He’s Leading Babson in Miami’s Thriving Startup Scene

Gustavo Trindade MBA’17

Gustavo Trindade MBA’17 is a man of many talents.

Among those talents? Speaking five languages (English, Portuguese, Spanish, French, and Italian). Competing in triathlons. And, for the past two years, expanding Babson’s presence in Miami.

Always comfortable wearing many hats, the dynamic, young leader is instrumental in running one of the institution’s global hubs. As director of Babson Miami, Trindade manages daily operations, including all activities, programming, and events, and serves as Babson’s ambassador of the Miami location. That last bit includes actively participating in the region’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem—most recently, he could be seen donning a Babson shirt on stage at the eMerge Americas conference.

The Road to Babson

Born and raised in the beach town of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Trindade received his undergraduate degree in finance in that same country. He began a career in finance and earned high praise early on, recognized by Institutional Investor magazine as one of the top LATAM professionals in investor relations.

“It meant a lot to me as it showed me I was good at what I was doing,” he shared. “I was awarded with something that not even my direct boss had won. It also helped me get promoted and become one of the youngest managers in a 3,000-employee conglomerate.”

However, the investor relations strategist also recognized that his homeland was experiencing political and economic turmoil, and he started searching for other shores to explore. So, in 2014, he decided it was a good moment to pause his career.

“I had one boss specifically that had told me ‘You’re too local, you need to get an MBA, you need to acquire an international, global mindset.’ So, that was the main motivation: to open my mind, to do something completely different, and to be exposed to different people.”

That motivation led him to Babson’s MBA program.

Located at 1200 Brickell Avenue, Babson MIami offers graduate and executive education programs to entrepreneurs of all kinds living and working in South Florida and across Latin America.
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Making Connections

As a student, Trindade was focused on making connections and expanding his professional network.

One path he took to make those connections: working as a graduate assistant for Associate Professor Bob Turner.

“When I wanted to ask questions or look for help, I was usually going to him. During my MBA years, Bob was the face of Babson. That’s how important he was in my experience here.”

Trindade found connections with many of Babson’s other professors, as well. He praises their accessibility and their approachable nature. “They don’t need to hide behind the title; they’re comfortable enough for you to call them by their first names.”

Journey to Miami

Trindade was drawn to Miami, not only because it’s the so-called capital of Latin America, but also because of the Babson Connect initiative which runs there every January. He took advantage of opportunities to travel to the city through career treks with the Graduate Center for Career Development.

“I had January ’16 and January ’17 to go to Miami to do company treks. So, you learn something from these companies, their industries, and their challenges,” he shared. “There is also a networking aspect for you to meet with alumni.”

Those experiences solidified Trindade’s interest in working in the city, which has been heralded as a thriving marketplace for entrepreneurs.

“For a Brazilian to stay in the U.S., it’s either New York or Miami. You have to be in a city that does business with Latin America, where people need your culture, background, and language. It helped me understand that if I want to stay in this country, Miami is my best chance.”

When he returned to Wellesley to finish his degree, Trindade started verbalizing his goal to eventually move back to Miami. Fortuitously, Bob Turner told the young graduate assistant that Babson had recently acquired a license to start a campus in that city and introduced him to the person who would eventually become Trindade’s boss—Kevin Sullivan, vice president of Corporate Engagement and Off Campus Operations. Trindade has been leading the Miami hub ever since. Seizing that opportunity is one of many ways he puts the entrepreneurial mindset he developed at Babson to work.

“Babson has a little bit of everything and by being an entrepreneurship-focused school, it forces you to be open minded,” said Trindade. “If you’re not open minded, you’re not paying attention to opportunities, and you need to find the opportunities if you want to launch something one day.”

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