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Explore an MBAConnect with our Marshall Ambassadors to learn more about their MBA experience.Kristyn Ikeda
Areas of Interest at USC Marshall:
1. Fascinating people (students, professors, staff, etc.)
2. Abundance of opportunity (Marshall, USC, and LA)
3. Heart of LA
4. Something for everyone
5. Trojan Family
What Made You Choose to Attend USC Marshall?
The one word that really defines my decision is opportunity. The opportunities that Marshall, USC, and Los Angeles offer are one-of-a-kind amazing.
I went abroad through Marshall my freshman year over spring break; I went with my classmates and we got behind-the-scenes tours and lectures about business in Shanghai from industry executives; I loved the experience so much that I’m planning to spend a semester abroad in the future. I have an English minor in addition to my major and room to take extra classes, just for fun. I can take classes from world- class professors in any field of concentration I choose in Marshall. I took business classes my freshman year (which then led to me being fairly successful in my internship, which led to an invitation to intern the following year with the same company and department); I watch an amazing team play football almost every weekend during the fall as I cheer my head off with thousands of other students. I get weekly emails telling me about companies who are specifically looking for Marshall students to fill open jobs, and internships. I get the big school feel with the personalized attention of a small school. I get to be part of the lifelong and worldwide Trojan Family. I get everything I could ever want or need, plus much more.
Honestly, Marshall (and USC as a whole) is unparalleled in what it offers to its students. It is simply peerless.
Advice you wish you had known while applying to college:
Start early and be yourself! It’s okay if you don’t know exactly where you want to go: I had no idea where to go to college, and when I was trying to decide between the different school I had been accepted to, it seemed like the decision would make or break my life.
What I realized later was that there are no bad decisions, only bad attitudes. In the end, I ended up exactly where I was supposed to and I’m sure you will too.
USC activities/general hobbies:
In addition to being a Marshall Student Ambassador, I’m actively involved with Alpha Phi Omega, a co- ed community service fraternity that completes community service projects throughout Los Angeles. Other organizations that I have previously served on the executive boards for include Spirits In Action and USC Best Buddies, both of which do work with young students with special needs.
I am also a member of the Thematic Option General Education Program.
Other general hobbies include volleyball (playing, watching, analyzing, etc.), flag football, guitar, piano, reading, eating, eating, and more eating, and exploring Los Angeles.
Why do you love Los Angeles?
Los Angeles is a major metropolitan city, and as someone who’s studying business, what better place to be than one of the business capitals of the world? Most of the world’s largest companies operate in LA and that in itself is a great learning opportunity; executives come talk to Marshall students, recruiters come to campus every semester, internships in the city are abundant, the list goes on and on. Essentially, Corporate America is sitting in your backyard.
And if Los Angeles is large, it is certainly diverse. There’s nothing it doesn’t have, and there’s no one it doesn’t have. I’ve found that college is largely about exploring yourself, different interests, what works for you and what doesn’t—LA is the perfect place to do that because there’s so much to explore. From viewing modern art at the LACMA, to going on nature hikes to overlook the city, to grabbing delicious Burmese food, there’s nothing you can’t do in LA. It is the most diverse, dynamic, and best place to be as a college student.
Share a definitive freshman moment at USC:
It’s hard to pick just one so I’ll share two of my definitive moments:
The first one was at my very first USC home football game; amidst the hoards of students, all wearing cardinal and gold, screaming their heads off and throwing those Victory signs up in the air, I felt at
home. That was the first, but certainly not the last time I felt the true size, scope, power, and pride of the Trojan Family and felt so blessed to be a part of it.
My other definitive freshman moment would have to be travelling to Shanghai with a group of my peers over Spring Break. The first day we arrived in China, I was so overwhelmed that I was actually in China; what made it even more surreal was that I was there because of my school. The next week passed in a blur, but the memory of being in China with my classmates and learning about Chinese business, commerce, and culture is certainly one of the things that defines my freshman experience.
Favorite USC Marshall class:
BUAD 311: Operations Management with Professor Paat Rusmevichientong—a fascinating course subject that combines the linearity of math with the creativity of heuristic problem solving.
Also, Professor Paat is one of the most dynamic, passionate, innovative professors I’ve encountered. He made the class uniquely brilliant and entertaining, and was so open to helping any student who wanted help. Overall: an amazing class and amazing professor.