Meet USC Marshall’s MBA Class Of 2021

Jamie Bock

University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business

“A versatile, adventurous, and resourceful storyteller addicted to working out and Fixer Upper reruns.”

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve had acting roles on the TV show Criminal Minds and various feature films.

Undergraduate School and Major: New York University, BFA in Drama

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Ipsos; Community Research Manager

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Taking the leap to earn my MBA is a career accomplishment in my book! Aside from this, my biggest accomplishment in my career is taking my non-traditional background and making it my biggest asset. All actors face rejection almost constantly, but it built my resilience. After doing the theater circuit in New York, I moved to LA to focus on film and TV. Within the first few months, I landed roles on tv shows like Criminal Minds and worked on major films, where I had an in-depth look at how CGI was created on set.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? My MBA classmates are immensely supportive of one another and collaborate on everything. We capitalize on each other’s strengths and work to close weakness gaps.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I was looking to expand my business network in Southern California and USC without a doubt has the best. Prior to coming to business school, I reached out to second- and third-degree connections for informational interviews with limited success. This made it difficult to gain knowledge about industries and roles to make informed career decisions. In the past three weeks at Marshall, I’ve spoken to dozens of alums with similar career interests, something I had not been able to achieve in the past two years.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I’m looking forward to the Graduate Women in Business Club. Having a group of supportive, like-minded women in business is essential to achieving my full professional potential.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? “If you could pack the story of your life in a briefcase with 10 items, what items would you pack and why?”

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? At this point in my career, I am looking to have a stronger hand in a company’s strategic goals. To take this leap, I found I needed business acumen for the strongest impact.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? UCLA

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I did a search on where recent graduates were employed to see if the companies were in line with my goals. I also did on-campus visits, which was imperative in determining where I saw maximum personal growth. With USC, there was an instant connection with fellow students and faculty. It was more than an MBA program – I wanted to surround myself with authentic, warm, grounded individuals who would support and challenge me. You need to find your people. Otherwise you’re fitting a square peg in a round hole. Ask yourself: “Who do I want to learn from and work with, both during school and years beyond?”

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? I was 20 years old when I stepped out of the country for the first time. I did a study abroad program in Prague, where I took full advantage of the network of trains and buses to explore Eastern and Western Europe. While most students traveled to neighboring countries in groups, I did a solo trip to Munich. My dad, while stationed in Germany when in the Army, wanted to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle outside Munich, but never made it. I made it a priority to visit the castle. It was magical. I grew tremendously during my time abroad – I loved learning about new cultures and meeting people from different backgrounds.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? In ten years, I see myself in a leadership position overseeing a company’s marketing and brand strategy, utilizing my creativity and storytelling skills to drive positive change.