As a new feature of the blog, we will be profiling some of our students at the Argyros School of Business and Economics. This week, we talk to Sarah Luna, an MBA student who is an entrepreneur CEO committed to teaching fitness and well-being. She explains why she chose the MBA program at Chapman University and how resources at ASBE have helped her launch her own business, Pilates by Sarah Luna.
Name: Sarah Luna
Graduating Year: 2013
Program: MBA (Full-Time)
Undergraduate Degree: BFA in Performance Dance with a minor in Biological Sciences, University of California at Irvine
- Current: CEO of Pilates by Sarah Luna. Graduate Assistant at the Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship.
- Past: Giordano Jazz Dance Company
Chapman Activities & Organizations: Graduate entrepreneur club (e-club), choreographer for Chapman on Broadway
- Off Campus: Mountain Biking, Hiking, Cooking
- On Campus: Rock Climbing Wall, Theatre performances, Football games
A Well-Rounded Education
Dance has been a significant part of Sarah’s life for as long as she can remember. What attracted Sarah to Chapman University was the emphasis the school places in academics and the arts. Here, she noticed that her MBA classmates came from diverse academic backgrounds—some from the humanities and some from business. Also, her experience with the admissions staff was very personalized. She recalls, “I fell in love with the school after my first visit. Everyone was so friendly and I felt that they actually wanted me to attend the program, and that I wasn’t another number to fill a seat. I was looking for a school that had small classes and accessible professors and Chapman offered both of those!”
Since being at the Argyros School of Business and Economics, Sarah has also taken advantage of its many global offerings. Last year, she participated in the travel course to Scandinavia led by Professor Niklas Myhr along with 22 other students. For the course, she studied the politics and culture of Scandinavia and reviewed case studies on companies such as Rovio, Kona, and Ericsson. When the class arrived in Scandinavia, the CEOs of those companies discussed the direction of their company (the class also kept a blog, which you can find here).
Sarah says that all her professors have been accessible. She laughs as she remembers the incredible celebration barbeque her accounting professor, Tim Shields, threw for her class this past summer at his house and the impromptu performance of Professor Myhr’s band on the Scandinavia course trip.
While Sarah has connected with her teachers, Sarah has also been challenged in her classes and has already seen changes that an MBA education can do. She affirms, “I’ve become more assertive and confident. I’ve learned to create value for myself as well as others.”
Entrepreneurship In Action
Upon her arrival to campus, Sarah became—and continues to be— extensively involved with the Leatherby Center for Entrepeneurship. She was immediately impressed by Dr. Richard Sudek’s vision for entrepreneurship at Chapman and soon, she became a grad assistant at the Leatherby Center. “Dr. Sudek is a go-getter, to say the least. He spoke at orientation and his dynamic personality and passion for growing the Leatherby Center inspired me. I knew instantly that I could learn a lot from him and I was attracted to his determination. I wanted to join his mission and see the realization of his goals,” she reveals.
In January of 2012, armed with knowledge from her entrepreneurial coursework as well as her experiences at the Leatherby Center, Sarah started her own business, Pilates by Sarah. Sarah found a great support system at ASBE, from both her classmates who collaborated with her as well as advisors who guided her. “At the very beginning of the program, I found an advisor who helped me brainstorm, network, and set up a strategy of execution. I then used my core classes to evaluate my strategy and develop a business plan.” Sarah utilized other campus resources as well. “In the Spring semester, I applied for the Internal Business Plan Competition in order to give myself a deadline to work towards. I worked all summer on executing different parts of my business idea and met with different advisor every week through the eVillage Incubator program,” she explains.
Today, Pilates by Sarah is already open in 2 locations and Sarah remains hard at work, creating her own Pilates DVD. “I have accomplished more than I thought I would have by this time and it is definitely because of the incredible resources available to me.”
Are you a prospective student trying to find out if the Chapman MBA is right for you? Connect with one of our MBA representatives to start your personalized admissions experience.