NOVA is beautiful outside and inside

They say the first time marks you. In 2012 I had an invitation to teach at NOVA SBE, something I had never thought of doing. Thanks to N_va, I understood that education is part of my life mission and is the main tool to change the world. 6 years later I teach in various parts of the world and have my own school in Mexico, but N_va has an important place in my heart and I am eternally grateful.

Nova is in a great moment. The new campus in Carcavelos, where I already taught in September, is impressive. Not only beautiful, but functional. The way the project was done is brilliant, especially for Portugal. 5 years from conception to launch, something unprecedented considering only the usual licensing, the way the financing was done, the alliance with the private sector and the Cascais City Hall. All the praise that has been given, in the many articles published, is more than deserved.

But this exterior beauty reflects the interior, an organization that works, an entrepreneurial attitude focused on solutions instead of problems, only possible thanks to a great culture and leadership. Not being able to mention everyone, I have a great admiration for Daniel Traça, Pedro Santa Clara and Rita Campos e Cunha. But this admiration goes further to the whole school and administrative team that manages the complicated schedules of teachers, students, enrollments, and all the services that often seem invisible, but without which an institution does not function. There is a level of dedication and a focus on the student experience that most private companies aspire to have. At the professor level there is a combination of academic and professional talent. As a teacher, it is very rewarding. The school gives us the freedom to create and experiment with new programs and think outside the box.

The way the funding was done with the foundation and with private companies demonstrates the relationship that the university has with the business world. This proximity allows the programs to be more adapted to the business reality and the professional world, a frequent criticism of education. With the new campus and the innovation programs, N_va is increasingly positioning itself as an alternative to internal innovation in companies. Everyone benefits, the university becomes more practical and adjusted to the needs of the market (and with new sources of income), students have more relevant experiences and companies have access to innovation, often difficult or impossible to achieve internally.

And all this results in the ability to attract excellent students, with great diversity. It is normal to have 60% of foreigners in a class. The new campus with the beach location will further increase the ability to attract better students and teachers (I admit that, like the students, I carry my surfboard in my car to go surfing after class).

More than just supporting the development of good professionals, N_va is training great people who will be the leaders of the future. I believe that it is already one of the best colleges worldwide and that the coming years will further consolidate this position.

Note: In re-reading the article I realized that I seem to be “sucking up” and tried to be more critical. Of course, it is not a perfect organization, as none is, but it knows how to face challenges (as seen in the case of the campus) and continues to improve. So, kudos to those who deserve them… because the truth is that N_va is beautiful from the outside in.

David Bernardo
David Bernardo
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