Business School Personal Statement Example 4
My father was born in Holguin, Cuba. He and his side of the family migrated to America as political refugees. My grandfather worked for Castro at the time of the revolution, and when Castro became communist, he vowed to kill all his associates, necessitating my family’s departure. After starting and failing multiple businesses in the early 60s, they started the Esperanza Corporation in 1994. Over the last 10 years, I have helped grow this family business from a startup to a global company specializing in management. I have held many positions within the company, from sales manager to director, and I am looking to further my education in the hopes that I will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to not only take my business acumen to the next level but to positively impact the world at large. I believe that Pepperdine School of Business is the best place for me to do this given Graziaidio School of Business and Management’s focus on producing visionary and values-centered leaders.
Business runs in my blood. My first business was selling chocolate bars one summer when I was 12 years old. I bought my first bike this way, and I can still remember the feeling of accomplishment that came from doing it myself. As time progressed, my business ventures became more complex, and I experienced more failures than successes; however, these were critical learning moments that helped shape my views on business. These experiences helped me understand that business isn’t all about the end-goal, outcome, or finished product but that the process itself is equally important and that how you arrive at the finish line informs your mission, vision, and values moving forward. Through these early business ventures, I learned the importance of business ethics, customer service and satisfaction, strategy, and quality. These are values that inform my business philosophy today. Now when I’m practicing business, I feel like I’m helping to change the world because of the work we do as a team within my company. There is no better feeling than changing the way we do business to promote success, leading a team that becomes great, or watching a simple project grow and become a game changer for the entire company.
At Graziaidio, I’m confident that I’ll learn strategies and philosophies that I can use to further improve upon my management style and overall understanding of strategy. Throughout history, the most successful business are those that have embraced evolution and responded to the changing needs of society and the world. History also offers us plenty of examples of organizations that failed (Kodak) or whose growth was stunted (Radio Shack) because of an inability or outright refusal to adapt, answer the call to innovation, and become disrupters of their respective industries. I also believe grit is a critical trait for a business leader. Embracing failure as an opportunity to learn—failing forward—is, often, what breeds process improvement and innovation. At every level that I’ve worked at within the company, there have been challenges that, at the time, seemed insurmountable. One of the biggest challenges came while I was working in my current role as director of business. When I took over this portion of the business, the numbers didn’t look great. We were looking at an 18% decline year after year and profits were at a loss of 50k or more monthly. The senior team wanted to close this portion of the business because of the losses, but I thought this area could generate a new line of revenue for us and allow us to penetrate a new market that had been underserved. The greatest challenge I had was not turning around the business but convincing the team that shouldering additional losses in the short term for the reward of greater returns in the long run was worth the risk. They told me to shut it down three times, but I held on and decided to take full responsibility for my decision. Today, this business is stable and showing growth and profits while we enter a new market.
As I continue to evolve as an individual, I can help move the culture of my organization—and, by extension, my industry—forward the same way my father’s family did years ago. Family is my top priority. Since I have always been a member of a family owned and operated organization, family and business have always gone hand in hand for me. I will bring a unique perspective to the institution and program due to my history and experiences. Furthermore, I look forward to the opportunity to join a legacy of alumni of the institution that are deployed throughout the world, moving innovation forward, contributing to the growth of world economies, and, ultimately, helping to make the world a better place.
The world will continue to change. Globalization means different things and has different implications for business than it did even 7 years ago. Pepperdine has been at the fore of innovation when it comes to creating leaders who are culturally responsive and in-tune with global changes. I am also a pilot. I love flying planes and spending my free time in the air. I hope one day to merge my interests in family, business, and flying. Pepperdine has always stood out to me due to the small class sizes; focus on practical application of business theory, collaboration, engagement; and stellar campus environment. In addition to this, I had a mentor a few years ago who was, and still is, one of the smartest men I have ever known. He helped me hone my business skills, and I credit so much of my success to him. He attended Pepperdine for his MBA, and to attend a school that produces graduates of his caliber would be a dream come true. I am confident that I can contribute to the Graziadio legacy of excellence as a student and alum and serve as a living example of the school’s focus on entrepreneurship, experience, collaboration, drive, and global impact.