My Story: From USC Marshall To Mattel

I have a lot of love for Mattel because my background is so non-traditional for someone going into CPG marketing; yet, they saw something in me and believed that I was worth their investment to bring aboard. It has been a win/win love fest ever since. I’ve found a professional home for myself for the foreseeable future with a company that I am more than proud to be a part of.

My biggest challenge, in fact, has been translating my non-profit, non-business experience into the language of Fortune 500 marketing managers. I really had to find a way to communicate that I what I had done in the past taught me some of the fundamentals that I would need to build upon to become a successful brand manager.

In selling myself as the best candidate for the job, there were about 40-50 iterations of my resume in order to get my pitch just right. A number of people provided me with a great deal of assistance ranging from the Marshall Career Services staff to fellow students to my father-in-law, a lifelong marketer who got his start in CPG before moving on to the casual dining segment of the food industry.

My key positioning point while recruiting was that I was someone who had always been a marketer.   I had realized through some organic experiences in my job at Alcott that turned into marketing activities and then I went to school to synthesize and formalize my knowledge of the topic.

I have always been a marketer and strategic thinking who cares about brands, growing businesses and most importantly, people. I began this journey years ago and sought to continue that journey with Mattel.  A marketer is who I am and have always been at the core.

While I have benefitted from the support of the entire Trojan Network, there are three individuals in particular from the USC Marshall Career Center who have been priceless in this latest leg of my journey. Onma Lwin is the marketing resource in the career center who I worked with 1 on 1 during my entire matriculation through Marshall.  Nicole Butler was instrumental in guiding me through my company selection.

John Bertrand, who I call “The Resume Guru” of USC, is literally behind every resume that comes out of Marshall. His input into the strategic thinking elements of my recruiting process really elevated my packaging to a level that allowed me to effectively communicate my value proposition as an MBA and strategic thinker in marketing. As a result, I received multiple offers for internships and employment.

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is that business school allows you to become the professional that you want to be—no matter how near or far you were from that ideal before you arrived. My experience at USC Marshall has taught me so much about myself and the process of developing myself as a professional.

I tell everyone that might question the value of an elite MBA that no matter your reservation, consider my case.  Before getting my MBA at USC Marshall, I worked for a tiny, $2M nonprofit working with adults who had mental illnesses. Post-MBA/Marshall, I’ve tripled my salary and am going to work for one of the world’s largest companies, a Fortune 500, world-class brand marketing organization.

You can become anything that you want to be in business school; and now is the time.  There is hell to pay in the way of studying, debt and lost sleep; but what you will get on the other side is worth every sacrifice that you will need to make to get there. If I can make such a jump in my career, I can’t think of any jump that someone couldn’t make.

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