Angela S. Hwang, EMBA Candidate
Graziadio Spotlight Stories
Why did you decide to switch industries and pursue your MBA?
"I wanted to get out of the legal industry and professional services to be part of the tech industry where they're at the front and center of the most innovative strategies. Going from marketing professional services to marketing products has been a challenge, and that coincided with my decision to pursue my MBA.
I knew if I wanted to reach a C-level position one day that an MBA would give me an advantage. You get a variety of skills that you otherwise wouldn't be exposed to in different areas of business. For example, having been in marketing, I didn't really know much about finance or operations, and an MBA gives you that overview of how each business unit operates. I felt that in order to be a well rounded professional and a leader it was really important, and I like the challenge of learning new things.
It's also important for me to be nimble and be able to move from one industry to another. My goal is to develop my own professional identity rather than relying on the brand of one company. I try to think about my value-add and what I am bringing to the table so that I am able to provide strategic guidance for any company at any time."
Why did you choose the Pepperdine Graziadio EMBA program?
"I did a lot of research in the Bay Area because there are a lot of schools to choose from. I knew that I needed to do a part-time program because I couldn't leave the workforce and go to school full-time for two years. What really stood out about Pepperdine Graziadio is that it's a small and intimate environment and you're with the same cohort from the start to the end of the program. It has allowed us to bond and share the journey and transform together, and the flexibility of the program allows us to get the work done. It's also a very supportive environment. Everyone wants you to succeed and there's respect for one another. I also looked at the network of alumni and saw how much they've achieved professionally, and I knew this would be a great place for me."
How has the EMBA program impacted your career so far?
"Being in the program has definitely given me the credibility and I feel much more confident. I'm now a part of more discussions and involved in more high-level meetings. It isn't just the education, but also learning from others in my cohort about their experiences in different industries, which has given me a lot of perspective. While I've been in the program, I've moved up to a director position, which has given me more opportunities to think long-term and more strategically."
"As an Asian-American female in Silicon Valley, not only am I up against the "glass ceiling," but also the "bamboo ceiling," which means that few Asian-Americans will ever reach the C-suite of leadership. I hope to break those barriers one day and think that this program will help me to achieve this."