2020 MBAs To Watch: Brionna J. DeVos, USC (Marshall)

Brionna J. DeVos

USC, Marshall School of Business 

“Adventurous spirit dedicated to bold change, integrity and mutual respect.”

Hometown: Dix Hills, New York

Fun fact about yourself: I recently completed the Whole30 challenge!

Undergraduate School and Degree: The Ohio State University, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, 2014

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? KLS Professional Advisors, Senior Associate

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? Ernst & Young, Strategy and Operations, Los Angeles

Where will you be working after graduation? Ernst & Young, Strategy and Operations, Senior Consultant

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Student Investment Fund Portfolio Manager of Global Equity Fund
  • Vice President of Education for Marshall Finance Association
  • Vice President of Academics for Graduate Women in Business
  • Director of Communication for Marshall Business Competition Board
  • Vice President of Finance for Adam Smith Society
  • Graduate Accounting and Financial Reporting, Instructor’s Assistant
  • Graduate Consulting Project, Instructor’s Assistant
  • Forte Foundation Scholarship
  • Guilford C. Babcock Endowed Scholarship
  • Dean’s List

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of the impact I’ve been able to make in mentoring the first-year class. I was so awed by the class above mine’s propensity to give their time and invest in my class. I was committed to be the same role model for the next class. I have been privileged to lead and be a confidante to many of our first-year classmates.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of getting the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. I felt myself plateauing at my former employer and made the decision to invest in myself. I paid for the examinations and materials myself and spent countless weekends and vacation days studying. I am most proud of this accomplishment because it represents my first major commitment to bettering myself as a professional.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite professor in MBA school is Carl Voigt, Ph.D. He is a strategy professor at USC who is a notoriously tough professor. I have never been pushed to learn too much in such a short period of time in MBA school than in his class and I loved every moment of it. I am very appreciative of his commitment to me and my classmates to push us and challenge us in new and interesting ways.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favorite business school tradition is 100 Days Dinner. We have a black-tie event approximately 100 days before graduation where everyone and their partners celebrate. We collectively roast and tease each other and all go out together afterward. The camaraderie and collective relationships in our class felt like they’ve never been stronger.

Why did you choose this business school? I choose USC Marshall because of the people. I remember attending the Admit Weekend event and immediately clicked with the potential cohort and the current students. I felt like I was already a part of this strong community and looked forward to accepting my admission offer.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? The best advice I can give someone applying to USC Marshall is to be unapologetically yourself. At USC Marshall, we are a family that rejoices in our differences and want to add members to our community who have the courage to be themselves and live our values.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth about USC Marshall is that we are a football school. We have tailgates for home games, but we are so much more than that. We have so many social, networking and educational extracurricular events so that every person can connect with our community with or without football.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? As I reflect on my MBA experience, I wish I hadn’t hit the recruitment trail as hard or as quickly as I had in my first semester. I did receive an early internship offer that I absolutely loved and will be joining full time but I missed some key bonding experiences with my classmates during that time. 

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I most admire Julia Gossner, one of my best friends and an even better Trojan. She is so willing to help every person around her achieve his or her goals and is incredibly generous with her time and effort. Upon graduation from college, she founded a company that focused solely on supporting other women founders. In business school, she has worn so many hats and takes incredible amounts of responsibility that our entire community is indebted to her. I look forward to seeing all of the amazing things she does post MBA.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My dad most influenced my decision to come to business school. When I was a kid, he always told me “if you can dream it, you can do it.” My dad has always been the biggest supporter of my dreams and had the utmost confidence in me. When I was looking to pivot into a new industry, he was the first to recommend and encourage me to apply to business school. 

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. I want to work abroad for at least a year.
  2. I want to master new technical skill. I am particularly interested in learning how to code.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Gave selflessly and respectfully challenged our class to be the best we can be.

Hobbies? Beach volleyball and live music!

What made Brionna such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Brionna has contributed to the USC Marshall community in a number of significant ways. With her background in Finance, Brionna spent a good portion of her first year helping her fellow students understand the concepts presented in the Corporate Finance core course. Additionally, she was a member of the USC Marshall team that competed in the Everyone’s Business Global Case Competition.  During her second year, she has continued to mentor first-year students through her membership in several student organizations, including Marshall Finance Association and Graduate Women in Business. She also serves as the co-lead for recruitment in the Student Investment Fund.”

Anne Ziemniak
Assistant Dean & Director, Full-Time MBA Program


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