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Stephanie Merino, EMBA Candidate

Graziadio Spotlight Stories

Stephanie Merino

“My background is in engineering and a few years ago I found my career shifting toward operations management. Getting my MBA was absolutely the right next step. When I started the Executive MBA (EMBA) program at Pepperdine Graziadio I was responsible for all domestic production at SloanLED. The leadership at my company was incredibly supportive of my endeavor and quickly saw the value that my business school classes enabled me to bring to the company.

In addition to gaining valuable knowledge about organizational behavior, finance, and marketing, I've also developed the necessary skills to work cross functionally throughout the company. Now, I am the New Product Introduction Program Manager at SloanLED. I thrive in a dynamic and challenging environment so this position was a perfect fit for me.”

Values-Centered Leadership

“I chose Pepperdine Graziadio because of the University's commitment to developing values-centered leaders. My family and I place a great deal of importance on having strong ethics and morals and it was important to me to go to a school that represented who I am as a person.

It's hard to put a value on my experience at Pepperdine Graziadio because I have grown in so many ways since I started the EMBA program. Many people think that getting a graduate degree is just about the coursework and education, but it has been so much more for me. My desire to learn and develop my mind has also led to me becoming more introspective. Getting to know myself a little better has brought a great deal of personal satisfaction."

A Family Type Environment

"One of things I like best about the Graziadio School is the small class size. Because of the intimate environment, my EMBA cohort has become like family. We spend a lot of time together collaborating on projects, sharing unique career experiences, and getting to know each other on a personal level. We also have a class advisor, Regina Korossy, who is present at each of our class sessions and is a valuable resource for us.

The Graziadio faculty has also been incredible; they are very accessible and I've developed lasting relationships with many of them. It's not just a student – professor dynamic at Pepperdine Graziadio; it's very clear that students and professors are there to help each other learn and grow.

All of my instructors have had an impact on me, but one in particular, Dr. John Mooney, stood out recently. When we turn in a paper in Dr. Mooney's class he always writes "Thank you!" on it as part of his feedback. It may seem small, but I appreciate that he recognizes our hard work and is grateful for our contributions. Dr. Mooney's gratitude has been a good attribute to share with my children as it reinforces the values that my husband and I are teaching them."

About Stephanie

Stephanie is currently a student in the Executive MBA program and is expected to graduate in December 2017. She is the New Product Introduction Program Manager at SloanLED, an industry leader in providing LED technology for commercial, industrial and high-tech industries. She has been at SloanLED for the past 13 years where she has held several positions including manufacturing engineering and distribution management.

Stephanie earned her bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Montana State University, Bozeman. She resides in Ventura County and she enjoys exploring the outdoors and spending time with her husband and children.