Business sophomore hopes to be first Brazilian elected to CSG position
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He may only be a sophomore at the University of Michigan, but Business student Eduardo Amadeus Molon Batista has an affinity for taking on a wide range of responsibilities.
In activities such as managing a $5,000 budget as chief of finance in Mosher-Jordan Residence Hall and conducting research on developing a model that makes predictions in the stock market, Batista has taken advantage of the opportunities he encounters at the University.
He now hopes to become a representative for the Ross School of Business in the Central Student Government — as an independent candidate and the first Brazilian to run for this position.
Born to parents who work as lawyers, Batista grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Persuaded to attend a U.S. university by a childhood friend. Batista left Brazil to study business at the University.
Though he was surprised by some of the cultural differences he encountered after coming to the U.S., Batista is no stranger to adapting to foreign situations — he has traveled to 30 different countries throughout his life.
“My mom started a tradition where she took us to travel abroad to two to three countries every year,” he explained, believing his travels help him feel at ease with people almost anywhere he goes.
When asked what stood out to him after his move to Ann Arbor from Brazil, Batista replied simply with “the people.”
“So I actually had to buy a suit my first week on campus,” he said. “I went to Briarwood Mall and I didn’t have (enough) money. I think I had $80, but the suit was (more). And one guy heard me saying this to someone else and just offered me $20, and the cashier offered me a 10-percent discount, and someone else offered me a ride back to campus. (Also,) cars don’t usually stop for you in Brazil when you cross the street — they just speed up and honk and you get out of the way. But cars stop here. ... So people here are really nice.”
His freshman year, Batista was a consultant in the Michigan Emissary Group, which serves the community through pro bono consulting.
“We actually work just for the University (for things like) airBus, Planet Blue and many others,” he explained.
By his second semester, he became the youngest managing director of the club. His responsibilities grew: Batista prepared curriculum for the training of 40 members, oversaw mentorship programs, relations with alumni and corporate sponsors, and helped run the club.
Batista has plans to improve student life both in the Business School and throughout campus, especially in regard to the DEI plan, the University’s long-term initiative to improve recognition of underrepresented groups on campus. He currently works with on the advisory board with E. Royster Harper, vice president for student life, to revise and improve the plan.
Batista said he believed the current plan is vague, and hopes to add structure to the plan to make it more effective. He plans to focus both on a campus-wide level and a Business School level. As a result of his active campaigning for CSG, Batista has already garnered a lot of support from student organizations as well as the undergraduate and graduate student populations at Ross.
At the beginning of the year, CSG released a demographic, showing how many of its representatives in the student assembly were mostly white, upper-class men. CSG President David Schafer, an LSA senior, said he planned to work on this during his administration.
“Diversity is critical to ensuring that as a governing body, we are representative of every student on campus,” Schafer said in a press release. “We look forward to analyzing the results of the report and conceptualizing ways in which we can better represent our various constituencies.”
For its undergraduates, the Business School's in-coming class of 2016 pre-admit freshmen has a 7-percent minority student population — with 4 percent being international students, according to the Ross website.
Batista believes his strength as a candidate comes from a diversity of background, thought and perspective.
“I think I could bring some ideas that people don’t really know or think about,” he said. “There are schools such as UPenn and UCLA that bring a lot of very prestigious business leaders and politicians from Brazil to their schools to engage with students. So this is something we can do (here) since Ross is such an excellent school, and I have a lot of these connections, as does CSG. If UCLA and UPenn did it, why can’t U of M?”
Though he’s not sure what the future holds, Batista already has plans to continue pursuing roles where he can impact change: This summer, he will intern with the Parliament of Canada, working on foreign policy.
“There are a lot of concerns for international students, especially after the election, about policies in the U.S., and it’s a very confusing time for a lot of people,” he said. “I think there is a lot of work that I can do with the Dean of Ross, E. Royster Harper, and others to make people feel welcome and that they are being treated equally. It’s (about) representing Brazil, Latinos, but also Ross.”
CSG elections open this Wednesday and close at midnight on Thursday.