Mario Schweizer, MBA '16
Graziadio Spotlight Stories
Why did you choose Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School?
"I chose Pepperdine because of its focus on ethics and values, its location in Southern California near the Los Angeles market, and its ranking in the top 100 of full-time MBA programs. I also was drawn to its strong support of transitioning military veterans through its full participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program."
How would you define the "Pepperdine difference"?
"The class sizes at Pepperdine were a major differentiator for me because of the quality of the program. With class sizes of less than 30, the interaction with other students and the professors was exactly what I was looking for. There were a lot of uniquely talented students and great professors in my program, and I grew professionally because of the relationships I built at Pepperdine."
How did getting your MBA from Pepperdine help to advance you in your career?
"The Graziadio Business School was an essential part of my transition from military officer to business professional. I knew I had invaluable skills from my military background, but I still lacked the skills I needed to be successful in the business world. I felt that a Pepperdine MBA was the best way to translate my military experience into business success."
How would you describe your ROI on your MBA?
"Pepperdine University actively participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program to supplement the G.I Bill, offering generous tuition support to all eligible veterans. This support was crucial for me, and truly fulfills the purpose of a tuition program to transition veterans into productive members of society. The quality of the MBA program exceeded my expectations for the education I needed to refine my skills and leverage my military background in the corporate world."
What advice would you give to someone who is considering seeking an MBA?
"If you want to move to the next level as a business leader than an MBA makes a lot of sense in refining your skills. If you are considering an industry change, as I was, than an MBA is a great opportunity to explore your options and acquire new skills. At Pepperdine, I had the flexibility to change my program to incorporate a summer internship, which gave me the corporate experience I lacked after leaving the military. This was a great chance to explore a technology industry and narrow my focus on the business role I wanted after graduation."
How are you supporting or staying engaged with the Pepperdine Community?
"As founding president of the Graziadio Veteran's Business Society, I really wanted to help recruit veterans to Pepperdine, enhance the experience veterans have while they are students, and strengthen the connection between veteran students and alumni. I look forward to remaining connected to Pepperdine as an alum, and hope to help more veterans make the same transition I did."
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
"In 10 years I see myself enjoying rewarding leadership roles in business and serving my community alongside my family and friends."