Inspired by Daughter’s Graduation, USC Marshall Student Joins Online Master’s Program

shari austin

“It’s never too late to make a change or learn or grow. You’re never too old … Don’t give up on the dream to keep going,” says Shari Austin, a student in the online MS in Global Supply Chain Management program.

There are several reasons students can choose to return to school and earn their graduate degree: to switch careers, to advance in their chosen fields and to further their love of education, among many.

For Shari Austin, however, a primary motivator was her daughter.

After watching her now-21-year-old daughter graduate from high school, Austin was inspired to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Applied Management from Grand Canyon University and — soon after — her Master of Science in Global Supply Chain Management (MSGSCM) from USC Marshall School of Business.

“I know it didn’t matter to my daughter [that I didn’t have a degree], but to me, it did. That’s why I started going back to school, and it made me feel really positive about myself. I realized I didn’t want to give it up,” said Austin, who joined the online MSGSCM program this fall.

Another personal inspiration came from her church community: “There was a 60-something blind man at my church who got his degree. I thought, ‘If he can do it, I can do it.’ So, I’ve never stopped going to classes … and I’ve kept on with my education. Now, I’m about to get my master’s degree at USC at 41 years old,” she said.

Austin, who serves as a strategic customer specialist at DHL Global Forwarding, loves her current position and has no plans to leave the major freight forwarder, where she’s worked for the past 22 years. With her MSGSCM degree, she hopes she will not only further her knowledge in supply chain logistics and management, but also take on new roles and responsibilities as she continues her career path at DHL.

“After I got my bachelor’s degree, I knew I wasn’t where I wanted to be and that I wanted to continue to learn,” Austin said of her decision to enroll in the program.

Read Shari’s Story