MAPP Alumni Spotlight – Robbi Spencer ’20

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<p style="clear:both;margin-bottom:20px;"><a href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="" style="max-width:100%;" /></a></p><p style="clear:both;margin-bottom:20px;"><a href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank">University of Southern California </a></p>


Robbi Spencer ’20

Robbi is a graduate of the 2020 MAPP Online cohort and is a veteran of the United States Air Force. She received her BA in Psychology from UCLA and currently works as a Project Manager for the Skin Health North America PMO at Johnson & Johnson – Neutrogena.

What drew you to the MAPP program?
I originally started with a different master’s program and realized I made a mistake about halfway through the first semester and should have chosen MAPP. I knew I wanted to go into a psychology field rooted in the business world rather than typical therapy roles. Further, Consumer Psychology and Organizational Psychology were areas that I found fascinating and something that I could see as valuable to any organization.

What aspects of MAPP were rewarding? What aspects were challenging?
The areas of MAPP that were most rewarding were those related to consumer areas of study, including classes like Consumer Psychology, Organizational Psychology, Research Methods, Advanced Quant Methods, and UX Research. The skills learned in these courses are most relevant in my current role with J&J. It solidified that I made the perfect choice in choosing a graduate program. I was challenged along the entire journey, not just in classwork but also in learning to master time management, collaborating in virtual group settings across various time zones, and working with peers from diverse cultural backgrounds.

How has MAPP prepared you professionally?
MAPP prepared me for what life would be like in a large company like J&J. In my current role as Project Manager for the North America Skin Health PMO I am responsible for leading and executing a portfolio of innovation via New Product Development and Life Cycle Management. My projects include working with functional partners to define and align the business case, project scope, and end-to-end execution.

What advice would you give to current and prospective students?
I would advise students to trust the process and not take the time spent in MAPP for granted. Also, take the time to get to know your professors as they are lovely people and incredibly knowledgeable in their respective fields. The program will go by very quickly, so make the most of it. I always know when a new MAPP cohort has begun because I receive the most connect requests on LinkedIn. I always make it a point to extend myself beyond just a LinkedIn connection because I remember how I felt when I was in their shoes first starting the program. On that same note, I say to current students to not forget to reach back to those who are standing in the shoes you once stood in.