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Christie Hsiao, MBA

Graziadio Spotlight Stories

Christie Hsiao, Full Time MBA ‘04

My Passion: Inspiring Others

I've always been passionate about encouraging others to trust and believe in themselves. This passion led to the creation of my novel Journey to Rainbow Island. The fantasy story tells the tale of a girl, Yu-ning, who comes from a world without jealousy, judgment, anger, or conflict, but is forced to venture out on a quest to find seven sacred crystals on her island. I wrote this book, which became a New York Times, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon bestseller, to counter the negative content that is prevalent in all forms for entertainment. By telling an uplifting story, my desire is to motivate my readers and educate them about empowerment and transformation. I have loved inspiring my readers with the notion that by following your heart and dreams, instead of chasing money and fame, you can do anything you set your mind to.

A Media Empire

"Students at the Graziadio School are diverse and come from all over the world."

Christie Hsaio

Graziadio MBA Alumna

Overwhelming interest in my book has prompted numerous speaking engagements as well as other iterations of this story including one video game and a second one which is in development. The video game, which is positive, light, and geared towards kids of all ages, is focused on encouraging kids to eat healthy and embrace vegetables. This is a sharp contrast from other video games which are rooted in destruction and beating others. I am also writing a sequel to the Journey to Rainbow Island which I expect to finish this summer and publish at the end of 2017. Additionally, I am interviewing screenwriters to adapt my book into a screenplay, movie, TV series, musical theater, and more! In addition to the Journey to Rainbow Island endeavors, my Hollywood-based production company, Serenity Media Group, is also producing other movies, such as a drama film, which will go into pre-production shortly.

How my MBA Prepared Me

Working in the entertainment industry requires a significant amount of collaboration and inherent teamwork. Getting my MBA helped me hone my leadership skills and prepared me to be successful in an environment that necessitates creativity and partnership. I chose Pepperdine Graziadio because it has the best view in Malibu, which is one of my favorite neighborhoods, and because the full-time two-year MBA program was exactly what I was looking for. Students at the Graziadio School are diverse and come from all over the world and I have really enjoyed meeting people from different countries and cultures and learning from them. My graduate school experience has helped me in my consulting business and in my role as a liaison between the U.S. and China in which I work to speed up the often lengthy negotiation process. I am bi-cultural and bi-lingual, which coupled with the work I do in both the U.S. and China, has given me a good understanding of eastern and western cultures.

Through all of my educational experiences and work in the entertainment industry, I have learned to never give up. I am grateful for being able to focus on what I've always wanted to do: educate others, create change, and spread positive messages.

About Monica

Monica Smith is currently a Consumables Licensing Manager at Disney Consumer Products & Interactive Media. She was previously an Associate Brand Manager at Jakks Pacific, where she managed products for Disney brands. Before getting her MBA from Pepperdine Graziadio, she worked in Media Promotions for Universal Orlando Resort, and Affiliate Marketing for Court TV. She earned her B.S. in Communications with an emphasis on Media Studies from New York University.