Emerging Leaders 2016-2017 | Graziadio | Pepperdine University | Pepperdine Community

Emerging Leaders 2016-2017

Please know that the Emerging Leaders are intended to guide and advise students about the graduate school experience, and should not be considered a source for official University information.

The Emerging Leaders mentorship program is a student-based initiative designed to enhance the overall Pepperdine experience for full-time Graziadio School students. These individuals, who are carefully selected by faculty, work closely with the student recruitment staff and faculty to develop programs and activities designed to assist you, the new students, as you transition into this MBA program. The mentors consist of a number of student club officers. We are here to assist you with anything from academics (concentrations, workloads) to getting around in LA and introducing you to all that the Graziadio School has to offer.

Contact the Emerging Leaders

For questions, we invite you to contact the Emerging Leaders President, William Kong  or Vice President, Anthony Pucci.  

Meet Your 2016-2017 Mentors

brandonBrandon Calvillo


Brandon Calvillo is a full-time MBA candidate who earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration - Finance at Sonoma State University in 2009. After graduating with honors, Brandon has worked in various industries. He most recently left Industrial Automation & Controls to pursue his MBA and SEER certificate at Pepperdine's Graziadio School of Business and Management. He is President of Challenge for Charity (C4C), member of Emerging Leaders, and involved in our school's Net Impact Chapter. Brandon is a father of two and enjoys the outdoors, travel, education, technology, and health & wellness.



gienahGienah Carty


 Gienah Carty is a second year Full-time MBA student at Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Vermont and went on to pursue Paralegal Studies at Boston University. Prior to starting her MBA, she worked in healthcare and education for seven years, while coaching lacrosse in her spare time. In addition to serving as the Vice President of the Malibu Graduate Business Society, Gienah is also the Vice President of Student Ambassadors and a participating member of the Ethics Committee, Emerging Leaders, the Marketing Club, and NetImpact. After graduation she plans to pursue a career in Global Digital Marketing and Strategy.


jkJung Kwon Cho


JK Cho is in the 20-month MBA program. He is a faculty assistant of Socially, Environmentally, Ethically Responsible (SEER) business strategy program and a project manager of Net Impact Club. He has a great interest in profitable corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability practices. JK earned a bachelor degree at Indiana University Kelley School of Business.



philPhil Coan


Phil Coan is a second year, full-time MBA student at Pepperdine's Graziadio School of Business and Management with a double concentration in Digital Innovation and Information Systems and Finance. In addition to his role as President of the Finance Club, Phil is also the Director of Finance for the Malibu Graduate Business Society (MGBS) and an Emerging Leader/student mentor for the 2016 entering Fall MBA class. Phil completed his undergraduate studies from the University of Denver's Daniels College of Business with a BSBA in Finance and minor in Economics. Prior to his graduate studies, Mr. Coan held various financial analytics positions in industries including Business Process Outsourcing, Construction, Distribution, Branding and Hospitality. In addition to being a seasoned analyst, Mr. Coan is an experienced operational manager and entrepreneur with over seven years of experience in owning and running a successful pizzeria in Denver, Colorado (Denver Pizza Company) that was rated #3 best pizzerias in Denver by Thrillist.com in 2013. Upon completion of his MBA, Mr. Coan plans on undertaking a career in Venture Capital and Technology Start-Ups.



jackJack DeWenter


 Jack DeWenter is a 20 Month full-time MBA student at Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Washington. In addition to his role on MGBS, Jack is a member of the school's Ethics Committee, the Net Impact chapter, and the Finance Club where he is the Co-Director of Real Estate within the club. Prior to attending Pepperdine, he worked as a Drop Ship Specialist at GreenCupboards, now Etailz, an online retail company focusing on all eco-friendly products. Jack also held multiple internship positions focused in Commercial Real Estate and is working toward an MBA with a focus in Real Estate Finance.



christineChristine Feghali








williamWilliam Kong




William Kong is a full-time MBA candidate, concentrating in Finance and Dispute Resolution. He earned a degree in Political Science at University of Hawaii while serving as Communication Enlisted Supervisor. While in the United States Navy, his experiences included role in Information Technology accomplishing measurable results with his team earning Regional Top Employee Annual Award out of 250 peers. In June 2016, he is scheduled to commence with a 10-week summer internship in Charlotte, NC, with Bank of America working in Consumer Banking.

William has seen the benefits in developing values-centered leaders and integrating diversity practices in personal, culture, and business driving his sense of obligation to provide genuine and meaningful relationships. With his MBA, he plans to pursue a career in Leadership Development Program. He also appreciates spending quality time with family and friends, traveling, sports, and coaching others.


niluferNilufer Lakhani


Nilufer (Nil) Lakhani is a Full-Time MBA student at Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management. Nil received her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College where she graduated with honors. Prior to starting her MBA, Nil worked at JPMorgan Chase in New York City for eight years in finance in a variety of roles supporting Human Resources, Retail Strategy and Chase Wealth Management. At Pepperdine, Nil is highly involved in a number of clubs including Co-President of Student Ambassadors, Member of Emerging Leaders, Finance Director of Digital Innovation and Alumni Director of MGBS. In her spare time, Nil enjoys traveling, spending time with family and is an avid supporter of Manchester United.


elsaElsa Mesele


Elsabeth (Elsa) Mesele is a full-time MBA student at Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business & Management working towards a double concentration in Organizational Change and Finance as well as towards a Certificate in Socially, Environmentally, and Ethically Responsible Business Strategy. Outside of academic pursuits on campus, she is the President of the Entertainment Society. She holds a Bachelors degree in Economics and Theater from New York University. After NYU, she went to work for an international NGO in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and then for an international non-profit organization here in LA doing accounting. She plans to transition from the non-profit sector to the for-profit and go into HR Operations."


anthonyAnthony Pucci

Vice President


 Anthony Pucci is a Full-Time MBA candidate, working towards a Certificate in Dispute Resolution and is also the Recruiting Representative for the Graziadio Veterans Business Society (GVBS) and a member of the Entertainment Society. After graduating from the University of California at Davis with a degree in Political Science and commissioned as an active duty Army 2nd Lieutenant from the ROTC program, he served for 8½ years as an Army Field Artillery officer with multiple roles and duties in the US and overseas. From June to Mid-August 2016 Anthony attended the Bank of America Consumer Banking Summer MBA Internship in Dallas Texas.



hibahHibah Rahman


Hibah grew up in Portland, Oregon and attend Portland State University where she earned a bachelors degree in Supply and Logistics Management and Management Leadership. Upon graduation in 2012, she founded and managed a boutique day spa along with an independent cosmetics line. At Pepperdine, Hibah is pursuing her MBA with a concentration in marketing. Most recently, she had an incredible opportunity to intern as a brand manager at Markwins International (owners of Wet n Wild, Physicals formula, etc.) one of the large cosmetic companies in the mass retail market. In addition to being a mentor for the incoming Graziadio Fall class of 2016, Hibah is Co-President of the Marketing Club, and a member of NetImpact. During the fall term, Hibah will be studying abroad at ESSEC, a partner institution in Paris, France