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#137 From Stand Up Comic to MBA Student with Rob O’Reilly, USC Marshall MBA ’20

“Going into the process I was concerned that I was an unconventional candidate. In my mind, MBAs were people who did accounting or finance as undergrads and worked in those industries. The truth of the matter is the vast majority of MBAs are not from those industries. It’s almost as if they should switch it around. Non-traditionals are the ones who did accounting.”




Rob O’Reilly performed stand up comedy for 16 years. Then he decided to get an MBA. We discuss his application journey to USC Marshall.


  • Rob’s background (3:25)
  • MBA career goals and positioning (8:00)
  • The GMAT and showing “quant skills” (18:13)
  • Shortlisting business schools (23:06)
  • Communicating your interest to business schools (32:30)
  • Interviews (39:55)
  • The future of entertainment content (45:32)
  • Looking forward to USC Marshall (45:50)

About Our Guest

Rob O’Reilly worked as a standup comic, production assistant, staff writer, video producer, and TV producer – most recently for MTV’s Ridiculousness – before applying for an MBA. He has landed appearances on The Tonight Show, Last Comic Standing and Live at Gotham. He was named one of LA Weekly’s Top 10 Comedy Acts to Watch and one of TBS’s 101 Funniest Comedians. He’ll be attending USC Marshall’s MBA program this Fall. Rob got his B.A. in Television from Boston University.

Show Notes


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