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Building a Legacy to Last a Lifetime: Alumna Nadine Tapia Shares Her Experiences in the BSM and MBAJ Programs

Alumna Nadine TapiaWhat if you could walk across the stage with multiple degrees in the same year? Well, we are here to say you can. At Pepperdine Graziadio, we are committed to providing a world-class education and the opportunity to find your purpose with flexibility and support. One of our unique programs that allows students to pair professional aspirations with personal interests is the Bachelor of Science in Management (BSM) program. Designed for entry-level organizational leaders, this undergraduate completion degree introduces students to the foundations of business and aligns real-world situations with a values-based curriculum. In conjunction with our BSM degree and exclusive to Pepperdine Graziadio, students have the opportunity to pursue a Master’s in Business Administration (MBAJ)[BROKEN LINK] in as little as one year. For alumna and leading business leader, Nadine Tapia, the decision to earn two degrees in a respectable time frame helped her gain a competitive advantage in the entrepreneurship field quicker than imagined.

Graduating from Pepperdine in 2020 with a BSM, MBA in Entrepreneurship, and a Master of Science in Dispute Resolution, Nadine set out to obtain a degree that would help her grow her business and give back to the community that gave to her. As a former Pepperdine Horizon Scholar, Nadine developed a passion to provide resources and advice to current scholars looking for guidance and mentorship. Each degree earned at Pepperdine opened up ideas and possibilities for Nadine to capitalize upon, growing her knowledge toward her entrepreneurship and enhancing her passion to lead with purpose.

Read Nadine's Interview:

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, professional and personal.

I am a Pepperdine Graziadio alumna with a BSM, an MBA in Entrepreneurship, and a Master of Dispute Resolution. Go Waves!! I am a beauty executive, spending years growing the brand Ole Henriksen Skincare which was sold to Sephora, a subsidiary of LVMH. Currently, I am a budding entrepreneur, developing a line of skincare products for a brand that I intend to launch while also creating products for other beauty entrepreneurs in the laboratory that I own and operate in the Inland Empire. I hold a seat on the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army Malibu. In addition, I Chair the Working Board and hold a seat on the Executive Board of the Horizon Scholars Program at Pepperdine University, a program developed to assist and support students who come from foster care to continue their education. When I attended Pepperdine, I was a member of the Horizon Scholar Program and it offered a place of belonging and support. Since graduating, I became a donor of the Horizon Scholars Program, standing as the first alumna to support the program financially, which I am very proud of. I live in Upland, California with my beautiful sister and my two dogs.

2. Why did you choose to pursue a BSM?

I chose the BSM program because I had always dreamed of continuing my education, and the BSM program was the perfect path to do this. It allowed me the flexibility to work and attend classes at the same time.

3. What motivated you to further your education by enrolling in the MBAJ after completing your BSM degree?

I was really pleased with my experience in the BSM program at Pepperdine Graziadio. I was determined to continue in the MBAJ program because of the supportive advisors, strong cohort, and great professors. The program saved me time and money by continuing my studies with only an additional year to earn the MBAJ and ultimately, I wanted to complete my MBA. I decided to register for the Master of Dispute Resolution at the Caruso School of Law simultaneously, temporarily relocating to Calabasas to finish the year.

4. What was your favorite class in the BSM/MBAJ program? And why?

I would say there is a strong tie between Organizational Behavior and Entrepreneurship with Dr. Larry Cox. Organizational Behavior is particularly close to my heart because I built relationships for life, learned so much more about myself, and further developed team building skills. The entrepreneurship track really helped hone my skills as an entrepreneur and allowed me to continue my interest in becoming a benefit corporation through the SEER Business Strategy (Socially, Environmentally, and Ethically Responsible) led by Dr. Robert Bikel.

5. How has your Graziadio experience impacted your career?

My Graziadio experience has been very multi-dimensional. It has impacted more than my career but my life as well. I have friends and colleagues that I can turn to for advising and counseling and travel regularly with my cohort, developing lifelong friendships. The Pepperdine Graziadio educational experience has opened up areas of interests, from philanthropy to investing in emerging businesses and various sectors, it has helped guide my decision making toward building my business.

6. What are your future goals for your entrepreneurship, Tapia Beauty Group?

Some of my future goals include receiving my benefit corporation approval (I am very close!), launching my brand to market, becoming a small batch manufacturer to support my own business and businesses that cannot afford to produce large production runs, and serve my community by growing the Horizon Scholars Program at Pepperdine.

7. What are some pieces of advice you would give to current and future BSM/MBAJ students?

I say this every chance I get – never let adversity stop you from overcoming and growing. Take advantage of the golden opportunity of being a student; participate, engage, network, attend events, and give back to your community.