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Darla Moore School of Business

IMBA fellowship gives candidate ability to ‘smash ceilings, re-imagine what is possible’

Image of Troy Etta Knox

Troy Etta Knox (’22 marketing and USC political science, ‘24 IMBA expected graduation) knows a thing or two about reinvention. After career ventures as a singer/songwriter and later a successful landscape design company owner, Knox has always been a dreamer and a hard worker.

As the single mother of two children, Knox first tried to make her big break in the music industry in New York and Los Angeles. She moved back to her Lake Wylie, South Carolina, hometown in 2014 and later started her own “award-winning” landscape design consulting firm in the Charlotte metro area.

Once her youngest child graduated from high school several years ago, Knox said she felt “unfulfilled and felt the calling to go back to school to get a bachelor’s degree.”

She finished her USC bachelor’s in marketing and political science in 2022 and enrolled in the International MBA program immediately after graduation.

“I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to get my International MBA,” Knox said. “I am a South Carolina native and being an alum of USC there was no better choice. The Moore School is the No. 1 International MBA program in the country, so it was a no-brainer for me to stay at my beloved ‘Carolina’ to pursue my advanced degree.”

Another incentive for Knox to attend the USC IMBA program was being named a Pozen Scholar. Knox is one of two International MBA students to benefit from the inaugural fellowship funded by former financier Robert “Bob” Charles Pozen.

The Pozen Scholar fellowship aims to “enhance the Moore School’s diversity and inclusion efforts within the two-year full-time international MBA program.” It is intended specifically for minority students in South Carolina in hopes that they will earn their International MBAs and stay in the state to positively contribute to South Carolina’s workforce.

Knox, a “proud” South Carolina native, expressed her gratitude to Pozen and the Moore School for the opportunity.  

“I prayed for this, and I am a witness that prayer works, and dreams do come true. Without the Pozen Scholar fellowship, I would not have been able to pursue my IMBA at this time because of finances,” she said. “As a first-generation college graduate, I will be the first one in my family to attain an MBA. The fellowship has not only provided me with the financial ability to pursue my MBA, it has also postured me to smash ceilings, re-imagine what is possible and create a new vision for success, access and wealth for my family.” 

Knox said she chose to attend the Moore School in part due to its commitment to diversity and inclusion “and strategic investments to attract and support diverse candidates.”

“One of the most exciting things about the International MBA at the Moore School is that it offers a very well-structured study abroad opportunity that I feel will broaden my global perspective in an extraordinary and meaningful way,” Knox said. 

Knox plans to travel to Paris in her second year in the IMBA program. She cited the language and culture as her reasons, as well as the fact that the ESCP Business School in Paris, one of the Moore School’s partner campuses, is touted as the world’s first business school and one of the best in the world.

“The value of an MBA education is the exposure to diverse perspectives, frameworks and theories that allow you to tackle and solve complex problems in a structured and logical way,” she said. “I am excited to have the opportunity to put theory into practice through internships and a global immersion.”

In the next five to ten years, Knox said she is looking forward to becoming a senior executive in global commercial strategy within a leading global biotech company that is “dedicated to using advancements in science, medicine and technology to find cures and life-saving treatments for the unmet medical needs of people living with life-threatening diseases.”

-Sydney Hankinson

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.