Prior university: University of Brasilia, Bachelor’s Electrical Engineering, Master’s Economics
Why did you select Rensselaer for your graduate study?
I learned about Rensselaer through my work at the Banco Central do Brasil. Professors from RPI were involved in selecting papers for the Annual Inflation Targeting Seminar held by the bank. When I looked at the Bloomberg ranking for undergraduate management program, I was pleased to find that Rensselaer ranked well in quantitative methods. I reached out to the Lally School of Management and talked with Dr. Bill Francis, the Director of the Ph.D. program, and that helped me see that Rensselaer was the right fit for me.
How does the PhD program fit into your career goals?
I will return to the Banco Central do Brasil upon graduation, as I have a work commitment to fulfill. I would like to hold a research-related position for the Bank and my PhD is necessary to do that. In the long term, I am interested in academia, so the Ph.D. prepares me well for both opportunities.
What aspects of the Ph.D. program do you value most?
The program puts me close to great scholars in the U.S. and allows me to collaborate within Rensselaer, as well as with faculty and students at other schools. I’ve had the opportunity to work with well-respected professors in both the Lally School and School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (Economics). These things are really important as the work load has been heavy, as I expected.
How has your family adjusted to life in the U.S.?
I came here a few years ago to study, and so my transition to the U.S. culture was fairly easy. My wife found it more challenging, and our kids (aged 3 and 6 at the time of our move) have adapted just fine. We live in City Station South, units of brand-new married and family housing very close to campus, and are fortunate to have made many friends there. We frequently get together with other families to enjoy social events.
What advice do you have for prospective students from Brasil?
There is a level of independence expected from students in the States that surprised me relative to my experience in Brasil. Professors in the U.S. are looking for entrepreneurial thinking and ask you to push forward your thinking from the start of the program. While the program begins with two years of coursework, I quickly learned that I need to start thinking about my thesis topic in the first year.
This is a logistics thing, but worth mentioning to prospective students from Brasil. When the passports changed a couple of years ago, it caused my name to render differently on my credentials than my passport, and a couple of items, like my test scores, weren’t added to my application right away. Be sure to contact the Admissions Office for assistance, as they are generally really helpful!