Today I attended Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business Open House.
The agenda said it started at 9:30a but there would be a Q&A Session beforehand at 9:15a.
I parked in the lot and I was told to follow the balloons. There was only one set of balloons. I ran into another couple looking for the school of business as well and we entered the room from the wrong side, next to the facilitators answering questions. This was super embarrassing! I made my way to the other side and the woman checking people in said people get confused all the time and this happens a lot.
I took some notes during the Q & A.
-GMAT is very important, but so is the overall package of you as an applicant.
-the admissions committee looks to see if the campus is a fit for both parties
-Graziadio is a very tight community. There are only 320-330 students in the school including MS, and joint JD students.
-most projects assigned are team oriented
-only 25 students in each class which means everyone knows each other.
-the school meets in trimesters in 7 week modules, 4 classes once a week for four hours each
-No class on Fridays
-minimum one year work experience required for application
The Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution presented.
A student can choose Dispute Resolution for his or her concentration and take classes through the law school. In addition to your MBA degree a student also earns a certificate in dispute resolution. The three areas studied are negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. The goal is to manage conflict within your environment.
My undergraduate degree is in Mass Communication so naturally this option appealed to me. However this time in going back to school I want to study something that will give me specific jobs to apply to. I feel that studying something so broad got me into the situation I am in now: struggling to survive with a job in television and a job at a coffee shop.
I late spoke with the woman who gave this presentation and I asked what type of things you could go into with a concentration in dispute resolution. she said you could do a lot of things. I can do a lot of things with my Mass Communication degree too. Pepperdine is the number 1 dispute resolution school in the country, even above Harvard University, but I don't think it would help me.
A panel of faculty was brought out to answer any questions. This panel was all men. A couple of professors identified themselves as in the decision sciences department. One of the professors explained that decision sciences can be called management sciences at other schools. They teach quantitative, statistics, risk analysis and other math courses. They said they teach usuing evidence to make better decisions.
One of the gentleman worked in the career services office. He said use careers services from day one. He spoke of a student whose background was "nontraditional," in film and how he worked with that student to set him up for success. Film is similar to television so I now know one thing I need to do when I attend business school.
After this panel there was a break. I took the opportunity to help myself to the fruit and bagels. Other people took this opportunity to speak with members the the previous panel. I took notes as I ate my fruit.
The gentleman on the admission committee said the school wants at least a 600 on the GMAT. This score seems really attainable because in comparison to UCLA Anderson, the average GMAT score for the full time program is 712!
During this break I realized I need to stop being so shy and listening to other people's questions and answers. I have to learn to strike out on my own so I can learn to network better.
After the break a student panel came in. All but one student was female. Such a drastic change from the faculty! I am happy to see females because I keep reading articles on how there are less women in business school and MBA salaries are lower for women.
The student panel did say not many students had less than three years of work experience. This made me feel better because the room was made up primarily of people younger than me. I'll be 27 in ten days and I was starting to question the fit with the student body when I saw the group of people for the open house.
One of the students lived on campus her first year. She said it was weird being 27 and living in the dorms but she participated a whole lot more in on campus events that year because she didn't have to get up as early on a Saturday morning to drive to campus. But you can't have alcohol or members of the opposite sex in your room. University rules.
I asked about recruiting by companies and one student said since they are farther away from Los Angeles proper they don't get as many companies recruiting on campus as compared to UCLA or USC.
After the panels we got a tour of the school.
Overall Pepperdine was beautiful. They kept saying how beautiful the campus was and graduation is on the lawn overlooking the beach.
However I'll need more than a beautiful school to succeed in the business world.