By: Cynthia Brazzel, Director, Member Relations and Advocacy for the Western Region, Food Marketing Institute
USC Tommy Trojan

In 2017 FMI welcomed food retail university and college programs to become full-fledged members so they could access the research and resources of our association. At the same time, our university and college members offer our retail and wholesale members an important opportunity—access to career enhancement and life-long learning opportunities as well as access to an incoming talent pool of graduates. We’ll be profiling each of our university and college members to showcase their programs and how they can help advance food retail industry professionals.

As an adult, I sometimes dream about what it would be like to go back to school. Knowing what I know now, how would I do things differently and what courses would I take? I recently had the chance to learn more about the Food Industry Management (FIM) Program at USC Marshall School of Business by talking with Cynthia McCloud, director of food industry programs, executive education and adjunct professor at the USC Marshall School of Business. I have to tell you, if I was to go back to school again at this point in my life, the FIM program at USC would be on the top of my list for its flexibility and high-caliber curriculum that really propels your career forward.

McCloud shared, “The USC FIM Program curriculum integrates the functional areas of business with cutting-edge theory and practical application to help students understand how all of the pieces of an organization fit together and work dynamically.”

As higher education evolves, USC is developing new ways to reach today’s working professionals in the food retail industry. That’s why they’ve developed the new online Master of Science in Food Industry Leadership (MS.FIL) program. This new program, which will launch in January 2019, will be primarily online, and students will complete their Master’s degrees in approximately 16 months. Students will also come to campus for two one-week residential sessions over four semesters, once at the beginning of the first semester and again at the beginning of the last semester.

Formal_Marshall_GoldOnCard“Our goal is to help food industry professionals continue growing their careers while completing a masters-level degree at USC from wherever they live and work,” said McCloud. “At the same time, this master’s degree aligns with the USC Marshall principle of creating a diverse learning environment that will prepare professionals for the global economy.”

As I talked to McCloud about how our industry and workforce are changing, she mentioned that she is seeing new careers in the food industry that are creating “intrapreneurs” who are willing to innovate and take more risks in order to better serve their current customer base and also a new, growing generation of consumers. McCloud added, “Our fast-paced, intensive programs at USC are designed to develop effective, forward-thinking leaders by developing conceptual thinking, analytical skills, general management and leadership abilities, and communication expertise.”

USC Marshall launched its FIM program in 1958 and is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Respected food retail industry alumni include: Kevin Davis, CEO of Bristol Farms; Karl Schroeder, president of Seattle Division of Albertsons Cos.; and Mike Hendry, executive vice president of Northgate Gonzalez Markets.

Learn more about USC Marshall professional programs: