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FDEF award winner Q&A: Philippe Freitas Morgado

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Published on Monday, 02 August 2021

In the third week of the FDEF Award Winner Q&A, we would like to introduce Philippe Freitas Morgado, winner of the Chamber of Commerce Award for the Best Business plan. Philippe completed his master's degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation in 2020.

Q: Can you tell us a little more about yourself? 
A: My name is Philippe Morgado, I live in Luxembourg and I’m half Portuguese half Luxembourgish. I did a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and graduated from a Master’s in Entrepreneurship & Innovation last year. (Both at the University of Luxembourg)

Q: Besides the Chamber of Commerce Award for the Best Business plan, what was your greatest achievement as a student?
A: When I look back, I recognise a lot of achievements as a student but there are 2 big ones, I’m really proud of. Those are without a doubt:

  • the diverse difficulties I overcame during those 5 years
  • the amount of people I could help & impact positively   

Those really make me smile and feel proud

Q: Tell us about a teacher / mentor who made an impact on you or set you on your present path.
A: Mr. Marc Theis (Professor at the high school Belval) & Mr. Henri Schoen (Professor at the high school Belval & university of Luxembourg) had a huge impact on me. Without them I would never be where I am today. Every time I've doubts or need an advice, I go talk to them. High school was very very difficult time for me because I couldn’t find myself, but they saw something in me and once they transmitted me that confidence I “caught fire”. I finished my high school as second best in the country, was one out of two bachelor students who finished the Bachelor in 6 semesters (mechanical engineering class of 2018) & finally finished the Master with the “best business plan” award. 

Furthermore, when I started my bachelor, I had no real background in maths, physics & chemistry so studying engineering was so difficult that I wanted to quit after 3 weeks. They gave me an advice which I’ll never forget for the rest of my life. They said to me: “I don’t care how much trouble you’re having. You go back home and you’ll do everything possible to make it work. If at the end you don’t succeed it’s OK because you reached your limits, and you'll have a clear conscience but don't quit now. Don’t be a person that will be sitting in his garden enjoying the sun & have a mentality: I could have done it if I invested more time into it.” 

Q: You graduated last year, what are you doing now?
A: After graduating in summer 2020 I started my own start-up and that’s where I currently work.My plan is to do it as long as possible and as long as it makes me happy. I have no plan B and don’t think about something else. I’ll do it until it’s no longer possible.  

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: In 5 years, from a professional perspective, I hope that my start-up SIMPLEVIU is composed by a team of at least 5-7 people, that the team enjoys working with me, and that together we can have a positive impact on the Luxembourgish tourism sector. I also hope that at that point we have a certain stability and can expand. 

Q: What is your ultimate career goal as you see it today?
A: My ultimate career goal is to help as many people as possible and to give as much as possible. When I think about the possibility that I can create jobs, help people out of difficult times, “infect" people positively, etc. this gives me goosebumps. 

During my bachelor, my goal was: One day I’ll use my engineering capacities to help the engineers without borders & people who live under difficult circumstances.  When I started my master, my goal was: create value, jobs, happiness for other people through my visions & ideas. My goals didn’t change but everything has its timing. I keep my goals and go with the flow. 

The reasons I have & keep this goals is very simple: I know what it means to go through difficult times and I was very happy when somebody was there for me so I also want to be there for others.  

If at the end of the day I can stay true to myself and do the things which I fully identify with myself, then I feel like I won. 

Q: Do you have any advice for future students? 
A: My advises for future students are: 

  • Be yourself
  • Don’t settle for less
  • Trust your gut
  • Have no fear
  • Try to work together with people

Don’t live in a space of “I can’t” or “it’s impossible”… live in space where “if I put in my 10.000 hours of work then I’m sure I can do it”. 

If I could do it then anybody can do it because I have no “special talents”. Trust me, your confidence and believe in yourself is enough. You take it and build up from there.