Creating Career Magic with a University of South Carolina MBA

When Walt Disney said, “Here is the world of imagination, hopes, and dreams” he wasn’t referring to the University of South Carolina, but he might as well have been.

At the University of South Carolina (UofSC), you’ll meet extraordinary individuals from around the world who choose our community in pursuit of their career dreams. We wanted to introduce you to another unstoppable UofSC student, Alyson Berry.

Alyson, a member of our 2019 cohort, opted to pursue her UofSC MBA after working for The Walt Disney Company in Orlando. She sat down recently to discuss her professional accomplishments, personal aspirations and why she chose the Moore School’s full-time MBA program.

What were your career plans before beginning the program?My undergraduate degree is in literature with a minor in film, so I love storytelling. As a storytelling company whose primary function is to bring joy to people all over the world, The Walt Disney Company was the perfect marriage of my passions and talents. It was a natural fit.

What did you do in your last role?
I was on a team that helped develop a new service focused on providing an elevated experience for elite celebrities and high-net-worth individuals. As a new line of business, there were many exciting challenges and learning experiences within the collaborative effort. Best of all, I got to work side-by-side with some iconic Disney cast members to create magic for our guests.

What was your ‘aha’ moment for applying to the MBA?
The big moment for me was when I realized that if I developed analytical skills and business acumen, I would be able to utilize my talents in a much more powerful, effective manner. By adding these skills to what I’d already learned in my time with The Walt Disney Company, I would have an even greater ability to create happiness and find fulfillment in my work.

Why did you choose the UofSC MBA?
I grew up going to football games at Williams-Brice Stadium and always wanted to attend UofSC for my undergraduate but received a scholarship from another university. When it came time to choose an MBA program, the University of South Carolina topped my list.

After coming to an interview on campus and interacting with the staff and faculty, I knew UofSC was not just the sentimental choice, it was also the smart choice. The Moore School has extensive career placement resources and it was obvious they were truly invested in my personal success. The accessibility of the faculty was completely unparalleled, and the dynamics of the cohort offered a sense of community. Plus, I’d be able to study in one the most impressive, state-of-the-art educational facilities I’ve ever seen. Finally, I knew all of these essential characteristics would not be part of any online degree experience.

Why did you choose the UofSC One-Year MBA over an International MBA?
I wanted a compromise between an online MBA and a two-year program. My employer had just started offering new educational benefits that would cover the cost of completing a virtual MBA program, but I wanted an immersive classroom experience. And, because I was at the Moore School, I knew I’d be getting the global perspective they’re so well known for.

What’s your typical day like?
Busy! I usually start the day with class from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with my cohort. During breaks we usually run upstairs together to grab coffee from Starbucks. After class, I often eat lunch in the graduate lounge before heading off to meet with my team to work on projects and case analyses. After meetings, I often go to the campus fitness center to work out or join a spin class. Many nights I join classmates for dinner or attend a sporting event later in the evening.

What do you like best about the program?
I love the sense of community, and I deeply appreciate that each student is regarded as an individual with entirely unique aspirations, talents and needs.

How would you describe the other students and faculty?
The presence of so many people with varied perspectives and life experiences makes UofSC an exciting place.Each person brings something special to the table, and that rounds out the entire experience. The supportive environment helps build meaningful relationships between the students and faculty. To me, that is invaluable.

What do you intend to do after you graduate?
I hope to go back to the entertainment industry. I enjoy working in an environment that harnesses creativity to make people happy!

Why should a prospective student consider the UofSC MBA?
While UofSC is rich in tradition and history (someone recently pointed out to me that this institution is older than many of our states), the program has a dynamic international perspective that helps students look to the future and expand their world view. The ratio of faculty to students allows for each individual to truly take advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow. At UofSC, you truly become unstoppable.