Skip to main content
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Full Article

Visit Apply Give

Brazilian Finds Future in Accounting at Nebraska

Mancio Earns Multiple Honors as Junior
Brazilian Finds Future in Accounting at Nebraska
Junior Nikolas Mainieri Mancio from Porto Alegre, Brazil, studies finance and accounting at Nebraska. This spring he earned many honors including the Innocents Society and being selected to attend the U.S. Naval Academy Leadership Conference.

As a young boy in Porto Alegre, Brazil, Nikolas Mainieri Mancio dreamed of studying in the U.S. Earning a scholarship to attend the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the junior decided to move and make his time at the College of Business matter — leading to three distinct honors this spring. He was selected to attend the U.S. Naval Academy Leadership Conference, named the February College of Business Student of the Month and was accepted into the Innocents Society.

"I dreamed about studying in the United States because I wanted to pursue a better education than I could find in my home country. When I came to Nebraska, I had a cousin who was studying mechanical engineering, and it was important for me to have family around to make the transition easier," he said. "As an international student, I did not have the opportunity to visit campus, so he showed me around through videos. I fell in love with the College of Business and its programs."

Nikolas Mancio
Mancio was named the February College of Business Student of the Month.

Mancio always enjoyed working with numbers. In fact, he found them essential for both his majors in finance and accounting.

"Those numbers are telling me what projects to proceed with, how healthy a company might be and other useful information for making decisions. That fascinates me," he said.

He shared how his transition from Brazil to college life in Nebraska included many barriers, such as homesickness and cultural differences. He joined the Brazilian Student Association, which became a crucial anchor, providing a sense of belonging and a supportive network of individuals who shared similar experiences. Later serving as its vice president, he helped create a welcoming environment for other students from Brazil as they navigated the academic and social aspects of the university.

"I challenged myself academically by actively participating in class discussions, proactively seeking assistance when needed and forming study groups. This improved my English proficiency and fostered academic success and integration into the academic community. Regular communication with family and friends back in Brazil and establishing a routine, but also embracing the American culture as part of my own helped me fit in and understand how to thrive in such a different environment. In retrospect, the challenges became a transformative experience. They made me step out of my comfort zone, develop resilience and embrace diversity," he said.

While looking for opportunities to give back to the community, Mancio found the university's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. The program allowed him to use his accounting skills while assisting low-income individuals with their tax returns.

"The VITA program allowed me to apply my academic knowledge in a practical setting while making a meaningful impact on the lives of others. This experience not only deepened my understanding of taxation but also heightened my sense of social responsibility. It was rewarding to witness the relief on people's faces when they realized they could navigate the complexities of tax filing with free assistance," Mancio said. 

He also became a member of the university's chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, an honors organization for financial information students and professionals. He attended weekly meetings and engaged with fellow students and professionals to discuss industry trends, share insights and participate in networking events.

"These experiences have not only broadened my understanding of the business world but have also allowed me to establish meaningful connections with individuals who share a passion for excellence in the field of accounting and finance," Mancio said. "I am also proud to have founded and serve as president of the Teqball Club at Nebraska. Teqball, a sport deeply rooted in Brazilian culture, has provided a platform to unite students through physical activity and celebrate diversity." 

One of five College of Business students selected to attend this year's U.S. Naval Academy Leadership Conference, Mancio traveled to Annapolis, Maryland, in January.

"At the U.S. Naval Academy, the biggest leadership lesson I learned is that as leaders, we should not wait until we have all the information to make a decision, because that will never happen. Once there is enough information, we must make a decision and deal with the consequences of the decision we made. That impacted me because I always like to weigh all the possible outcomes before making a decision, and I started taking action more quickly after the conference," he said.

Rachel Wesley, assistant director of Business Advising and Student Engagement, served as the advisor coordinating Nebraska's presence at the U.S. Naval Academy Leadership Conference. She also nominated him for the February Student of the Month Award.

"Nick exemplifies what it means to be a College of Business student. He excels in the classroom while holding leadership positions in student organizations and helping create a community. He's taking advantage of every opportunity from internships to competing in the Tenaska Business Challenge. Other leaders and delegates noticed his professionalism at the U.S. Naval Academy Leadership Conference as he shared his perspective of being a business major with students from across the country," Wesley said.

Also accepted into the Innocents Society in April, Mancio was one of 13 new members chosen from the junior class to carry on the university chancellor's senior honorary society’s traditions and goals. Members are selected based on superior academic achievement, unparalleled leadership and selfless service to the university and community.

"There are so many things I miss from back home, such as my dad, my mom, my brother, my girlfriend, the food and the atmosphere of going to Gremio's soccer games," Mancio said. "I would like to get into the Master of Professional Accountancy program at Nebraska to get the credit hours necessary for the Certified Public Accountant license. Then I'd like to work for a public accounting firm in audit for a few years before hopefully getting into consulting."

Published: April 10, 2024