University of Southern California

Aigerim Duiseneyeva
Broadening a Global Perspective
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Growing up in Kazakhstan, Aigerim Duiseneyeva knew she wanted to work in finance, preferably in something relating to international relations and energy, given her country's rich natural resources. So it's fitting that after earning her BS in finance and international relations from USC Marshall, she is now an analyst for UBS' Global Consumer Products & Retail Investment Banking Group in New York.

Her journey to Marshall was a bit more circuitous. Her first trip abroad was to study in England the summer after tenth grade. One of her professors encouraged her to attend university in the United States. Initially, to save money, she went to community college, planning to transfer to a four-year institution. "I didn't even know about USC when I came to LA," she recalls. "But once you're in LA and you want to do business, it's USC of course. Marshall is your number one choice."

In a few years, she plans to pursue her MBA and, after that, either start her own company or go into international relations. "Maybe I'll try to get into the United Nations," she says. "We'll see in five or six years." As for her entrepreneurial aspirations, she adds: "I love traveling all over the world. Everywhere I travel I think of different business ideas. That's something I'm really passionate about."

Ms. Duiseneyeva says her experience at Marshall helped develop her global perspective. "I've been to 10 locations, in seven or eight countries, in the past two years," she says. "I tried to do every [international] program possible."

As part of Professor Carl Voigt's Global Strategies class, she traveled to Mexico and Beijing. She participated in case competitions in Ohio, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and Montreal. "Case competitions bring together representatives from all over the world, students from New Zealand, China, India, everywhere," she explains. "We get a case about a real company, with a real problem. We have 24 hours to crack the case, come up with recommendations, come up with a PowerPoint presentation and then present it. The case competition was the best experience I had at Marshall."

She also cites the Alternative Spring Break program, which took her to Tokyo and Taipei, and introduced her to alumni who offered to help her and her fellow students. "Trips like that make you realize there's a real Trojan network."