Stop, close your eyes, take a deep breath in and slowly exhale sinking deeper and deeper into relaxation. Not exactly what first comes to mind when you think of a business school. But an unforgettable experience having gone through Porto Business School International MBA.
They say one must constantly learn, improve, do better and then repeat. And it’s true. Not infrequently, success comes from hard work, constant practice, learning from mistakes in a non-stop motion. But there are times when one should pause. Get out of the train. Think of a new destination. And then choose a new line and a new path. I was one out of many at such a crossroads. In a fast‑paced life, always trying to grasp what was needed to take that leap to the next challenge. To the next level. To the next set of books to read. To the next technical certificate, over and over. It was when I found Porto Business School and the ecosystem around it that I knew I had to pause and reflect on what made sense for me. To discover new horizons. To find a path that fulfilled me and gave me more meaning.
It was when I decided to take a year off to pursue an MBA.
In that one year, I met new, bright, and interesting people from various countries and backgrounds, learning alongside them and from them. We had fun, travelled the world, meditated together and made friends. The more I remember, the more I miss that year. We were challenged and inspired by an amazing faculty, diverse in their backgrounds, places of tenure, fields of expertise, but homogeneous in the excellence of fostering our curiosity and critical thinking, and in the mission of pushing us to be able to present, debate with each other on the lectured subjects and extract conclusions out of it to solve problems. In a world of increasingly powerful information technologies, I find this to be one of the most valuable and impactful aspects of an educational project, which will prove even more relevant in the future.
Another plus to the MBA package at Porto Business School is the closeness to companies, which is part of the DNA of the school and of its foundations. We had the chance to meet and interact with several companies, addressing their missions or business models in tandem with the evolution of the programme and the courses being lectured. The sessions with alumni presenting their business endeavours and professional adventures were part of this ecosystem as well, which made it motivating and refreshing for us.
Having the chance to work with amazing leaders and to create meaningful and useful contributions to an organization such as UNICEF Portugal is also an highlight of my experience in the MBA that I cherish deeply.
Looking backwards, what I believe really made it a different learning experience was the ability to, at a given time, be able to pause, put everything in question, analyze broader contexts and formulate hypotheses/create scenarios to solve specific problems. This, combined with the impetus the programme creates to always be ready to perform presentations to an audience, has certainly proven useful to me professionally.
And yes, we found the time to close our eyes, take a deep breath, and start over. That made it truly special and unforgettable, and I am thankful for having experienced it.
At Porto Business School, there will be no finish line.
Article by Pedro Nunes, alumnus of the International MBA and Economist at Amorim SGPS