Erica Wenger, Cohort 5
Bio: Erica Wenger is currently a teammate at Madefor and founder of Mahkana. She attended USC earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration and Master’s of Science in Social Entrepreneurship. Erica has previously worked for Warner Brothers, NBCUniversal, Morgan Stanley, and EY. Erica previously gave a TEDx talk on why she believes social entrepreneurship will change the world.
Current city: Los Angeles, CA
I am passionate about...
...about building impactful businesses.
What led you to USC and specifically the MSSE program?
I was drawn to the professors in the USC Marshall School, specifically those teaching in entrepreneurship/social entrepreneurship. I was drawn to the MSSE program because I wanted the tools to build a business and the connections with like-minded passionate classmates.
What personal or professional experiences do you believe helped shape your values and worldview?
Visiting Cambodia at 16 to film a documentary and realizing the wealth disparities outside my LA bubble. I didn’t realize until much later how much it impacted me.
What lessons and experiences at USC and the MSSE program helped build the foundation for your career today?
Many of the professors have supported and mentored me through all my crazy business ideas. One thing that stands out the most is a counselor learning my story and identifying that I should look into social entrepreneurship and apply for a special program before I really knew anything about that career path/field. If it weren’t for her not sure how long it would’ve taken me to find that clarity.
What advice do you have for current students?
Be kind to others. The world is small (especially the social impact space) and you only get one reputation.