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Gabriel Ronacher Passos Silva

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This is a priceless opportunity to engage debates with diverse opinions and views from different sides. From my point of view, this unique learning experience is the main output from the MBA, and the one that will impact us the most.

What led you to take the Cambridge MBA?

Over the last years, I have worked on exploratory offshore well construction on the most challenging drilling prospects in Brazil, where most international companies want to participate these days. During that time, I have witnessed the ongoing changes in the energy industry from up close and understand their impacts, such as the vigorous crude price variations and the newly competitive renewable energy companies, that have forced the traditional oil producers to reflect upon their vision and mission. Instead of being a spectator in this evolving environment, I have realised that I need to structure and hone my business and leadership skills to actively drive the ongoing changes. The Cambridge MBA with the "micro to macro" approach provides a perfect match to fill in the gaps of my engineering background from the basics of business knowledge. I am attracted to the flexible elective course altogether with the hands-on approach of a twelve month programme in a world-class institution. Finally, this small and charming but also business-driven city, will also help me and my wife to feel at home during this next year.

Describe the biggest accomplishment in your career so far?

In 2017, despite being the youngest engineer of my department, I was selected to be the Drilling/Operations Superintendent of the first exploratory well outside of Brazil for over three years. I led the operation in Colombia with several challenges that an international project brings, such as different regulatory agencies, closer partner interactions and over forty subcontractors. On top of that, scrutiny from company headquarters put a lot of pressure on everyone involved. In the end, we had great operational success, reaching all objectives together with seven per cent less expenditure and recognition from top management. It was definitely a rewarding experience. 

How do you feel about being awarded your scholarship?

I feel honoured having received both a merit-based bursary and the LyondellBasell scholarship. It shows the sponsors' recognition of my past experiences, but also their belief in my capability to go through my objectives ahead. It will prove great support for me and my family. 

What do you want to get out of the MBA most of all in the next year?

The interaction between several different nationalities, cultures and backgrounds guided by a recognised faculty altogether with a creative and innovative environment such as that of the University of Cambridge will allow MBA students to build their own picture of the current world’s challenges. This is a priceless opportunity to engage in debates with diverse opinions and views from different sides. From my point of view, this unique learning and exchanging experience is the main output from the MBA, and the one that will impact us the most.

Where do you see your MBA journey taking you in your future career?

I see myself more prepared to understand and deal with the forces that act on businesses and markets, especially in the energy field. As a leader, the MBA will provide me with the tools and knowledge to unravel and help drive the transformational changes that are taking place on our ever-evolving world.

Something that not many people know about you

I used to run a microbrewery in Brazil with five other friends. We have brewed over seven different types of beers, and it was a great learning and tasting experience.

Scholarship awarded

LyondellBassell Scholarship




Mechanical Engineer Bachelors degree, Federal University of Minas Gerais

Pre-MBA career

Drilling Superintendent, Petrobras