Skip to main content
Joao Rocha ’24 headshot

Joao Rocha ’24


Internship: MBA Summer Intern, Commercial, Diageo

One of the constants in my life has been the importance of food. Growing up in a Brazilian family, many traditions revolved around food and, more importantly, the interpersonal connections that accompany a meal. But after realizing the negative impact prevalent diets have on the environment, I embraced plant-based alternatives. It was at this moment that I decided to make an impact in the world through my passion for food. I want to develop sustainable, plant-based products that consumers will love. Sustainable options help limit the impact of climate change, and they allow for a greater allocation of agriculture crops to address global hunger. I came to Yale SOM because my mission mirrors SOM’s mission to educate leaders for business and society.

Joao Rocha and friends celebrating his birthday
Joao Rocha in front of sign painted on side of a building that reads "I Love East Rock"
Joao Rocha and friends at the Yale-Harvard game
Joao Rocha and friends at orientation
Clockwise, from top left: Celebrating my birthday with friends; enjoying my neighborhood, East Rock; with fellow classmates during orientation; at the Yale-Harvard football game

My career aspirations require me to do a “double pivot”—I need to recruit into a new function and into a new industry. Three critical SOM resources helped me get started and find the right internship: I met regularly throughout the fall with a Career Development Office career coach who was a great sounding board as I shared my goals and networked with companies and alumni. Then three wonderful second-year student leaders in the Marketing Club guided me through each stage of the recruiting process, offering an incredible amount of insight. SOM alumni in the field also helped me better understand the industry, companies, and various roles. They were honest about their experiences, which was fundamental in helping me identify companies with the right culture and opportunities

Joao Rocha and friend at Closing Bell
Joao Rocha and friends in Ireland
Joao Rocha and learning team around a dinner table
At Winter Stroll
Clockwise from top left: At a Closing Bell, with friends in Ireland, at dinner with my learning team, and enjoying the Winter Stroll

The integrated core curriculum has made me more empathetic and aware of the ways that business decisions impact all the stakeholders in an organization. While core classes are taught separately, you quickly see how they all connect.

It really clicked for me in the Spring 1 quarter. I learned that even a seemingly simple decision, like upgrading machinery in a factory, requires a process analysis of the current system, which we did in the Operations Engine course. Then you must consider how to reintegrate displaced workers as a result of the machinery upgrade, an issue we touched on in another course: Workforce. And, finally, you need to consider the pros and cons to your investors of raising capital for the purchase through different means, a topic we covered in Sourcing and Managing Funds. The stakeholder connections illustrated in the core courses really make you appreciate the importance of all the individuals involved in running a business.