University of Southern California

No Mrs. Degree For Me…
March 25, 2011 • by Sue Klug

I grew up in very modest family. When you're not sure if there's going to be dinner on the table or gas in the car, you want to find some stability. You want to know you're going to be okay and able to provide for the people relying on you. So after high school I started working at Vons Supermarket, in the mailroom.

After I was there awhile, I noticed something: Other people were getting promoted. Not me. I was throwing the mail and delivering it as fast as anyone - why wasn't I getting promoted? The answer was because I didn't have a college degree. If that's what I needed to not be on food stamps again, then I decided I should do it.

No one in my family had ever gone to college, so I asked my father his opinion. He said, "The only reason women go to college is to get an MRS degree." I didn't understand, so when I started at Pasadena Community College (PCC), I told my counselor I wanted to get a MRS. She graciously explained they didn't offer that degree.

At PCC, I worked full-time during the day and went to school full-time at night. Then I saw a scholarship program to USC offered by the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC). To go from food stamps to attending USC on a full scholarship - I set my sights on that. I was determined to get straight A's and to work hard at Vons. Both paid off for me, and I won the WAFC scholarship. I entered the Food Industry Management Program at Marshall and my eyes were opened.

For the first time I believed that I could have a career, not just a job. As I went on and got my MBA from Marshall I even began to believe that I could be that lady running a company. Twenty years later, here I am - President of the Southern California Division of Albertson's, running a company.

Marshall changed my life. Now I try to change the lives of those working for me. I'm the first female officer of the WAFC and I'm thrilled to work my butt off for that organization. I give our associates educational opportunities by offering college courses in our main office after hours.

And I'm thrilled to support USC's Marshall School of Business. I wear my Trojan stuff everywhere. People think I'm crazy, but USC was a life-changer for me. With your help, it can change some one else's life, too. Please give today. Someone is out there dreaming an impossible dream. You can make it happen.

Fight On!
Sue Klug
Albertson's Southern California Division