Daniel Cabral hails from Curitiba, Brazil. He was recognized as Student of the Week for using his wealth of business and quantitative expertise to organize tutoring sessions to help students with finance and accounting.
How did you hear about San Diego State’s Sports MBA program?
Unfortunately I just heard about the program when I was doing the first semester of my MBA at other University. I came to the US to do my MBA and mainly to work in the sports industry, so changing to the Sports MBA Program was a big step. As a member of the Management Consulting Association at University of San Diego, we heard about a case competition for the Sports MBA of SDSU and that’s how everything started.
As an international student from Brazil, what do you believe your greatest contribution to the SMBA program will be?
I hope I can bring a new perspective to students about international markets, the importance of growing economies and the impact that soccer has. The US is one of only a few countries where soccer is not the most popular sport. I understand that this may never change, but there is a lot of opportunities to make soccer become big in US. On the other hand, I also know how “American” sports such as football and basketball are growing really fast in Latin America and I can also help everyone realize the importance of these new markets.
You have worked prior to the program. What led to your desired career change into sports, and how has your previous work experience prepared you for the program?
To understand why I chose sports I need to talk about my experience with sports. In Brazil it’s almost impossible to not love soccer. I don’t remember one year of my life without soccer. I tried to be a soccer player and I quit when I was 18 years old after an injury. Maybe I should have tried harder, because my passion for sports is still the same. I also practiced swimming, volleyball and football during my youth and even at 26 years old. After I decided to stop pursuing my dream to be a soccer player, I started out majoring in law, but later I transferred to another university where I got my marketing degree. I worked for many years at a consulting company, working in a lot of different segments. I also worked later as a marketing and sales manager at another company. These experiences were important because they both helped me to understand the importance of networking and presenting yourself professionally. As a consultant it was always important to give a good impression of myself to everybody around me.
As a Marketing and Sales Manager I also discovered the importance to be well related inside and outside the company.
What is one thing that you are hoping to gain from the SMBA program?
Managerial skills. I know this is broad, but I hope I can develop the skills to be a better leader, such as: professionalism, humor, charisma, influence, analytical skills, creativity, crisis management and many others. For sure everybody has these skills to some degree, but I hope I can develop these skills to such a level that any person who works with me can truly see a better leader and someone they can trust.
After the completion of the program, what is your career goal?
My short term career goal is to work for a soccer club for one of the professional leagues in United States. I think that this experience will be singular. Some areas that I think are the most interesting are marketing, sponsorship, ticket sales, but I am open to other areas that I will discover through this program. Who knows what path I will take in the future?