University of Southern California

Marco Mastrapasqua
His 'next life' was born in business at USC Marshall
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Graduating Year
Rome, Italy

"In my previous life I was an engineer," says Marco Mastrapasqua, who received his MBA in spring 2006. The goateed graduate student sat outside Doheny Memorial Library, looking like a model for an Italian men's magazine in pinstriped suit and red shoes. He may not be a model, but he is Italian.

In Rome, he worked for the aerospace firm then known as Fiat Avion, focusing on the Ariane 5, Europe's heavy-duty satellite launcher. In Italy, he says, there weren't enough opportunities for career advancement, and salaries were comparatively low. So Mastrapasqua decided to come to the States and seek an MBA.

While at Marshall, Mastrapasqua participated in the Pacific Rim Education Program, working on a project in Hong Kong and mainland China. He was the VP of International Affairs in the university's student government and he competed with fellow Marshall students in the Community Advisory Council Golden Briefcase intercollegiate charity challenge, helping raise more than $80,000.

Now a management consultant for Price Waterhouse in the operations and supply chain group, he says he couldn't be happier with his new life.

"I feel that you need to learn - leave your comfort zone and learn how to deal with different people, different cultures and different ways of doing things," he says. "I think that's the most important learning experience you can have here."