For many, 2020 was a difficult year. For Brazilian student Eduardo Panini, it was the year of taking risks, following his passion and making big changes to his career.
“I found myself truly enjoying the financial side of my previous role. When I discovered this interest I decided I was ready for a change. I wanted to spend some time outside Brazil learning new things in the Bay Area,” Eduardo explains.
With the help of his wife, he discovered Berkeley Global’s professional programs and was instantly attracted to the Corporate Finance certificate program—and immediately applied and just as quickly was accepted.
In January of 2020 Eduardo and his family packed their bags and headed to Berkeley.
Taking 2020 Into the Classroom
It didn’t take long for Eduardo to immerse himself in his classwork. He enjoyed learning all about how to manage a company’s financials in the Basic Corporate Finance and Business Valuation courses. Although familiar with these concepts from his previous position, Eduardo enjoyed learning even more from experienced, working instructors.
And when we say that instructors bring their coursework to life by providing real-world examples, this could not be more true in Eduardo’s and his cohort’s case. His classes regularly discussed how COVID-19 could change the economic world. “Although it was under unfortunate circumstances, the exchange among students was great. We were able to discuss real-life situations about complex scenarios,” Eduardo remembers.
Despite studying abroad during such an uneasy time, Eduardo soaked in the entire experience. He appreciated how open the instructors were to answering questions and challenging students. Their flexibility to deal with many different perspectives definitely facilitated the learning process.
“In Brazil, we seem to know the context in which the topic is presented,” he explains. “The interactions in Berkeley required additional exercise to better understand different cultural aspects. The professors were very experienced and accommodating when interacting with students.”
From Finances to Family Time
Although Eduardo’s main focus throughout the semester was to improve his knowledge about corporate finance, his number one priority was—and continues to be—being a father. That meant spending as much quality time outside of the classroom with his family as he did inside the classroom.
Berkeley and the San Francisco Bay Area was the ideal location for this. The Panini family spent their weekends at various Northern California attractions. “We were able to visit Lake Tahoe, beaches, sporting events and even a Rocky Horror Picture Show!” Eduardo enthuses.
During the school week, Eduardo would make the most of his time in Berkeley. On any given day, you could find him studying or relaxing at many of the local parks and at UC Berkeley campus’ open spaces.
A Shift in His Career
Although COVID-19 cut Eduardo’s time in Berkeley short by one semester, he made the most out of his program both in person and remotely. So much so that after receiving his certificate in corporate finance in June, Eduardo’s career shifted.
Back home in Brazil, Eduardo's work life would completely change. While enjoying a workout at his local gym, Eduardo was approached by a familiar face. He ran into Victor Bentivegna, a partner at CMS Invest who had handled Eduardo's personal investments before he went on to attend Berkeley Global.
After hearing about Eduardo’s experience and new finance knowledge, Victor was impressed. Right there in the gym, Victor offered Eduardo a position at CMS Invest.
Eduardo accepted this new position as partner, with no hesitation. Now you can find Eduardo working alongside Victor, managing capital investments while supporting CMS Invest’s company portfolio. In this new role, he is committed to co-creating tailored portfolios of financial products based on investor's long-, mid-, and short-term objectives.
“The corporate finance program opened the door for me when I returned to Brazil,” Eduardo says. “It would've been difficult for me to make this major career change without any further education in the subject. Berkeley Global helped me get that foundation I needed.”