Gustavo Valverde Rezende is an MBA2, originally from Brazil. He has a Bachelor’s in business administration from Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora and a Master’s in finance from IBMEC. Before joining Stern, Gustavo worked in management consulting, public management, and corporate finance before joining Eureca, a purpose-driven startup, as Chief Financial Officer. His latest job was as Strategy & Finance Leader at Grupo Anga, Eureca’s parent company, overlooking a portfolio of six purpose-driven companies. This summer, Gustavo worked as an Investment Banking Summer Associate at Credit Suisse in New York.
Moving to NYC
Moving to NYC can be intimidating, especially if you are coming from a small town, like myself. Looking from my childhood home, the city looked chaotic and hostile. I heard about how hard it would be to make friends and was scared I would never feel at home there.
Fast-forward two years, and I am in love with NYC. I have very good friends, call the city my home, and can’t think of living anywhere else. How did this happen?
The first challenge I overcame was moving to the city. Before setting foot in NYC, I made a few friends at Stern through admitted student events and reaching out to student clubs (like the Latin American Business Association). They have advised me on good neighborhoods to live, the timing and procedures for renting a place, where and how to furnish my house, and even on budgeting. Some of these friends are neighbors and make a great support network.
Making Connections & Friends
The second challenge was making the city my home. I needed basic stuff, like a bank account, and other not-so-trivial things, like a good group of friends. Here’s where Stern’s community was huge. Even before being in NYC, I had spoken to so many people in the program that I felt I didn’t start from zero. So many nice people had reached out to me, introduced me to their friends, and replied to my blind approaches that I felt welcome.
When I got to the city, my new friends were amazing at introducing me to new people and making sure I felt a part of their social circles. My classmates also put together a lot of social outings, which helped make very close friendships. Nowadays, I have a bunch of friends both in the program and in the city – a social life that is more intense than I had back home.
That is when I realized one of the main benefits of living in the most global city in the world: you find anything you may need or want. Do you want to play golf? Or cricket? Maybe soccer? The city’s got you. If you are not into sports, Stern student clubs will help you find wine lovers, culture buffs, or k-popers. Feeling home-sick? Enjoy regional clubs and benefit from the city’s many regional social networks. In my case, I eat feijoada, have açaí, catch every single Cruzeiro game, and speak as much Portuguese as I want with a ton of Brazilian friends I made in the city.
Preparing for Recruiting & Making a Career Change
Finally, to make New York really feel like home, I needed a job. That is one of the most stressful parts of the MBA, but Stern had me covered. Professional and regional clubs will help you build a professional network, get the coffee chats and interviews you need, and find your internship. In my case, the friends I mentioned above mock-interviewed me and gave me candid feedback – even a few tough ones to hear – ultimately enabling me to get my dream job at Credit Suisse Investment Banking Division, in the M&A team. I can’t stress enough how important fellow Sternies were for my career transition.
I know first hand it can be intimidating and tough to move to NYC. But with a little help from my friends, I built everything I needed to call NYC my home. It is still crazy to realize how much this place feels like home. And yet, here I am, sitting in my childhood town and feeling homesick. I can’t wait to be back in the city.