International activities are highlight of professional master’s programs
International activities, networking, the curriculum and the possibility of experiencing academia linked to practice were the main factors that led Anna Carolina Campos, a financial market executive, to choose to take the Professional Master’s in Administration (known by Portuguese initials MPA) at Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Sao Paulo School of Business Administration (FGV EAESP).
She had already done an MBA at FGV and she then wanted to further her career by doing a professional master’s course, which brings together practice and theory in a very intense way. After doing some research, she opted for the best-rated course in Brazil – FGV EAESP’s Professional Master’s in Administration (MPA).
FGV News interviewed the executive to understand why this professional master’s course is a good choice for those in the market and what the program’s international activities are like. During the interview, the student told us what it was like to live abroad and study subjects that are now part of her master’s thesis.
Check out the full interview below.
Why did you decide to take this professional master’s program?
Studies – I’m an executive in the financial markets and I realized that I was far from the theoretical world. I had already done an MBA at FGV and I realized I needed to go back to university to study. It would be important for me, in my corporate activity and for my development.
Practice – I chose this professional master’s degree because it’s a more practical course, although I’m very interested in working in the academic field as well. I really like executive education, which is why I chose to do my MBA at FGV. That experience was very positive 10 years ago and it made a difference in my career.
Curriculum – I chose to do this course in Sao Paulo, even though I live in Rio de Janeiro, because when I looked at the Professional Master’s in Administration’s curriculum, I saw that it would give me more opportunities, especially in terms of the international exchange program.
Networking – Another very positive aspect of MPA is that it has students from all over Brazil. In my class I have people from the Northeast, Midwest and South regions. It’s a very diverse group with a lot of stimulating discussion. And that was another reason why I chose to study in Sao Paulo, because it’s a course that takes place once a month, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, allowing people to schedule themselves and come from all over Brazil.
How did you prepare for this international program? Did you already want to take part in an exchange program or did your desire to do so increase during the course?
I chose this course precisely because of its international exchange program. All MPA students have to do two exchange programs before completing their master’s degree. FGV EAESP is a member of the Global Network for Advanced Management, which brings together the world’s best universities.
In this program we have the chance to choose to study at renowned universities such as Berkeley, Yale and Oxford. FGV EAESP is the only Brazilian university in the Global Network for Advanced Management.
I think that having this opportunity to do exchange programs at universities of this stature is the course’s biggest advantage and that’s why I chose it. I already wanted to have this kind of experience before I enrolled.
And why did you choose the University of California, Berkeley out of all the universities you mentioned?
I chose Berkeley because of the course’s topics, which are very interesting and a reference point in diversity, inclusion and women’s leadership. I already deal with these topics as a business executive and I have even worked on them in my thesis, “Gender Differences and Investments.”
I even wrote a book on the subject, which was launched last year. It’s a book for women about investments and careers. It was a topic that caught my attention and I was very keen to do a course at this university, because I was already familiar with it and knew that Berkeley is a leader in the field.
I was in a class with almost 40 people of 15 different nationalities and I was the only Brazilian. So, it was very interesting to see the point of view of women and men of such different cultures on this subject.
Do you remember which subjects you studied there?
Negotiation, diversity, inclusion, equity and organizational culture, all aimed at women. We visited companies and found out how they were applying these topics in practice. We visited Google and had the opportunity to find out from the HR team how they were developing their culture to elevate female executives. We also visited Salesforce in San Francisco to understand this same policy.
What was the main thing you learned during your time studying in the United States?
The main lesson learned is that teams have to be very diverse. When you have people with different backgrounds, different life experiences and multiple cultures, you can have much more creative, high-performance teams.
And one very interesting point that I saw, which I hadn’t heard about in such depth before, was the inclusion market. There was a talk by Haben Girma, who is visually and hearing impaired and a leader in the United States. Despite her limitations, she graduated in law from Harvard and she met with Barack Obama in the White House. She stressed the importance of preparing our companies to welcome people with disabilities. She also showed us how today there is a huge and profitable market for inclusion. It’s not just a policy for promoting inclusion – companies can make more money by including these people.
Could you talk about the topic of your master’s thesis?
My topic is “Gender differences and investments.” I want to identify why women invest differently from men. What I want to understand is whether today, we really do invest differently from men. Is there behavioral bias? Does it have to do with gender or not? Or does it have to do with a lack of security because we don’t have the knowledge? We know that there is a low level of financial literacy in Brazil, so could it be that today, if men and women had the same level of financial literacy, wouldn’t they both feel safe to invest? Could it be that women feel insecure because of a lack of knowledge and not because they are women in a gender sense?
To find out more about FGV EAESP’s Professional Master’s in Administration, click here.