Sal Fernandes

MBA '11

Founder and Managing Director
SMF Consulting Inc.

What do you do professionally?

I am the founder and Managing Director of SMF Consulting Inc., a management-consulting firm based in Los Angeles, which provides an array of consulting services to Fortune 100 and governmental organizations in the field of finance, operations, and strategy.

What is the most enjoyable part of your job?

The most enjoyable part of my job is analyzing business issues and providing value-added solutions to my clients.

What is the biggest challenge you face?

Work and life balance is one of the biggest challenges and can depend heavily on the time of life when you are consulting.  For example, it's easier to travel when you don't have kids or your kids are grown up.

What sorts of interesting places has your position taken you? Do you have a favorite?

In my career, I have been able to travel to multiple countries in Africa, Europe, and North America. The most interesting places I lived and worked are in Kenya and Angola.

What is the best professional advice you've received?

A wise men once told me to "Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

Aside from your current role, what is your dream job?

My dream job would be to volunteer in a remote village in Africa.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Outside of work, I spend a lot of time with my family; playing golf with my eleven-year-old son and travelling with the family, as I am a firm believer that travelling broadens one's mind.

What is the most important thing you learned during your time at Fuqua?

I learned that diversity and teamwork are vital ingredients in order to be successful in a business environment.

Who was your favorite professor?

Professor Aaron (Ronnie) Chatterji and Professor Allan Lind.

What is your favorite Fuqua memory?

Favorite Fuqua memory is the graduation ceremony with my son accompanying me on the stage to receive the MBA degree.

Why do you support the Fuqua Annual Fund?

I am proud to support the Fuqua Annual Fund in order to ensure that we all benefit in the long term by retaining the value of the Duke degree, especially by attracting the best and the brightest, enhancing faculty research, and innovating programs that connect academics to real-world business experience.

What does Team Fuqua mean to you?

Team Fuqua is a part of my extended family—which encompasses a philosophy of collaboration, accountability, and respect, vital traits to be successful in today's global village.