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Meet USC Price Alum Yoko Igawa

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Meet Yoko Igawa, MPA '09, Public Affairs Manager at Foothill Transit, who credits her experience at the Price School with teaching her how to "swing to find her swing."

 

Q: What was your most inspirational moment as a Price student?
A: It's impossible for me to identify just one moment. It's easier for me to describe how having been a Price student has made a lasting impact on the guiding values that continue to inspire my career goals. I had such amazing professors and equally great classmates who further enhanced how and what I learned from them. Among those professors was one who taught us that "you have to swing to find your swing," using a baseball analogy to drive home that the practice of leadership and being the best version of ourselves at our careers entails having the courage to continuously commit to taking a stab at our goals (and possibly failing in the process). I credit him for cultivating my inclination to be action-oriented to the extent that I am today, and it roots back to when he would redirect my questions into mini-assignments that resulted in founding one of the Price student organizations (the USC Price Asian Pacific Islander Caucus), and at one time, getting directly in touch with one of our former Price School Deans for what turned out to be the most meaningful conversation I've ever had to date on the subject of leading change. Making a practice out of setting out to take the initiative, and if necessary, learning from failing from doing so helped transform how I approach a lot of what I do today.

 

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your work today?
A: I love having the opportunity to directly engage with the public that Foothill Transit serves, while simultaneously being able to interface regionally at the city, county, state, and federal government levels to influence transportation policy. It's rewarding to see - and have a hand at - how every level of our government comes together to address public transportation needs, and ultimately, improve the lives of people and the communities within Los Angeles, and specifically, within San Gabriel Valley where I was born and raised!

 

Q: What made you decide to give back, and join the Alumni Board?
A: They weren't kidding when they say that our Trojan network is lifelong and worldwide. It's funny to be asked what made me "decide" to give back, because to me it wasn't a decision to be part of the network, but just a fact of life that I was already part of it. I didn't know it then, but I was already part of the USC Price Trojan Family from the time we started getting GPAC emails, weeks before my first day of instruction even started as a MPA student. Serving on the USC Price Alumni Board of Directors is a way to continue enhancing the lifelong professional and personal benefits of being a Price alumnus. I've met lifelong Trojan friends and mentors in the process, and as an added perk, everything we invest our time in doing on the Board further adds value to that USC degree we have on our resumes, and really, to the value of our alma mater. It's a win-win situation, and I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to be in the company of so m any people I have come to respect.

 

Interview contents originally published on USC Sol Price School facebook page. Check here to view.