Asia Simonelli

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Alumni Details:
Name: Asia Simonelli
Program(s) / Degree(s): BBA (International Business and Spanish), IMBA (Marketing)
Grad Year(s): 2006, 2011
Employment Info:
Job Title: Associate Brand Manager
Company Name: WD-40 Company
Industry: CPG

What motivated you to continue with higher education?
I was looking for a career change and a new challenge. I wasn't passionate about what I was doing and didn't want to settle, so after I gave it some time and thought, I knew going back for my MBA would open new doors for me. I wanted to switch from recruiting to marketing (brand management).

What factors led you to choose your program at the University of San Diego?
I wanted a career based in San Diego, so it was important to me to select a university that is deeply connected to that community. I also went to USD as an undergrad and remembered the one on one attention I received from faculty and staff. That sort of mentoring is invaluable when taking your career to the next level.

How has your experience with the USD changed your life?
I have built long-lasting relationships with faculty, staff, and classmates and have used this network in my job search. I'm always available to help a fellow Torero. It goes both ways.

What were your first impressions of your program?
The IMBA is a diverse program, and I was excited to meet with students from across the globe. Our cohort quickly bonded with the offsite trip to Mexico, and there was no looking back.

What did you like best about being a student in your program?
I enjoyed the international travel opportunities. I took advantage of every summer and winter intersession to study or gain work experience in a new country. I didn't have to go away for an entire semester to experience it either. I did a marketing project for a small business in Bangalore, India. USD provided the perfect balance of professional and personal development.

How has your business degree from USD helped you succeed?
Brand Management positions are becoming more competitive, and having an MBA is almost expected now.

What key skill did you acquire that has helped you to thrive in your career?
Leadership. I do a lot of project management in my day-to-day job, and being able to work well with cross-functional teams is imperative. Being the President of the Graduate Business Student Association (GBSA) gave me the leadership skills I needed to succeed outside of the classroom environment.

What advice do you have for students entering your program?
Start networking and building relationships early, and make sure you get as much work experience as possible while in school (project-based, internship, etc.)

How have you connected with the USD network?
I am a member of the School of Business Alumni Council. I joined after completing my masters.