Alum Spotlight: Tiago Schaffrath

Written by CIMBA Italy September 11, 2020

Please introduce yourself!

My name is Tiago Schaffrath. I love to learn and travel, and these passions have taken me some places so far. I’m a Brazilian who grew up in Paraguay. Then, for university, went to University of Kansas, where I graduated in 2010 with double major with Business & Leadership and Anthropology. I came to CIMBA in Spring 2008 and stayed in Italy for the summer, which helped a lot to better learn Italian. After school, I went back to Paraguay where I worked for a couple of years in the food industry and then to Brazil where I worked with international logistics for seven years. While in Brazil, I continued my education by doing post-graduate specialization programs in International Business and Marketing by Fundação Getulio Vargas – FGV. 

What are you currently up to?

I had a plan to get an MBA along with my wife Caroliny. We were visiting Italy when we decided to say hello to old friends at CIMBA and get a feel for their MBA program. After meeting with Dr. Al and Cristina and looking through the program curriculum, I knew I had to come back to CIMBA. The reason that drove this decision was the neuroscience and personal development side of the program – participating in LIFE, personal development workshops, individual and team coaching, and more. While I had not stopped studying after graduating from KU, I had, in recent years, shifted my priority to building self-awareness, developing better social skills, and managing my emotions, as I saw these soft skills being in higher demand for future job promotions.

Now, I am a proud MBA candidate at The University of Iowa through CIMBA Italy. I am also one of two Campus Life Coordinators here in Paderno del Grappa. Through this position, I also had the opportunity to become a Professional Coach. Recently, I found a part-time job in consulting with a professor and friend who attended CIMBA some 20 years ago and now teaches for CIMBA. 

How did study abroad, or the CIMBA program in particular, contribute to where you are today?

My CIMBA experience opened even more my willingness to explore the world and work in international settings. It not only influenced me to apply for the MBA program, but also my wife (and classmate!) Caroliny. I have a great curiosity to learn, explore, and connect with people. I can definitely say that part of this curiosity and my “can do” attitude was cultivated while I was at CIMBA 12 years ago.

What was your favorite part of the program?

My favorite parts of the program were participating in LIFE and LEAP. I enjoyed the personal development aspect of CIMBA. It challenged me to give my best and go after my objectives. In fact, as mentioned before, this exact characteristic of the program brought me back for the MBA. I’ve learned that it’s the so-called soft skills that are real game changers in dealing with people and CIMBA is all about developing soft (and hard!) skills.