University of Southern California

Daniel Calpin
Blending Theory With Practice
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Graduating Year
Seattle, WA

For Seattle native Daniel Calpin, USC Marshall's location was a big selling point, in addition to its high national ranking. "I knew that, in addition to getting a good education, because I was so close to Los Angeles, I would have the ability to have internships and make a lot of connections with good companies," he says. The proximity to Hollywood, the beach and a wide variety of social activities also was appealing. "It's never a place you get bored."

After internships at Citigroup Smith Barney and Mercer Human Resources Consulting, he landed a position as an associate consultant at Bain & Company in Century City. "Bain has been my dream job for the past four years," he says. "The big sell is that you're doing really engaging work and you're around a lot of brilliant people."

While the internships proved invaluable, Mr. Calpin found they were not the only opportunities Marshall offered for hands-on experience. In particular, he cites Professor Carl Voigt's class on Global Strategies. "Essentially your capstone project for the semester is to find an existing company that plays only in the domestic market and come up a business strategy if they were to expand internationally into Mexico," he says. A key part of the course is a field trip to Mexico.

"One thing that Marshall does really well is blend theory with practice so that it's not exclusively learning out of a textbook. You actually get your feet wet," he says. "I've had multiple projects in different classes where you have to go out and interact with businesses in order to come up with a tangible business plan." The class projects also instill critical interpersonal skills needed to work on teams, he adds. "That's really important once you get into the workplace."

He says his best experience was participating in Marshall's international case competition, in which teams from 29 top schools took part. His team won second place. "It was validation that the education that we were getting was competitive on both the national and international level, that we could beat so many other talented teams."