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ISEG MBA of Artur Peña


"I attended the 27th edition of the ISEG MBA from 2010 to 2012. When I started I just had a daughter and four months before the end I had a second daughter, so for me, it was a real "Master Baby Administration". Between nappies and feeding bottles, the creative agency of which I was a partner at the time, the finance classes and the financial analysis and reporting classes, it was a lot! This, of course, was only possible, truth to be told because behind a big man (1.83m), there is always a big woman (and certainly some elves dressed in green who came by the house to tidy up and walk the dog). Did I mention that at that time I was also president of a Rugby club association which took up every Tuesday lunchtime and about 30 weekends out of the 52 available in a year?


So, if you think you don't have the life to do an executive MBA, make no mistake. In fact, that is exactly what you learn: to better manage all the available time slots, to get out of your comfort zone, to learn that the good is the enemy of the great and that if you have everything under control it is because you are not moving fast enough. This is the essence of an MBA.


From a knowledge point of view, in my case, I went looking to better master micro-finance, investment appraisal and day-to-day management. After all, I was an entrepreneur and didn't know what NPV (Net Present Value) was. But in reality, I still took macro-finance, Marketing (where I was supposedly an expert and knew everything), International Relations and Logistics, among others. With experience and age, at a certain point, we think that we have already mastered certain disciplines and that we have the know-how in certain subjects that are already comfortably engraved in the stone we call brain and it is at this point that we take a good and deserved beating of deconstruction - perspectives and different approaches, realizing that I only know that I know nothing - that makes us adjust the azimuth and sail towards new seas. For example: in the marketing module we discussed the strategies of several well-known companies several times with a calculating machine in our hands, and through simple calculations about the approximate profitability of a product, we understood the impact of an entire corporate strategy, whereas in my creative agency, we worked for several well-known national and international brands and what we wanted was "just" to deliver a good advertising campaign. Regarding finances and investment, which I now apply on a daily basis in the real estate investments I make, I have to say that they were exactly what I needed, more than the case study methodology, which we also did, we had mostly "hands-on" learning - knowing how to analyze the finances of any company or calculate an investment with pencil and rubber in hand from A to Z, without "kibitz" or comments from a mister know-it-all.


Regarding soft skills - essential for any good professional - in addition to the modules we did in class, in that edition we participated in a weekend of leadership in the Air Force in Sintra and a week of immersion in Silicon Valley (San Francisco) in the world of startups, which would be very relevant later when I was Marketing Director of Beta-i and for other projects in which I was involved. I can confess, that in these two immersions there was even room for some friction between colleagues, as there is in our professional and social lives, but it was positive for everyone, as we had to overcome them for the good of the group. And how much better that fantastic group got.


Now with one more child (3 in total), I'm already in need of a refresher on the ISEG MBA!"

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