Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Niki Miyashiro, USC (Marshall)

Niki Miyashiro

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business

“Someone that’s ambitious and loves to step up to the challenge to help her team.”

Hometown: Laguna Niguel, CA

Fun Fact About Yourself: A couple of years ago I won free Chick-fil-A for a year. Chick-fil-A has a program called “The First 100”. When a Chick-fil-A opens in your neighborhood, if you’re the “first 100” at the new location prior to grand opening, you get 52 free #1 combos.

Undergraduate School and Major: The Ohio State University; Business Administration – Finance

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: JPMorgan Chase: Wealth Management – Business Management Associate

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The Trojan Network and the clubs offered were a couple of the main reasons I chose Marshall. Coming from Ohio State then living and working in New York, it was really important that I build a California network. Whether it be Northern or Southern California, Marshall has a great alumni base that I knew would support me throughout my MBA experience. This guidance combined with the support system and resources offered through the clubs were valuable since I want to make a career pivot. The summer internship recruiting process can be daunting at times, but the clubs can make the process easier to understand and digest.

What club or activity excites you most at this school? I am really looking forward to continuing my involvement with the Marshall Graduate Student Association (MGSA), which is our student government. Right now, I am the Assistant Vice President for Academics. I have the opportunity to help administration and faculty offer the best academic experience for students. I am provided the chance to work with my peers as we think of creative solutions to help students learn. It has been especially interesting since we had to transition to an online environment and need to re-work how some courses are delivered.

What was your first impression of USC Marshall? How has that changed or been reinforced since then? Before I committed to Marshall, I spoke with various students, alumni, and administrators. My first impression was I was surprised at how willing they were to help me and take the time to speak with me. Since then, nothing has changed. Everyone in the Marshall community wants to see you succeed and they offer the resources to help you reach your potential.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: A big accomplishment was getting promoted from Analyst to Associate and having the opportunity to move to New York City.

When COVID-19 hit back in March, I was part of the team that ran the program to transition 3,800 wealth management advisors from the office to work from home. This was a challenge as many of these advisors had never worked from home before and needed to be able to maintain client relationships virtually during a volatile market period. This disruption to our business model caused us to accelerate projects that were not on the roadmap to be completed until 2021. We were able to finish these projects in a matter of months. In the midst of the chaos, our team was also able to launch a large SEC project (I’ll spare you all the regulatory details). Through this difficult time, I formed some of my closest relationships even over Zoom! We really stepped up to the challenge and I feel I left an even stronger business than what it was pre-pandemic.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I loved the firm I worked for and the people I worked with, but I wanted the opportunity to enhance my leadership skills and make a pivot. I am interested in pivoting into technology corporate development or investment banking. Marshall offers a strong path to reach either of these goals and I am excited to see where I end up for my summer internship.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? One of the essay questions was “Dear Admissions Committee”. With such a broad statement and limited word count, I really had to think about how I wanted to best represent myself.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I spoke with current students at the schools I was interested in. They give an honest point of view and I could immediately tell if the culture was a good fit for me. Another piece I looked at was where previous students were going to work and if any of those companies were places that aligned with my ambitions. I also did a lot of research on the clubs offered and how they were supporting students to reach their career goals.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? During my time at Ohio State, I played on the Women’s Soccer Team for all four years. As I transitioned from athletics to corporate America, I was hit with an identity crisis that was really defined as I sat in my cubicle on my first day of work. Soccer was much like a full-time job with the amount of time and effort it took. It prepared me to be able to work with a team towards a common goal, how to lead when things are not going well, and how to manage my time. It also taught me how to have fun even when you’re under immense pressure. Ever since being “retired” from soccer and working, I have searched for a role that brings me the same kind of excitement.

Picture yourself in two years graduating from business school. Looking back, how would you know your experience has been a success? I’ll know my business school experience was a success by the life-long friendships formed and taking advantage of the experiences offered at Marshall. Two years goes by quickly and it sometimes feels like there’s not enough time to do everything you want during business school. Making a difference in the Marshall community for my class and future classes is something that’s very important to me and I can’t wait to continue the journey. Fight on!


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