Skip to content Skip to navigation

ICE Graduation

Photo of campus architecture

Felipe Michel Santos Araújo Braga

Felipe Michel Santos Araújo Braga
Felipe Michel Santos Araújo Braga

My career trajectory in the field of education started when I was an undergraduate student majoring in Economics and Public Administration. Those degrees were both oriented toward educational theories and policies. Back then I realized that the best thing I could do was to help people become better able to choose their own life and career paths. I wanted to help them be able to fulfill their life’s potential. Therefore, my education greatly influenced my lifelong goal of wanting to improve quality educational access and opportunities for others.

Since 2010, I have been a civil servant in my home country Brazil, working at the Minas Gerais State Government. In this role I was able to garner a great experience in implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of educational policies in the public sector. At that time I was on my way to fulfilling my dream, but I knew that the challenges ahead were bigger. In order to take ethical decisions and promote welfare and equity in society, I needed to become a top educational policy decision-maker. At that point I had decided that Stanford would be an integral part of my development in this direction.

At the Stanford Graduate School of Education, I focused my research on implementation of educational policies. Given my existing background and experience in quantitative analysis, I decided to use my time at the GSE and its superb resources to focus on and familiarize myself with qualitative data analysis. With outstanding support from my program director, my advisor, and the greatest teaching assistants, I was able to analyze the implementation of a secondary education reform. Additionally, I learned so much from the amazing collaborative experiences with my extraordinary cohort, their invaluable life and international professional experiences. I felt greatly supported by the encouragement and constant interactions with my peers, teachers, and staff. My global perspective and mindset were impressively challenged in amazing and positive ways, my network expanded to people and places all over the world, and I grew so much in ways that I could not anticipate prior to coming to Stanford. It was an amazing experience to say the least.

Beyond classes at the Graduate School of Education, I also took classes at the Graduate School of Business. These classes challenged my mental models and my abilities to deal with complex issues within diverse groups of people and settings. Now, I am willing to take more risks, and I feel more confident and better-prepared to face greater responsibilities in my career.

Through my learning experiences at Stanford, and by examining good international practices, I now understood that we can do more to improve the state of international education and welfare. Practically speaking, I now have the tools to help develop high-performance teams that are able to overcome complex educational challenges within society.

In terms of research, the opportunity to work with the Lemann Center for Educational Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Brazil was extraordinary. I was able to help organize an international joint seminar with policy makers and scholars from both the US and Brazil. I was also given the opportunity to engage in continued discussions with faculty and fellows around the nuts and bolts of the educational reform movements already in progress, and further problem solving processes still needed to be taken to achieve even greater impact in Brazil. Stanford has continuously challenged me to become the best student, professional and person that I can be, and for that I am always grateful to this experience and opportunity.