University of Southern California

Christy Joseph
Making Over a Career
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Undergrad Institution
Rutgers State University of New Jersey
Hackensack, New Jersey

Christy Joseph worked for three-and-a-half years in marketing for cosmetics giant Clinique before deciding to give her career a makeover by getting an MBA. "I thought it would be a great opportunity to see where I could take my career next" she recalls, adding that she chose USC Marshall in large part because of its "great alumni network" and ranking.

The school's location in Los Angeles also factored into her decision, she admits. A New Jersey native whose Clinique position took her to New York, Ms. Joseph had spent her whole life on the East Coast. "Going to California was the first time I left."

The Marshall MBA program took her further still. Through the school's Pacific Rim Education (PRIME) program, she went to Japan and had the opportunity to meet with representatives of a wide range of companies. Her team worked with Japanese clothing manufacturer Uniqlo. "We got to present to the CEO of the company on expansion into the U.S. market, primarily onto the West Coast," she says. "It was a great learning experience."

The Marshall MBA program allowed her to explore and learn about other corporate functional areas, building on the skills she gained in her previous position. "In the marketing department at Clinique, we worked so much with finance, packaging and operations," she says. "I wanted to further educate myself. My main goal with the MBA program was to learn all the other business functions."

After getting a good grounding in the core curriculum, her focus returned to marketing. She took classes in market research, new product development and behavioral aspects of marketing. She also had the opportunity to intern at Neutragena in marketing and brand management. Now, with her MBA in hand, she works as an associate brand manager for Kimberly-Clark in Appleton, Wisconsin.

For Ms. Joseph, the best part of the Marshall program was the rapport between classmates. "USC is almost like a collaborative learning [environment]," she says. "Everyone wants to help each other out. Marshall had an amazing amount of opportunities. I think anyone who goes to Marshall is going to get a lot out of it."

She also gives high marks to the school's Career Resource Center. "From what I've seen from other schools, our career center is so much better. They're so much more helpful and so much more interested and invested in the students' futures."