Interview with Americo Franco
Studying for an MBA program means expanding my knowledge and giving myself the opportunity to take up many senior managerial roles and imbibing skills to venture into businesses beyond the current one.
Tell us about yourself, your family and your interests
I am 45 years old, born and raised in Angola. I am married with one handsome son. I am the third of 12 siblings. I completed my high school in Angola and went to university in Pretoria, Republic of South Africa. My favourite sports are soccer and Formula 1 racing. I love Barcelona and Lewis Hamilton. Needless to say that I suffered a lot when Bayern beat Barcelona in the UEFA champions league.
How have you been faring in the midst of this pandemic? What lesson did you learn from it?
This pandemic has been quite a scary and nervous period for me as I have never experienced anything like this before. I am making sure that I am taking care of my family and myself in the best possible manner. I saw people losing their jobs, getting desperate because they could not get new ones, a dad who committed suicide after having hung his 2 children due to job loss and businesses filing for bankruptcy. I also witnessed businesses thriving in this opportunistic phase, especially those in the technology and health industry.
A couple of lessons learnt, namely:
- Always be ready for the unforeseen by maintaining a positive attitude.
- Always save money, no matter how much, for unexpected events.
- Invest in real estate, government bonds and land, but diversify your investments.
- Acquire additional skills besides the current one.
- Expand your networking.
- Always keep your family close and maintain healthy relationships.
Does the course you are studying at Athena help you to achieve your goals? Does it have a direct impact on the business or job you do? If yes, please elaborate.
Yes, it does. Studying for an MBA program means expanding my knowledge and giving myself the opportunity to take up many senior managerial roles and imbibing skills to venture into businesses beyond the current one.
I want to be the CEO of a bank, especially the central bank, and it is obligatory for candidates to have an MBA degree or other higher academic qualifications. Studying for an MBA degree gives me that level of confidence and an overview of business management in the local and international sphere.
Describe one thing that gives you a sense of accomplishment. Explain why.
Becoming the head of a large unit at Standard Bank. It gave me ownership and leadership positions and it also scaled up my pay package. It was always my dream to work in the banking setting, chiefly being able to lead teams, make decisions and achieve proposed business targets.
Name something you are passionate about. How do you pursue this passion?
Providing the most comfortable home and financial security to my family is my biggest passion. And for that reason, I make sure I possess proper skills, discipline myself and pursue my passion in a focused manner.
What is the most valuable advice anyone has given you/you have read?
My dad once told me that he did not want to worry about leaving material legacy to me, rather he said education is the single most valuable thing a parent can impart to their children. Today, I fully agree with him and that is why I wish to obtain a PhD degree afterwards.
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