Name: Thiago Baiao
Last job title: Aerospace Engineer at Atkins
Previous degree: Master in Aeronautics at Aeronautics Institute of Technology in Brazil
1. Why did you choose RSM for your MBA?
“I have already lived in the Netherlands for 10 years, and bought a house in Amsterdam with my wife a few years ago. I like how things are organised in the Netherlands, it’s safe here, and people are friendly. I already wanted to do an MBA, and saw RSM had a great reputation. I was postponing it because I was happy at work, but now I’m doing the MBA with more experience and more maturity to take full advantage. Now that I’m here I know to make full use of the MBA and dedicate to learning as much as possible rather than just adding it to my CV.”
2. What has been the most challenging assignment or activity?
“It’s challenging to figure out what I want to do after the MBA. I think I want to go into operations and supply chain but I’m not sure. We have coaches and exercises but I should dedicate more time to it. It’s also challenging to work in teams, if you make an effort to make things work with everyone being satisfied in their roles. It’s tricky to get a diverse team from various cultures and functions working on assignments with different expectations if you want to get things right. You have to communicate and manage expectations, then you can compromise and get satisfactory results.”
3. How has the Personal Leadership Development programme affected you?
“This was an unexpected, big surprise, and very valuable! This support helps people figure out what they want to do, and become better in the work environment. In the MBA, we don’t just learn about business, marketing and finance. We have one-to-one coaching sessions to help with professional and personal growth. I’m taking all opportunities to make best use of it.”
4. Do you notice different cultural approaches to working within global teams?
“People from extroverted cultures tend to dominate what happens so you have to actively get the opinions of the ones from quieter cultures to get the most results. It’s challenging to make sure there are no interpersonal problems. The MBA is a good learning opportunity to practise as much as you can in a safe environment. If you make mistakes, you can learn. This exposure is great when you want to work in diverse areas like Europe.”
5. Can you define the 'RSM MBA experience'?
“I’m grateful the RSM MBA has a collaborative atmosphere rather than competitive, like some top schools with many students do have. We have a small class size. There’s a real sense of community, this is exemplified by the spirit prizes we win at competitions.”
6. What transformation in your professional life are you hoping to achieve?
“I graduated in electrical engineering and aeronautics. I’m a general engineer who has worked in several areas. I want to become a specialist in operations or supply chain, or finance. Or perhaps I’ll be a manager in an engineering firm.”
7. How do you plan to be a force for positive change?
“By being ethical in the work environment and setting the example. My I WILL statement is I WILL strive for balance. In business I think about what’s beneficial for the company and for the employee. Finding the balance to keep both happy isn’t always easy – I hope to make people’s lives better by improving the business enough that both company and employees benefit from the extra efficiency.”
8. What does the future hold?
“I want to wake up in the morning being happy to go to the office because I’m doing something I care about and that I enjoy doing. I don’t have particular plans to go anywhere but if there’s a great opportunity abroad then I’d go for it. We’ll see what the future brings!”