The Leading Independent
Resource for Top-tier MBA
Home » Blog » Real Humans of MBA Students » Real Humans of USC Marshall MBA Class of 2022 » Page 6

Real Humans of USC Marshall MBA Class of 2022

Image for Real Humans of USC Marshall MBA Class of 2022

Tim Labresh, USC Marshall Class of 2022 Profile

Age: 35
Hometown: Abington, MA
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Virginia Military Institute / Political Science
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 13 years, US Navy Helicopter Pilot

Why business school? Why now? 
The reason business school was so appealing to me was that I believed to successfully pivot from my previous career I needed to gain exposure to, and experience in, different industries and functional areas to smooth the transition. A two-year focused program was the best vehicle to accomplish that.

Why Marshall? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend? 
USC Marshall’s reputation and network was the main driving force behind my decision to attend.  As I began targeting business schools I was focused on the top 25 programs in overall rankings and the schools with top alumni networks.  Geographically, I was also looking specifically at California (I had spent the last 5 years in Southern California) and the northeast (closer to home).  In the end, USC Marshall checked all the boxes I was considering, both professionally and personally.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2022? 
Having more years of work and life experience than the average student gives me a different perspective and adds a different voice to my class.  Additionally, working for years outside the US and being directly impacted by foreign policy decisions, I believe I can add to the conversation of how certain geopolitical realities influence an increasingly globalized business world.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
My advice is to weave in all your relevant fun facts into your application, anything to differentiate yourself and stand out from the crowd is an advantage.

Post-MBA career interests?
I’m interested in general management and rotational leadership programs in the aerospace and energy industries.  However, having just started my first year, I’m keeping my options open and continuing to research opportunities.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?

Having a concrete plan for how you’re going to prepare for the GMAT/GRE.  It not only increases your chances of landing a spot at a great school but also will give you repetitions in critical thinking and better prepare you for getting back into the school atmosphere if it’s been a while.

–One thing you would change or do differently?  
I would have liked to visit more campuses and get a better idea of the local area surrounding campus.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible at the beginning of this year. It wouldn’t have changed my decision, but its important to know what you’re getting into moving to a different city.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
There is value in any activity that gives you more knowledge or a better perspective on the school, both positive and negative.  Whether that’s sitting in on a class, talking to alumni, or figuring out what you prioritize when looking at a school (rankings, location, post-MBA opportunities, etc.). If time is a limiting factor start with your top 3 priorities and skip the “nice to have” aspects of your process.

What is your initial impression of Marshall’s students/culture/community?
My initial impression is very positive. It’s much more of a team and collaborative environment in terms of the coursework, which I have appreciated.  The students understand their individual success isn’t negatively impacted by the success of a classmate and that results in increased camaraderie and cooperation.

One thing you have learned about Marshall that has surprised you?
How tied in with the local community the students are with charity efforts.  The “impactful service” component of the Marshall program was an attractive part of the recruitment process for me and it’s exceeded my expectations so far.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?  
For me, it was getting back to the school environment after such a long time between this program and my undergraduate studies.  This seems to be fairly consistent among new students, but we’ve settled in after the first couple of weeks and knocked off any rust.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year? 
We are all excited about getting back to on-campus instruction and networking with our classmates in person. After that, it will be the internship opportunities and the prospect of getting hands-on experience over the summer.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.