Career Corner

October 13, 2016


Meeting Graziadio Alumni, especially those who went through the same program you are currently in, is a great way to gain perspective and build your professional network. Not just for your job or internship search, but also to for your future business success. Alumni have walked in your shoes, they've "been there, done that". This week's spotlight is on Graziadio grad Hala Hadawar. Hala will be at the WLA campus October 20th to share how she is putting her MBA to use for Niagara Bottling Company. Don't miss the chance to meet this outstanding Alumna who is paying it forward and hoping to inform and inspire you.

Career Spotlight - Alumna Hala Hadawar, Continuous Improvement, Niagara Bottling Co.

CMC: How were you able to leverage your past work experience with your MBA to land the position with Niagara?

HALA: I met Niagara Bottling, LLC at the Hire SoCal fair at Chapman University and having done an internship during my MBA in CPG, I was able to speak to my experience as well as classes I took that catered to that industry (whether it was operations, marketing, or finance). In addition, I had a story for everything—how I came to do an MBA, what role my background played, and why the career switch (came in pre-med before an MBA with another MS in science). Once I played to my story, they were able to see the transferrable skills that attributed to the person I became and the qualities and roles I was looking for at their company.

CMC: What you do enjoy most about Niagara and the work you are doing? Can you name one or two things from the MBA program that you bring into your daily work?

Hala: I joined Niagara as a Leadership Development Fellow in June 2015, and rotated through various areas of the company –Marketing and Manufacturing (both corporate and in the plant facility). It was a year into my program when the Continuous Improvement Manager role for the 3rd largest Niagara plant opened up. It’s a 6 line plant, about 430K sq. ft. The role of CI is multifaceted –you have a touch of marketing and creativity (creating job aids, customizing processes, etc), technical aspect to it understanding the machinery and manufacturing process, and the training and development side to it (organizing training, creating assessments, etc.). I interviewed and landed the role, graduating from my LDP program 6mo. early, the earliest in the history of Niagara.

I've been in the role for 3 mo. and counting! I use a ton of what I learned in class, whether technical or not, and see that come through everyday in class. My SEER class and marketing classes helped a ton. The finance and strategy classes gave me perspective. Learn as much as you can!

Niagara is just such an amazing company that fosters a work hard play hard environment, and is constantly innovating. It’s amazing how this family owned company is now one of the largest in its industry and a billion dollar establishment. No one day is ever the same and as a former college athlete, I thrive in this!

CMC: What advice do you have for students about reaching out to alumni to ask for information interviews?

Hala: It is so crucial that you tap into all your resources at the campus and attend as many events off-site as you can. Every networking event that I knew about, whether through social media Pepperdine groups or through the Career site, I attended. Only then was I able to talk to different individuals and establish relationships. I was in the career office almost every day checking to see if there was a conference to go to (attend at least two if you can – and apply for the scholarships!), when the next networking event was, or even alumni in my field of interest that I could reach out to. I used LinkedIn as a great tool to network as well. I sent tons of messages to alumni I found on there and tried reaching out! Once you establish relationships and now are thinking about the interview process, do as many mock interviews as you can. It’s important to record yourself while you practice at home – you will be able to pick up on things you don’t’ notice regularly.

In closing, the best advice I can give you as you go through your MBA experience is don’t be afraid to fail! If you go in thinking you won’ t make mistakes in an interview or in class, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Be fearless, take every opportunity, learn from the failures and move on. No risk, no reward!

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October events and employer sessions*:

  • Oct. 20th, Niagara Bottling Information Session - 6:00 pm, WLA Campus
  • Oct. 21st, 2-Hour Job Search - 1:00 pm, Cal State Long Beach - To Register Click Here

  • Oct. 24th, Finance Industry Series: Industry and Function Analysis (with CFALA) - 6:00 pm, WLA Campus - To Register Click Here

  • Oct. 26th, Gallup Information Session - 12:00pm, Malibu Campus - LC-159

  • Oct. 26th, Gallup Information Session - Irvine - 5:30pm, Gallup Irvine Office

  • Oct. 27th, Gartner, Inc. Information Session - 5:30pm, Malibu Campus L1

  • Oct. 28th, Deadline for IBM Resume Drop Summit Program Full-Time Positions

*Registration is required for all events and employer sessions. Log on to the Career Portal for full details and registration or stop by the CMC if you have questions.

Social Impact/Non-Profit/ Career Portal Postings:

  • EDF Climate Corps Fellowship: Environmental Defense Fund
  • Financial Analyst: Age of Learning
  • Various Positions in Education Sector: Education Resource Strategies
  • Sr. Staff Accountant: World Economic Forum - USA
  • Sr. Consultant: The Permanente Foundation
  • Energy Finance Analyst: Climate Policy Initiative
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Contrary to what some recruiters will tell you, cover letters do matter and they need to be unique, targeted and concise. Writing a completely original letter may seem like a daunting task. This article outlines some tips that can help. Oh, and don't forget to proofread your cover letters or ask your Career Advisor to take a look before sending them out.

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