Justin Nimergood, Alumnus
MS in Management and Leadership
Tell us about your entrepreneurship journey.
Entrepreneurship is core to who I am. Very early in my life I found unique, creative ways to make money and solve problems. Back when I was working multiple jobs in high school, I was always doing something on the side. Today, I’m proud to say I'm an owner of multiple businesses, each of which is built on a foundation of core values and principles that I learned at Graziadio.
What made you choose the MSML program?
I came to this program to heighten my self-awareness. To accomplish anything in this world, you have to know yourself. The MSML helped me gain new perspectives at the deepest foundational level. Because I know myself better now, I am able to serve more people, more effectively.
What experiential learning opportunities did you find at Graziadio?
I’m so grateful that Graziadio puts students right in the trenches, especially with the Education to Community (E2C) program. E2C includes hands-on experiential learning with a non-profit of our choosing. My team chose the educational reform group LA’s Promise. It was eye-opening to be a part of the organization’s board meetings. We not only helped them craft a business plan, but also walked them through the plan’s execution every step of the way. As Pepperdine students, we were front and center in creating long-term, measurable change. The experience helped shape me into the entrepreneur I am today.
What does the MSML program mean to you?
When I talk about my experience, I sometimes get emotional. I think about the person I was going into the program and the man I became coming out of the program. It’s like night and day. I learned how to love, give, serve, and contribute, and to do something much bigger than myself. If you don’t have that purpose and integrity in the world, I’m sorry, folks, there’s really no reason in doing it. Graziadio gave me that extra sense of self, community, and purpose-driven leadership.
If you were to go back in time, would you do the MSML program over again?
In a heartbeat. Over and over again. Graziadio offers the best program out there today, bar none, because people care. There are plenty of universities with good programs, but at Pepperdine, you’re here for something so much greater than yourself. Also, Graziadio is a family. Once you’re a part of it, you’re a part of it for life. I wanted a place to call home and Pepperdine and Graziadio did just that.