Name: Leika (Arrieta) Bishop, ’05

Position: Senior Manager, Sales + Marketing

Company: PacDent, Inc

Industry: Dental/Healthcare

Degree: B.S. Business Administration, Emphasis in Finance and Operations

Why did you choose this industry/field?

I actually fell into it. Leaving the real estate industry after 8 years, I was looking to move back to Orange County. I loved planning big real estate events and I figured I could do it for a dental company too! In the last 10 years I’ve turned into quite the self proclaimed dental nerd, having learned different aspects of the dental industry. I did try to leave dental but after 9 months it called me back. They say once you get into dental, it’ll never let you leave, I realized it was true.

How did you strategize to get your career to where it is today?

I’ve learned to have my eye two steps ahead. I know where I want to be so I take on the “above and beyond” projects to equip me for the next role, or two roles. Over the years I realized that sometimes the plan changes, and that’s ok. Most importantly, I would say I’ve had great mentors, peers (a couple of them Chapman alumna), and a supportive partner (C.J. Bishop, B.S. ’05, M.B.A. ’08, Ph.D. ’18) that have helped me strategize my career path. They’ve never pushed me in a specific direction, yet they have been great coaches and have opened my eyes to different paths and possibilities.

Any career advice for current students entering into the industry in this job market?

There are a couple quotes that have resonated with me. There’s a quote that says – “Dress for the job you want”, I’d say it’s the same when it comes to work ethic. Work hard and show up for the job you want, not for the one you currently have. Another is “Get comfortable in being uncomfortable.” A mentor once told me this when I was hesitating on doing something new. It has stuck with me because he was right, you aren’t growing if you’re comfortable and you have to constantly improve to be at the top of your game. Finally, surround yourself with positive and supportive people – partners, family, friends, mentors, peers; there’s no such thing as succeeding alone.

How did getting your degree from Chapman set you up for success on your career path?

The reason why I continue to be active and support Chapman is because of the personalized learning and opportunities. There is a long list of benefits, but what sticks out to me is I remember freshman year comparing class experiences with my high school friends and thinking how fortunate I was. As a freshman you already feel like a fish out of water, but having an intimate class size, where professors and classmates know each other, it helped make you feel more at home. I’ve taken that personalized approach into business. I could be representing a large billion dollar international company, or a small start-up, regardless of size, as the face of the organization I want a customer/business partner/etc. to feel a personal connection to the company/brand. Small, personalized touches will always go a long way, are appreciated, and will set you apart.