone experiences at Kellogg is the fear of missing out on events because so many things are going on every week.  So you have speakers coming to campus for lunch and for evening sessions. Also, we have a lot of opportunities to be an entrepreneur or work with startups at the Garage, a place where startups of Kellogg are. There are so many things going on,  and what happens is that we have a fear of missing out on these. For example, I am one hour into the event and then one hour at another place in Evanston or Chicago. I want to be everywhere, and I end up being a little bit over-stressed and overwhelmed. However, in the second year, we can better focus on things that matter to us and manage fun and work because it is a big mix at business school, and we do not have a clear weekend in a week. We are doing a case competition over the weekend, and then you are having a party on Tuesday, so we have to manage and make choices of what is important to us. There is an initiative at Kellogg called the ‘Good Life’, which helps people reflect, and I think it is a very good initiative that helps people to calm down and think about the things they should prioritize and not be overwhelmed and stressed out with all the things that are available there.

Advice to Incoming Students about Recruiting & Networking

Poonam: Is there anything you wish you had known before starting your journey at Kellogg? Can you share some advice to incoming students to Kellogg to make their adjustment easier?

Eduardo: Yes, definitely.  It is true for me as well as for most international students, and it is not only for Kellogg but across different schools. I wish I had known earlier that recruiting is very intense, and it starts very early in the process, no matter which school you are in, because ultimately, it is the timing for the recruiters and not for the schools. So my advice is you need to reflect on the things you want to do early on. I thought naively that I could have 2 to 3 years of reflection on what I want to do and consider different career paths. The reality is that you do not have two years to reflect; you spend a couple of months or maybe the first two or three months to reflect, and then from there, you start recruiting for an internship, and then the internship is a big change in terms of industries. If you are an international student, your internship definitely needs to start to carve the path for your ultimate goal, which makes it even more important that you invest some time at the beginning of your MBA, reflect on your career by talking to people,  to second-year students, and understand different choices you have. And simply be aware that recruiting is very intense that will simply take away a big chunk of your MBA experience.

So I will especially recommend to international students to understand the importance of networking in the USA and invest time early on networking hard because that will open up amazing opportunities. But if you do not do it or leave it for a later stage in the recruiting process, as I think many international students do, then you may have a problem.  I assumed that the recruiting process would be similar to what I had experienced in Brazil, but that was not the case. It is a process in which you have to invest much more time, so I strongly suggest that prospective students think hard about their goals from the very start and reflect on what they want to do in the first couple of months, then dedicate time for recruiting and networking early on because that will pay off handsomely later on.

Poonam: It sure is valuable advice, especially for international students. What are your plans after graduation? Are your goals still the same?

Eduardo: My goals have changed considerably. Originally, I was planning to resume my career in the manufacturing industry in Brazil.   The reasoning for that was my ultimate goal of making an impact in Brazil by helping people, particularly low-income families, to improve. My long-term goal has not changed. But I realized that if I stay in Silicon Valley for a couple of years, I will be much more equipped to bring skills to help me join a startup or a tech company in Brazil that could drive growth and job creation. So for that, I decided to stay in the USA. I interned at CISCO for my internship for the summer, and I will resume my career there as a Product Manager. I want to spend a couple of years in the bay area and silicon valley, learn a lot from the big trends happening in the valley, and be equipped to go back to Brazil, where I make the impact that I wanted to make originally anyway. It is a big change for me, and I am very excited.

Advice to Incoming Students: Come with an Open Mind

Poonam: Yes, I understand your long-term goals are the same. Eduardo, is there anything I didn’t ask and you would like to share?

Eduardo: Yes,  I think my big advice for anyone starting an MBA is to come with an open mind. If you come with an open mind, you take advantage of the opportunities on a whole different level. For example, you may have a career plan. It is good to have a plan from day one, but take a step back when you come to the campus, talk to second-year students, talk to people that have tried different areas and then different industries and roles, and take classes for professors that are awesome professors. They will inspire you in different directions. I had a finance class that impressed me, though I am not a big finance guy, and at some point, I even considered a career in that because that professor was so inspiring.

PoonamCan you please tell us the name of the professor?

Eduardo:  Yes, it is David Matsa. I did a couple of classes in Finance II with him. Besides him, there are several professors that will inspire you, no matter what your interests are at Kellogg. So, I would advise coming with an open mind for your career and for the types of people you meet. I think it is only natural that you tend to be in a community from your industry or country but try to break free from those groups. Participate in clubs and events, as these are all opportunities. I think breaking free of those close communities will take you on unexpected paths. So my final piece of advice is to come with an open mind and be ready for new things. MBA is not an opportunity for you to be completely focused only on academics but on exploring new options. Academics are important, but it is probably a small piece of the overall big picture of what you want to learn while doing an MBA.

Different Ways Eduardo is contributing to the Kellogg Community

Poonam:  Wonderful. Is there anything else that you would like to share with viewers? Any clubs that you have been part of?

Eduardo: One thing that I learned at Kellogg is that many applicants come to the MBA with the idea of leading a club, and that is one way you can impact your community, but that is definitely not the only way. I think if you want to have leadership experience, there are many ways you can do that. Also, if you want to contribute to the community, which I think is ultimately what joining a club is all about, there are different ways you can do it as well. So if you want to lead a club or join a club, or whatever initiative you have, you should have a vision of something that you can contribute to your class, your colleagues, and the community as a whole. If you find that sweet spot of having a particular set of skills and an opportunity to contribute, that is what you should choose. In my case, I wanted to have a mentorship experience, and that is why I have been coaching North Western University undergrads. I think I have been able to give a lot to those students and have learned from that experience.

Also, I have also been a reader for Kellogg in the admission process. Basically, the students are trained to read the applications, in addition to a number of other reviewers, including the Office of Admissions. Still, we do contribute to the admission process, and I believe I bring some experience that is helpful in that sense to better evaluate candidates I also provided consulting for an NGO, ‘Dream for Kids’ in Chicago. I have helped to improve their program and their growth plan, providing support for underprivileged students. I was the project leader, and I felt that I could really contribute to that.  It was deeply connected to my experience with NGO-related work in Brazil.

Poonam: In fact, I was going to ask you about your voluntary work in Brazil. You made a significant contribution to the community in Brazil.

Eduardo: I have done a couple of years of NGO in Brazil. Focus on education for different NGOs has been my passion, and I found an opportunity to continue that contribution in Chicago. So when you think about clubs, the most important thing is you should find those opportunities that really fit with you and make you contribute to the community in a unique way.

Poonam: Very true. Thank you, Eduardo, for sharing your Kellogg experience with us. I am sure your insights and valuable advice will be very helpful to prospective applicants, especially to those who are applying to Kellogg.   Thank you so much.

Eduardo: Thank you, Poonam.  I am happy to chat. Kellogg is an amazing school, and I will encourage everyone to apply to Kellogg. You probably have links to my linkedIn profile.  I am happy to chat about Kellogg and the culture at Kellogg on a personal basis if anyone is interested. I had a wonderful time and am happy to share that experience with whoever is interested. And obviously, thanks for your support for making this possible. We had an amazing time together. Thank you.

Poonam: Thank you. It was my privilege to work with you, and I really enjoyed chatting with you today. Thank you, and best of luck for your personal and professional life in your post-Kellogg career.

Eduardo: Thank you. Have a nice day. Bye.

Click here for Eduardo’s testimonial of MER Services.

Click here for Eduardo’s GMAT Club Review.

Note: You can connect with Eduardo via LinkedIn or Facebook

Related Post

A Brazilian Candidate's Story – Accepted into 4 Top Schools- 3 with Substantial Scholarships    ( Eduardo's First Interview)

From Brazil to Cornell – Story of a Current Cornell Student

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