USC’s Marshall School of Business gives students both the fundamentals needed for success in any business career and opportunities to prepare themselves for leadership in specialized fields. Students spend their first year at Marshall on core business courses, and in their second year branch out to electives suitable to their particular career interests. Students have over 20 MBA degree concentrations to choose from, including entertainment, entrepreneurship, technology commercialization, and e-business, as well as more traditional disciplines such as marketing and finance, operations management, and strategic management.

Students can also pursue one of over a dozen dual degrees. Marshall is especially noted for its innovative programs in international business study. Its PRIME (Pacific Rim Education) program takes classes to Asia and Latin America for an on-the-ground orientation to the economic, social, and cultural dynamics that impact business in those regions. In addition, USC has agreements with over two dozen foreign institutions that allow MBA students to study abroad or pursue summer study and research. Aspiring MBAs who cannot make the commitment to two years of full-time study can still gain a business education at USC, through Marshall’s part-time, IBEAR (an accelerated one-year program), and executive MBA programs.

Below is the three-page transcript of our interview with Keith Vaughn, Director of Admissions for the MBA Program.

What new changes are occurring on campus and how is Marshall evolving?

Dean Yash Gupta began his stewardship at the USC Marshall School of Business on July 1, 2004. Under his leadership the curriculum is being reviewed, our relationships with corporations and alumni are receiving a great deal of attention, and building facilities are expected to expand and grow.

What general advice would you like applicants considering the Marshall School of Business’s MBA to know?

Applicants should be assured that the USC Marshall MBA program is committed to excellence in research and teaching as well as continuing to seek bright and ambitious students from around the globe to expand its international alumni network.

When do you encourage applicants to apply?

We have four deadlines in our admissions cycle: Dec 1, Jan 15, Feb 15, Apr 1. We encourage applicants to apply when they are best prepared. There is a recommended deadline, January 15th, for international students and for fellowship consideration. Our final deadline is April 1st.

What are the specific characteristics you target in the applications to help you identify ‘best fit’ candidates?

The “best fit” characteristics in an application are derived from the research and preparation that an applicant undergoes prior to submitting his or her paperwork. The size and location of our program allow us to send all of our MBA students abroad for international exposure as a mandatory part of their education in the PRIME class.

What should applicants most heavily emphasize in their work experience?

Applicants should be aware that the quality of their work experience is more important than the length or duration in a particular career field. They should also be able to bridge their past work history to their future desired career goals. The ability to demonstrate both teamwork and success in their past work experience is also helpful.

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