Ten years ago, I joined the U.S. Marine Corps because I didn't feel like I was getting enough out of my job as a buying analyst for a merchandising agency in Seattle. I was commissioned as an IT or communication officer, and I spent nine years managing IT projects domestically and internationally. I also deployed twice — to Bahrain and Iraq. I had to separate from the military when my knee was injured, and it was through the USC Marshall School of Business' Master of Business for Veterans program that I was able to get back into the business world.
The MBV program exceeded my expectations in every way. USC Marshall has tailored a learning environment to the military that leverages our leadership, discipline and skills and helps facilitate our transition into the civilian business world.
For me, I needed help with communication skills. Not that I was the hard-charging stereotypical military officer, but we do get indoctrinated and there is a way we do things in the military that can seem abrupt to the outside world. The MBV program helped me make some good changes in my leadership and communication skills, and helped me refine my edges, so to speak.
LThe best part of the program was witnessing how my fellow students changed throughout the year and established themselves in whatever career or business they wanted to pursue. I wanted to get into cyber security. I wanted to be part of something larger and work toward a solution for some global issues. At the end of the program, that's exactly what I started doing. I got a job with PricewaterhouseCoopers in cyber security and privacy core consulting.
A lot of networking though USC and the MBV program helped me establish key relationships with PwC that led to this position. Establishing relationships is a huge part of an education at USC and the Marshall School of Business. It is the Trojan Way.
There isn't anyone at USC who hasn't been helped by a Trojan, and it is incumbent on all of us graduating to return that favor. We help those students still in school or future Trojans by picking up the phone, by giving them our time, or helping them with financial resources.
In the military, we stand together. So it is with Troy. My first step as a new graduate will be to join Marshall Partners, the premiere professional and alumni support organization of USC Marshall. I look forward to supporting those who need some help. I needed some to get where I am right now. USC Marshall was there for me.
Joshua Decker MBV '15