Meisha Sherman, MBA '05
Graziadio Spotlight Stories
Why did you choose Pepperdine Graziadio?
My family is a Pepperdine family. My grandfather graduated from George Pepperdine College, class of 1956. The Civil Rights Movement did not happen until 1964, so it was a pretty big deal for him as an African American man. I think that speaks volumes to Pepperdine and its commitment as a Christian university. From there, I've had a family member finish a degree from one of each of the five schools, with either a graduate degree or an undergraduate degree from GSEP, School of Law, Seaver, Graziadio, and the School of Public Policy.
I choose to get my business degree because I am a business person first, and then I chose HR as the function, my career path. I'm passionate about women in business, and I wanted to be a well-rounded leader. I knew Pepperdine Graziadio was one of the top programs in the world, and it is special to me because my grandfather is an alumnus, and it is a Christian university that is values-centered and globally focused.
How has getting your MBA impacted your career?
I finished my MBA in 2005, and found that having a highly coveted MBA moves you to the top of the candidate list, and that the Pepperdine Graziadio alumni network is so valuable. For example, when I interviewed with Raytheon, they had over 400 alumni, and they immediately wanted to talk to me. My MBA is a differentiator, particularly for women, minorities, and veterans, and I am all of the above.
How do you give back as a mentor?
I often talk to middle school students, high school students, and undergrad students. Business school is really about who you are as a leader, and Pepperdine tapped into that so we could be better business people by emphasizing purpose, service, and leadership.
Pepperdine has a very rich robust mentor-mentee experience, with great resources. I was able to invite my mentee to the Raytheon campus and to meet colleagues, alumni, and learn about the organization. We did mock interviews, resume reviews, and I was able to help with decisions to identify employment.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in business school?
Stay in touch with your professors and your classmates. I still keep in touch with Dr. Mark Mallinger, and I don't miss an opportunity to speak to a class, such as Dr. Ledbetter's class during women's history month, or on a panel. Those are other examples of paying it forward that I would add about the experience. The other thing I've really appreciated about the experience is our cohort is really close. We stay in touch with each other.
Finally, build your network, get a mentor, be a mentor, and get a sponsor - someone to help you land opportunities and advocate for you. Get involved in the university during and after your time in school, and pay it forward. Hire waves! if I see that somebody attended Pepperdine, I want that person to be on my team.