Student Name: Curran C. Daly
Graduate Business School: USC Marshall School of Business
Describe Yourself In 15 Words: Curious and determined environmental wordsmith with a passion for marketing, data, psychology and social change.
Master’s Graduation Class: 2020
Undergraduate School and Major: Humboldt State University, Journalism.
Current Employer and Job Title: HyperloopTT, Communications Lead.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment has been bringing HyperloopTT’s vision for the future of sustainable transportation to life for the public. As Communications Lead, I lead a team of international contributors, contractors and agencies managing all internal and external communications. Since joining the company, I have overseen a 100% expansion of website traffic and created materials generating more than $5 million in investments.
Describe your biggest accomplishment as a graduate student: Graduating as Valedictorian and addressing my cohort at graduation.
What was the key factor that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I chose to attend USC Marshall because of the school’s excellent faculty and location in the heart of Southern California. Having moved out of the area for undergrad, USC offered the opportunity to receive a world-class education close to home.
What led you to choose a Master’s in Marketing over an MBA? After graduating from Humboldt State University in 3 years, I wanted to increase my understanding of innovative marketing principles and grow my quantitative skill set. I felt that a master’s in marketing was more useful than a traditional MBA to begin my career because it offered the opportunity to advance quickly while emphasizing in-demand skills.
What has been your favorite course and how has it helped you in your career? My favorite course was CMO on Shareholder Value, a series of discussions with Chief Marketing Officers. The class provided an unfiltered look at the demands, expectations and challenges that companies’ top marketing officers face while underscoring the importance of implementing new ideas in response to changing markets. The course solidified my commitment to pursue environmental marketing after a one-on-one discussion with Starbucks CMO Matt Ryan about the impacts of climate change on business operations.
What role did your school play in helping you to land your first job out of the program? My current boss was a guest lecturer in New Product Development during my first month in the program. After being introduced to him and the company, I worked with the program’s Career Advisor to hone my elevator pitch and secure an office visit. I began contributing at HyperloopTT shortly after visiting their offices and was hired full-time after graduation.
How did your classmates enhance the value of your business school experience? Throughout the one-year program, I gained decades of international experience through my classmates’ first-hand knowledge. While the lessons and classes were excellent, the biggest moments of learning came from my peers’ diverse backgrounds. The program reinforced a global learning environment with collaborative projects and lively discussion-based classes that continually uncovered insights from my peers. In a single year, I discovered key lessons from the success and failures of a myriad of industry veterans, international innovators and emerging entrepreneurs, whom I can still bounce ideas off.
Who was your favorite faculty member and how did this person enrich your learning? It’s impossible to talk about USC’s Master’s of Marketing program without mentioning Dr. Diane Badame. The program’s lifeblood, Dr. Badame dedicates herself to making sure that every student leaves her class saying “Wow.” She tirelessly recruits industry-leading guest speakers, compiles mountains of research, and tailors course curriculum to her students’ interests and needs. Her passion for marketing is rivaled only by her passion for her students, and I am so thankful for the professional and personal guidance that she gave me.
What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s graduate Master’s program? Have a plan on where you want to be 5, 10 and 15 years after graduating from the program. A clear plan will increase your chances of admittance and maximize your time in the program. Your application will be stronger when you communicate a clear purpose and mission that drives you, and once admitted, you can take better advantage of the opportunities that present themselves.
What was your best memory from your Master’s program? During the program, I found a cohort of marketing professionals as passionate and driven as myself and had unique opportunities to speak directly with industry thought leaders and change-makers. My favorite memories of the program are the beginning of each of the conversations and relationships that continue to propel my career and provide me with a network of expert peers ready to give input on projects.