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Meet the USC Marshall MBA Class of 2018

Richard Baynes

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Former college athlete and management consultant on a never-ending quest for intellectual stimulation.

Hometown: Overland Park, KS

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and lived there until I was four years old.  I return to South Africa every few years to see family and explore different parts of the country.

Undergraduate School and Major: Lake Forest College – Economics & Communications

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Manager, Accenture Management Consulting (2013 – 2016)

Consultant, Accenture Management Consulting (2010 – 2013)

Consultant, Mattersight Behavioral Analytics (2009 – 2010)

Associate Consultant, Mattersight Behavioral Analytics (2008 – 2009)

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: From 2014 to 2016, I had the opportunity to manage a global team of 25 incredible analysts, consultants, and managers across India, Greece, and the US to bring innovative marketing capabilities to a health insurance client.  While this project enabled significant financial benefit, it more importantly expanded health insurance access to over 170,000 individual consumers.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? Be honest with yourself. It is easy to get wrapped up in creating the perfect story and considering only the highest-ranked schools, but at the end of the day none of that will matter if it is not fundamentally based upon who you really are and what you’re looking for in an MBA program and beyond. These two very formative years of your career should 100% be tailored towards your needs.  Think less about the surface-level items and dig deeper to understand if the curriculum, network, career opportunities, and general fit will create the right launch pad for the next chapter of your career. Speak with current MBA candidates and alumni from each program to get a sense of what the program is really like. And don’t forget that the other applicants you see on tours and at admit weekends are your future classmates.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? There are four key reasons why I ultimately selected USC Marshall.  The alumni network at USC is absolutely incredible; there truly is not another network like it in the country.  The caliber and diversity of the students that I get to learn from on a daily basis is as good or better than that of any of the schools that I visited. The professors at Marshall create a learning environment that is challenging and extremely engaging. Lastly, I knew when I attended admit weekend that Marshall just felt right.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? My dream job is in corporate strategy or brand marketing at an innovative, customer- or patient-obsessed company.  I love thinking strategically about business problems and opportunities, and I believe either of these two areas will provide an avenue to drive creative solutions and progressive change to positively influence they way people live.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? I would like my peers to think of me as someone they can look to whenever they need anything. If there’s a way I can help – whether it’s connecting friends, listening, providing advice, spicing up a PowerPoint, etc. – I want them to say that I’m always there if they need me.