University of Southern California

Ansel Misfeldt
Expanding Horizons
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Ansel Misfeldt had never been outside North America before enrolling at USC Marshall. A semester abroad studying at the University of Science and Technology in Hong Kong changed that dramatically.

“I woke up every morning, and my dorm room overlooked the Pacific Ocean, tropical islands and palm trees,” he recalls. Plus, he was able to take weekend trips throughout Asia.

“I got to travel to Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Macao and twice to Mainland China,” he adds. “And I had classes with some of the world’s best faculty.”

He also hosted students visiting USC from overseas.

But as much as Ansel loved the exchange program, he says hands-down his best experience at the university was being on Marshall’s Case Team—a select group of students who compete internationally with peers from other top business schools.

“Case has an amazing concentration of some of Marshall’s best talent,” he says. “You learn so much from each other.” Although he didn’t join the team until his last year at Marshall, he still found time to compete in both Hong Kong and Copenhagen, further extending his international experience.

Global advantages

“What really sets USC apart is the tremendous global outreach—how all of our classes integrate an international perspective,” says Ansel. “Marshall is pretty unique in providing students with a global focus, whether it’s through the I-ExCEL program [International Experiential Corporate Environment Learning], LINC [Learning About International Commerce], study abroad or just the emphasis on how things happen internationally. In most of my classes we talked about how business is done in other cultures.”

Ansel says his experience at Marshall helped him obtain his current position, as a management consultant for Boston Consulting Group, one of the world’s top three strategy firms.

“Companies hire us to come in and solve their problems,” he says. “It could be, literally, anything that these companies need done quickly and done right. So my job will be taking me all over the U.S. and the world.”

Thorough preparation

Ansel took 13 concentration courses, with classes ranging from operations to finance, although most were in strategy and management and organization.

His favorite class was Management Consulting, taught by Thomas Olson. “We spent the entire class doing case analyses and actual consulting projects for nonprofits, which was a good way to give back to the community and help an organization that was struggling or dealing with a problem it didn’t have the resources to fix,” says Ansel. “That class really got me on the consulting career path.”

Eventually he wants to start his own company—one that will likely have a strong technology focus. Before deciding on a business degree, he took numerous science, math and engineering courses and even served as supplemental instructor for the physics electricity and magnetism class for engineering majors. “This background gives me a unique way of looking at things, as well as a competitive edge.”