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Darla Moore School of Business

Celebrating December graduates

Dec. 3, 2020

Congratulations to the Moore School students graduating in December. 


 Image of Jason Brown in the Moore School courtyard


Graduating marketing student balanced full-time job with full-time coursework

Moore School marketing student Jason Brown is grateful for the opportunities and mentoring that he received during his time at USC and looks forward to applying the knowledge that he gained to a position in the commercial insurance business after graduation in December 2020.

A native South Carolinian, Brown said that he was born and raised a Gamecock fan. When it came time to choose a university to attend for his undergraduate degree, USC was his first choice.

“It’s my hometown, so I’ve always been a Gamecock,” Brown said. “USC also has a great business school program, which was another reason I decided to attend.”

Going into his freshman year, Brown said he was unsure of what career path he wanted to take. He said that he decided to major in marketing because of the variety of opportunities that the field offers.

“I wanted a major that allowed me flexibility with future potential career options because I was unsure at first what I wanted to do,” he said. 

Over the past four years, Brown has fully immersed himself in his major and has become a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional co-ed business fraternity on campus, and is also the diversity and inclusion chair for Carolina Sales Institute, the professional sales club on campus that helps students build sales, networking, leadership and competition skills.

The knowledge that Brown has gained through the Moore School marketing program, Alpha Kappa Psi and Carolina Sales Institute have assisted him in his full-time job at T Mobile as a sales consultant. Brown said that it’s not easy working full time while also being a full-time student, however, time management is key.

“Honestly it’s just finding the right balance and time management,” he said. “It doesn’t always work out perfectly, but I learned to adapt to change and always work hard.”

Brown said that he could not have accomplished everything that he did these past four years without his support system. He said that one of his biggest supporters throughout his time at the Moore School has been Professor Beth Renninger, a marketing faculty member and director of the Center for Sales Success. 

“It was the best college experience I could hope to ask for, challenging at times yet rewarding,” he said. “I also met [Renninger] at the Moore School, and she has deeply impacted my life in ways she can’t imagine, and I’m forever grateful for her.”

Renninger also had plenty of compliments about her student. She said that Brown’s positivity and attitude have impacted her time at the Moore School as a professor. 

“He is remarkable - smart, committed, motivated and passionate,” she said. “Jason brings joy wherever he goes!" 

After graduation, Brown said that he hopes to use the skillset that he gained from the Moore School to obtain a job in the commercial insurance business.

“As far as work, I hope to work in the commercial insurance business with Federated Insurance, who I’m currently interviewing with,” he said. “If that works out, which it’s looking good so far, the sky is the limit!”

 Image of Lauren Busman with the Moore School in the background


December graduate excels in marketing because she can ‘utilize her creative side’

Moore School marketing student Lauren Busman intends to utilize the skills she gained from USC to land a digital marketing or brand management position and also continue promoting her evolving photography business after she graduates in December 2020.

From Americus, Georgia, Busman majored in marketing and minored in Spanish and completed her degree in two and a half years. During her undergraduate years, she was president of the American Marketing Association and a volunteer with Give a Dog Bone on campus, a group that works with local animal shelters in Columbia, South Carolina. She said she decided to attend USC specifically because of the Moore School and its respected business program.

“I chose to come to USC for the business school,” Busman said. “It's prestigious and offers many opportunities for students to grow professionally and personally.”

Busman decided to pursue a degree in marketing because knew that she wanted to get into a field where she could utilize her creative side, she said. 

“I chose marketing because I love using my creative thinking skills to solve problems and create solutions,” she said. “Marketing encapsulates everything I enjoy doing including graphic design, social media and creating written and visual content. It has also helped me better market my own photography business.”

Since enrolling at the Moore School in 2018, Busman said she has been able to take the networking skills that she has learned from her courses and directly apply them to her photography business, Imagination’s Eye Photography. 

“The most important thing I have learned from the Moore School is the importance of building lasting relationships by networking with other students, professionals and companies,” she said. “My experience has taught me to never be afraid to reach out to someone because you never know what advice or insight they have to offer you.”

Busman said that it is not easy running her own business while also being a full-time student, however, she finds ways to make it work with her busy schedule.

“Time management is key,” she said. “I often bring my camera with me to class because I book appointments between classes and also on weekends. It's also very important that I maintain a social media presence on Instagram and Facebook because it is a great way to reach students, professionals and families looking for a professional photographer. If you're looking for a photographer, check out @imaginationseyephotos on Instagram or Imagination's Eye Photography on Facebook!”

After graduation, Busman said that she hopes to continue working in the digital marketing field or in brand management. She said she looks forward to continuing to network with other marketing professionals in the future. Busman also said she feels that her experience at the Moore School has prepared her for the working world. 

“My experience at the Moore School has been amazing and has shown me how important it is to be involved on campus, especially within the Moore School,” she said. “There are so many opportunities to get involved in organizations and meet people that want to help you grow and succeed post-graduation.”
Image of Keegan O'Connell 


Finance December 2020 graduate moving to New York City for analyst position

Moore School finance student Keegan O’Connell looks forward to starting a career at Deloitte as a risk and advisory analyst in New York City after graduation in December.

Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, O’Connell decided to attend USC because of the reputation and environment of the business school.

“I chose USC because I had always heard such great things about the business school, and I loved the campus when I toured,” O’Connell said. “It was hard not to be impressed when taking a tour of [the Moore School building], and it has been great calling it a home on campus.” 

Since deciding to call USC home three and a half years ago, O’Connell has grown both professionally and personally. Majoring in finance at the Moore School has allowed O’Connell to utilize his passion for using numbers and data to drive decisions, he said.

“I chose to be a finance major because I have always been someone who is very analytically focused, and this provided a great opportunity to use numbers and data in my career path,” he said. “This also opened the door for me to pursue a career in consulting which allows me to be a problem solver.”

Besides his schoolwork, O’Connell is involved in multiple organizations on campus including the Alpha Kappa Psi professional business fraternity as well as Buddies Beyond Borders, a program where students mentor incoming exchange students on how to adjust to student life at USC.

As he wraps up his undergraduate career, O’Connell said that he is thankful for all of the opportunities and guidance that he was given to help him succeed during his time at the Moore School.

“Through my experience at the Moore School, I was able to define my career path and develop myself to a level that allowed me to reach a number of my professional goals,” he said. “I completed two fortune 500 internships which complemented my classroom experience to prepare me for my career which was greatly beneficial.”

O’Connell said that attending the Moore School allowed him to challenge himself in ways that he had never thought possible before.

“I would describe my time at the Moore School as challenging but full of adventures,” he said. “Along with a strong educational experience on campus, I was able to complete two study abroad programs where I expanded my learning to an international level. I studied in Melbourne, Australia, and London, England, which helped me better understand the global side of business and brought along some great adventures which wouldn’t have been possible without the great programs offered by the Moore School.” 

While abroad, O’Connell said that he was able to broaden his international business skillset and also partake in once-in-a-lifetime cultural experiences.

“In addition to my time in the classroom while abroad, I was able to take part in 12 scuba dives on the Great Barrier Reef, take on the largest bungee jump in New Zealand at about 450 feet and enjoy a road trip down the east coast of Australia where I got to learn to surf on some amazing beaches,” he said. “Along with these experiences, I made some life-long friends from around the world that I still keep in touch with to this day.”

After graduation, O’Connell said that he looks forward to applying all of the skills and knowledge that he attained while at the Moore School in his new position at Deloitte.

“Following my graduation, I will be joining Deloitte as a risk and financial advisory analyst in New York City,” he said. “This role allows me to learn more about the consulting industry, and I am really looking forward to taking on client work with such an exciting company.”


Image of Perrin Wright


Accounting graduate to embark upon master’s program, has already secured job

For December 2020 accounting graduate Perrin Wright, the Moore School has equipped him with invaluable skills that have encouraged him to continue to further his knowledge of accounting by enrolling in the Master of Accountancy program.

From Columbia, South Carolina, Wright grew up cheering for the Gamecocks. However, it was the Moore School’s reputation that made him decide to attend USC for his undergraduate and graduate career.

“Being from Columbia and having Gamecocks in my family, I have always been a fan of Gamecock athletics,” Wright said. “However, when it comes to the school itself, I chose USC because of the incredible new business school building and the unique students that an international business school brings.”

Coming into college, Wright said that he knew he wanted to pursue a business degree but was largely undecided about a major. He wanted something that not only interested him but also truly challenged him to do better.

“During an introductory accounting course in the fall of my freshman year, the professor asked for any future accounting majors to stand up out of the class of several hundred,” he said. “Only a few stood. I saw that as a challenge. At that moment, I decided to major in accounting. While accounting has been challenging, the knowledge, experience and connections I have learned and made from the major have been immeasurable.”

In addition to majoring in accounting, Wright also pursued the Business Analytics Undergraduate Concentration, which prepared Wright to be able to make meaning out of massive data sets and inform decision-making. 

Since starting at the Moore School in 2017, Wright said he has become a more equipped communicator, obtained knowledge in accounting and analytics and become a more creative thinker.

“My time spent in team projects throughout various classes has allowed me to become a better leader and problem solver,” he said. “The analytics concentration gave me an opportunity to experience a new way of problem solving and a stronger way of communicating findings in a constantly innovating business world.” 

Wright has been able to apply these skills he learned from his coursework in the many positions that he has held in Moore School student organizations. 

“Throughout my time at the University of South Carolina, I have been involved with the Darla Moore School of Business’s Office of Alumni Engagement as a student employee, a Capstone Scholar, Beta Alpha Psi Accounting Fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, Carolina Rotaract and Alpha Lambda Delta,” he said.

Being involved in many organizations, as well as being a full-time student, has been a challenging but rewarding experience, Wright said. He said that students, professors and staff that he has had the pleasure to meet and learn from have been instrumental in building his knowledge and network.

“As long as I showed a willingness and effort to learn, the professors were more than happy to help me in my coursework and career as a whole,” he said. 

Wright said that he looks forward to graduation in December 2020 and continuing his journey in the Master of Accountancy program. After completing his MACC degree, Wright will start working full time in the Financial Services Office of the accounting firm Ernst & Young in Greenville, South Carolina. He interned with Ernst & Young during summer 2020.


Master's and MBA graduates

Image of Kate Bothe 


MBA December graduate credits Professional MBA program with preparing her for promotion with technology firm

Moore School MBA December 2020 graduate Kate Bothe has already achieved a promotion with Passport Labs Inc., a transportation software company, while part of the Professional MBA program; she hopes to use her new degree to help her organization globally expand their offerings.

Bothe obtained her undergraduate degree in journalism specializing in strategic communications and reporting with a certificate in business. She spent several years in the budgeting and financial technology sector, including stints with NVision marketing firm, Bank of America and Passport Labs Inc.. After a few years in the field, Bothe said that she realized she had a passion for product management, but she knew that she needed to pursue an MBA to understand the field better.

“As I gained more experience with software development life cycle and the people involved, I set my sights on obtaining a global product management role where I could take more ownership for the definition and development of a product offering,” Bothe said. “To step into and find success in that type of role, I knew I needed to build upon my understanding of financial planning and analysis, marketing tactics, operations and international business dealings.”

Once she decided that she wanted to pursue her MBA, Bothe said that the Moore School Professional MBA program stood out from the rest. 

“What I found most attractive about the Moore School was the diversity of the student base,” she said. “As an outsider looking in, the Moore School Professional MBA program seemed to bring together a group of ambitious professionals located across the Southeast with experience in a breadth of different industry segments. My research also showed that the Moore School was highly rated for international business.” 

Having the ability to learn and collaborate with other classmates who are in various phases of their lives and phases of their careers is something that Bothe said she enjoys.

“We share a passion for learning, helping, connecting, traveling and making the most of our career opportunities,” she said.    

Bothe said that she has expanded her knowledge about the business field from her courses and by working with other professionals in the Professional MBA program.

“I’ve learned how to read and analyze financial statements, build financial plans, define marketing strategies, improve operational effectiveness in engineering processes, navigate international regulations and business practices and manage effective teams while embracing diverse opinions,” she said.

However, expanded business knowledge is not the only thing that Bothe will be taking away from her time at the Moore School. She said that she has learned many skills beyond just the core business competencies.

“I also learned how to balance work, school and family life with my fiancé and 4-year-old yellow lab Maci. I learned where to get the best schnitzel in Vienna and best trdelnik in Prague, and I learned that I’ll always have a great group of friends from the Moore School,” she said. 

Bothe said she appreciates all of the opportunities that she has been presented while at the Moore School, including her week-long study abroad trip to Europe in 2019.

“I am so grateful for the meticulous planning that must have gone into securing an incredible group of business presenters, reserving outstanding venues and restaurants to accommodate our travel group of 12, organizing our seamless travel and filling our days with unforgettable learning and cultural experiences,” she said.

Bothe is also grateful for the support that she received throughout her journey in the Professional MBA program. She said that it’s not easy working full time while also going to school, however, she would always remind herself why she was doing it.

“I tried to always keep front of mind why I was doing it though: so that I could provide the life I wanted for my family, so I could share my learnings with the next generation, and so I could reach the career goals I had for myself,” she said. 

With the closing of a chapter in her life full of learning and growth, Bothe said she looks forward to continuing to further develop both personally and professionally after her graduation from the Professional MBA program.

“During my time in the program, I was able to accomplish part of my initial goal of stepping into a product management role at Passport Labs, Inc in Charlotte, North Carolina,” she said. “In the coming years, I hope to utilize my Professional MBA experience to continue to grow in that role and help expand our offerings globally. I also hope to continue to leverage these new time management skills I’ve enhanced during my time in the Professional MBA program as I continue to make time for my family, travel and educational advancement.”

Image of Mouhssin Boutalaa


Graduating MBA student combines business skills with engineering background to earn leadership position

Moore School MBA December 2020 graduate Mouhssin Boutalaa just learned this week that he will be promoted to a leadership position with Schneider Electric thanks to the knowledge he gained from pursuing his MBA.

Boutalaa was just promoted to engineering order costing and scheduling lead at Schneider Electric, a multinational company providing energy and automation digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability. He has been with Schneider Electric for six years, and in his new position, will specialize in low-voltage switchboard products and work with different entities within the company to streamline processes and drive digitization to better serve customers.

He said he decided to enroll in the Professional MBA program so that he could further his business and managerial skills to advance within his company.  

“An MBA is a goal I set for myself since my last year in college,” Boutalaa said. “I understand the fundamentals of engineering and have been through years of experience, but I want to improve my managerial touch, strategic thinking and leadership skills.”

Boutalaa knew he needed his MBA to keep up with the ever-changing field that he works in. He said that he decided to come to the Moore School because of its well-known reputation as one of the best business schools.

“When I moved to the United States, especially when I was working as an electrical design engineer at Daimler, I heard many people speak highly of the Moore School,” he said. “I chose to attend school because of the quality of education, history, flexibility and convenience. One of the reasons why I moved to Columbia, South Carolina, is to be close to this flagship business school.”

Boutalaa said that the Professional MBA program has given him the flexibility to continue working full time while also going to school which has been an advantage for him. He also said that he has been able to customize his program to fit his interests.

“The program’s flexibility for full-time professionals helped me balance my work, life and school,” he said. “The customizable curriculum with various specializations allowed me to tailor the program to my interests and in-class experience, which allowed me to network and interact with peers and professors in person.”

Boutalaa credits the skills he gained while at the Moore to his promotion. He said that he learned how to problem-solve and think strategically to respond to complex changes, acquired business language through his courses, learned how to network with key people in the organization and also increased his self-confidence to deliver more significant results and give back to the company.

As his time in the Moore School Professional MBA program is coming to a close, Boutalaa said that he is thankful for the professional and personal growth that he has experienced since enrolling in the program. 

“The Moore School helped me grow intellectually, technically, skill-wise and in leadership,” he said. “I gained knowledge in various fields such as finance, marketing, accounting, strategy, supply chain and business analytics. I also learned the foundation of doing business in the United States and the world through international business specialization.”

Boutalaa said he hopes to utilize his MBA in his new role and in the future to transition into various leadership positions within Schneider Electric to learn more about the business side of the company.

“In five years, I want to grow into a business unit manager in the United States,” he said. “I am also looking for opportunities worldwide within Schneider Electric.”

Image of JaCori Gambrell 


MHR graduate develops problem-solving skills for real-world business HR issues 

Moore School MHR December 2020 graduate JaCori Gambrell (‘18 USC public health) is hoping to combine her undergraduate experience with her newly acquired Master of Human Resources to make an early career impact in the human resources field in her first role with Lear Corporation.

Gambrell grew up a Gamecock fan and said she always knew that she wanted to attend USC. After obtaining her undergraduate degree from the Arnold School of Public Health in 2018, she decided that she wanted to continue to further her education with the Master of Human Resources program.

“Since I was young, my blood has been garnet and black,” said Gambrell. “So, when deciding where to enroll, there was no other choice than to stay home and be a Moore School graduate student. The Moore School has so many opportunities for students to network with Fortune 500 companies and take classes with the best business thought leaders. I knew that the Moore School would give me the best opportunity to start my career in human resources.” 

Gambrell said she decided to pursue her MHR after completing a summer internship with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s human resources office. In this internship position, Gambrell was able to explore what it’s like working on the public health side of human resources.

“During this internship, I had the opportunity to develop recruiting strategies for undergraduate students,” she said. “This internship sparked my interest in human resources going into my last year at USC. After completion of the internship, I knew when I returned back to school, I wanted to pursue an MHR.”

Gambrell said she not only chose the Moore School MHR program because of her love for the Gamecocks but also because of the world-class faculty and staff. 

“The Moore School MHR program has an amazing network of alumni and supportive faculty and staff,” she said. “The program is invested in our professional development from the time of our acceptance through resume assistance and interview preparation.”

Since enrolling in the Master of Human Resources program, Gambrell said she has been able to get the necessary hands-on experience in her classes that have prepared her for the working world after graduation. 

“We have the opportunity to develop problem-solving skills through case competitions that simulate real business problems,” she said. “The program also ensures that all of our classes teach us the importance of that particular human resources function plus the business aspect so that we can be successful in our future roles.”

As she wraps up her final semester in the Moore School MHR program, Gambrell said she is leaving USC with a new business skillset. She said she looks forward to applying all the knowledge that she has gained from the program in her career.

“The Moore School has taught me human resources from a strategic business lens,” she said. “Since being in the program, I developed the necessary business acumen to be a change leader in my field. As a non-business undergraduate major, this has been a focal point in my development that I will be able to use to advocate for employees.”

Gambrell said that after graduation, she hopes to one day specialize in either talent acquisition or employee relations. She said she also eagerly anticipates supporting and being involved with the MHR program as an alumna.

Image of Stephen Kaminski 


MBA graduate acquires skills to help attain promotions within a commercial airline, Air National Guard 

Moore School MBA student Stephen Kaminski III decided to enroll in the Professional MBA program so that he could gain beneficial business skills to use in the military and aviation community.

Kaminski has been involved in the military and aviation field for more than a decade, currently working as a commercial pilot for Delta Air Lines, fighter pilot for the Air National Guard and an F-16 operational analyst at BGI, LLC, an innovative small business that provides programs related to aviation training.

“I have spent my entire adult career in the military and aviation community, and I reached a point where I realized that I need to expand my knowledge base outside of that bubble I had been in for over a decade,” Kaminski said.

He heard about the Moore School through a friend that had attended a Shuck & Shag event, an annual alumni networking event. Kaminski said his friend told him about all the influential people that she met at the event and that left him wondering if the Moore School could offer him the tools he needed to achieve his career goals.

“The discussion that followed had me thinking that maybe the Moore School could be my vehicle to help me to achieve my desired intent of becoming better equipped to manage a team in multiple ways,” he said. “Because I was not willing to take time away from my two jobs, a full-time graduate program was not of interest to me, but my jobs were compatible enough to allow for me to accomplish part-time schoolwork.”

Having the ability to continue working while also pursuing his MBA was an advantage for Kaminski. He said that he was able to take the skills that he would learn in class and directly apply them to his jobs.

“An added benefit of attending [the Moore School] while simultaneously being engaged in a full-time job was the immediate application of what I was actively learning,” he said. “I could apply the soft and hard skills I was accruing in class, like time management, to what was unfolding around me at my place of business.”

Although working full time while also going to school was no easy task, Kaminski said that he’s grateful to have been able to spend the past couple of years acquiring a new business skillset at the Moore School. 

“I indeed learned a lot during the core marketing, accounting and finance classes as a part of the curriculum, but one of my biggest takeaways is the form of a fresh perspective of how the business world is organized and how it operates,” he said.

With graduation taking place in December, Kaminski said that he looks forward to utilizing his MBA to earn a higher level rank in the military and become a community leader.

“Once my time in the military has come to an end, I intend to continue my public service as a leader in our community,” he said. “I will use the skillsets and knowledge gained in the MBA program to directly influence positive change and to make a difference in the lives of others. The Moore School is more than just an academic institution, to me, the Moore School is a propellant of leadership development, and I now bear the responsibility to be a leader in my professional life.”

 Image of Margaret Spaulding


Master of Human Resources graduate shifts career focus to HR from law and criminal justice

For Moore School Master of Human Resources student Margaret Spaulding, the MHR curriculum perfectly blends business and human resources. Spaulding looks forward to using the skills that she has attained from the MHR program after her graduation in December 2020. 

Spaulding originally worked in politics and decided to pursue her Master of Human Resources after a career shift and change in professional goals.

“Prior to attending the MHR program, I worked in politics for several years,” Spaulding said. “My original goal was to go to law school, and I even went as far as getting a master’s in criminal justice; however, I began to realize that law school may not be worth the price tag attached to it.”

After making the decision to no longer attend law school, Spaulding started to think about going into human resources. She always knew that she wanted to play a part at a large corporation, and she felt like human resources would be able to offer that for her.

“I decided to go into HR because of the potential to become a strategic player in a large corporation, and I knew that in order to do this, I would need proper training,” she said. “Earning another degree seemed like the best way to get the training I needed to make the career change.”

When deciding on a Master of Human Resources program, Spaulding said that she chose the Moore School because she wanted a program that offered a strong business curriculum. 

“When I made the decision to change careers and go into the HR field, I knew that I wanted to be seen as a business partner and not as a paper pusher,” she said. “In order to do this, I needed to improve my business acumen. I looked for programs that provided a diverse curriculum that emphasized business acumen and had classes like Financial Accounting and Metrics. The Moore School’s curriculum fit my requirements exactly.”

Through the Master of Human Resources program, Spaulding has learned how to think creatively and innovatively, which she believes will help her in her career after graduation. 

“The most important thing that I have learned is how to think outside of the box,” she said. “Our professors often presented us with problems that had no right answer. We had to learn how to look at different perspectives and be able to show the logic that we used that led us to the conclusion that our solutions were the best. This skill is something that I know I will use in my career.”

Spaulding said she is grateful for her time spent in the MHR program and the opportunity to be a part of such a reputable program. Having faculty and staff that care so much about their students’ success is something she appreciates.

“The students, faculty and staff are amazing,” she said. “Because of the program’s reputation, we have had a ton of Fortune 500 companies visit and recruit our students. I have not heard of another program that affords their students as much exposure.”

After graduation, Spaulding said she hopes to find a position in middle management in a large corporation, preferably working overseas.

“I would like to work overseas because I want to become a well-rounded professional,” she said. “I believe that working overseas will help me experience different cultures and give me the tools to move up in my career.” 

-Claire McGrath

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.