After graduating from UCLA and working in finance, KaDo Gorman relocated with her young family to her native Portland, where she spent 10 years raising her children and doing nonprofit work in her community. After a divorce, she found herself back in the workforce at age 40 with a sizable gap on her resume and in her business skills.
“WhenI went back to work, I got very lucky. After a couple of years doing development work and fundraising for nonprofit, I got an opportunity to go work at Nike, which I love. It’s an awesome organization.”
Education Is the Answer
New to the corporate world, to HR, and working alongside people half her age, KaDo faced a huge learning curve. Her solution? More education. Her UCLA degree had opened doors, so she began searching for a graduate school that would do the same. And given her family life, she knew it had to be an online program.
“Pepperdine has an amazing reputation. So many of my schoolmates from my undergrad went there for graduate school. It felt like home to me already before I even applied. And I know that no matter where I go in the world for a job—I could go to New York, I could go to Sydney—it doesn’t matter if I have an MBA from Pepperdine.”
KaDo says that her relationships with Pepperdine’s faculty have been inspiring and personalized. When wildfires in Oregon forced residents to stay inside for days at a time this past fall, she reached out to her professor and said she couldn’t finish the homework, given her mental state. He gave KaDo a pep talk—and a couple extra days to turn in her assignment.
“My professor would call me and just check in to see how I was doing. There is so much personalized attention. Who has a professor that calls you out of the blue and says, ‘I just wanted to tell you, you rocked that presentation?’ Who does that?”
An Example for Her Children
KaDo is driven by a desire to make the world a better place for her sons, and to model to them the hard work and dedication necessary to overcome challenges and reach your goals.
“I am stretching myself beyond my own expectations, and I know that I am fully supported by my classmates, and the faculty, and my two children are seeing and witnessing and participating in this with me. They’re seeing that it doesn’t matter how old you are or what you’ve been through.”