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How to 'ASE' Your MBA

For all her many accomplishments, Alganesh Tamyalew MBA ’22, says it’s the journey, not the outcome that is most important.

04.28.22

As president of the Black Graduate Business Leaders, Alganesh Tamyalew helped organize this year's FORWARD Summit.

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USC Marshall’s MBA program gave Alganesh Tamyalew MBA ’22 a solid grounding in business analytics and data science, as well as a strategy consulting internship with EY-Parthenon that turned into a full-time job offer, but it also gave her soft skills that were equally life-changing—including a way of facing any challenge that comes her way with courage and poise.

“The most important thing I learned was accept, surrender, embrace (ASE),” Tamyalew said. “I learned this phrase in my Fostering Creativity class, and it has become my life motto that I repeat to myself constantly throughout the program and life in general.

“To ‘ASE’ is to release one’s expectations of an outcome,” she explained. “It’s putting my best foot forward, pushing through in moments of discomfort and, ultimately, not tying my worth to the outcome of my efforts.”

It was an effective mindset to have when she organized and executed the 2022 FORWARD Summit Conference, her proudest graduate school accomplishment. USC Marshall’s Black Graduate Business Leaders—of which Tamyalew was president—and Latino Management & Business Association hosted the half-day DEI conference in the metaverse, inviting inspirational Black and Latinx business leaders as panelists. For Tamyalew, the conference was an amazing hands-on, real-world learning experience that taught her about sponsorships, marketing, project management and working in teams.

“It took nine months of planning,” she said. “I probably spent more time and energy on this event than I did on my coursework, but the sense of relief, accomplishment and elation upon event completion was immense.”

“To ‘ASE’ is to release one’s expectations of an outcome. It’s putting my best foot forward, pushing through in moments of discomfort and, ultimately, not tying my worth to the outcome of my efforts.”

Alganesh Tamyalew MBA ’22

Beyond the FORWARD Summit, Tamyalew also will cherish the camaraderie and relationships that made the journey so enjoyable. “My favorite memories from Marshall are quiet, nothing extravagant or major, but meaningful nonetheless because of who I spent them with and what it meant in the moment,” she said.

For instance, she said, weekly meetings with friends to brainstorm entrepreneurship ideas turned into “therapy sessions in the Village filled with venting, laughter and making future plans.” After the disappointment of not moving on to the final round of a case competition, Tamyalew hopped on a Zoom call with her teammates, and the mood quickly changed. “We ended up dancing and singing along to Aaliyah’s ‘Rock the Boat’ and releasing the pent-up stress that accumulated over the past few months.”

Tamyalew especially appreciated Professor of Clinical Business Communication Kirk Snyder, with whom she took Defining and Communicating Your Professional Value. Snyder is a nationally recognized expert on the workplace who authored a book to help college students navigate the world of work. “He’s awesome!” she said. “He genuinely cares for his students, and his courses gave me space to pause and think about what careers fit with my intrinsic motivations and passions.”

After graduation, she plans to travel to Mexico and Europe before settling in New York City, where she will start her new career in consulting with EY-Parthenon, Ernst & Young’s global strategy consulting arm. Tamyalew, who had previously worked as a sales and operations manager at AT&T and as a brand specialist, a business development manager and a strategic account manager for Amazon, is excited about her new role and the possibilities that life and work in a new city will bring.

Her ultimate goals? Independence, self-awareness and contentment. “I envision this to be my future self not relying on Corporate America for a paycheck,” she said. “I am a successful business owner, preferably combining emerging tech, innovation and entrepreneurship. I am settled in a city that provides my needs: a strong community, good infrastructure and access to hobbies that I enjoy.

“As I continue to learn about myself, what matters to me and how I prefer to spend my time, I am intentional with making space for more good things.”