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Lauren Gibbs

Lauren Gibbs, EMBA '14

Graziadio Spotlight Stories

Why did you choose Pepperdine Graziadio Business School?

"I felt that there were some holes in my education that might limit my professional choices, and I wanted to arm myself with additional options. I chose Pepperdine Graziadio because I was drawn to the small and intimate class sizes. This promoted frequent and dynamic interactions with our professors. In the Executive MBA program, I knew I would be surrounded by and learn from my experienced peers."

How would you define the "Pepperdine difference"?

"When I first applied, I was uncertain that I would be able to manage the coursework as well as my full-time job. Pepperdine Graziadio showed me that I can accomplish anything as long as I am surrounded by the right people and have access to the right resources."

Do you have a favorite class or memory?

"I loved my Organizational Behavior course, because it aligns with my desire to bring about wide-scale change within a company. Company culture is something that can be easily overlooked, but it' is one of the most important aspects of business – how people feel about the company every day when they go to work and whether they feel like they're personally doing something valuable. I learned that cohesiveness and commitment to collective goals is critical to success, whether it's in the workplace or on an Olympic team."

Is there a lesson learned at Graziadio that you have been able to apply to your career or personal life?

"People often describe bobsledding like being kicked off a cliff in a trashcan. There's some truth to that. You can give it your all, but some factors are out of your control. Pepperdine Graziadio taught me to be flexible and nimble in the business world, and that's a life lesson as well. Over the next couple of years I can do everything that is asked of me and still be told that it just isn't enough to be selected for the 2018 Olympic Team. Pepperdine taught me to roll with the punches and recover. I'm working every day to be at the top of my game, but I know I'll be just fine no matter what happens."

What is one piece of advice you would give to current/prospect students?

"You may think you know exactly what your path is, but take the time to look through all of what Pepperdine has to offer. No matter which program you choose, the faculty does an amazing job of being invested in the learning experience. Once you're in, enjoy it! It goes by so quickly."

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

"Right now I am based in Lake Placid, getting ready for try outs for my third National Bobsled Team. My life is unfolding beyond my wildest dreams, and I am excited to see where it goes next. I would like to get into public speaking and write a book to tell my story, in the hopes that it will inspire other young women. I'd like to impact other MBA students and encourage them to marry their passion with their entrepreneurial endeavors."

About Lauren

Lauren Gibbs Olympic Silver Medal in the sports of bobsled. A lifelong athlete, Gibbs was introduced to the sport of bobsledding by a member of the USA National Rugby team (Jill Potter), who recommended that she try the sport. Gibbs currently works for the USOC (U.S. Olympic Committee) in business development, helping with fundraising for the Olympic training center, and she is also a public speaker at universities, corporate leadership and non-profits organizations. Read about her Olympic journey on Huffington Post and follow her on Instagram.