Ilitch School MBA student takes his financial expertise to Brazil

Since earning his undergraduate degree from Indiana University in 2005, Michael Serwer has reconstructed several manufacturing businesses while working in private equity. He considers his financial restructuring as his specialty.

Serwer began attending the Mike Ilitch School of Business as a full-time MBA student with a concentration in finance in the summer of 2015. His primary reason to pursue graduate school was to gain the financial acumen necessary to be cutting edge in an international business environment.

Prior to enrolling in Wayne State, Serwer was selected to spend six months in Guatemala to address the operational capacity of a major millwork manufacturer. His main task in Guatemala was to prepare the company to run on 24-hour shifts.

"We have to make best use of the shop floor so it can be as lean and mean as possible," he said.

The 33-year-old was in charge of the six sigma directive at the export company, which he said proved to be a challenge at times.

"People are sometimes resistant to changes," he said. "I think having a historical understanding of one’s culture is imperative to working well with any indigenous group that’s been marginalized through colonization.” 

“In general, I’ve found that being culturally sensitive and understanding to different ways of thinking actually brings people together in a positive and intrinsic way. I was often tasked with having to make difficult decisions. It’s important to have good communication with everyone in the plant.”

While earning his M.B.A, he has worked with WSU’s Center of Latino/a and Latin American Studies as a peer mentor and research advisor. 

For the fall semester, Serwer will be based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he is fulfilling a fellowship as a financial analyst for InDev Capital, an emerging markets firm based in Sao Paulo. 

He will be tasked to oversee the hedging of Japanese currency transactions while maintaining healthy financial structures for capital market interactions in which the firm engages in Brazil.

"It’s a unique time and place in the world to be in graduate school in Detroit. The M.B.A program is progressive, the professors intellectually curious and the classes highly applicable to the financial markets. I wanted to be a part of what’s going on here."

Serwer intends to send blog posts updating the university on what’s going on in Brazil!