Master of Business Administration (MBA) 2001
When things get hectic while working as President of the Nascon Odebrecht -- Terminal Portuario in Brazil, Antonio Ramalho can reflect back on his days at the University of Toronto - and remain calm.
It is a skill he learned as an MBA student when he took on work after 10 hours of classes, gathering and sorting data, and reaching conclusions all under extreme time pressure. "Today, doesn't matter how much I have to do, I feel calm, concentrated and I know I'll get there."
What he remembers the most about U of T is the exhaustion he felt because of all the extra hours he put in, but in the end it paid off because today when he is under pressure dealing with competitors, banks or the government he can rely upon his experience at university.
Ramalho’s company consists of diversified businesses in the fields of engineering, construction, chemicals and petrochemicals. It operates in South America, Central America, North America, the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He was previously at Braskem, a company in the plastics industry where he was responsible for international and domestic markets.
"U of T has a really great reputation in the world. Every time I travel abroad, when I mention I went to grad school at U of T, it leaves a really good impression on people."
Canada, like Brazil, is a very multicultural country, “based on immigration from all over the world. It gives the University of Toronto a unique capability to prepare global citizens with state-of-the-art education.”
If he had any advice to prospective students, it would be to “take it as a life experience, get all the reading done. When you feel overwhelmed by the demand, think that one day you will miss it. It will be hard to find such a wonderful experience for learning. Enjoy it while it lasts.”
Ramalho, who does most of his travelling to the Middle East and to Houston, said he would like to see U of T promoted even more in South America. It is as good as Harvard, or Princeton or Stanford and should be recognized as such.
Published Dec. 9, 2013.