MBA.PM Conversation With Aly Sheridan
Aly Sheridan, the current MGSA.PM President, shares her experience in the USC Marshall MBA.PM Program:
What were your primary goals when you decided to do an MBA? What are the unexpected benefits you’re gaining from an MBA?
I felt lost about my professional path, and I hoped an MBA would expose me to new opportunities and enhance my business skills. Unexpectedly, I received these benefits and much more. The MBA.PM program has been life-changing, allowing me to travel the world and gain lifelong friends. I did not expect that level of personal transformation and literally can’t remember what life was like before I became a Trojan.
While you’ve been in the MBA.PM program, you moved from a long-time position with Wells Fargo to recruit for a summer internship in the career resource center. Why did you make that move and how have your career goals changed?
When I entered the program, I was open to gaining new experiences and maybe a new career but was not clear on the direction I was headed. After core year, I realized that the Marshall Career Resource Center was a once-in-a-lifetime resource, so I decided to recruit for a summer 2017 internship. I was offered a position at AT&T Entertainment Group as a Leadership Development Program intern and I look forward to developing as a leader in a large organization. Since joining the program, my professional goals have become more clear and I am learning how to be a leader at a large global company.
How do you balance working on an MBA while working full time?
There is no sugar-coating this: It’s tough. The PM program is completed over three years rather than two, but there is nothing part-time about it when you consider all the group projects, social events, and professional events outside of the classroom. At any given time, something must be placed on the back burner, whether its social activities, family, or personal hobbies. For me, it’s usually exercise! I’ve learned over the past two years that the key to staying healthy in this program is to take time for yourself to recharge. Its ok to say no to that early morning study session or late night social event occasionally to make time for yourself.
You take a lot of pride in leading with a global perspective. What do you think it means to lead with a global perspective?
As future business leaders, it’s important for us to be cognizant of the world outside of our companies and our country. We are more connected now than ever before through technology, and this means we need to be even more competitive, innovative, and socially responsible. By leading with a global perspective, we bring in ideas we’ve learned through international travel and stay aware that our actions have an impact on a global scale.
Which GLOBE trip did you go on? What were some of the key lessons you learned?
I am very lucky to have traveled with USC Marshall four times, including my GLOBE trip. In 2015, I traveled to Panama and Colombia. In 2016, South Africa and Cuba, and in 2017 Japan for GLOBE. Prior to the 2015 trip, I had never been outside of the United States, so my experiences and takeaways from each trip have been life-changing. GLOBE is unique because you travel with 40 members from your same graduating class. It’s a great mix of professional and academic growth, while you bond at a deeper level with your classmates. There is nothing that will make a network stronger than exploring a foreign country together!
You recently started your term as president of the MGSA.PM student board. What are a few things you hope to accomplish this year?
We as PM students are some of the busiest people on campus, so it’s very important that we receive the best value possible for our investment of money and time. There are 13 amazing leaders on the MGSA.PM board this year, and together we have come up with seven specific goals for making this vision a reality! We are looking forward to working with faculty, staff, and fellow students, and will be forming special committees to accomplish our seven goals. Look out for more information in a MGSA.PM newsletter soon!
What’s your favorite thing about being a Trojan?
Being a Trojan is such an honor. I love it! The best feeling is walking down the street and automatically having a connection with someone wearing a Trojan hat or shirt and flashing them a “Fight On” sign. It’s a lifelong and worldwide family.