Community / March 23, 2015

We Are Smith: Paulo Prochno

 Paulo takes learning beyond classroom walls. 

Paulo Prochno, Clinical Professor, has taken hundreds of MBAs to South America through his Doing Business in Brazil course. With his infectious energy and experience in consulting for well-known Brazilian companies, he is a student favorite and a model for enhancing the academic experience with global opportunities.

We make the world our classroom through experiential learning. We Are Smith.

What career achievement makes you most proud?

Winning the Newman’s Award from the Academy of Management in 2003, for best paper based on a dissertation. I had chosen a non-standard path for my dissertation, going against the advice of many faculty and colleagues, and it was nice to see the work recognized.

If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be?

Tom Jobim, Brazilian composer. He may not be a major “historical figure”, but he’s a major figure in my history.

What is the most interesting thing you have in your office?

The poster from 1994’s Cannes Film Festival, designed by Fellini in homage to his wife Giulietta Masina.

What drives your passion for Smith?

It’s very rare to find a place where people are among the best in their areas but are also extremely nice and caring. This is true for our students, staff and faculty – and being in a place like that is very stimulating.

If you could give advice to a large group of people, what would it be?

“Don’t follow advices”. At least not fully. Partially guided or spontaneous discovery is much more exciting.

You have a completely open weekend – where are you and what are you doing?

In Rio, riding my bicycle. Hiking on Shenandoah. Having lunch in NY. Watching three movies in a row at AFI in Silver Spring. Beyond an open weekend, I would also need ubiquity.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Women are heroes (this is also the title of a very interesting art project and documentary by French artist JR).

If money were no object, what one project would you tackle at Smith?

Expanding our global presence – especially in Latin America and Africa.

If you were to die and come back as a thing, what would it be?

A small blue thing. Like a marble, or an eye (yes, I like to quote).

You have a lunch meeting at Ledo – what’s on your pizza?

Mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, shaved parmigiano, basil. Which is the recipe of the Campana Pizza at Luzzo’s, the best pizza I’ve tasted – and having grown up in Sao Paulo, a city with a huge Italian presence, my standards for pizza are high. Too bad Luzzo’s is in NY.

What’s your favorite memory from your time at Smith?

My best memories are those from the doing business abroad trips with students, when we can learn more about each other and have an intense week together.

If you won the lottery, what would you buy?


The We Are Smith campaign highlights the dedicated faculty, staff, students and alumni at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. Each person featured fits into one of Smith’s four brand pillars: world-class faculty and research; entrepreneurial spirit; experiential learning; and collaborative community. #WeAreSmith @SmithSchool on Twitter.

Media Contact

Greg Muraski
Media Relations Manager
301-892-0973 Mobile 

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

Back to Top