It Started Here

Marshall MBA Alumni return for Diversity Admissions Weekend 2018


Welcome to #Itstartedhere where proud Marshall alumni, across all programs, share insights on how the choice of Marshall was the start of outstanding developments in their career, professional and personal relationships.


Kaustubh Khanke,  Full-time MBA Candidate, Class of 2018, President SABA

Kaustubh Khanke

"As President of the South Asian Business Association, SABA, I'm excited to work with my board in putting together a year full of fun, engaging and educational events for the South Asian Marshall community, and our fellow classmates.  We intend to have a variety of academic, professional, social and cultural events to bring the vibrant South Asian culture to the wider Marshall community."



Allison Sheridan, Class of 2018 

Allison Sheridan

"When I was researching MBA programs, I not only reviewed factors such as program rankings and job placement at graduation, but also where I felt valued for the things that made me unique.  I quickly found that the USC Marshall MBA P.M. program, was the whole package. Not only did the student body feel diverse and inclusive, but it felt genuine. This helps create an environment that is both inspiring and welcoming, and it feels great to be a part of a degree program that values the same things I value."



Charli Kemp
Leadership & Life Coordinator, Green Dot Public Schools, MBA ’14

Charli Kemp, MBA ’14

#ItStartedHere: "When I set out to go to business school, I wanted to make an impact within the education sphere on a macro level. While at Marshall I had several amazing opportunities to cultivate my leadership skills. As Co-President of Black Graduate Business Leaders and as a Consortium Liaison, I was able to partner, develop and execute the first Marshall MBA Diversity Conference. Also, as the Committee Chair of Junior Achievement, I was able to plan multiple days where we had more than 200 MBA students volunteer at local schools. All of my many important experiences at Marshall have led me to my current role where I organize our advisor program to support the development of College, Leadership, and Life skills for more than 10,000 youth."



Leo Olebe
Director, Global Games Partnerships, Facebook, FT MBA '02

Leo Olebe

#ItStartedHere: "I can directly trace the roots of my career back to my time at Marshall. Not only did I get an outstanding education, I made friends to last a lifetime and have access to a network that continues to deliver on the promise of the USC family. Marshall enabled me to turn my passion for games into a nearly 20 year career."



Roger W Brown
Advisory Services, Ernst & Young, '16

Roger Brown Graduation        

Roger Brown NDCC 2016

#ItStartedHere: "Each and every day for four years I had access to a diverse network of phenomenal faculty and staff who were knowledgeable, supportive, and inspiring. Marshall’s emphasis on providing opportunities for students to learn and grow is a true gateway for personal growth and development. From my own personal experience representing Marshall at the IU National Diversity Case Competition, I was able to cultivate and showcase skills that I will forever value."



Courtney Brunious
Associate Director, USC Sports Business Institute, FT MBA '10

Courtney Brunious

“A network is only as powerful as its members are willing to make it.  At Marshall, and through programs and initiatives that create an environment for success, that belief is driven home on a daily basis. That’s why I’m so grateful for receiving the 2017 BGBL Outstanding Alumnus Award. Not because I believe I’ve done enough to earn the recognition, but because it drives me to continue giving back to a community that was built on the strength of the Trojan family.   I look forward to continuing to meet current and future great Trojans that are making a difference in their respective industries, while also hoping to provide my own impact along the way.”



Hector Lucero
Senior Financial Analyst, Mattel, FT MBA '17

Hector Lucero

#ItStartedHere: “As a first-generation college graduate and the first in my family to have completed graduate school, attending an MBA program where I would receive holistic support in an inclusive environment was especially important to me. The expectations I sought from an MBA program were surpassed at USC Marshall, where I not only received academic support, career guidance and personal mentorship, but also felt welcomed and embraced when providing unique perspectives to classroom discussions and conversations with both peers and the administration.”



Jenifer Okoye
President, Marshall BBSA, '17

Jennifer Okoye

#ItStartedHere: "When I joined the Trojan Family as a freshman in the fall of 2013, I had three objectives in terms of campus involvement: to find an organization that would help me grow as a student leader, help me grow spiritually, and to find an organization that would help me grow professionally. Being president of the Black Business Student Association was instrumental in my development as a student and a young professional over the course of four years. We held industry panels, professional development workshops office hours with recruiters, and information sessions with Fortune 500 companies. Some of my favorite moments were when we came together as an organization for a simple study night to to discuss which classes to take in an upcoming semesters."



Bill West
1st Recipient of the BGBL Outstanding Alumni Award, FT MBA '79

Bill West

"I was certainly surprised and honored when I got the news that I was selected as the first recipient of the USC Marshall BGBL Alumni Award.  I flew to Los Angeles to receive this award and thoroughly enjoyed meeting Dean James Ellis, my fellow honoree Luis Orozco, current BGBL President Prentice Parr and the outstanding students and staff present that day.  The MBA Diversity Conference panel and post-event session were classy, well-done events that made me proud. I am, and will always be, forever grateful to the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management for the role which that organization played in my development and my career."



Damien White
Marketing Senior Analyst, Toyota North America, FT MBA '04

Damien White

“It was an honor to receive the 2017 Leslie Adkins Mentor Award which is named after an incredibly accomplished woman.  I am a firm believer in the power of mentorship to transform lives and communities.  I encourage everyone to seek opportunities to mentor others and share the lessons and experiences that have allowed them to be successful.”



Sinclair Ridley-Thomas
Technology Investment Banking Associate, RBC Capital Markets, FT-MBA '15

Sinclair Ridley-Thomas

#ItStartedHere: "Joining the Marshall graduate school community was an exciting experience that brought the best out of me, encouraged me to both reflect on my long-term career goals and actively build domain knowledge around Finance. Serving as AFA President and a Portfolio Manager of the Student Investment Fund was an extremely unique experience that launched me into my current career as an Investment Banker."



Matt Lawler
Director Digital Media, AEG, FT-MBA '09

Matt Lawler

#ItStartedHere: "I started working in the tech space for the first time, starting a company with classmates. I learned that I had a knack for explaining the value of tech and media, and that’s what I do now for the largest sports and entertainment company in the world. And, I am proud to close with, I met my wife here. So much for me started here at Marshall."



George Davis
Executive Director, California African American Museum, EMBB '96

George Davis.

#ItStartedHere: "Having graduated from USC in 1996, my best memories of Marshall were the excellent relationships I built with the students in my study group, and overall in my classes. One particular highlight from my college years was a group trip to Hong Kong and Shanghai. It was fascinating to see the transition between the old China and the new China in-person. What I enjoy the most now is that I have friends for life from my USC experience. I have remained local to the LA area, and now serve as the Executive Director of the California African American Museum."



Gregory Earnest, Marshall Full-time MBA, Class of 2018

Gregory Earnest

"Traveling to Tokyo for PRIME, I expected to be blown away by the delicious food and beautiful sights--and I was. However, learning about the country's unique business environment was by far the most fascinating. Subtle differences in their laws, social norms, and expectations resulted in a corporate culture that was often completely opposite of what we are used to in America. Our group worked with a Japanese book & toy manufacturer on how to most effectively enter the US market. I knew that we were making quality recommendations to the firm, but I was shocked by how well they responded to our project. they are even taking some of our ideas to C-suite level executives! "



Marshall Experience


Chaumanix Dutton, Ph.D Student, Marketing, Class of 2020

Chaumanix Dutton

"I applied to Marshall because it was the research fit and faculty for me. I felt like there was a strong match between my research interests and the research interests of the faculty.  The Marshall faculty are well respected in their respective fields and come from a variety of top Ph.D. programs. After attending Stanford where I earned my undergraduate degree and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, for my MBA, I'm excited to pursue my Ph.D. at USC where other graduate programs are top notch."