Rich De Almeida '20
An Engineer by trade with a passion for solving extremely complex technical and business problems.
After completing a B.S. in Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rich spent over four years as a Senior Field Engineer throughout Africa working in the Oilfield Exploration sector. Known as the "East Africa Remotes" region for Schlumberger Wireline, Rich set up new field operations to support and execute ultra deep water wildcat exploration projects using some of the most advanced technology in the world.
Now living in the New England area, Rich's career has focused on an array of advanced technology in the electronics industry providing both technical and business support to customers in high-tech industries. In-depth knowledge of customer applications along with a relentless commitment to the customer experience have led Rich to focus on technical Sales & Marketing for a leading Electronics Contract Manufacturer in Rhode Island serving virtually all industries including robotics and semiconductors.
Rich loves traveling as well as everything outdoors including skiing and hiking. He is also a real estate investor working hands-on to create value in property improvements and rentals.
What drove you to choose the IE Brown joint program? How did you find the program?
I had just moved to Rhode Island and wondered if Brown University had an MBA program. Once I saw the course curriculum, there was no turning back. It was the only MBA program I had any interest in after that.
What specific goals did you set out to achieve as a student of the EMBA program?
I was regularly being invited to high-level product and corporate strategy meetings. When I started to realize that my input was influencing corporate strategy objectives, I felt that I needed grow my related knowledge base to help ensure the best chance of success for me and my organization. I wanted to be more data and research driven while learning where and how to seek the necessary information to make the best decisions. Learning this effectively has given me a much higher level of confidence in my direction. Moreover, not only am I a better leader, but I also feel that the program made me a better person.
Were the online classes a challenge? What was networking like in such a digital environment?
I loved the hybrid learning environment - some in-class, some virtual, and some on forums. All of these approaches have trade-offs, so you can get the best out of every approach. The flexibility overall was fantastic.
Please describe any specific career outcomes you were looking for post-EMBA and if the program helped you meet them.
I wanted to get to the directorate level and lead an entire department. I achieved this even before finishing the program and essentially manage two departments.
Has the program shaped your career trajectory?
I now want to focus on 4th Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) Technologies. Not only is it exciting, but I can be part of changing the way we all live as a society for the better, through the advancement of new technology.
Describe the residential weeks and how they complemented the online portion of the program.
What a blast! These were some of the most memorable moments of my life and led to building some incredible friendships. It was also important to tie in online learning in-person including presentations.