Perhaps one of the most significant reasons the incoming president of the Malibu Graduate Business Society (MGBS) is so well suited to leadership is because of his ambitious nature and his business acumen. As a competitive swimmer, he knows the value of setting personal goals. As the owner of Aquatics Now, a swim school, he knows how to combine service with a successful business model. In his new role as MGBS president, Nicholas Stankevich plans to leverage that experience to lead the organization that is responsible for facilitating all student interests.
“I took on this leadership position with MGBS because I want to increase the value of my experience here and my degree. I like to be involved and I just can’t help myself; I’m drawn to opportunities where I can use my talents to make things better,” he says.
MGBS is the student government association for the full-time MBA program at Pepperdine University. It is responsible for assigning students to faculty and administrative committees, hosting top corporate speakers, planning networking and social events, and supervising and promoting all student organizations and clubs. It also serves as the administration’s primary resource to gather information related to student sentiment, which is used to generate new policy initiatives.
Stankevich believes he will have a positive influence on MGBS because he can relate to the needs and desires of his fellow students. “I decided to return to school for my MBA to further refine my business skills to help launch my next business endeavor,” he explains. “A short-term goal of mine is to expand my professional network; a long-term goal is to leverage this network to initiate my next business adventure.”
To accomplish that, Stankevich set out to make the most of his time at Pepperdine from the moment he arrived, and advises new students to do the same.
“There are many amazing programs and organizations at Pepperdine, but to be a success here, you have to get involved early,” he says. “Attend events, talk to professors, build relationships, participate at workshops, socialize at mixers, network with alumni, create an event, take the initiative on projects, organize your classmates for social outings and, above all, have fun.”
While that sounds like an ambitious list to add to an already challenging academic load, Stankevich, who is mid-way through his MBA program, has the benefit of hindsight. “You are here for a very short period of time, so make the most out of it,” he encourages.
In his role as MGBS president, Stankevich intends to apply both his ability and his irrepressible personality to inspire collaborative decision making.
“I believe Nick and his cabinet will be particularly successful in inspiring student and alumni involvement and galvanizing a sense of school spirit that is typically more prevalent in undergraduate programs,” says Andrew Mescon, MGBS out-going president.
Building on the momentum that Mescon and his cabinet have achieved this past year, Stankevich’s agenda for the MGBS is to create more opportunities for quality internships and career experiences, while enhancing alumni relations. He also wants to expand Pepperdine’s Social, Ethical, Environmental, Responsibility (SEER) program, a distinctive offering of the University.
“I would like to see a future MBA candidate achieve a 100-percent SEER MBA from start to finish, having each class taught with a SEER lens to the class materials,” he adds.
That goal is one that Stankevich, as a successful business owner, sees as critical to preparing graduates to be leaders on a global scale.
“As a Pepperdine MBA candidate, a student here has the opportunity to learn side-by-side with international students. Having this international cultural experience while taking classes with a social, ethical, environmental, and responsibility focus will prepare us, the next class of leaders, to be successful on a global scale,” he says.
Stankevich feels that MGBS is already on the right path, in part because of the work accomplished by this year’s leadership in solidifying long-term strategic partnerships with alumni.
Current president, Mescon concurs. “This year, MGBS, Emerging Leaders, and many of our professional clubs worked hard not only to connect with alumni, but also to institutionalize long-term strategic partnerships.” Those initiatives included co-sponsored alumni/student networking events, the inception of The Golden Torches alumni honors society, and the establishment of formalized roles to exclusively promote alumni/student integration.
“I believe that the Class of 2012 has laid a foundation of collaboration that will enhance career development and networking opportunities for future generations of Graziadio students,” affirms Mescon. “With Nick’s leadership experience I fully expect this new team to be even more successful in advancing these goals.”
For more information about MGBS, student clubs and organizations, go to here.