Student Perspectives

Student Perspective

Bradford Peagler

Bradford Peagler


Engineering, Maintenance, & Project Manager
Shell USA, Inc.
Pittsburg, CA

"A good leader treats people as more than just someone there to get a job done."

A good leader treats people as more than just someone there to get a job done.

I have learned the power of empathy in leadership. I am taking more time to get to know the people on my team and to share with them more of who I am.

Caring is a key leadership characteristic. I want to create a place of psychological safety for my team members.

The job of a manager is to be aware of and remove barriers for employees. That can mean adjusting the organization's expectations of them, shifting job responsibilities to others, or simply saying my team does not have capacity at present.

Culture favoring connections and diversity

I loved the opportunity to learn with people who don’t think like I do. Even the other engineers in my cohort approached problems differently from me because we work in different sectors.

My classmates are a really smart group who didn't let the tribulations of managing work, school, and the pandemic faze them. Every single one of them is genuine and humble. They are getting on with life (and being promoted)—and doing it very, very well—without having to boast. That is Confidence Without Attitude.

We all connect on various levels, from life experiences to professional choices. We all have an energy and a desire to do more.

Practical lesson in marketing as strategy

Bill Pearce taught Marketing as strategy: how to identify and introduce products, how to listen to customers and differentiate your products. It was fascinating and all new to me.

Drawing on his own long career, Bill taught from an industry perspective. The lessons were practical, not lofty academic white papers.

Think about something as ordinary as the detergent aisle in the supermarket. There are bargain, mid-price, and premium products. Each company has thought about their brand image and competitiveness in pricing and placing their products.

ROI goes beyond salary

There’s not a lot of peer pressure to get an MBA in my part of the energy sector, but I am motivated to make more of my career, to move in a new, more sustainable direction. An MBA sets me up for that.

I’ve been working with Luke Kreinberg in Career Management Services to narrow down and figure out my path. He asks great questions and prompts me to look in very different directions.

It sounds naïve, but I want to find a career path that makes me happy, where I enjoy the people I work with and feel that what I am doing makes a difference.

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