Education Pays Off
PROVO, Utah – Aug 22, 2022 – Marcelo Souza always had a passion for education while growing up in Brazil. He set a goal as a teenager to earn an advanced degree from BYU, which he accomplished when he graduated with an MBA in 2005. The lessons Souza learned at the BYU Marriott School of Business not only helped him adjust to a new culture but they also helped him become a better businessman and reinforce his top priorities of family and religion.
While attending a technical school in his hometown of São Paulo, Souza completed an internship as a salesperson for a manufacturing company. He furthered his education and sales experience in Brazil by earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Escola Superior de Administracao de Negocios in 2001. However, Souza felt he could do even more, so he began exploring the possibility of earning an MBA at BYU.
“Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meant I was often exposed to BYU. The university became important in my desires to always be learning and pursuing education,” Souza explains. “I came to the point where I was not going anywhere professionally, and I realized the BYU Marriott MBA program would give me the opportunity to jump-start my career.”
In addition Souza chose BYU Marriott because he felt he would fit in at the school despite the adjustments he would have to make as an international student. “I knew I would have church culture to help me cope with American culture,” he adds. “Having church members around me would make the adjustment process easier for me, my wife, and our two young daughters, while also helping us feel more comfortable.”
During his time at BYU Marriott, Souza took an international business class. His professor focused on helping students understand the need to adapt to different cultures when doing business in new or unfamiliar areas. Not only was Souza able to apply these lessons to his ongoing adjustment to the United States, he was also able to use them in his career. Souza is the sales director for manufacturing firm Total Valve Systems. He sells products internationally, including to people and cultures unfamiliar to him, as part of the company’s efforts to expand to new markets.
Another lesson from the MBA program that Souza values is knowing how to find answers to difficult questions. “BYU Marriott taught me to be curious and work hard toward solutions for problems. My classes frequently used case studies where I had to think outside the box,” he explains. “I learned how to analyze situations and find the best approach forward, which still helps me to this day.”
These and other lessons helped Souza reach his goal of jump-starting his career through his MBA. He is happy with his recent promotion to sales director at Total Valve Systems, which is located in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, where Souza and his family currently live. While Souza enjoys his position and successful career, he is most grateful for the more permanent things in life.
When asked what he is proud of, Souza names two things: his faith and family. He also explains those are his highest priorities in life. “Faith and family are permanent and remain after everything else like money and career are gone,” Souza says. “I emphasize appreciating those two things because if I instead focus on other, temporary things, the permanent things may not be possible anymore when I go back to them.”
Because of his focus on the things that matter most to him, Souza is especially appreciative for how religion was included in his coursework at BYU Marriott, an education he says blesses his life immensely. “My MBA did not pay off right away, after making progress in my career I can say that I have a position I enjoy and am proud of,” he adds. “I have seen the results of putting time and effort into my education.”
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Mike Miller