Leadership & People
Impactful stories
April 15, 2021

Leading & Studying — A two-way street

My grandfather started working when he was ten years old. He wanted to continue studying. However, he did not possess the financial means to do so. Gratefully, two generations later, I had this possibility. For that reason, I firmly believe studying is a two-way street. It is a gift that one should embrace and “give-back,” with hard work and effort. Hence, when I entered my Bachelor’s in 2015, this was one of my main competitive advantages: I embraced the school and the possibility of developing and fostering my capabilities as an outstanding scenario. This was an opportunity to start creating my path, to leave my mark, to impact my colleagues. I knew the locus of causality was in me. I would definitely make the most out of it!

During my Bachelor’s, I always had the objective of reconciling my academic excellence (which would allow me to gather the analytical tools required) with several other experiences that would allow me to grow exponentially in ways that the faculty could not offer me. With that in mind, I did four internships during the three years of my Bachelor’s (three during each Summer and one during the academic calendar), I did Erasmus in Vienna, I started and led an Ambassadors program, and I created a blog focused on helping students like me succeed in the job market. It was challenging to reconcile everything but, with hard work, an extreme ambition and my will to evolve continuously, I managed to finish my Bachelor’s with a story I am proud of describing. Notwithstanding, the continuous support of my family and the role of coffee were two critical success factors.

During this journey, I firmly believed that it was my duty always to work as hard as possible, to lead myself tirelessly to achieve my goals. I always ensured I backed up my ambition with discipline and commitment. Coming from Sátão, a small village, I had the possibility to compare my reality with Lisbon’s and Vienna’s and to learn from the differences. I understood that, despite the differences, what determines what we will achieve in the future is intrinsically connected to the effort, the focus, and the determination we commit while pursuing our goals. Dreaming may create the destination, but it is the work we dedicate to our activities and to the people that surround us that definitely establishes the path.

After three intense years, I had the chance to start my Master’s at Nova School of Business & Economics (Nova SBE) and to, gratefully, be selected to be part of the Nova SBE Fellowship for Excellence. This program creates a strong link between its fellows and the corporate world, and it provides the fellows with the tools to make them achieve a steep evolution. This program is coherent with NOVA SBE’ mindset: empowering each student to assume an active and leading role in the future.

Recently, in the Fellowship, we discussed how we could enhance our leadership capabilities. For me, my grandfather was a leader, as he perceived the value of education when few realized its importance and started to create the conditions for providing my family with that possibility. That’s the impact I want to have in the organizations that I will work for in the future: I want to leverage other people’s careers (and lives), to be able to see beyond the status quo and to help my collaborators to develop and foster their abilities to the maximum and, simultaneously, learn and evolve thanks to them. Leadership, similarly to studying, is a two-way street. And I want to make the most out of it!

Daniel Alves do Quental

Daniel Alves do Quental

Nova SBE's BSc. and MSc alumnus | Consultant at Oliver Wyman, Madrid

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