Melina Ranii

melina ranii student spotlight


MSEL, 2015
Director of Recruitment and Development, Trader Joe's

What factors led you to choose your program at the University of San Diego?

I chose the MSEL Program at USD because of its mission to “develop and inspire leaders who will transform their organizations and our world through service with compassion and integrity.” 

Compassion and Integrity are two values that we hold dear at Trader Joe’s and the MSEL program’s alignment with those values was a major attractor. I’ve always known that I wanted to keep learning, but a traditional MBA program never quite felt like a match. For me, a degree program needed to enhance my leadership ability and have an immediate and measurable impact on my current organization. 

After working with the Ken Blanchard Companies through my role at Trader Joe’s, I learned of the MSEL program. I researched extensively and realized that there is simply no other program in the country quite like it. And spending one weekend a month in beautiful San Diego isn’t too bad either!

What do you like best about being a student in your program?

The MSEL faculty is second-to-none. They are leaders in their field with real-world experiences and a strong record of developing business leaders. The courses are dynamic and engaging and the content can literally be applied on Mondays. I also love the cohort format. Knowing that I get to spend 22 months with such an accomplished group of established and emerging leaders is inspiring.

How will your business degree and experiences with USD help you succeed?

The MSEL program will help me bring the latest in leadership practices back to Trader Joe’s. As a growth company, the tools that I’m building in the MSEL Program will positively impact my ability to train and develop our future store leaders.

What are/were your first impressions of your program?

What struck me first was the beauty of the campus. What an amazing environment for learning! The commitment of the MSEL program’s staff was also apparent from the start. From application, to admission, to our first course, the MSEL team has made returning to school after 15 years easy. In just the first few months you could feel the support and caring from the students, the faculty, and the administration.

What advice do you have for students entering your program?

I’d encourage anyone considering the MSEL program to take some time to talk to past and current students…and then to count the number of times that they use the word “transformational!!"

Want to become a more inspiring and more globally minded leader? Explore the MSEL program!

Interested in learning more? Meet more of our students