2021 Best & Brightest Business Major: Ross Meldrum, University of San Diego

Ross Meldrum

University of San Diego School of Business

“I’m a game-changer — on the soccer field now, in the business world next.”

Fun fact about yourself: Before coming to USD, I had played soccer against Premier League stars Marcus Rashford and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Hometown: Chelmsford, England

High School: The Boswells School

Major: Economics and Political Science

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: My favorite business course at the University of San Diego School of Business was my Behavioral Economics class with Dr. (Alison) Sanchez. We covered some really interesting topics and applications, and Dr. Sanchez made the class so fun and inclusive. Even though the class was taught remotely midway through the semester, we were able to make the most of our time and still completed our research projects. My project highlighted a possible motivation for altruistic behavior, for which I called upon the USD School of Business community for survey responses to inform my research.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Captain, USD Men’s Soccer Team
  • Vice President, USD Economics Council
  • Team Representative, USD Student Athlete Advisory Committee
  • Delta Sigma Pi Professional Business Fraternity
  • Team Impact Mentor
  • Omicron Delta Epsilon International Honor Society for Economics
  • Dean’s List every semester
  • Mentor, Linda Vista Boys and Girls Club
  • USD Model United Nations

Where have you interned during your college career? Unfortunately, the pandemic disrupted my plans for an internship this past summer. However, I was able to take on a role as a research assistant in Dr. Sanchez’s Behavioral Analytics and Decision Analysis Lab.

Where will you be working after graduation? I have recently applied to graduate school back home in London where I hope to study either Development Studies or Public Policy.

What company do you admire most? I really admire Patagonia for the way they have built a successful and quality brand whilst never compromising on the ethics of their business and the sustainability of their products. Whether it’s helping to tackle climate change or working to have everyone in their supply chain receive a living wage, I think they set an excellent example for other companies to follow.

Who is your favorite professor? My favorite professor has to be Dr. Alyson Ma. She was my academic advisor freshman year and my first economics professor. She really got me interested in economics and is definitely the reason I chose it as my major. Even though she is no longer my advisor, she has always been my first port of call whenever I had questions about which classes to take, my plans after graduation, or just about anything else. She has always been there to help and has supported me throughout my time at USD.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest thing that I have learned, especially as an economist, is that the future is in data. This is something that the USD School of Business is already adapting to and I really value the data analytics classes I have taken. The ability to transform data into actionable insight and then to convey this information in a way that is easy to understand is going to be crucial for the next generation of business students.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? When making decisions about what to major in or which classes to take, find a balance between thinking about what will make you more employable and what it is you’re really interested in and excited to learn about. Often these will align, but it’s always important to enjoy what you’re doing. When you’re studying something you love, success will come naturally.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I think the breadth of what the USD School of Business has to offer is what has surprised me most. As a freshman, I imagined that my classes would be entirely focused on balance sheets and cash flows. Instead, I have had opportunities to learn to code as well as take classes ranging from topics such as big data in business to behavioral economics.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? If I were to redo my experience at the USD School of Business, I would take advantage of office hours and build relationships with my professors a lot earlier on. This is something I didn’t do as a freshman, but now I make an effort to meet with all of my professors during office hours. Not only does it help me understand class material better, but faculty at the USD School of Business have so much insight and wisdom. They’re the most valuable resource we have as students. Thankfully, I have built close relationships with many of my professors and will definitely keep in touch after graduation.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of how I have improved throughout my time at USD. I started freshman year in a new country, having been out of full-time education for two years, and so it took time to adjust. Since then, my grades have gotten better each semester, I have found subjects that I am passionate about and have developed a love for learning again. Last semester, I even earned the best grades of my college career!

Which classmate do you most admire? The classmate that I admire most is Matthew Wiher. He is a soccer teammate of mine and we were roommates sophomore year. I have always been impressed by the way he has continued to learn new skills and pursue his own interests despite his demanding schedule. For example, while keeping up with studies and soccer, he has taught himself how to surf and how to play the guitar. His hard-working attitude and the way he balances his commitments while taking time for himself is something I look up to.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I’d like to thank my parents for my success. They’ve always given me the freedom to pursue my dreams and make my own decisions (and my own mistakes). My academic journey has been anything but normal, but they have always supported me in whatever way they can and have both made sacrifices to allow me to be where I am today. I will always be grateful for that.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

My top two professional goals aren’t positions I want to hold or companies I want to work for, but rather experiences and outcomes. First, I want to spend time working abroad. I have always been fascinated by different countries and cultures and I would love the experience of working in a new environment and learning a new language. Secondly, I want the work I am doing to have a real, tangible impact on peoples’ day-to-day lives. I don’t see any better use of my USD education than to apply the lessons and skills I’ve learned to create positive change.

What are your hobbies? I have always enjoyed watching and playing sports, particularly soccer, but also rugby and tennis. More recently, I’ve begun to enjoy cooking and have become an avid reader.

What made Ross such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“Ross stands out among the Class of 2021 as an exceptional student and stellar athlete. Not only is he a leader on the pitch as captain of USD’s Men’s Soccer Team, but he’s also a leader as vice president of the Economics Council on campus. In the classroom, he has maintained impressive grades while seeking new academic challenges with classes that both interested him and would propel his learning, even taking the extra step to volunteer to assist a professor with a literature review. Ross was also recognized for his academic performance at an athletic awards event. His true passion is for social and public policies, through which he hopes to help provide solutions to social challenges such as poverty and inequality while working at an NGO.”

Adriana Vamosiu
Associate Professor of Economics
University of San Diego School of Business


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