Marcelo Mourão Silva worked nearly four years as an associate consultant for Advisia, a well-known Brazilian consulting firm based in São Paulo. He performed a variety of functions, including strategy, market entry, organizational design, and cost-cutting. On the side, he opened a restaurant and nightclub in Belo Horizonte with a group of friends.
"I did everything from developing the plan to raising money from investors and then implementing that plan. The experience helped spark an interest in risk capital for me, and through that process, I realized that I had a passion for private equity. I felt like I belonged there."
For Mourão, Chicago was an easy choice, and one he felt strongly about from the start. He wanted a school that offered a rigorous, analytical education - especially in finance, an area where he sought to improve his skills.
"The flexibility of the program was also particularly valuable for a career switcher like me. The quarter leading into my internship was probably one of the most valuable since I knew where I was headed for the summer, and I could tailor my curriculum to get up to speed and prepare."
Mourão landed an internship with Apax Partners in New York, where he helped carry out a deal in Brazil, which included drafting the proposal, evaluating its structure, and following through on the commercial due diligence aspects of the project.
"I had to do the entire financial model, the evaluation - all those things that I had studied during my first year at Booth. Everything that I learned was incredibly valuable and applicable for the evaluation of the deal structure."
Mourão specifically recognizes the Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity course as equipping him with the indispensable frameworks to consider when evaluating a deal.
"Sometimes in class, I'd think, ‘Oh, that's just another framework,' but then during my internship I'd have to think very quickly about what the important things were to consider. There was so much at stake, and I didn't want to miss anything. Each time, I'd immediately go back to those exact frameworks I learned at Booth."
Shortly after the internship ended, Mourão accepted a full-time associate position with Apax Partners, which started in September 2012.