Juliana Olm CunhaFull-Time MBA Student
Hometown: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Undergraduate University: Escola Superior de Propaganda e Marketing ‘12
Major/Minor: International Relations
Specialization: Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Marketing
Internship: Zume, Inc.
For Juliana Olm Cunha, earning an advanced degree after completing her undergraduate studies was very important.
"My mom is a Ph.D. so I could never see myself not doing a master's program. It was on my path," she explains. "I was sure about it; I just wasn't sure when."
So, Juliana sought out opportunities that would help build out the requisite amount of work experience that MBA programs require of their applicants. She worked as a consultant for Deloitte's Sao Paolo practice for nearly two years before jumping at the opportunity to work on Brazil's organizing committee for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
"It was a dream job," she recounts. "I started working for licensing and retail. Then I switched to ticketing. It was a challenge to support 42 different sports in 17 days but it was a lot of fun."
During this time, Juliana was researching MBA programs in the United States. She attended an MBA fair in Rio de Janeiro where she met Amanda Barth, Director of Admissions for the full-time MBA, and quickly came to love William & Mary's program.
"I knew when I got the Olympic Games job that I would have to wait until the end of it to get my MBA," she explains. "Then I fell in love with my husband so I had to wait longer because he wanted to get his MBA too and we had to plan out how we would live for two years with no salary."
Juliana and her husband, Gustavo, were soon married and began visiting MBA programs in the United States as well as working to create financial stability for when they concurrently pursued their MBA degrees.
"We visited William & Mary, learned more about the Executive Partners program, and talked to alumni," she says. "We did very detailed research and we thought this would be the perfect option for us."
Now that they are both enrolled as students in the full-time MBA program, Juliana is grateful that they are in Williamsburg together, supporting one another.
"He understands how crazy my schedule is," she explains. "I don't have to explain to him how hard it has been to balance school with basic stuff - cooking, sleeping, etc. I think we're lucky to be in the same mode, and in the same experience developing ourselves and sharing that."
Personally, Juliana enthusiastically dove into the full-time program, joining the MBA Association's Net Impact Club, and networked with alumni and on-campus groups to better the community. She's already brought more vegetarian meal options to the Boehly Cafe and is undergoing a campaign to increase awareness across campus on the usage of environmentally-friendly, sustainable, and compostable food containers and utensils.
"I want to change the world. That's what I want to do. That's my goal in life, professionally, personally, with everything," she says. "I know it sounds cliche, but I really want to have a positive impact. I want to work with strategy in the core of business to show it can be profitable and that you can change the world at the same time."