Full-Time MBA

Graduate Career Services


The USC Marshall Graduate Career Services team draws upon the experience of seasoned professionals in a wide range of industries and functions – including consulting, consumer packaged goods, financial services, investment banking, healthcare, human capital management, marketing, management, nonprofit, retail and supply chain operations. Students meet with career advisors and global sector leads (GSL) for individualized coaching and guidance on skill building, strategic career planning and employment negotiations to help target a job search strategy for specific positions or companies.

Appointments with advisors may be made directly online via the My Career Services Online Portal (MCSO).


John Bertrand

Senior Associate Director, Advising & Training

John Bertrand, Ph.D, serves as Senior Associate Director of the Graduate Career Services Center. He has over 35 years' experience in human resources, recruiting and career management and has been with USC for the past 21 years. Currently John is responsible for advising, coaching and training for FTMBA/Specialty Masters/EMBA and manages the Alumni Support & Engagement Program.

Prior to USC, he served as Director of Recruiting for a prestigious professional services firm for over 10 years.

John strives to provide individuals with a deeper psychological understanding of themselves as a means to guide their career choices. Combining experience and doctoral studies in educational psychology, John designed and teaches programs in career management for the various graduate programs addressing areas critical to successful career management. He has also coached literally thousands of individuals in achieving their career goals and currently works with students from all of masters and MBA programs as well as alumni.

John earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from USC's Rossier School of Education and holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from UCLA.


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Debbie Lewis

FTMBA Career Advisor

Debbie Lewis is an Associate Director in the Graduate Career Services Center. She serves MBA students by providing career-related advising on an individual and group basis, and through career-related workshops. Previously, Debbie was the Director of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Career Center serving undergraduate through PhD level engineers.

She was also responsible for recruiting, admissions, and career services for Executive MBA students at UCI's Paul Merage School of Business and has provided career services to community college students. Prior to academia Debbie worked for Lee Hecht Harrison, a globally recognized company providing career management and leadership development services to corporate clients, where she served as Vice President responsible for career services. In addition she has a corporate background and worked as a university recruiter, Human Resources Manager and hiring manager in various industries.

Debbie holds an MS in Human Resource Management from the Chapman University Argyros School of Business and Economics, and a Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus on education. Debbie loves fitness activities outdoors and at the gym, and has a passion for creative healthy eating, leading a balanced life, and experiencing different cultures, perspectives and architecture through travel.


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Tina Ohmstede

FTMBA Career Advisor

Tina Ohmstede is an Associate Director in the Graduate Career Services Center. She coaches MBA students on a range of career issues including self-assessment, job search strategy, networking, interviewing and decision-making, focused on helping them achieve their business school goals.

Tina has worked in MBA Career Services for more than 20 years. Prior to USC Marshall, Tina directed all career programming for the Pepperdine University Fully-Employed MBA programs and alumni. She designed and led workshops and webinars, organized alumni industry panels and networking events, in addition to one-on-on coaching. Before entering higher education Tina worked as a training facilitator and program designer for the Baskin Robbins Corporation, Doubletree Hotels and United Resources, working to improve employee performance and increase team alignment. She had a small business leading team building activities using ropes courses, rock climbing and rappelling.

Tina earned a Master's degree in Organizational Psychology and a Bachelor's degree in Counseling from the University of Missouri; she later received certification as a Job and Career Transition Coach. Tina enjoys the beach lifestyle, hanging out with her dog, savvy shopping, trying new international cuisine and spending time with her son – a sophomore at USC.


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Michelle Aitala

FT MBA Career Advisor

Michelle Aitala is an Associate Director in the Graduate Career Services Center. She coaches MBA.PM, FTMBA and alumni by providing career related advising in career transition, advancement and personalized job search strategies.

Previously, Michelle served as both as a private coach and as a university career counselor for over 15 years. She worked for Loyola Marymount University, Villanova University, and Lehigh University, where she coached students and alumni across all the university's colleges. At Lehigh, she managed the Business Externship program, developed a peer advising program, managed the career center's workshop program, and designed and led workshops on networking, career portfolios, and internet job searching.

Michelle holds an MS in Counseling and Human Relations from Villanova University, and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Elizabethtown College. She is an avid reader, enjoys wine, traveling to Italy and Paso Robles, and has studied Italian for the past four years. She aspires to run her 10th marathon someday.


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All career resources are uploaded to MCSO portal for 24/7 access. In addition, selected resources are also available in print format in the Career Services Center lobby, Popovich Hall 310.

Career Insight Seminars - Fall Term

Marshall Graduate Career Services hosts a series of 10 Career Insight Seminars early in the fall term covering the most popular MBA career options. These sessions will aid each student in self-discovery, learning and exploration through discussion sessions with senior business professionals from a variety of functions and industries. Exposure to industries, functional roles, and the future of the business and industry will further prepare an MBA for internship interviews and help facilitate the ability to discover a challenging and rewarding career.

Career Education and Preparedness

Marshall’s career services team offers career education programs and workshops tailored to the specific needs of graduate students seeking career transition or advancement, to mid- and senior-level executives honing their skills in preparation for the C-suite.

An integral part of our career education mission is to partner with Marshall MBA student clubs to work together to provide industry specific, skill-building workshops, panels and seminars.   With co-sponsorship, student clubs gain additional support for promoting, planning and hosting employers and alumni to improve the business application of academic skills.

Recruiting and Interviewing

Through a variety of recruiting activities and a strong Trojan network of alumni, faculty, and corporate partners, we successfully connect Marshall students with alumni and employers around the globe.

Many companies come on campus to interview.  Our interview facilities located in Popovich Hall 310 and our ability to provide concierge service to all employers ensures each company will have a smooth and productive day meeting candidates.  For long-distance recruiting, we make our interview rooms available to students and employers for phone and Skype interviews.


Our MBA interns and graduates are successfully employed in a variety of organizations, including consulting, financial services, media/entertainment, consumer products and technology. Median base salary for the graduating class of 2019 was $125,000 and 96% of those students seeking employment reported accepting a job 90 days post-graduation.