As the son of a college business professor, Jay Milbrandt grew up with a solid grasp of business. Jay was drawn to the Pepperdine School of Law for its unique mix of law and entrepreneurship. "I've always been interested in bridging the gap between law and business development," says Jay, now in his final year in Pepperdine's joint JD/MBA program.
Following his first year, Jay was accepted as a Fellow in the Geoffrey H. Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law, a program aimed at providing students with course work, mentors, and internships that prepare them to fulfill the overlapping roles of lawyer and entrepreneur.
Jay soon found himself under the guidance of Janet Kerr, a law professor and the executive director of the Palmer Center. "She's so accessible; she gives a lot of herself," Jay observes. Through the Palmer Center, Jay secured a summer internship to work with Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, which provides "microloans," collateral-free small loans to help poverty-stricken families start small businesses.
"It was an amazing experience," Jay remembers. "Just being part of a greater social good where people's lives are being changed—what an opportunity for me to have been part of that."
Jay says that social entrepreneurship wasn't on his radar before coming to Pepperdine, but now he's considering a career in it. "That's what's been so great about being mentored by someone like Professor Kerr," Jay notes. "I've been able to bounce ideas off of her and she points things out that I don't even realize about myself."
Self-discovery such as Jay's is part of the educational experience at Pepperdine, where a great deal of learning takes place beyond the classroom. "The faculty here are amazing examples," Jay says. "I can only hope to emulate them."