can always surprise you
native of Brazil, Marcio Mendes 98B
spent a year as an exchange student in California
when he was in high school and decided he wanted
to attend college in the United States.
Brazil, there is no such thing as a liberal arts
collegeyou decide between specialties such
as law, business administration, or medicine,
his father was a microbiologist who traveled to
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention two
to three times a year on business, Mendes accompanied
him to Atlanta several times and became familiar
took the campus tour on one of my visits, and thats
when it clicked, he says. I started
to read about the University and its programs.
was accepted to the College in August 1994, and
began his studies in the company of many other international
students. On an exchange program in Barcelona, he
met his future wife, Isabelle Heude.
tough to be an international couple, says
Mendes, who speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese,
and French. She was in Spain, and we would
meet in France.
returned to São Paulo after graduating with
his bachelors degree in business and got married,
first in a civil ceremony in Brazil, then at a church
wedding in France in August of 2001.
decided to pursue an MBA from the Hautes Etudes
Commerciales (HEC) School of Management in Paris.
HEC is considered one of the four aces,
the French equivalent of the American Ivy Leagues.
felt that it was important to get to know the French
style of business. Companies are much more bureaucratic
here. You really have to follow the hierarchy to
work on certain projects, says Mendes. In
American companies, you can show initiativeyou
have that liberty. Here, you have to be careful
not to pass someone above you.
recently completed his MBA, Mendes is interviewing
with companies throughout Europe, although he hopes
to stay in France.
I really like here is just walking, without an objective.
Paris can always surprise you. You can always find
a nice boutique, a nice bar, a nice restaurant,
says Mendes, gesturing around him at the white linen
tablecloths and elegant ambiance of the historic
La Brasserie Lipp. If it werent so expensive,
it would be perfect.M.J.L.