University of Southern California

Graduate Spotlight: Raphael Anderson
A Double Major in Business Administration and International Business
May 14, 2008 • by News at Marshall

As one of USC's first Global Scholars, graduating senior Raphael Anderson's experience at the Marshall School of Business has truly been world-focused.

A double major in Business Administration and International Business, Anderson participated in Marshall's International Exchange Program, studying investment finance at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, which bolstered his concentration in entrepreneurship and finance and provided global experience for his focus on international business.

But it was a presentation in his entrepreneurship class back on the University Park campus that led to what Anderson feels was the best experience of his college career. In class he was asked to talk about his current entrepreneurial venture, a factoring business where he supplied financing for friends who were trying to design their own clothing lines. It's Anderson's second entrepreneurial effort - the first, a food fundraising program he created as class president at Los Angeles High School that used the profits from hamburger lunches to plug holes in the school's budget, still exists today.

Marshall MBA professor David Belasco was in the class listening to the presentation and tapped Anderson to participate in USC Marshall's first project in Africa, creating a strategic business plan to build two schools in Botswana. Anderson was the only undergraduate who participated in the project, a joint effort between USC Marshall and Think Tank Thuto, a nonprofit organization aimed at improving education in Africa founded by Annelize Bester '96, a USC Marshall alumna.

In June of 2007, Anderson traveled with Belasco, co-supervisor Lida Jennings and five MBA students to Botswana to do intense market research for three weeks before returning to Los Angeles to draft a plan they would eventually present to the bishop of Botswana. "Having a Marshall education is wonderful, we speak so much about globalization, but when I got to put the theories into practice it was amazing," he said. "We tried to make [our plan] innovative. In that area of Africa financial aid and scholarships are so scarce so many people are deprived of education.…. The project is going to be a lifetime one…It touched our souls and we want to keep in touch and see it built."

Along with excelling in academics, Anderson made his mark at USC as a student leader, serving as vice president of the Black Business Student Association, director of membership and external affairs for the National Association of Black Accountants and treasure for Blacks in Action. He's also earned many awards including a USC Student Recognition Award, being named a Norman Topping Scholar, Fund Scholar, Cohen Foundation Scholar and a Ron McDuffie Award, as well as an induction into the African American Honor Society, recognition from the Black Alumni Association, the Department of East Asian Studies and the National Association of Black Accountants. He was also selected to spend a week at Harvard University for the Harvard Business School Summer Venture in Management Program, a gateway program for pursuing an MBA, something Anderson would eventually like to do.

"My ultimate goal is to give back to the world," says Anderson, who wants to be a philanthropist and social entrepreneur. "My purpose is to help other and to see the world progress into something I'd like it to be."

For now Anderson will put the knowledge he's gained to work for Deloitte where he's accepted a full time offer in the consulting practice in Los Angeles, intending to work on projects with international clients.

About USC Marshall School of Business
Based in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California, at the crossroads of the Pacific Rim, the USC Marshall School is the best place to learn the art and science of business. The school's programs serve nearly 5,000 undergraduate, graduate, professional and executive-education students, who attend classes in facilities at the main Los Angeles campus, as well as satellite facilities in Irvine and San Diego. USC Marshall also operates a Global MBA program in conjunction with Jiao Tong University in Shanghai, China.

About the USC Marshall School of Business
Consistently ranked among the nation's premier schools, USC Marshall is internationally recognized for its emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, social responsibility and path-breaking research. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, one of the world's leading business centers and the U.S. gateway to the Pacific Rim, Marshall offers its 5,700-plus undergraduate and graduate students a unique world view and impressive global experiential opportunities. With an alumni community spanning 123 countries, USC Marshall students join a worldwide community of thought leaders who are redefining the way business works.