John Adrian, MBA '00
Graziadio Spotlight Stories
Prior to getting my graduate degree I only had a high level understanding of business. But getting my MBA at Pepperdine Graziadio was a game changer. The Graziadio School opened up a whole new world for me. I learned about finance, the cost of capital, balance sheets, and most importantly how to think strategically.
At the end of my MBA program we had to put together a strategic plan that encompassed all areas of business – everything from finance to marketing to general management. This process really helped me understand how to validate data before developing a strategy.
Confidence is Everything
In addition to the business knowledge and strategic thinking skills I gained at Pepperdine Graziadio my experience working with the professors helped to build my confidence. After I graduated I felt like I could both create and articulate a well-developed strategy and could hold my own with senior leaders at my company. Not only did I have increased self-confidence, but I had increased credibility and was now considered a real candidate for upward mobility. I couldn't have done it without Pepperdine; my MBA has helped me enormously in my career trajectory and was a huge part of how I got to a senior level position at Franklin Fueling Systems.
My Big Break
A few years ago my company was focused on putting together our California regulatory program and I was invited to be on strategy team. I got to meet with the CEO of our parent company Franklin Electric which was a huge opportunity for me. I was thrilled to be integrated into developing the global strategy for our fueling systems business.
Now in my role as Senior Vice President I am responsible for managing sales teams all over the world. I recently got back from a trip to South Africa and travel frequently to Europe and the Middle East and well as all over North and South America. I’ve learned a lot about different cultures and different ways of doing business from all of my travel overseas. While I pride myself on being a results orientated person I’ve learned that it is important to let people find their own path; not everyone is the same and if you expect them to be just like you it will easily alienate the other person.
One of things I like about working at Franklin Fueling Systems is that the company is committed to giving back to the community. We are considered the global leader in moving liquid and there is a lot of synergy between fuel and water. Our parent company Franklin Electric offers a full line of pumping systems to provide clean water and we were able to complement our petroleum work in a village in Sub Sahara Africa by donating an underground water system for the community.