Marshall Conference Brings Together Top Female Execs

The USC Marshall School of Business hosted the first annual MBA Women’s Conference, bringing top women executives, Marshall faculty, MBAs, alumnae and prospective students to the same place to discuss how women can shine in the modern business world.

The conference focused on women’s leadership and featured presentations by high ranking female executives representing the likes of Warner Bros., Credit Suisse, PepsiCo, Northrop Grumman, AT&T, Toyota, PwC, and Deloitte. The conference also awarded an inaugural New Venture Seed Competition grant of $40,000 to three enterprises led by female Marshall MBA students.Day one of the event at USC’s Davidson Conference Center included panel discussion on the development of women seeking advancement in both businesses, both corporate and entrepreneurial.

The panel, “A Seat at the Table,” featured women executives who rose through the ranks of what had traditionally been male-dominated industries, like Peggy Turner, vice president, Lexus Customer Services at Toyota Motor Sales, who outlined how women gain guidance and support through an extensively developed network, what she called a “personal board of directors.”

Day two was highlighted by the Women’s New Venture Seed Competition and offered monetary support for start ups masterminded by female Marshall MBAs. Shana Elson MBA ’14 took first place and $25,000 for Top This Chocolate, a customizable chocolate retail business venture. Arielle Ferscht MBA ‘14, Sharifa Haye, MBA ‘14 and Francesca Sweet MBA ‘14, finished second and was awarded $10,000 for their work with Activate, an entity to help elderly lead an active and independent life. Minterview, a peer-to-peer technology platform that allows students to practice interviewing through video-recording, envisioned by Stephanie Schwartz MBA’14, Amanda Yodowitz MBA’ 14, and Alina Efford MBA’ 14, earned third place and $5,000.


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