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Forming Global Connections in an Online MBA Program


The next generation of business leaders can’t afford to think small. A global mindset has become essential for success in an era when constant communication, ocean-spanning supply chains and leaps in artificial intelligence technology are all part of the daily routine and organizations continue to move fast even when employees are in their homes. To achieve sustainable growth in this volatile economic landscape, a professional needs to understand the broader implications of every decision and cultivate a wide-reaching, diverse network.

Students who complete a graduate degree from an internationally recognized name in business education can gain a nuanced perspective on world markets while getting to know highly skilled professionals in multiple countries. The University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business designed the Online MBA specifically for leaders who strive for success on a global scale. The robust online curriculum, featuring networking opportunities and expert mentorship, helps professionals build the skills to manage international teams, collaborate remotely and apply data to solve major problems.


Global Strategy for a Connected World

The integrated curriculum in the USC Online MBA focuses on best practices and research-driven insights for decision-makers who compete on the international stage. In multidisciplinary courses taught by Marshall’s faculty of leading researchers and experienced educators, students see how management, finance, analytics, accounting, marketing and entrepreneurship all contribute to overall organizational performance. An organization moves toward its long-term objectives in a constantly shifting landscape by accounting for the complexities of international transactions and respecting cultural differences.

A multidisciplinary perspective on management, strategic analysis and decision-making makes professionals more effective leaders who understand how their organization interacts with its environment. The Online MBA curriculum introduces students to the data-driven tools and strategies they need to analyze and employ external resources. Courses delve into optimizing a firm’s product development, analytics, capital investment and social media presence for international competition.

Of course, the best preparation for the demands of the international marketplace is first-hand experience of conducting business in foreign countries. Online students have the option to take advantage of USC’s international presence by enrolling in the same overseas electives that are available to on-campus students. By observing daily activities and talking to executives in Singapore or Dubai, these MBA candidates discover the effects that differences in culture, regulations and local resources can have on operations.


Teaming with a Diverse Cohort

Remote employees are becoming increasingly common, a shift that’s been vastly hastened by organizational responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. When leaders can’t rely on face-to-face interactions, they need to consider how to marshal the efforts of teams that may include members scattered across the country and beyond.

Consequently, it’s becoming more crucial than ever for managers and executives to achieve results with teams of geographically disparate individuals with diverse backgrounds. In a highly ranked online MBA program, professionals can improve how they work with peers who live all over the world.

The members of a cohort in the USC Online MBA form lasting bonds through a combination of in-person and real-time interactions. During the first course of the program, students visit campus for a one-week residency. MBA candidates come together for a series of exercises and events in Los Angeles, teaming up to solve business problems and socializing at networking events.

The online curriculum continues to build students’ relationships with one another and faculty members through live discussions and team-based projects. Messaging apps, video conferences and collaboration tools enable cohort members to exchange ideas, complete assignments and offer support. Academic Director Miriam Burgos explained that the culture of the Online MBA encourages a sense of community, motivating individuals to collaborate and grow as a team.

“Each student brings certain strengths and areas of expertise to their cohort, and they leverage those strengths to help their fellow classmates succeed,” Burgos said.


Joining the Worldwide Trojan Family

USC Online MBA students make professional connections that go well beyond their cohort and instructors. They join a family of more than 90,000 Marshall graduates who live and work in 92 different countries around the globe. USC alumni sustain a tight-knit community that includes many business leaders who are eager to offer guidance and assistance to fellow Trojans.

Guest speakers, such as CEOs and executives from a wide range of organizations, regularly visit Marshall to share their knowledge and experience. These events are an excellent way for online students to deepen their involvement in the school by remotely attending live. Online attendees can ask their questions in real time, engaging with the latest thinking in international business leadership, strategy and ethics.

Alumnus Ariel Elias explained how the relationships he formed during his time in the Online MBA have continued to benefit him as he set out on his career.

“My cohort and our lifelong connection have remained strong following graduation,” he said. “As I’ve had questions about a job field or general industry topic, I reached out to my cohort and received overwhelming support. The Trojan network and family are real and something that I’ll always value.”

Global strategy, skills in remote collaboration and a reliable international network are indispensable for leaders in today’s organizations. The USC Online MBA was created to bring professionals the advanced knowledge and relationships they need to build careers at the forefront of innovation and growth. By completing a program specifically designed to meet the challenges of a rapidly transforming business environment, Marshall online graduate students prepare to make a global impact.


About the USC Marshall School of Business

USC Marshall is one of the premier business schools in the U.S. and internationally recognized as a home for path-breaking research that emphasizes entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership and social responsibility. The USC Online MBA from the Marshall School of Business is built to help students succeed in the digitally driven business landscape, providing a curriculum focused on the practical skills expected of today’s global leaders. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Marshall brings undergraduate and graduate students a unique perspective on the world, including global opportunities for experiential learning. The vibrant and active Trojan alumni community includes more than 89,000 people in 92 countries.


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