MS in Marketing Student Perspectives: Maya Maniktala

Our MS in Marketing students come from many different backgrounds, but share a common goal of acquiring the advanced skills needed to enhance their current and future careers in marketing. In our ‘Student Perspectives’ profiles, we explore both current student and alumni perspectives on choosing to pursue a specialized Master’s degree at USC Marshall and the overall impact of our program.

September 28, 2017

MS Marketing Maya M



Maya Maniktala


Los Angeles, CA

MS in Marketing Track

Consumer Behavior


University of Southern California, BA Communication, Class of 2012


Where do you currently work and what is your current position?

I work in Public Relations at Peridot Consulting, a boutique restaurant PR firm based in Los Angeles.


What is your previous work experience? 

After college, I pursued entertainment and worked in corporate communications at United Talent Agency. Afterward, I switched over to the restaurant industry where I handled the operations and communications for Chef Josiah Citrin. There are a lot of similarities between entertainment and restaurants/hospitality, so it was a natural transition.


Why did you choose the MS in Marketing program at USC?

It was ultimately an easy choice. I spent a few years weighing what type of graduate degree I wanted. I thought that I would pursue an MBA but came across the MS in Marketing program, attended an information session, and realized that it was exactly the degree that I wanted to pursue. I was drawn to the course curriculum because it has a wide variety of marketing courses focused on strategy, analytics and consumer behavior. Full-time students can finish the program in a year, and part-time students can finish it in two. This was particularly appealing to me, because I knew I wanted to continue to work while in the program.


How have your classes at USC affected your work? What have you put to use so far?

There are a lot of real world applications in my courses. We spend time talking about current events, and have the opportunity to hear from great guest speakers from global companies. The restaurant industry is incredibly volatile, especially in a city like Los Angeles. Restaurants are constantly opening and closing, so it's important to pay attention to market trends. My classes have helped me think more clearly and effectively at work. For example, when dealing with restaurant operations, it's important to think about the supply chain, target market and consumer preferences. When handling marketing, it is important to think about app integration and loyalty programs. I have tools that make me better equipped to make smart decisions. 


How do you manage your time effectively, working full-time and attending class part-time?

I write things down more frequently. I have always been one to keep track of things somewhere in my brain, but I can't live that life anymore. I make a schedule and prioritize my tasks each week. 


What advice, tips, or words of wisdom do you have for prospective students and future applicants?

Attend an information session either in-person or remotely--it's a great way to hear more about the program, ask questions, and meet current students and professors. 


What’s your favorite thing about Los Angeles?

I love that there are a bunch of different neighborhoods, cultures and cuisines. I have lived here my entire life and still have much more to explore!