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Raissa Rossiter

MBA and PhD graduate

  • Third sector executive 
  • Has worked in nonprofit and government institutions in the areas of small business support, entrepreneurship education and human rights policies
  • Was previously Deputy Secretary of Policies for Women, Racial Equality and Human Rights of the Federal District in Brazil
Raisa Rossiter, MBA and PhD graduate

Combining work and study

"I was fortunate enough to already be employed at SEBRAE (the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service) during my PhD. Despite having a job, I must say that I never took for granted my employment condition. So much so, that in parallel to my studies, I was advancing in my career at SEBRAE, from regional level work when I took my MBA, to a national level executive role at the organisation, with increased responsibilities and international exposure.

"As I was one of the selected Brazilian candidates to get the prestigious scholarship from the British Government – the Chevening Scholarship - SEBRAE allowed me unpaid leave during my MBA. For my PhD, it granted me a scholarship for a residential year in Bradford which allowed my family to come and join the experience.

"So, although I was not looking for a job, my biggest challenge was that I had to combine my executive role and keeping a strong level of commitment to my professional duties, with my academic studies at the University of Bradford and being a divorced mother of two during my MBA and a remarried woman and mother of three, when I started my PhD.

"I regard the lasting network of bonds and international relationships I developed from my studies at the University of Bradford as one of the most valuable assets of my life. So, because of its diversity and internationalised environment, I would strongly suggest that current students become aware of the importance of cultivating positive relationships while at the University. Those relationships will become a lasting source of professional and business opportunities, not to mention the friendships that can arise."

In all the challenges I faced during my career, I believe the experience I had at the University of Bradford allowed me to grow personally, academically and professionally. I developed a stronger sense of being part of a global community of leaders and influencers.

Choosing Bradford

"I chose the University of Bradford for my MBA because of its prestigious recognition in the field of total quality management and excellence management in the 90s; I was working as the TQM Program Manager for Small Enterprises at SEBRAE.

"Also, a friend of mine had just finished her MBA at Bradford and highly recommended it. Bradford seemed the right choice as I was looking for a prestigious university in a place outside London with lower costs of living, yet with rich cultural diversity and international atmosphere.

"My MBA experience was as hard as it was rewarding. I had the opportunity of expanding my knowledge in management, gained international experience and became better prepared as an executive. As a final reward for all the sacrifice and hard work, I was honoured to earn the top student prize distinction in my MBA 1995 cohort."

In profile - Raissa Rossiter

An accomplished senior executive, Raissa Rossiter is a sociologist (Federal University of Pernambuco, Northeast Brazil), master and PhD in Management (University of Bradford, United Kingdom).

She was Deputy Secretary of Policies for Women, Racial Equality and Human Rights of the Federal District in Brazil. She is a Social Ambassador for the NGO Izaías Luzia da Silva, which works on the outskirts of São Paulo. She is also a Chevening Program Ambassador in Brazil (British Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and a volunteer collaborator with the NGO Elas no Poder.

Raissa has spent many years working for leading nonprofit and government institutions. She worked as National Director in Brazil for the global NGO World Vision.

She developed a successful career as an executive at SEBRAE - Brazil's Support Service for Micro and Small Enterprises, the leading non-profit organisation and one of the main actors that diffuse and support the entrepreneurship in Brazil at the national level, leading public programmes and policies to foster entrepreneurship and the solidarity economy.

Within the scope of CNI - National Confederation of Industry, she worked as a national executive leading programmes for the education of youth and adults, innovation and quality of life for workers.

She is a passionate communicator about sharing ideas and experiences in her expertise areas. Raissa has the ability to build long-term relationships, working with all levels of staff and stakeholders, as well as with outside partners, demonstrating excellent networking skills. She lectured as Visiting Professor at the University of Brasília - UnB in entrepreneurship and innovation.

Raisa Rossiter, MBA and PhD graduate