University of Southern California

February 5, 2010 • by James G. Ellis

Dear Friends of Marshall:

Students at the USC Marshall School of Business spend an average of 18 hours a week in class. Whether graduate or undergraduate, from accounting to marketing and everything between, my colleagues and I know those 18 classroom hours will be exceptional.

While those 18 or so classroom hours may define what a student will do, it is the remaining 150 hours that may define who a student will become.

In addition to classroom learning from our world-class faculty, the students of USC Marshall have the opportunity to make the world their classroom. And we need your help to do it.

This year we sent 11 second-year MBA students and their professor, Carl Voigt, to Singapore where they presented results of their yearlong study on temporary migratory labor to business leaders from 21 nations at the Leaders Summit of APEC, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. Closer to home, we are preparing to roll out the red carpet for the Marshall International Case Competition where we will host 30 of the world's best business schools in this rigorous and premier undergraduate event.

In the world of USC Marshall, students impact the world. Students of Professor Sandra Chrystal visited Mozambique, where they developed a business plan to help local micro-enterprise and a nutrition center serving AIDS orphans. MBA students in Marshall Net Impact organized “Sustainability 501,” a conference on business and sustainability that attracted organizations such as Wal-Mart, Toyota, the Clinton Climate Initiative and the Los Angeles Mayor's Office, moderated by Professor Adlai Wertman.

At Marshall, we can open our office doors and let a 19-year-old talk with Professor Warren Bennis about what it means to be a leader, and then take that experience into the world through study programs like Learning about International Commerce (LINC). The only one of its kind in America, LINC offers freshmen a global business classroom experience paired with a 10-day study trip to meet executives and political leaders in countries such as Chile, Taiwan, Poland and India.

This is only a glimpse of the limitless possibilities for those remaining 150 hours every week, time in which our students will learn, engage and fulfill their great promise. To help us meet our commitment to these outstanding students, I ask for your help. To meet this promise we need your time, we need your energy, and, yes, we need your financial support. It will make a world of difference.

James G. Ellis