University of Southern California

Our Future: The World's Biggest Stage
May 13, 2011 • by Moses Ogbonnaya

I stood on an outdoor stage, looking out at tens of thousands of people gathered on the USC campus. Then, right in front of me, stepped the President of the United States, and I instantly became part of history. I stood right behind President Obama when he spoke on our campus for the first time as our nation's leader…and whenever the image of that moment is resurrected, I will be there also.

Now, I've closed the chapter on my undergraduate years at USC. I graduated today! My position in the USC historical record may not be as well-publicized as President Obama's, but the USC Marshall School of Business has informed my life, shaped my destiny, and launched me into the world.

I came here from Houston, Texas. My father is a doctor, and an entrepreneur. For years he had worked for a hospital. Then he decided to start his own practice, and it has been enormously successful. Perhaps it's because he makes house calls. That's right – it's 2011, and there's a doctor in Houston, Texas, making house calls. He saw a need that patients had, and wanted to address it. That entrepreneurial spirit fueled my own.

I landed at USC and dove right in. During my four years here, I traveled to Hong Kong with the LINC program, where I got my first taste of international business, different cultures, and the incredible support of mentors and professors like Julia Plotts.

I had unbelievably rewarding experiences during Marshall Community Service Days, working alongside my peers as we helped school kids through L.A.'s Best. I was honored to serve on a task force that studied the graduation and retention rates at USC Marshall. Because the leaders at Marshall encouraged us to create balance in our academic lives, I minored in Political Science. And I seized a chance to intern for Proctor & Gamble during the summer of my junior year.

That internship led me to the job I'm going to after graduation. I'll be moving to Seattle to join Proctor & Gamble's Costco team, the group that oversees one of their biggest accounts. I'm excited about my future. It's a future that is evolving from the good work of faculty, staff, and resources found at the Marshall School of Business.

At graduation, I was once again on a stage in front of thousands of people. This time they were applauding the young men and women of Marshall. That applause was for my fellow students' hard work; but it was also for the support that made it all possible. I hope you will give to the school that leads each of its students to the biggest stage in the world – the future.

Fight On!
Moses Ogbonnaya
USC Marshall School of Business
Class of 2011