Samir Patel, EMBA Candidate
Graziadio Spotlight Stories
Why did you choose Pepperdine Graziadio to pursue your Executive MBA (EMBA)?
“I’m an Equity partner at a company called Netrix. My CFO suggested I should consider getting my MBA. I decided to look at Pepperdine Graziadio to see what it was all about. The more I learned about Pepperdine Graziadio, the more I was attracted to it. I liked that it focused on ethics, and that their headquarters is based out of Los Angeles, and I knew I needed to focus on the west coast for the future. I met some of the alumni in Dallas who said that the instructors are always within reach in addition to forming lifelong connections with people that go way beyond your time in the EMBA program. That’s when I was sold. "
How has the EMBA program at Pepperdine Graziadio helped your career at Netrix?
“When I started the EMBA program, I was a director managing around 30 people. My EMBA experience and learning expedited two promotions within the company. I am now the CEO and am part of the operations committee which oversees the whole Netrix business. These promotions may have taken 5 or 6 years to achieve, but through my EMBA experience, I was promoted in about a year and a half."
How has the Pepperdine Graziadio community of students, alumni, and faculty helped you?
“I live in Dallas, so the time I can spend in Los Angeles is minimal, but I have still been able to form close personal connections with my classmates and professors. These connections go beyond just studying together, and feel like lifelong relationships. I also know I can reach out to my professors whenever I need them. I can ask them for guidance and gather their feedback to help me make the right decisions for my own organization. Professor Mooney, from my Information Systems class, has been especially helpful. From him, I learned not only about information systems, but how to forgive and move forward, which has helped me to be a better leader."
What makes Pepperdine Graziadio special?
“One of my colleagues started in an EMBA program at another school at the same time I did, and we are constantly comparing programs. He has about 60 students in one of his classes, and his professor does not know every student in that class. At Pepperdine Graziadio, professors know students by their names. Knowing what I know now, I would definitely recommend Pepperdine Graziadio. If you want a personalized experience while working in small groups, Pepperdine Graziadio is the way to go."
If you could give one piece of advice to a first-year MBA student, what would it be?
“Do not put any of your readings or assignments off for the next day! Focus fully on your studies. If you are one day behind, you will stay behind for the whole semester. You need to not only study, but understand how to relate the material to your industry and the overall global economy. That process takes time, and it doesn’t happen right away. "
You’re graduating in December. What are you looking forward to about finishing the EMBA program?
“I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I am excited about my EMBA being done. I look forward to continuing the relationships I formed during my program. When we started, we did not know each other at all. Now we know everyone’s spouses, their kids, and what’s happening in their lives. You can always connect with someone when you really need them. We are even thinking about meeting up every year for an international trip or outing!"