João Pires Coelho, a 21-year-old student from CATÓLICA-LISBON, who is attending the Double Degree at the University of San Diego, has been considered one of the 100 best and brightest business students in the USA. This is stated by Poets&Quants for Undergraduates, a prestigious, internationally recognized platform that provides practical information for business and management students, which each year celebrates the achievements of 100 university graduates in the "100 Best & Brightest Business Majors" list, a list of students nominated by the top 50 Business Schools in the USA.

The student from CATÓLICA-LISBON Business Administration's International program was selected by Knauss School of Business, the institution where he is attending the International Business and Supply Chain Management program through the Double Degree program, for his academic performance, extracurricular leadership, innate potential, and overall commitment to promoting business for good.

For the student, being considered one of the Best & Brightest, represents "an unbelievable distinction. It represents the recognition of 4 years of hard work, during periods of great instability, with classes alternating multiple times between online and face-to-face or even in completely different time zones. It also represents the recognition of the quality of an innovative program, an undergraduate double degree, which combines the best of the European education system at CATÓLICA-LISBON with the best of the American system at the Knauss School of Business. This distinction is the culmination of the dream I had in choosing a college and choosing CATÓLICA-LISBON for the Double Degree program and the dream of coming to study in the United States".


Other distinctions and successes

The distinction given by Poets&Quants for Undergraduates was not the first. The student from CATÓLICA-LISBON had already been recognized by the University of San Diego, in 2020 and 2021, when he joined the Dean's List, a list recognized by the Dean with the best students of the institution, with First Honors, for his remarkable path, by maintaining a GPA (Grade Point Average) above 3.65.

João Pires Coelho has already received several recognitions in the business world: in 2021 he co-founded YAC Consulting, a consulting company in Portugal, having created, as COO and head of strategy, the company's processes from scratch, held meetings with clients and supervised all projects. While there he helped the company grow from 3 to 25 members.


Advice for achieving the qualities of a Best & Brightest student

João Pires Coelho considers that "one of the best pieces of advice one can receive in college is that hard work really pays off and that mistakes and failures are part of and fundamental to our development. Failing a project or a midterm is not the end of the world. We always hear throughout college, especially at CATÓLICA-LISBON, in the Entrepreneurship course, that failing is part of life, to err is human, but sometimes we don't realize that each mistake is a lesson and an opportunity to improve. It is fundamental to have the mindset that failure is normal, that nobody is perfect, and that every time something doesn't go according to what we expected, it is fundamental to overcome that problem and think about how not to make the same mistake in the future. Another fundamental piece of advice is based on the phrase we hear the most at CATÓLICA-LISBON: "there are no free lunches". Without hard work and dedication, the desired goals cannot be achieved, and there is a limit to what we can do without making an effort. This famous quote from CATÓLICA-LISBON will stay with us forever because it becomes true every time you move forward in life".

Another of his advice is to attend presentations by guest speakers: "When I entered college, I always felt that guest speakers seemed like a waste of time. But as I was getting ready to finish college, I began to realize the added value that these professionals could add to me. Besides being a great networking opportunity, they are also a great way to gain insight into an industry or business”.

As part of this recognition, student João Pires Coelho was interviewed by Poets&Quants for Undergrads. You can read the full interview at