Global Consulting Project in Brazil: a warm welcome


It’s amazing that the first week of our Global Consulting Project has passed already, after a flurry of exams and papers that closed off the Lent term.  For a few of us (Jessica, Malte and myself), it’s our first time in South America while for Natasha and Belle, it’s a much-welcomed trip back home.

The kick-off meeting with our client was pushed to the end of last week, so we took the chance to do interviews with some local businesses to gather some research on improving advertising operations and scheduled client meetings for the upcoming week so that we could hit the ground running.  Our first meeting with a large supermarket retailer has given us promising data on the potential of our project, and we’re looking forward to digging deeper into financials we’ll get from our client – all the Excel modeling we’ve done for financial management should come in handy!

One of the loveliest things about arriving in Brazil has been to the extreme warmth you experience, from both the sun – oh how I’ve missed you – and the  people.  Without fail, people have been truly open, kind and inviting; for example, when Belle and I sat down at a restaurant waiting for others to arrive and later learned that the location had been changed, the owner graciously covered the cost of our drinks and hurried us along to meet the others.

Right up there with the wonderful kindness has been the delicious food we’ve had the pleasure to eat; we’ve been having tasty meals that really highlight all the  freshness you can only get from locally-grown produce. The colours and flavours of the fruit here are an experience in themselves; it’s a mystery to most of us how we’ve survived for so long without fresh squeezed orange juice and passion fruit every morning.

Team Photo: From left: Alinna (American), Malte (German), Jessica (American/Chinese), Natasha (Brazilian/Bolivian), Belle (Brazilian)

More to come soon …

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Jonathan KungJonathan Kung

Jonathan is a MBA 2015/16 student. Prior to his MBA, Jonathan has worked extensively in China, as Project Manager then Vice General Manager of a real-estate development company, where he oversaw a project valued at $150m. At Cambridge, he is the captain of the MBA and Malaysian Society basketball teams, and keenly follows the entrepreneurial scene.

Dipika SawhneyDipika Sawhney

Dipika is a 2015/2016 MBA student. Prior to her MBA, she helped build successful e-commerce start-ups and holds a degree in computer engineering. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, debates and yoga.

Julia NelsonJulia Nelson

Julia Nelson is a 2015-16 MBA student. Trained as an anthropologist, she has spent the last 10 years working in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Oceania as a social “intrapreneur”, making energy and mining companies more responsible and sustainable. She is passionate about learning new approaches to social innovation, and plans to return to the field after her MBA. In her spare time, she rows for Darwin College, practices Spanish on her classmates, and is on a mission to find the best Szechuanese food in the UK.

Sarah TanSarah Tan

A 2015-16 MBA candidate, Sarah is from Singapore and worked as a web developer and team manager, building websites for universities, digital agencies, and British and American national political campaigns. Post-MBA, she is interested in developing products and processes to help organisations improve their employee and customer experiences. She is co-chair of the Technology SIG and enjoys hosting classmates at St John’s formal halls.

Wafa TaftazaniWafa Taftazani

Wafa worked in corporate and investment banking at a global bank in Indonesia for 3 years before his MBA. He studied political science and international relations in his undergraduate years, and intends to work at the intersection of business and politics post-MBA. He recently joined Hughes' debating and film societies and is looking forward to a roller-coaster year ahead!

Christina MackayChristina Mackay

Christina is a 2015-16 MBA student. Prior to Cambridge she worked as a management consultant for eight years living in London and New York and working with clients across Europe, America, China and Oceania. Her passion is entrepreneurship and she intends to start her own business post-MBA. In her spare time she plays netball for her college, runs along the river Cam and has joined the Whiskey society.

Simone GoldsteinSimone Goldstein

Simone is a 2015/2016 MBA student. Prior to the MBA she worked in Strategy at the media agency MEC, on the travel accounts Marriott International and United Airlines. A native New Yorker, she attended Colby College in Waterville, Maine where she received a BA in Art History and Anthropology.

Pat ParriniPat Parrini

Patrizio was born in Florence and raised in a tiny village in the Chianti Hills. He has seven years of work experience between consultancy at a Big 4 and corporate and investment banking at the largest Italian banking group. He is passionate about travelling, running, skiing and mountain-hiking. As well as being a voracious reader with a moderate addiction for Japanese food.

Sarah BroderickSarah Broderick

Sarah is an MBA student from the 2014-15 class. Previously she worked in the Private Equity industry focused on real estate assets in the United States. During the MBA, she has concentrated on the startup ecosystem in Cambridge and abroad while also competing as a Blue for the Cambridge University Hockey Club.

Gunnar HerzigGunnar Herzig

Gunnar is a 2015/2016 MBA student. Prior to the MBA he worked for a German energy company with a particular focus on renewables (esp. offshore wind energy). He holds a degree in International Business Administration and participated in student exchange programmes to the US and Singapore. He loves literature (esp. Thomas Mann) and classical music.