In honor of Women’s History Month, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg sat down with 2019 alumna Renata Gil Prates to discuss how an MBA impacted her career and gather her advice for tackling challenges.
SHULU: Apart from being one of our Alumna, who are you, what is your background?
My name is Renata, and I’m turning 41 years old. I was born and raised in Brazil, in a female-centric family—we are four sisters and I am number 2. As a good student and a passionate reader, I was led to law school. For more than 15 years, I worked as a litigation lawyer. I was happy in my comfort zone until a trip to Luxembourg sparked in me a need for change.
SHULU: Why did you chose to get your an MBA from Sacred Heart University Luxembourg?
I wanted to change, not just my career, but my entire life. My life wasn’t bad, I just had this feeling—I could hear my internal voice saying it was time to change. I followed my intuition and I took one year as a sabbatical. I came to Luxembourg and I went to London to improve my English. In 2018, I figured out that in Luxembourg, I feel like I am at home. Now that I had a home, I needed a job.
The job market is not very friendly when you are a non-European with no international experience. Education is always the key. Studying in Luxembourg was my best chance to make the change happen. It was not difficult to choose Sacred Heart University—the language, the multicultural environment, the reviews from friends, and, of course, the internship program.
SHULU: What has life been like since graduating?
Since graduation, the pandemic has put us all in a weird situation, but overall my life is very good. I changed my career; I am not working as a lawyer anymore, I am working in compliance in a Brazilian bank. I started from scratch, but my legal background helps me every day. SHU was a very important catalyst for this change in my career.
SHULU: How has an MBA changed your career trajectory?
The MBA was a full package experience for me. I met very good friends and we had and still have great moments together. It was in the program that I started building my network.
SHULU: What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how did it change your life ?
The biggest challenge I have faced was the decision to leave my comfort zone and come to Luxembourg in my late thirties. I have no regrets at all. And this decision changed my entire life: I live in a new country, I speak a foreign language most of the time, my friends are from everywhere, and I am super happy and open to the next change.
SHULU: What advice would you give women today who are navigating such rapid change?
My advice: question yourself even if you are happy, trust and follow your intuition, invest in yourself, be open and work hard.
SHULU: Can you please share your favorite quote/ mantra with us?
My mantra is good things are coming!
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