Murali Joshi: 2016 Best and Brightest

Murali Joshi USC

Murali Joshi 

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business 

Hometown: Fremont, California

High School: The Harker School

Major: Business Administration B.S.

Favorite Business Courses: Global Strategy, The Entrepreneurial Mindset – Taking the Leap, Global Leadership, Business Finance

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College: 

Extracurricular Activities & Leadership Roles 

Marshall Case Team – President & Competing Member

Marshall School sponsored a team to compete and represent USC internationally in various case competitions. I was selected to compete in two international competitions, one of the two students to skip the training semester.

Teacher’s Assistant & Grader

I was selected to be the Teacher’s Assistant and Grader for an Upper Division Engineering class focused on Database Management. This required holding time for students to answer questions and grade extensive amounts of exams, projects, and homework.  

Research Assistant – Management and Organization Department

Coded over 2,000 cities understanding and analyzing the different trends in economic activities in New Orleans, Louisiana to study how business communication worked historically. This process required a meticulous attention to detail.

Los Angeles Community Impact (LACI) – Team Lead for Muslims for Progressive Values

A pro-bono consulting organization on campus that helps non-profits and small businesses, which combines social impact, community service, and analytical business thinking. This role focused leading a team to on help a Muslim non-profit on reaching their long-term goal of creating a safe haven for progressive Muslims in the LA area.

LACI – Team Lead for Hip Hop Chocolates

A pro-bono consulting organization on campus that helps non-profits and small businesses, which combines social impact, community service, and analytical business thinking. This role, for the coming semester, involves leading another team of students for helping a small business in the LA area that helps a low-income demographic/community.

LACI – Vice President of Human Resources

My role entailed leading a three-stage extensive and thorough recruitment process for selecting 15 out of a pool of 260+ applicants. In the role, I’ve changed the deliberations and evaluation mechanism to ensure more objectivity and quality of the candidates. Furthermore, this involves leading new member workshops where the HR team teaches client relationship, PowerPoint, presentation, and research skills.

LACI – Vice President of External Relations

Having been one of few 2nd year Vice Presidents in the organization, my role entailed maintaining all relationships outside of LACI’s core consulting function, which included leading case workshops, alumni relations, sponsorship, and other professional events. Combining my passion for community service and business, I executed and created USC’s first social impact focused case competition in this role, which was recognized by the Marshall School Dean’s office.  

Marshall Business Student Government (MBSG) -Vice President of Communications 

As the Vice President of MBSG, the organization helps facilitate all social and professional development events for 3000+ Marshall students. In Communications, we emphasize supporting other Marshall organizations and promoting different events combined with internal and external affairs. This involves leading a group of 35-40 Directors and Associates who report directly to the Vice President role.

MBSG – Director of Corporate Sponsorship

In this role, the sponsorship director is focused on developing corporate partners in lieu of finding funding for the various events that we chose to host. I was able to raise over $4,000 over a span of a few months working with Princeton Review and The Built Burger.

Net Impact: Social Entrepreneurship – Vice President of Marketing

As the VP of Marketing, Net Impact raised over $500 in a span of one week towards a different social cause ever semester. Recently, we raised funds towards animal shelters and safety after using a Pet-A-Pup fundraiser.

Southern California Indo-Americans – Director of Outreach

SCIA is a cultural organization for South Asians in the USC community. As an active South Asian, we facilitate professional and social workshops, events, panels, and mixers where current students and alumni can meet one another. Outside of mentorship programs to panels, my role involved connecting with different South Asian business to help promote the cultural connection that the organization facilitates.

Honors & Awards 

KPMG Case Competition Winner (International)

Won an International Competition at USC, Regionals & Nationals.

Target Case Competition Winner (USC)

Won the Target competition focused on healthcare and pharmaceuticals

HKUST Citi Case Competition Finalist (International) 

Finalist in the top 20 international teams in a hospitality case competition

EY Case Competition Finalist (2nd Place)

Finalist in a risk and security advisory competition

Academic Achievement Award (USC)

Awarded to students in interdisciplinary studies with a GPA over 3.75

Altria Case Competition Winner (USC)

Won the Altria Case Competition hosted at USC by analyzing a case study

Business Today International Conference

Selected as one of the top 150 students in the world to attend Business, Tech, and Innovation conference in New Jersey hosted by Business Today

Trojan First Year Leadership Award (USC)

Awarded to one freshman student for his or her involvement at USC

Top 10 SAP’s Retail Rumble Contest (National)

Placed in the Top 10 for SAP’s Retail Rumble Contest

Stevens Innovator Showcase Finalist (USC)

Selected in Top 30 Entrepreneurial projects – Founder

Deans List (USC) 

Awarded to students with a Marshall GPA of 3.5 and higher

Aldo J. De Soto Endowed Scholar

Selected to receive highest Marshall continuing scholarship two years in a row

Emerging Leaders Program (USC)

Chosen to represent the top freshman student leaders in a semester long service program

Where have you interned during your college career? 

  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch – Palo Alto, CA – Investment Banking Summer Analyst – Technology, Media and Telecommunications
  • Ernst & Young – San Francisco, CA – Performance Improvement: Customer Strategy Management Consulting Intern
  • Cisco Systems – San Jose, CA – Portfolio Transformation & Business Analyst Intern
  • TEDxFremont – Palo Alto, CA – Founding Curating Team and Operation/Logistics Head
  • The Khan Academy – Mountain View, CA – Pilot Program Lead and Youth Representative

Describe your dream job: My dream job involves being the Chief Strategy or Financial Officer of a billion-dollar, high-growth technology company that creates a positive impact for its users and the community around them.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? The most enjoyable experience about being a business major comes from learning from doing. Unlike traditional STEM or other majors that involve understanding detailed facts and events, business-related fields require you to critically think when placed in a real-life scenario in order to succeed. Through my pro-bono consulting group, Los Angeles Community Impact and Marshall Case Team, I felt that I met a group of intellectually curious business students while also developing tangible skill sets that I’d be able to take into the workplace. The combination of both these facets made it the most enjoyable part of being a business major at USC Marshall.

Where would you like to work after graduation? I’ll be working as an Investment Banking Analyst at Goldman Sachs Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Group in San Francisco. 

What are your long-term professional goals? One day, I hope to make a large impact in technology sector – whether it be investing in high growth companies from an operational perspective, as an executive for a start-up, or funding early or late stage companies as a venture capitalist. I hope that both my functional and domain expertise will align to find a role for me to accomplish these long-term goals. Additionally, I strongly value mentorship and community growth. Thus, I see myself being a professor as a means for sharing the knowledge and experiences to those who seek that education. 

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…I placed top three internationally in a high school business competition.” 

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…an adjunct professor at a premiere business school and co-founder of the next billion dollar start-up. 

What was the happiest moment of your life? The happiest moment of my life was getting into USC. After visiting the school during my junior year of high school, I knew this was where I wanted to study. Initially, I was rejected from the school during the regular decision deadline. However, after noticing my overall application standing and qualifications changed drastically since initially applying, I appealed my decision, which resulted in receiving an acceptance notice in the spam folder of my email. My excitement led me to accidently drop my laptop that had the news that I was accepted into USC’s Marshall School of Business.

Which academic or personal achievement are you most proud of? My proudest achievement at USC was both an academic and personal one. As a business student who has fortunately had the chance to be challenged in different case competitions and real-life client work, the KPMG International Case Competition reshaped my perception of skill development and my weaknesses. Being a sophomore at the time, my team and I had chance to go all the way to Brazil from winning at USC, Dallas, and New York. During each stage, our competition got harder as students from different schools brought a variety of skill sets to the table from either presentation, financial or analytical experiences. It was this moment that helped me realize the meaning behind confidence in the quality and output of the work that you create. In business, students often question the legitimacy of their deliverables mainly due to the ambiguity of others around them. While maintaining humility, it’s imperative to communicate, structure, and assess your work in any stressful situation. Furthermore, working in a team of three other peers helped simulate the soft skills that are required to push the good from the great in the corporate environment. Having worked at EY the summer after this experience, I’ve verified my deep gratitude and appreciation towards the learning experience from this competition, regardless of winning or losing.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? Dolphin – They are one of the most articulate and smart animals in the animal kingdom. Some are argued to have the cognitive processing to a similar capacity as humans, resonating with my desire to always think beyond the surface level of a problem or issue. Furthermore, I believe my professional brand revolves around maintaining a reputation of being ambitious, intellectual, and genuine – all attributes of a dolphin. When it comes to building relationships or my network, I always believe in having genuine conversation while showing my true intellectual curiosity in the discussion at the time. 

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I want to thank my mentors for my success to date. Answering this question with one individual would be nearly impossible since it was the collective guidance, wisdom, and support of various individuals who have helped me reach every accolade. It started with my father, who has always reinforced my focus on personally developing myself with a strong value system rather than focusing on the end result. This was supplemented by my professors, who have guided me towards thinking outside of the box and going beyond the problem at hand. Lastly, the fellow USC Trojan family and network of friends who have decided to put my interest above theirs. My mentors never make decisions for me. Most have taught me that the most difficult decisions always have to be made on your own. However, the role of my mentors have enabled me to absorb, then synthesize, their experiences to make an informed decision for myself. Without this knowledge, I wouldn’t be able to claim any version of “success” in my accomplishments. 

Fun fact about yourself: Despite being born in America, I didn’t learn how to speak a sentence of English until I was 5 years old. 

Favorite book: Modern Romance – Aziz Ansari 

Favorite movie: Good Will Hunting 

Favorite musical performer: Jay-Z 

Favorite vacation spot: Sao Paulo, Brazil 

What are your hobbies? Pick-up Basketball, Poker, Mentorship, Hiking and Exploring Cities

What made Murali such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2016?

“As a student leader within the Marshall community, Murali is incredibly generous with his time, planning programming and events for student organizations, as well as explaining complicated business concepts or ideas to students on his case competition teams. Personally, he doesn’t shy away from “stretch” goals and is quite accomplished on both the academic and career fronts.  I know that Murali’s mentality of ‘giving back’ will stay with him once he graduates and I’m confident he will remain a strong Marshall supporter as an alumnus.”

Anne Ziemniak
Director of Undergraduate Student services
USC, Marshall School of Business