Amanda Cattaneo

Amanda Cattaneo

Full-Time MBA Class of 2024


Professional Roles and Achievements


  • Academic: ESADE MBA Women in Business Award and VP of Networking & Communication – Finance Club
  • Activities: Sponsorship for a EMBA in Finance by Itaú BBA (performance award)
  • Others: First family member to do MBA (local and abroad) / volunteer as care clown at an NGO (pre-Covid)


-MBA Batch of 2024

-EMBA in Finance at Insper (Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa) – São Paulo, Brazil | EMBA in Finance (sponsored by Itaú BBA) (2017)

-Bachelor of Business Administration at Escola de Adm. de Empresas de São Paulo, Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) – São Paulo, Brazil (2008)

What is invisible but essential about YOU? or ESADE? or Barcelona?

Born and raised in Brazil, soon in life I started to experience, the challenges of growing-up in a developing country and more specially in a more female dominant environment due to my specific circumstances in life. At that time, little did I know about the meaning and life impact of all typical challenges regarding education, financial stability, and opportunities. But luckily, I was surrounded by strong and hard-working women who taught and inspired me so much, especially two which I want to introduce.

One, a primary school teacher, who was abandoned by her husband and migrated with four children from the Northeast of Brazil to São Paulo in search of work and better living conditions. From selling encyclopedias door-to-door, this woman ended up running her successful own business for many years. Her example of strength and dedication was marked in her crooked backbones, and she was also my grandmother. The other, also a public-school teacher, faced the death of my father at the age of 32, with a 4-year-old girl and a 5-month-old baby boy. Throughout her life, my mother struggled to support my brother and me, always prioritizing our education to ensure we could have a good future. Overcoming all challenges (personal losses, financial instability, gender, etc), her example taught me that education, hard work, perseverance, and faith can lead us to achieve our goals and dreams.

It didn’t take long until it was my turn to experience some of these challenges myself. Despite my family’s lack of financial means, my dedication to studies and my determination to change my future led me to a personal sponsorship for my studies in a top private school. I took the opportunity to challenge myself and prepare to enter a very prestigious business school in São Paulo, financed by a student loan. This and the commitment I had mentally to be a changer in my family pushed my dedication at work. The results didn’t come as fast as the challenges in the male-dominated environments of business school, consulting, and financial market. Long working hours, facing intimidation or disfavoring from some people, harassments from others, but I knew I had reached amazing opportunities for learning and developing professionally. I pushed and challenged myself, outperformed, achieved my goals, and helped others on the way as my role models taught me.

Thank you to the women of my life and to all the people who contributed in many ways to show that we can achieve our goals with collaboration, in addition to education, perseverance, hard work, dreams, and faith.

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