Education Is On-Going Process for Modern Executives

By: Christina LeRubio, Director of Operations, Executive Education, Graziadio Business School

Learning never stops. It doesn’t stop after earning an MBA, a decade into a career, or after becoming an executive. Adaptability, humility, and growing a knowledge base are more important than ever for the modern executive, especially as world events continue to rock businesses everywhere. 

The pandemic was a sweeping change in society. Social norms were re-written, companies and people alike had to reckon with past and current mistakes, and businesses had to be on board with social change or be left behind. With the full force of the digital age, change happens quickly and can catch executives off guard.

In the wake of the pandemic, entire advertising campaigns were scrapped, business models were re-worked and executives had to look inwards and challenge pre-conceived notions. Make the wrong decision and social media will be flooded with negative mentions and bad publicity from the top business outlets will follow. 

It’s not just the general public looking for corporate responsibility, it’s employees too. Employees want to be proud of the company they work for and look up to their workplace leaders. Take it from Lance Fritz, CEO of Union Pacific, who opined on the changing workplace culture in an article written by the consulting firm McKinsey: “Our people are expecting me to be transparent, to have a grip on the situation, and to be reasonable about what I do know, what I don’t know, and what we’re doing about it.”

That’s the key message for the modern executive: people — both consumers and employees — will notice when initiatives are frivolous. Creating values, and genuinely instilling them into a company’s core, will mean great success, and growing a knowledge base is key. 

Executive education is one way to bridge the gap. As director of operations for Executive Education at Pepperdine Graziadio Business School, I oversee a number of short, certificate of completion professional development programs, including the Corporate Social Responsibility Program

During this program, executives study the SEER (Social, Environmental and Ethical Responsibility) philosophy and model, in the context of challenges and opportunities facing business and society, including how the pandemic has changed business operations. Students learn how SEER can be used to identify and sustain a competitive advantage. 

At Pepperdine Graziadio, not only are we dedicated to shaping Best for the World leaders, we have a commitment to lifelong learning as well. That commitment is a hallmark of our Executive Education Programs, where the Pepperdine Graziadio Executive Education Department has developed unique program offerings designed to enrich your knowledge and business skills while focusing on current topics and trends that will enhance your continued success in your professional career. 

In these programs, participants get to know Pepperdine’s expert faculty and robust curriculum while sharpening their business acumen in a collaborative, interactive environment. Many programs are based on topics and thought leadership unique to Pepperdine. All of the courses are designed and taught by the same professors in Pepperdine Graziadio’s world-renowned MBA program. These programs can improve technical competencies related to their current position or prepare managers for higher positions. 

Pepperdine Graziadio has a special offer for IMA Newsletter readers: use code IMA20 for a 20% discount off the general registration price. Our current enrollment opportunities include Executive Leadership Essentials, Business Analytics, and a five-day Mini MBA program. Additionally, if program participants end up matriculating into a Pepperdine Graziadio degree program, that participant will receive the program cost as a one-time scholarship for their education. For any questions about Executive Education offerings, reach out to execed@pepperdine.edu

Professional development never stops — the best executives at all levels are still learning from their employees, executive peers, and any resources available to them. Change happens quickly and leaders are tasked with the responsibility of not letting themselves or their company fall behind current trends. Talk to your peers, grow your knowledge base, and continue your education.

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