University of Southern California

Fast-tracking Business Education
Marshall Offers Summer Certificate Program for Non-business Majors
April 2, 2014 • by News at Marshall

Recognizing that business skills are vital to all students, USC Marshall’s Summer Business Program helps current students and recent graduates from non-business majors gain the leadership tools and framework to succeed in organizations from start-ups to multinationals. The four-week intensive certificate program, offered for the second time this year, teaches essential expertise including strategy, finance, accounting and operations.

“Many liberal arts majors secure positions at corporations,” said Alba Gibson, director of marketing for Marshall’s executive education, which helps facilitate the program. “Understanding business acumen and the vocabulary of business —skills used in corporate offices every day—makes students super well-rounded.”

The program, July 7 to Aug. 1, features seminar-style discussions taught by Marshall faculty, visits from business executives and corporate site tours. The program will culminate in an integrated project where participants will evaluate a business, business opportunity or company using components from their coursework.

Participants are selected based on academic achievement, but, according to Jody Tolan, faculty advisor and lecturer in management organization, attracting students of varied backgrounds adds to the program’s dynamic nature. “Diversity in the classroom widens students’ perspectives and broadens their critical-thinking skills,” said Tolan. “They will gain practical skills and knowledge they can apply to internships or existing business enterprise, and that will help them differentiate themselves when they apply to jobs.”

Ryan Cabral, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in sociology from USC in 2011, credits his participation in the program last year with helping him land his dream job at Beck & Score, a Marshall-alumni-founded luxury concierge startup centered on premier sporting events, while pursuing a master’s in communication management at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism.

“During the job interview," says Cabral, a former Trojan baseball player, “I was able to show that I was familiar with finance, accounting, operations, strategy and organization. It made me more of an asset for hiring.”

The application deadline for this year's program is May 1, with admission offered on a rolling basis. For more information, please visit:

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.