Meet the USC Marshall MBA Class of 2018

Juliana Tashiro

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Optimistic and compassionate life-long learner with an inquisitive nature who enjoys travelling, reading and coffee.

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have a love for musical instruments and play violin, piano, flute and recorder (Yes, the instrument that many of us learned in elementary school). 

Undergraduate School and Major:

  • University of Chicago – Master of Arts in the Social Sciences (Sociology)
  • University of California, San Diego – Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Communication

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

  • City Colleges of Chicago – Harold Washington College, Director of Strategic Initiatives
  • Groupon Inc., Merchant Experience Specialist
  • Groupon Inc., City Planning Analyst

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In my role as Director of Strategic Initiatives, I spent over three years creating and implementing a strategic planning and management process. To accomplish this task, I had to collaborate with several key stakeholders throughout the organization. The experience exposed me to the challenges of balancing multiple interests, and how to create cultural cohesion to work towards a common vision. Ultimately, the process built a foundation for cross-functional team collaboration on key initiatives resulting in several improvements across the organization including doubling the student graduation rate, increasing student retention, and increasing operational efficiencies resulting in cost savings.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? Beyond the GMAT, as we all know how daunting that experience can be? The advice I would give to future business school applicants is to take the time for introspection.  Before you even begin to consider programs, reflect upon what brought you to this point and why you want to pursue an MBA. It is easy to get lost in the weeds as you go through the application process, but by staying true to yourself and what you want out of the experience, you will be able to determine which program is the best fit.

Also, take the time to visit the programs you are interested in and reach out to current students to gain their insights.  Not only does this help you get a real sense of the program’s culture, but also build a potential network for when you begin your program. Many of the students, faculty and staff I met throughout my admissions process continue to be sources of guidance.

Finally, take full advantage of the pre-MBA opportunities available. As a member of The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, MBA Jumpstart and a Forte Fellow, I cannot begin to describe the amount of support and preparation these organizations provided throughout the application process, and continue to provide after starting my program.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Several reasons contributed to my decision to attend USC Marshall. I was seeking a program that had a curricular structure that would allow me to gain a strong business foundation.  One key aspect of Marshall’s curriculum that stood out was the Global Education component that requires all students to participate in a global consulting project called PRIME.  In addition to curriculum, I chose USC Marshall because of the strong alumni network.  Finally, but most importantly, I chose USC Marshall because of the people.  After attending admit weekend, I knew that USC Marshall was the right fit for me.  The people in my program are not only collaborative and supportive, but have become my family.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I am motivated by my prior experience in technology and education, and enjoy challenging environments that allow me to innovate at the cross-section between business and society. Currently, I envision myself pursuing a career as a management consulting with a firm that has an arm in social impact or as the Head of Strategy for an education technology startup.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I would love for my classmates to say that I not only had a meaningful impact on our program, but also on their lives.



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