2022 Best & Brightest Executive MBA: Carlos Andrade, McGill-HEC Montréal

Carlos Andrade      

McGill-HEC Montréal EMBA

Age: 44

“I’m a lawyer with a finance degree who likes balance sheets better than Doe subpoenas.

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec (Canada)

Family Members: Alexia (Wife) and Erik (Son)

Fun fact about yourself: I’m an amateur standup comedian and my act is based on over 20 years of first-account observations in corporate life.

Undergraduate School and Degree: FDC-Business School (Masters of Science, Business Administration & Specialization in Finance); PUC-MG (Bachelor of Laws)

Where are you currently working? Letenda Inc – Electric Buses – Director of Procurement and Supply Chain

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles: I’m a voluntary Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coach for young children and I’m also engaged with a couple of institutions to promoting extra-curricular STEM-related learning opportunities for young students

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? My final paper delivered to my EMBA program is something I’m very proud of for its potential impact for small and medium-size businesses. Through my research, I was able to leverage practices from Medicine and Aviation to create an “emergency protocol” for SMEs in financial distress, which may help business owners to avoid unnecessary bankruptcies

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I had the opportunity and great honor to have managed the full turnaround and recovery of a medium-sized eyecare hospital in Brazil with 35 years of history serving its community and performing thousands of cataract surgeries per year.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Sujata Madan, our Finance Module Director. She is the most generous, passion-driven educator I’ve ever met

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? It was because this program brought together a wealth of knowledge and real-word experience from virtually every industry, in a bilingual environment completely in tune with the entrepreneurial community in Canada, and in particular in Quebec

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? Surprisingly enough, it was the importance of taking a moment to reflect and isolate your mind from the daily noise before taking important decisions; it helps me every day in particular to engage the senior leadership level from the right perspective

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family, and education? I believe the lines between work; life and education got quite blurred during the COVID pandemic, due to the new normal of remote work & classes. As most of us transitioned from work-meetings to remote classes from home, family members ended up being known by colleagues and classmates through the cameras, what made them “participate” on our journeys and alleviate a bit all the workload and the pressure of trying to be present.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Make sure you really know the “why” you are doing it, but prepare to be surprised

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? It’s a myth to imagine that what you are getting as value is the knowledge you cannot get anywhere else. In fact, you can learn even finance or accounting from YouTube. What the program really brings that you cannot find anywhere else is all the combined layers of knowledge and experience and nuance a high-performing executive needs to stand out.

What was your biggest regret in business school? It’s not a regret but I wish I had done the program a few years earlier

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Anne Favre, for being such a humble and caring human being, mother of 3, dedicated spouse, and at the same time a top-notch hard-working executive with a great talent for managing difficult situations with a touch of class that is second to none

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? For me, an executive program is intended to develop leadership skills for the senior level had to be a full-fledged experience with as much peer-to-peer iteration and engagement as possible – only a full time in-person program could deliver the experience I was looking for

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? To help small and medium-size businesses participating on the Electric Mobility revolution to develop to its maximum potential

What made Carlos such an invaluable addition to the class of 2022?

“Carlos has an unquenchable thirst for learning, and is an unstoppable fountain of energy, which is a great combination for someone taking an EMBA with a full-time program workload while also working full-time and making a career shift mid-program. His career shift, from the big company corporate world to a small start-up focused on sustainable transportation is a testament to his openness to learning and to considering different perspectives. It was the program’s Sustainability Mindset module which moved him to want to prioritize environmental and ESG issues rather than treat them as an afterthought.

Carlos was a great fireplug in the class, always willing to share his perspectives and experiences. He wasn’t afraid to ask himself tough questions, out loud, and in so doing, he helped classmates advance their thinking and consider their own tough questions. Fun is one of Carlos’ core values, but so is hard work, and he married the two in a way that ensured the class was always full of life but focused on learning.

Carlos never hesitated to put his impressive worldwide network to work for his class, whether that meant arranging for terrific CEOs, like the CEO of Embraer, to share their insights in a conversation with the class or arranging for an impressive spread of meat for the class’ regular summertime patio barbecues. Adept at integrating into new environments, from day one, Carlos understood the power and the value of his class network. He was one of the catalysts that helped the class develop an incredible closeness and ensured that they realized what a treasure it was to be together on their learning journey. Another example of his ability to integrate? Our program is bilingual, with participants and professors free to speak English or French, whichever they prefer, since everyone in the class is fluent in both. At the start of the program, Carlos almost always spoke in English, which was most comfortable for him. By the last module, he spoke French throughout the module. He pushed himself out of his comfort zone until the uncomfortable became his new comfort zone.”

Marianne Vandenbosch
Program Director
EMBA McGill-HEC Montréal


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