University of Southern California

Cecilia Green
Strengthening Skills as a Leader
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Los Angeles, California  

Even though she grew up just a couple of miles from USC, Cecilia A. Green never envisioned herself attending. But after earning a bachelor's in sociology from U.C. Berkeley and spending seven years in the retail industry at Robinson May, she decided to pursue an MBA and found USC Marshall to be the best fit.

"I just happened to run into a Marshall alum," she recalls. "He said if I didn't apply I would be doing myself a disservice. Of all the schools I visited, the people at Marshall were the most welcoming." She found the camaraderie and supportive environment appealing, especially after being out of college for several years. At Marshall, she adds, "not only were you strengthening your skills as a leader, but you also were getting the opportunity to have fun and develop close friendships."

Based on her retail background, she was recruited by Frito Lay in Dallas as an assistant product manager after interning with the company over the summer. "They were looking for someone who had some experience working with consumers and vendors and having that kind of intermediary skill," says Ms. Green, who was attracted by the opportunity to further develop her skills as a marketer. "Frito Lay is a division of PepsiCo, which is known to put out great leaders in the business community."

Having never been out of the country before, Ms. Green says her best experience at Marshall was the Pacific Rim Education Program (PRIME), which took her to Mexico City and Cuba. "PRIME afforded you this opportunity to explore the world with a bunch of other people from your class who are just as open and interested in learning about the global experience as you are. To meet with the Cuban government and actually hear their perspective and to see how we are viewed from the outside world was awesome. I never would have had that opportunity if I had not come to Marshall."

Her long-term aspiration is to develop a restaurant/lounge that can be franchised. The future entrepreneur adds: "Marshall has definitely given me the toolkit that I need to go out and make a difference in the business community. I know a Marshall degree will take me far and will open many doors for me. I feel ready to take on and tackle anything and any challenge that anybody can place before me."