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Bruna Sève Patko – Class of 1998 is an entrepreneur and works as a fashion accessory designer. Check out our interview with our alumna!
When did you join and leave TBS? Did you graduate from the school? Where did you go to college?
I joined in Infant 1; I believe that was in 1985/86, and I graduated from TBS in 1998. I went to university in Florence and in NYC, at Instituto Polimoda, and The Fashion Institute of Technology.
What professional experiences did you have before becoming a successful fashion accessory designer?
In NYC I had the chance to work at the PR department of Tod’s and in the Sales and Merchandising department of Celine. Then I moved to Budapest where I worked at two Hungarian fashion start-ups called Tisza, a former iconic ex-socialist tennis shoes label, and at Nanushka. I moved away from fashion and went to join a strategic marketing consultancy boutique firm called The Garrison Group, working on projects across Hungary, Poland, Romania and Russia. After working at the Garrison Group, I joined Nike as their marketing director for Hungary.
Your husband is Hungarian and, once married, you lived in Budapest for almost ten years or more. What background did TBS provide that made a difference in this relationship and in your international life experiences?
Having studied at TBS, the school opened my eyes and head to the world. One of the biggest things I learnt at the school was to learn how to think, listen and see things from different perspectives. It sounds so obvious when you say it out loud but the truth is that learning how to see things from different perspectives is a skill that makes us adaptable to different circumstances. The fact that the school always encouraged debates, analysing and discussing topics through different perspectives, made me a more global thinker. With that, being married to a foreigner and living in such a different city like Budapest was putting in practice a lot of the basic life skills that I learnt at the school.
Please describe your business and tell us some of the challenges you face in your daily life as an entrepreneur.
I started LOKALWEAR while living in Budapest. My goal was to create a fashion brand that had sustainability and transparency at its core. I was in love with Hungarian folk art and thought its richness had to be shared and transformed to become more contemporary and wearable. I started to develop a line of contemporary jewellery focused on local production, transparency in production and inspiration, and started developing a network of local suppliers, artisans, retired ladies and people with physical disabilities. The idea was to create beautiful authentic pieces that had the total involvement of the locals and people who were outside of the traditional labour force in its making. With my return to Rio, I brought with me these collections and concepts and started developing new Brazilian collections. The goal is to connect people to places and other people through these accessories. It is like with a pair of earrings you get to discover the northeastern part of Hungary, Pantanal, the Brazilian Savanna and, in turn, you transform traditional crafts and involve the locals in the production, bringing authenticity and stimulating the local economy all at the same time.
The challenges are many. In Brazil, the ecosystem is not favourable for innovation. Every collection we develop involves new raw materials, andn trials and errors which require time and capital. So keeping this ratio between innovation, trial, error, novelty and market time is a constant challenge. The precarious infrastructure and high costs of Brazil is another challenge. Communication is also a challenge. In Hungary my challenges were in making people believe that this crazy idea of revitalizing folk art through fashion accessories was a good idea, whereas here the challenges are with basic service providers and in making sure that all the people involved in our supply chain understand the importance of their work and are committed to deadlines.
Share with us some of your most vivid memories from your days at school.
I still remember my first day at TBS. Sports’ day at the Sitio, Founders’ Day Fêtes, the volleyball and basketball teams competitions, the nurse, Marinalva, who was more than a nurse; her sweetness and how she took care of an entire school was amazing. The trips we went on with the school. The field trips, the history classes, the art classes with Ms. Alba and Ms. Arlete. The openness that the teachers had with the students was very unique. The teachers I had at the school had the skill to be both tough and friendly, with Ms. Carpinteiro being a great example; it is a trait that as I get older I appreciate more and more. At my time the school was small so my memories are of this great extended family. We knew all the teachers and students from a few classes above and below. And, most importantly, the friends I made at the school, many of which are still present in my day-to-day life.
Is there any teacher or subject that had an impact on your career choice?
Yes, Ms. Helida in Infant 2, who always made sure that learning how to read and write was fun and exciting. Ms. Sylvia in class three was very cosmopolitan and would share references from other cultures to our classes, like traditional Mayan songs. Ms. Carpinteiro, my maths teacher, for many years taught me to be analytical, which is something I only realised when I was working with strategic marketing many years later. Ms. Arlete, who encouraged me to pursue my creative side and motivated me to look at artists who expressed themselves through different media and through the use of colour, like Niki de Saint Phalle. Mr Nash and Ms.Eutalia, who had so much passion teaching history that made me a more curious and questioning person. Marco Antonio, the most passionate teacher of them all, who taught me Brazilian history. He would organise field trips with us outside school days, in his own time, to show us the complexity and beauty of our city and country, and Mr. Newman, the most gentlemanly of the gentleman, he was firm but encouraged me constantly.
Do you still keep in touch with classmates? Would you like the school to promote more events for alumni?
Yes, I keep in touch with many of them. It would be great for the school to have some sort of alumni association or database where people could find each other and reach out as well.
In one phrase, what can you say about TBS?
The school encourages you to challenge yourself, giving you responsibility, treating the students with maturity and encouraging long lasting true friendships and respect. I love it.
I graduated from TBS in 2013 and am now a senior studying International Politics at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.
I owe everything to TBS. The school taught me essential life and academic skills that I use every day at Georgetown. I always say that the school’s true value is the fact that it prepares students for life and not for an exam. Since a young age, teachers inspired me to become a critical thinker and a lifelong learner. It’s not only about a grade in an exam, it’s about actually learning the skills to succeed beyond the vestibular or the IB. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received at TBS was: “before you formulate your opinion, read three different viewpoints, which contradict each other. This way you will be able to make an informed decision”. In fact, the school always encouraged me to become an avid reader. Since I can remember, we were always assigned books. Being able to read critically and efficiently is one of the most important skills to succeed in college, especially abroad. Lastly, I remember that as a TBS student, I would always have to present to the class. Being able to speak confidently and clearly is an invaluable skill.
How important was the IB Diploma on your academic education?
Even though I probably wouldn’t have said this in 2013, now I am a fan of the IB. I am almost graduating from Georgetown and looking back, I feel that the IB was an outstanding preparation for college. I say this because most students come to university completely raw, they have never written an academic paper or done research. In the IB, you have to write an extended essay, which is a great preparation for all the papers you will be writing in college. The IB is also a way to learn how to manage stress and how to manage your time, as you constantly have to juggle multiple assignments at once. This will become your life in college.
When and how did you start to become interested in politics?
I have always been a very politicised person. I think it’s because I have always read a lot. However, my passion for politics was really consolidated through the Model UN programme at TBS. My dad took me to visit the UN when I was nine years old and I became fascinated by it. When I found out about the MUN, I knew that it was a perfect activity for me. So, through my research for Model UN conferences, I began to realise that I truly had a passion for politics and international relations, and that is what led me to apply to the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown.
Introduce your website and tell us how and when you had the idea of launching such a relevant tool to demistify politics for beginners?
In addition to loving politics, I have always loved to write. I have always known that I wanted to become a political journalist. While at college, sometimes I felt that what I was studying was a bit too theoretical and I felt the need to apply it in a more practical way. I also began to realise that most young people don’t share my passion for international relations and politics. They think it’s all boring and too complicated. This began to really concern me because we are now living in a very polarised country, where people tend to be very absolute in their opinions. One thing I’ve learnt in my studies is that nothing about politics is absolute. Also, every time something happened in the world, a few of my friends would reach out and ask me to explain to them what had happened because they knew that I study International Politics. So, I would always try and find ways to explain to them what happened in a simple way, and they would immediately become interested. Therefore, I started to think about this and noticed that I had never heard of any blog or website that had the aim of introducing political topics in a very unpretentious way, with the intention of discussing complicated issues in a simple language, so that people who don’t necessarily study this could become more engaged. That’s when Desvendando Política was born.
Young people need a meaningful education in politics. Do you think TBS helped in your engagement and development of critical thinking?
TBS definitely helped me become a critical thinker. As I said before, the school always encourages its students to think outside the box, to read, to consider different viewpoints. The tools are all out there; it’s up to every single student to take advantage of them. The MUN programme made a huge difference in my life because that is where I was first really exposed to the world of international affairs. The school constantly emphasises its mission to educate its students for life, and not just for an exam. That in itself already makes a huge difference because we were always encouraged to challenge ourselves.
Politics can often feel like something which is far removed from everyday life, and something which most young people don’t easily relate to. How do you think we can encourage young people to engage in politics?
The most important thing in my opinion is to understand your responsibility as a young person. Brazil is your country; it is your responsibility to make sure that it has a better future. Yes, I went to study abroad, but I was able to do so thanks to the opportunities that this country gave my parents – opportunities that most people don’t have. If you are privileged to go to The British School and then move on to an amazing university, it is your responsibility to give something back, because very few people have the same luck. It doesn’t take much to make a difference. I feel that many young people want to change the world all at once and get frustrated because they are not able to do so. Small actions can make a huge difference. Read more and learn about what led us here. I feel that there is a widespread sentiment of hopelessness in this country, and this is far more dangerous than the corruption within our political system. You don’t necessarily have to work in politics if that is not your passion but, if it is, go for it! If not, then at least read about it and become as informed as you can. I think that once a sense of pride in being Brazilian is restored, more young people will engage. That is what we have to work on.
What are your personal aspirations and goals for the near future?
My ultimate dream is to become a political journalist. I want to be able to report on these issues, which I have dedicated so much time to understanding. Still, one thing that I have learnt in college is that the more you study, the less you actually know. It might sound counter-intuitive but it’s because there is just so much happening in the world, that when you actually learn something, you begin to realise how much you actually don’t know. Journalists have to be life-long learners, and that is what I aspire to be. I also have the plan to go to Grad School for journalism, in the near future, but not straight after my graduation. In addition, I aspire to continue my project with this blog, which gives me great personal satisfaction. Hopefully, by doing what I love, I will be able to inspire more people to want to learn more about the world. That is my ultimate goal in life.
Giovanna Bellotti Azevedo
The British School, Rio de Janeiro – Class of 2013
Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University – Class of 2018
It is with great honour and pride that we share with you that Maria Eduarda Penteado, Class of 2016, will be joining Columbia University in New York City, and with a scholarship.
“Maria Eduarda has always been an enthusiastic and mature lady in approaching all areas of school life. Academically, she was an outstanding student, with strong IGCSE grades and impressive IB grades. She has always been highly motivated with a genuine interest in all areas of learning, and with a great passion for Literature, Languages and Drama. To quote her English teacher she “Handles the language beautifully, with great sensitivity and clarity.” Her principal characteristics are her commitment and enthusiasm which drive her to participate in a wealth of activities both inside and outside the school. She has appeared in all the school drama productions, and has taken part in numerous drama, singing and dance workshops and courses. She was an highly active member of the school community and believes strongly in the idea of being an active citizen. She has led the school’s Green Council, recommending and helping implement changes to make the school more environmentally sustainable. She was involved in the Model United Nations, and was part all the school and Brazilian MUNs, being rewarded with the position of chair of various councils at the BSRJMUM, SPMUN and BRAMUN, culminating in Chair of the Human Rights Council at the BRAMUN National Conference and Conference Director at the BSRJMUN both in 2016. She has received both academic and extra-curricular awards in all the years she has been at the school, most notable among them the CIS International Student Award in 2015 and was selected to represent the school at the LAHC Student Conference. This is certainly a student who is concerned about the world she lives in and wants to make a positive difference. In a nutshell, Maria Eduarda really does embody the kind of student that The British School, Rio de Janeiro endeavours to develop: a responsible, well informed, open minded, confident and caring individual.”
Her mother has also shared with us her delight and happiness:
“Não tem como não vibrar! Não tem como não estar feliz e comemorar.
Uma conquista tão linda. E que tem tanta gente por trás! E eu quero AGRADECER E COMPARTILHAR com estas pessoas.
Pessoas que como nos créditos de um filme, e que, geralmente as pessoas nem lêem e saem da sala com a tela ainda passando. Muitos tem mentoria e não falam. Para mim, a gratidão é um valor muito importante na vida.
Minha Duda Penteado passou dentre outras faculdades de excelência nos EUA e Inglaterra, como Georgetown e Kings College of London School , Para Columbia University: Ciências Políticas (major), e Teatro e Artes (minor).
Foram anos de preparação na The Britsh School, mas este ano que passou… foi “hard”! Muita determinação e foco dela!
E sem essa equipe maravilhosa minha filha não teria conseguido talvez, estes resultados tão maravilhosos… e com ofertas de bolsa de estudos!
Queria ressaltar e agradecer a excelente mentoria e apoio da própria escola, The Britsh School, Rio de Janeiro; nas pessoas do Gary Nash e Rose Peixoto, que foram de EXTREMA E FUNDAMENTAL importância no acompanhamento da minha filha (e meu), em todo o processo. Ao Professor Fernando Multedo, que prestou uma consultoria pontual em momentos decisivos! Ao Fabiano Jácome não só pelas orientações, mas pela amizade em tantos momentos.
Sem todos vocês, a determinação, trabalho e foco da Duda , as orações de minha mãe Elizabeth Marinheiro e de tantos amigos e clientes queridos, minha filha, talvez não estaria indo para Columbia University!
Meu carinho e gratidão! À você filha já falei e falamos tudo e falaremos muuuito!”
We are proud to have Maria Eduarda as member of The British School family and can only wish her all the best. You will be missed Duda!
Patrick will be attending King’s College, London in September where he will be doing a BSc in Computer Science and Intelligent Systems. Patrick has also declared that he plans to go on to do an MSci once he has completed his BSc. In Patrick’s own words he says that, “it’s so awesome that he now has all these opportunities in (my) life, it’s something that many people, including myself would never have predicted even a year ago”. We wish Patrick all the best in his ‘awesome’ adventure.
Mariana Pozzi Guimarães’2016 was accepted at the University of Pennsylvania and selected for the Huntsman Program. This is a program in which students work towards a dual degree. It is a unique, four-year interdisciplinary undergraduate course of study that integrates business education, advanced language training and a liberal arts education. Within the program there is a language target and Mariana’s is Spanish. She will study a semester abroad in a Spain!
Botafogo Site had an amazing Technology Exhibition taking place during 27th and 28th July.
Delivered by teachers for teachers, this event was an exciting professional development opportunity for our staff. State of the art digital technologies were laid out across eight “stations”, enabling staff to move from one station to the next in rotation to explore and learn about the different technologies the school has available. Among the many exhibits on show, teachers got the chance to use the virtual reality headsets, robotic equipment, metal detectors, augmented reality books, audio books, playtables, green screens, nano drones, video equipment and various educational iPad apps! As well as helping teachers to better understand the technology itself, this was a brilliant opportunity for our staff to collaborate and share ideas in order to positively impact teaching and learning in the classroom.
What a great way to start the term!
‘What are the beach and wave characteristics of Macumba?’. This was the geographical question that Class 8 set out to investigate on Thursday 22nd June.
Ranging poles, clinometers, infiltrometers, quadrats, tape measures, compasses, stop watches, oranges and strips of cloth were used by the students to collect data at four locations along Macumba Beach.
After 3hours and 30 minutes, the students had filled their recording sheets with data on beach profile, vegetation cover, infiltration, wind direction, long-shore drift and wave frequency. This data will be analysed back in the classroom , preparing them for the IGCSE Paper 4 exam (Alternative to Coursework).
The students clearly had an enjoyable time practising the wide range of coastal fieldwork techniques. Despite being instructed to stay ankle deep in the water, a few individuals managed to get rather wet….the excuse……a few rogue waves! Luckily the sun was shining and clothes dried quickly!
Thanks to all the staff members (Rachel Sangala, Aline Teixeira, Michelle Guzzwell, Julia Brenchley, Amanda Motchi, Michael Francis, Claudia Vowles, Caroline (school nurse) and Leonardo (school inspector) who helped make the trip a smooth experience. Thanks also to all the students who behaved impeccably well throughout the trip!
At the first two weekends of June, the Brazilian Extension Course (BEC) department organised our first Enem mock test (the Brazilian university entrance test), already catering for recent changes adopted by the Brazilian government regarding that important exam.
This event happens at the same time at the Barra and at the Urca sites and it is already part of the BEC academic calendar. Our IB students expect to sit mock exams along the year in order to get ready for the challenges that lie ahead regarding the Brazilian universities entrance tests.
A number of students from Class 10 and Class 11 came to our school on Sundays mornings to test their abilities in different areas, such as Languages, Writing Essays, Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Human Sciences.
João Renato C. and Bia T., both from Class 10, give their insight on the importance of an experience like that to their academic life at the British School:
“On the last two weeks, some of the Class 10 took the mock examination for the Enem. It was a very enriching experience, as many of us had never seen this test before. Having the school given this opportunity to us was essential for our intellectual growth and enabled us to understand what a Brazilian examination assesses. Also, by doing the exam I was able to know that many of the content from the IB is a part of it, which is really useful especially for students that want to stay in Brazil for university.”
“The simulado was very important to me. Even though I aim to study abroad, I still consider the possibility of studying in Brazil and going to universities such as ITA, PUC, IBMEC, USP, Candido Mendes and so on. The simulado was one of my first contacts with any Brazilian evaluation systems, as well as exposing me to the standard that I have to be on in order to study at a good university here. I was really surprised at how much harder it was compared to what I expected, for some reason pupils develop rumours that the Enem and the vestibular are easy and there is no need to revise nor study for them. Now, I can tell that these statements are false, this simulado really opened my mind to the challenges that the Enem proposes and with that, I can prepare properly for my next Brazilian assessment.”
João Renato C.
The BEC department will organise, as in previous years, other simulados next semester, mirroring those carried out this term: PUC and Enem mock exams. Our idea is to provide our IB students with opportunities to get to know the main Brazilian universities entrance systems and to understand how those tests work. More importantly, the feedback given during lessons are paramount for our students so that they have an overview of their performance and prepare for the next assessment.
João Paulo Dias
Barra, Botafogo and Urca students took part in the Pre-DofE Adventure weekend from 2nd to 4th June. The students and teachers had a fantastically fun weekend horse riding, mountain biking, practising Archery, going on trails and learning how to use a compass, paddling in the river and learning about camp craft.
On Saturday and Sunday Class 5 and 6 students learnt how to set up and dismantle tents in order to camp out Saturday night, within Desempenho Riding School´s grounds. They were also treated to a traditional camp activity, marshmallows on the camp stove and star gazing!
I would like to thank Mr. Felipe Castro (Barra Pre-DofE Trip Leader), Ms. Tamyris Araujo (Art Teacher – Barra Site), Mr. José Paz (Mathematics Teacher – Botafogo & Urca site), Ms. Claudia Fulchignoni (Portuguese Teacher – Botafogo Site) and Ms. Marinalva dos Santos (School nurse) for all of their hard work over the weekend.
Ms. Sara Pont (DofE Award Coordinator)
In May, during lunchtime, teams made up of members of staff held a football match with the girls and a Basketball match with the boys Falcons Teams in order for The Falcons to practice for the Friendship Games. The matches were very well supported and helped to raise the profile of The Falcons with younger students. The Falcon Girls team beat the staff team 2-0 at Football but in an exciting Basketball match, the staff beat the Falcons Team with the final shot of the game to win 16 to 14.