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, Career Strategists

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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Michelle Aitala

Associate Director, Career Strategist

Michelle Aitala is an Associate Director in the Graduate Career Services Center. She coaches MBA student through the entire career lifecycle from career exploration to job search strategies, using a humanistic approach that supports student seeking to define career success on their own terms.

Prior to joining Marshall, Michelle was a private career coach and a university career counselor for over 15 years. She has coached thousands of undergraduates, graduate students, and alumni across all academic departments with Loyola Marymount University, Villanova University, and Lehigh University. At Lehigh, she directed the Business Externship program, initiated the inaugural peer advising program, and launched an annual career seminar supporting the needs of hundreds of LGBTQ students across five local colleges.

Michelle is also a career pivoter. She completed a Master of Interior Architecture program at UCLA Extension and worked in the architecture and design industry for 14 years as an interior designer for restaurants. She holds a Master degree in counseling from Villanova University and a Bachelor degree in psychology from Elizabethtown College. Recently, Michelle was accepted to the Ed.D in Educational Leadership program in the USC Rossier School of Education. She will concentrate in educational psychology focusing on career success and impostor syndrome in high-achieving students.

Michelle is an avid reader, enjoys wine, and the Hollywood Bowl each summer. She travels to Paso Robles frequently and Italy (not as frequently!) and has studied Italian for the past ten years. She ran her 10th and final marathon in 2019.


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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 2021 was $130,000 and 94.2% of those students seeking employment reported accepting a job 90 days post-graduation