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Pepperdine | Graziadio Business School

Student Spotlight: Elsa Mesele

Full-Time MBA

Else Mesele

Why did you decide to go back and earn your degree?

“I decided to go back to school to earn my degree because I had reached the ceiling at my job. I knew an MBA would help me to advance my career goals.”

Why did you choose Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School?

“I chose Pepperdine because of its great location in the heart of Southern California, its reputable name and most importantly, the close-knit community. When I was applying for MBA programs, I was looking for a business school where the students had a relationship with their teachers, and the teachers knew their students on a one-on-one basis. Pepperdine has a one-of-a-kind community where students and teachers have daily interaction.”

How would you define the “Pepperdine difference”?

“The Pepperdine difference is defined by the connectedness of its community. The faculty, teachers and staff are supportive and will do everything they can to help students reach their goals. In addition, the small class sizes foster a personal MBA experience and give students the opportunity to get to know their peers even if they are from different cohorts or concentrations.”

What program are you in, and why?

“I am pursuing my MBA in Organizational Change Management and Finance, and plan to pursue a career in Human Resources and Organizational Development. I am also a candidate in the Socially, Environmentally, and Ethically Responsible (SEER) program, a certificate that stood out to me because it aligns with where the world is going. In today’s market, companies are trying to be more ‘green’ and environmentally conscious. I enrolled in the SEER Program to learn more about what it means to be socially and ethically responsible as well as how to apply the environmental piece to a business setting.”

How has Pepperdine Graziadio helped you professionally and personally to date?

“I was an offered an internship in AT&T’s Leadership Development Program with a focus in Human Resources. As a Pepperdine MBA candidate, I was able to leverage the close relationship the Graziadio Business School has with AT&T to secure my spot in the internship program. I begin my internship in June 2016 in Dallas, Texas.”

What lessons have you learned to date at Pepperdine Graziadio and have you been able to apply them to your career and personal life?

“The Pepperdine community expects its students to be leaders inside and outside of the classroom. This expectation has showed me the value of community involvement and peer-to-peer engagement. As a result I’ve seen personal growth. I’ve have learned the more you put in to the community, the more you’ll get in return.”

How do you stay engaged (and/or support the community) at Pepperdine Graziadio? What type of difference are you making? Why do you think this is important?

“Next year, I will be the President of the Graziadio Entertainment Society. We host roughly four panels a year to give students the opportunity to hear from real-world industry professionals and connect with Pepperdine alums in entertainment. I will also be an Emerging Leader for incoming 2016 students. As an Emerging Leader, I will mentor a group of incoming MBA candidates for the 2016-2017 school year, answering any questions they may have and helping them to reach their academic and personal goals at Pepperdine. Both of these positions are important to me to stay connected to the Pepperdine community and take on new leadership roles.”

About Elsa

Elsa Mesele is a first-year MBA student at Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School. She is working toward a double concentration in Leadership and Organizational Change Management and Finance as well as a Certificate in Socially, Environmentally, and Ethically Responsible (SEER) Business Strategy. Prior to starting her MBA, Elsa spent two years in accounting at the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Los Angeles Council. She also spent two years working as a Program Assistant for The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health’s non-profit group in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Her previous work experience sparked an interest in and passion for human resources. As an aspiring Human Resources professional, she seeks to help companies organize and manage their most valuable assets—its employees.