Marcelo Alencar Preto

Marcelo Alencar Preto


Class of 2014


from Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo

Experience as a Junior Consultant at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, São Paulo

  • You were a consultant before studying at HEC Paris. Why did you choose to apply to a Finance program?

Making the choice of applying to HEC Paris Finance program was not an easy one since the natural course of my career as a consultant would be to accomplish further years of experience and go for an MBA later.

However, if you ask me first to define the job of a management consultant in a few words, I would say it is to help clients solving strategic issues. Despite this being brief, this definition can be translated into a long list of complex activities, such as designing a company’s long-term vision of its market, responding to a competitive move, or integrating operations after an acquisition. Therefore, the rationale for my choice was to specialize in the domain I wanted to dedicate myself in the long term.

In the end, I made my choice naturally since the more experience I had in finance the more I wanted to work on it and the program fitted perfectly to what I was looking for. As a result, even though I had the impression I was taking some risks by not following what people usually do, I was sure I was orienting my career towards something I am truly passionate.

  • In your opinion, what are the strong points of the MIF program?

The strongest points of the MIF program are the distinction of its academic staff and the power of its alumni network. To illustrate that, I can give the example of having classes with the authors of the most used corporate finance book in Europe and with professors that later you realize are the references on their domain. On top of that, I was very impressed to find out that you can always get in touch with one of the HEC alumni who is ready to spend some of their time to help you.

  • Could you share your experience as a South American studying in Europe?

In contrast to what most people think, Latin American and European cultures are relatively close to each other, given the historical roots between the two continents, making the integration very easy.
In addition to that, HEC is a school where the majority of people are internationals so the experience of studying here is also very rich in terms of diversity.

On top of that, I believe I enjoyed the true local experience by being fluent in French. This helped me build relationships with local people throughout the year, for example, I could end up in the middle of a French family discovering their tradional habits.