University of Southern California

David Kass
Title
Obtaining a Global Perspective
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Graduating Year
2008
Hometown
Los Angeles, CA

David Kass originally intended to go to law school, saying of USC Marshall, “It was, honestly, a hedge.” However, he soon was convinced that business was his chosen avenue and what he was most passionate about.

“I’d love to work in finance for the next 10 years,” he says. “[Then] I want to own my own business and work for myself. When I came to USC, I didn’t know either of those things. [But] I knew Marshall would provide me with the best opportunities in a wide variety of industries.”

Mr. Kass is attracted to finance because of its quantitative nature. He says, though, that his interest in no way comes naturally to him. “It’s something that challenges me. I know I’ll be able to have fun with [it] because I’m constantly learning. It also provides the best opportunity to travel.”

A chance to see the world is important to the Los Angeles native, who spent a semester abroad in Milan, Italy. “I traveled a lot through Europe, and learned more about fashion than I could possibly imagine,” he recalls. “My favorite course was probably Fashion Management. And I learned more about the European markets, which was also fascinating. It just gave me a more global viewpoint.”

He anticipates that his new position in the mergers and acquisitions department of Morgan Stanley in Los Angeles ultimately may lead to an overseas assignment with the company. “I have a funny feeling that in two years I’ll end up in London, New York or Dubai,” he says. “London and New York are big finance cities, and Dubai piques my interest because there are no taxes and it seems to be one of the world’s fastest-growing cities in terms of finance.”

USC Marshall also gave him significant experience in the nonprofit world. He cites his time with the Trojan Consulting Group– which provides pro-bono consulting services to nonprofits in the Los Angeles area – as one of the most rewarding opportunities during his time at Marshall. “We were able to perform real-life consulting work for real-life nonprofit organizations,” says Mr. Kass, who helped advise United Way and the California Community Foundation. “I met people who are really influential in Los Angeles and, most importantly, I met great people in Marshall who will probably be some of my best friends.”