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Product of My Environment

To answer the question “Who in Marshall has influenced me the most?” is a difficult one. As I’m about to finish my second year at USC, I can confidently say that I’ve met so many incredible people. I’m not trying to commit to a lazy answer, but the truth is that I have an entire list of peers – not just one person – who has influenced me greatly. My list is split into three categories: mentors, professors, and classmates. I’d love to use this particular blog post to express my gratitude right now.

Mentors: Since last August, I’ve had the pleasure of learning under the guidance of my two CAP mentors, Milt Meler and Talia Shtein. For those unfamiliar with the Marshall Career Advantage Program (CAP), it’s an initiative designed to pair undergraduate students with business professionals. CAP helps students develop their interpersonal, professional, and networking skills. This year was the first year that I joined the CAP program, and thanks to Milt and Talia, I’ll most likely join next year too. From my two mentors, I was able to learn interviewing etiquette, networking skills, and resume formats. The CAP program wasn’t all uptight, either. Milt and Talia devoted a lot of time to planning social events for me and their other mentees. My favorite social outings this year include hiking at Escondido Falls, golfing at La Cumbre Country Club, and wine-tasting at Milt’s house. Milt and Talia influenced my professional and social growth in a way that I’d never experienced within the classroom, and I’m forever grateful to them.

Professors: I’ve been a student of some amazing courses – both within and outside of Marshall – since the first semester of my undergraduate career. Specifically, within Marshall, I’d say that some of my favorite classes so far are ones that I’m currently taking, namely ACCT 370 with Professor Merle Hopkins, ACCT 371 with Professor Leslie Porter, and BUAD 302T with Professor Yolanda Kirk, and BAEP 470 with Professor Dave Belasco. I’m pursuing accounting in the Leventhal School of Accounting, and I know that I was worried that taking ACCT 370 and 371 as my first upper-division classes in Leventhal would be rigorous. Truth is, they have been rigorous, but Professors Hopkins and Porter are so enthusiastic about their teachings that they make their classes a little more bearable. They’ve influenced me to continue pursuing accounting. Professor Kirk’s BUAD 302T course has influenced me in my professional development by teaching me how to communicate effectively – both in verbal and written form. Lastly, I love Professor Belasco’s BAEP 470 class because of the successful speakers that he hosts every week. Whenever I hear their personal stories and advice for success, I get super motivated to try harder. Professor Belasco, in this sense, has influenced me to strive for my own success.

Classmates: I love being in Leventhal. Aside from being the 4th ranked accounting school in the nation, the real reason why I’m proud to be in Leventhal is because how close-knit our undergraduate community is. I never really noticed it until I started taking accounting upper-division courses this semester. In contrast to Marshall where it’s rare to share multiple classes in the same semester with other people, Leventhal students are usually taking the same classes at the same time. This semester, most students on the same academic track as me are also taking ACCT 370, ACCT 371, and BUAD 302T. After seeing one another over and over again in our classes, we’ve befriended one another quickly. I see so many of them especially when I’m studying in the Leventhal Library because we’re all usually working on the same assignments. We’re all going through the same experience, and we help one another to succeed in our classes. If anything, my classmates have influenced me to maintain close relationships because we’re all in a position to help one another.


Posted on April 19, 2014 by Brendan


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