In an interview, Insper alumnus Lucas Ferreira Prediger talks about his academic and professional trajectory
The Insper Alumni Community is made up of more than 25,000 alumni connected through the same network. They share knowledge and experiences over the years and take part in projects that strengthen our institution and society.
Lucas Ferreira Prediger, an Insper Business Administration (ADM)alumnus, is part of that network and has an inspiring story. He became interested in Insper’s teaching model and chose our Business Administration program. He graduated in 2012. Upon joining our school, Lucas felt related to Insper Jr., a non-profit organization. It provides strategic consulting services in the fields of Economics and Business Administration. The organization consists of and is managed exclusively by undergraduate students at Insper.
He became Vice President and Financial Director of the student organization, at which he served until 2011. It was through Insper Jr. that Lucas became interested in the financial market. In 2011, he had the opportunity to start an internship at Credit Suisse. He was later promoted to the bank’s middle-market Mergers & Acquisitions area, where he worked for seven years.
Lucas has been mentoring undergraduate students at Insper since he was working at Credit Suisse, sharing his market experience. In 2018, he became the co-founder of Fortezza Partners, a Mergers & Acquisitions boutique that develops financial and strategic analyzes to support its clients’ decision-making processes.
Passionate about improving his knowledge, he returned to Insper as a student of our LL.M. in Corporate Law. At it, he had the awesome opportunity to attend the Master’s in Strategy and International Management program at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, through a Lemann Foundation fellowship.
In the following interview, Lucas tells us more about his career and how Insper contributed to his development. Check it out:
1) What were the main lessons learned in your career?
Throughout your career, it becomes clear that long-term systematic thinking and consistency make the difference. That view must be replicated from the perspective of relationships and quality of work. On the one hand, it is necessary to surround yourself with good people, better than you, and cultivate good relationships. On the other hand, it is essential that your professional delivery is consistent, high-quality, and without significant fluctuations. Disinterested and inconsistent professionals do not retrain. In the long run, they fall behind.
It is also important to keep in mind that, in the professional world, you are what people see about you. It is not enough that you have an excellent idea or great intentions: Your vision needs to be applied in practice, daily, coherently. It is granular work that requires patience and persistence, but it pays off in the long run. Without coherence, there is no credibility, and credibility is the key factor for professional growth.
2) What was your biggest professional challenge to date?
After seven years in Credit Suisse’s middle-market Mergers & Acquisitions area, I decided to follow an entrepreneurial path. In 2018, I co-founded Fortezza Partners. That process took place from the complete migration of our structure at Credit Suisse structure. Conducting this activity was a huge challenge. Entrepreneurship in the financial market is not a simple activity: It does not require just a good idea, credibility, relationships, or competence. It requires Herculean resilience. That means tolerating long periods when you are poorly understood. It is a big test to your business vision. So, more than ever, the right variables need to be considered in the decision-making process.
It also means bringing together people with the same purpose and working hard to make a difference in a very competitive market. However, seeing this process unfold and participating in the creation of a sustainable business model has been one of my greatest professional joys to date.
3) How do you see your experience at Insper? How has it contributed to your professional life?
I had the opportunity to study at Insper twice. First, at its Undergraduate Program and second, while doing a masters in Corporate Law. My academic education at Insper was indispensable for the professional path I followed. I am also very grateful to Insper for supporting me in the Lemann Foundation’s program.
My greatest lesson learned at Insper is that there is no substitute for dedication. None of my professional achievements would be viable without a lot of work. Insper is not an easy college, but it gives you every opportunity to develop, learn, and be an entrepreneur. It has an amazing structure and faculty, but it is up to the student to make good use of it. Those who are truly dedicated to Insper have the opportunity to finish college highly skilled.
4) What tips and teachings would you give to Insper’s undergraduate students who are in early career?
Talent overrides dedication only in rare cases. There is no shorter path than actually dedicating yourself to achieving your goals. The one who does what everyone else does is just average. I believe few people want to be “average,” but not everyone is dedicated above a certain level. And it is exactly this gap that you need to close. In practice, for the student, it means participating in extracurricular activities, student organizations, exchanges, competitions, or vacation internships. There are several interesting paths.
There are a lot of good people in the market, and it is important to have an interesting story to stand out. If you think big or think small, in both cases, you will be right.
I also believe that it will not always be possible to perform the role you want at the beginning of your career. Realistically, this is a time when the most important thing is to learn and deliver with quality. Surround yourself with leaders you admire, whose purpose you share, and absorb as much as possible from them. It is important to constantly ask yourself how that job can help in your long-term goals. Also, do not let yourself get carried away by inertia. Growth requires planning, which evidently gets easier once you set forth a clear purpose.
Finally, respect and credibility are the greatest assets, and unfortunately or fortunately, very easy to lose. A good academic background helps at the beginning of a career, but it is the respect and credibility that sustain a professional in the long run. It is important to respect everyone around you and surround yourself with people who do what is right. Moreover, it is better to put the shortcuts aside and focus on what matters.
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