Bradley Jacob, an online MPA student, found that by taking advantage of every opportunity he was presented with at USC, he felt a deeper connection to the Trojan Family. (Photo: Courtesy of Bradley Jacob).Bradley Jacob, an online MPA student, found that by taking advantage of every opportunity he was presented with at USC, he felt a deeper connection to the Trojan Family. (Photo: Courtesy of Bradley Jacob)

When it comes to pursuing an online master’s degree, the benefits seem obvious: more flexibility, access to global perspectives, and classes designed for working professionals. Still, prospective students often worry that by joining a remote learning environment, they won’t have the same opportunity to immerse themselves in the wider university community. For graduate students at USC that’s not the case. 

“To the degree that it’s possible, say yes to everything.”

After working in finance, Master of Public Administration (MPA) online alum Bradley Jacob wanted to pivot towards more mission driven work. He returned to school to gain more clarity on the next steps in their career. 

The MPA online program worked for him on many different levels, but Jacob was concerned he wouldn’t forge strong bonds with his classmates or find his place in the USC community. Ultimately, it was his commitment to saying “yes” to every arising opportunity that led him to become director of external affairs at USC Graduate Student Government, a role that transformed his relationship with the university.

Initially, Jacob accepted the position to build out his policy portfolio, but he quickly became dedicated to promoting initiatives that benefited the USC graduate school population at the “local, state and federal level.” The role allowed him to connect with fellow Trojans and make lasting impacts on the university. 

“There’s a great opportunity at USC to join many different types of clubs and student-run groups that provide opportunities to meet people, work on initiatives that you care about and have the cachet of the USC name both on campus and off campus,” he said. “So, say yes to everything. For me, that philosophy led to so much.”

For more on Bradley Jacob’s experience with the Master of Public Administration online and USC Graduate Student Government, as well as stories from other online students, read the full USC Online article.