How did you start out?
When I was at high school I applied for the Law school and was accepted at the Federal University in the State of Minas Gerais, which was a very prestigious institution. When classes started, the University went on strike, and we had indications that it would be a long strike. I then decided to improve my English studying in the UK. While there, I hosted some Brazilian groups as a chaperone and, when returning to Brazil, I kept doing this as a summer job during my school holidays. I then joined a Law firm as an intern and hated the job!! It was not for me. My family was super disappointed when I informed them that I had decided to start working as an international education consultant. Everyone told me I was doing the wrong thing, that I had a super career as a lawyer, but deep inside I knew international educational was where I belonged. After taking this leap of faith, my career took off. I believe it is important to mention that the pro bono work I did for associations and federations in the sector contributed a lot for my growth and understanding of the several different aspects of the industry.
What helped you get as far as you have?
Definitely, people helped me get here!!
There were several people who helped me along my way. The strong roots of my career come from STB, a company owned by my brother-in-law, José Carlos, and my sister, Christina, who were the very first people to support my career. There, I was able to develop a solid work building strong teams and those teams are an important part of my development as a professional.
The work I developed for ALTO/FIYTO/WYSTC has also helped me grow a lot and people I met there – can mention Peter Iwanovsky, Susan Goldstein, Michael Gerber, Mauro Biondi, Bernard Bianchi, Lucia Rosella, Giorgia Bicelli, Tamsin Plaxton, Jack Coronna, David Jones – were key to me and to my growth.
I can also say that I am always eager to do things better and this has helped me correct my routes, review my opinions, redo things in a better way… I am never tight to ideas, I am always tight to life!!
What piece of advice would you give to your 21-year-old self?
Don't take things too seriously…
A low point in your career/life and how you overcame it?
When I started at Study Group in 2014 I thought I had fluency in English. I was wrong. I was Senior VP Global Sales and had to work on a day-to-day fashion with newyorkers… OMG!! Those meetings were a catastrophe to me, especially because they were in NY, I was in São Paulo. They were facing each other and I was joining the meetings through an internet connection with an earphone in my ear… It took me a month to publicly admit to that team that I couldn't understand their English.
By admitting my limits (I was probably pushing myself so much that they didn't even realized that it was difficult for me), everyone started being more attentive with their own language and speaking speed.
One word to describe yourself?
Your first paying job: What and when?
18, group chaperone for junior programs in the UK.
What do you do to keep yourself centered?
Sleep well, eat well, exercise 3-4 times a week, read a lot, play the piano, have a loving family and a lovely dog, have few good friends and have clear targets for me and for my team.
What’s your favourite quote?
I have two:
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
– Leonardo da Vinci
and my boss, Luiz Eduardo Falco, about results…
What brought you here, won't take you further. Let's start building tomorrow.
– Luiz Eduardo Falco