“Life is good, life is beautiful. Enjoy it. Use it to the full extent. Don’t waste your moments. Create an objective for you and go for it!”
Assistant Professor of Business Dr. Rodrigo Lobo has been all about business for over 30 years. Before taking the daring “180 degrees toward full-time work in academia,” his career spanned the breadth of “corporate life.” For nearly a decade, Dr. Lobo contributed his analytical expertise to a unique public project: the Itaipu Binacional Company, an initiative of the Brazilian and Paraguayan governments that jointly runs one of the most productive hydroelectric power plants in the world. In the private sector, Dr. Lobo led the Brazilian subsidiary of the international corporate giant DuPont as Managing Director and, subsequently, the business process outsourcing for Accenture Brazil, a U.S.-owned consulting, outsourcing, and technology firm. In 2009, Dr. Lobo became Co-Owner, Partner, and Executive Director of Tecnodata Educacional, an independent educational publishing company based in Brazil. At each enterprise, Dr. Lobo’s leadership in management, strategic planning, and initiative implementation, as well as marketing and operations throughout Latin America, the United States, and Europe, both ameliorated practices and boosted sales growth.
Remarkably, Dr. Lobo generated this diverse business portfolio prior to committing full-time to higher education and earning his doctorate in Business from Positivo University in Brazil, with a year as a Visiting Ph.D. Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley. Alongside his invaluable experience, “I had been teaching for twenty years in an adjunct capacity,” but “decided to start a Ph.D. at kind of a late stage of life.” For Dr. Lobo, this exhilarating “major life transition” also included immigration to the United States with his family. Since his professional path brought him to Guttman in Fall 2017, Dr. Lobo has taught in the Business Administration Program of Study, in addition to the Quantitative Reasoning component of the First Year Experience’s signature course, City Seminar.
In the classroom, Dr. Lobo aims at sharing “industry views, perspectives” and “fostering discussion” through probing questions. “I exhaust students with industry world examples, and how it works, how it processes in a company, well-known companies – Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google.” They analyze business decision-making together: “What are your thoughts on this?” Dr. Lobo inquires of the class. “What comes to your mind when you hear this?” he challenges. To keep his Introduction to Business students firmly “connected to the industry world,” Dr. Lobo tasks them with “developing a business plan in a semester.” Through scaffolded steps and group work assignments, the project covers all areas of business, from bylaws to operations, from ownership to “people management,” from marketing to finances. “I decided to adopt a template from the U.S. Small Business Administration,” so once students successfully complete the project, they have created “the first document needed when you have a start-up, to get approvals, or investments for a new operation.” Whether or not the students pursue their bachelor’s degree in Business, Dr. Lobo equips them with a ready-to-use, essential tool in realizing their business dreams.