Mauro Gonzaga de Oliveira has been named the 2013-2014 recipient of the Louise and Michael Beldon Doctoral Scholarship.
Oliveira originally hails from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and moved to the United States in 1996. In 1998, he completed an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston. After working for a few years as an engineer and project manager, he started his MBA at The University of Texas at Austin. Oliveira states, “The MBA was a decisive experience in my life. I met exceptional professors who introduced me to corporate finance, accounting, macro and microeconomics,” said Oliveira. The inter-relationship of the [business] disciplines is what fascinated him the most.
After receiving his MBA in 2005, Oliveira worked in the private sector developing and managing a business unit and supporting CFOs and CEOs with strategic planning. It was professionally rewarding work, but he desired a more sophisticated intellectual challenge–an academic career in finance.
“As a first step [to a career in academia], I decided to resume my academic studies with a master’s in finance at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) in preparation for a Ph.D,” Oliveira said. He graduated in May 2013 with a 4.0 grade point average, and a master’s degree in finance. Just prior to starting his second master’s, Oliveira achieved U.S. Citizenship status.
Oliveira will start his Ph.D. in Business Administration with a concentration in finance this fall. His research interest is corporate finance, and he wants to focus on the areas of mergers & acquisitions, valuations, studies related to capital structuring such as the issuing of equity and debt securities, IPOs, financial restructuring, bankruptcy, and extend some of these analyses into the international arena.
Oliveira chose to remain at UTSA for his doctoral studies stating, “I was very impressed with the dedication and the quality of the faculty, which I had the privilege to meet during my master’s program.” Two faculty members that stand out to Oliveira are Drs. Fathali Firoozi (economics) and Karan Bhanot (finance). “They mentored me in the consolidation of ideas. They are invested in their students’ success both in the program and in preparation for post-graduate careers. They are the reason I continued at UTSA.”
Being a recipient of the Beldon Scholarship is very important to Oliveira and his family since he will not be working during the time he is in his doctoral program, dedicating his time solely to his academic studies. Post-graduation, Oliveira plans to stay in the South Texas/San Antonio area with his wife and two children. “I love the area. I cannot think of any place I would rather raise my children and start a career in academia, contributing to society and to younger generations of students.”
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