Customer Success Management

USF MBA Career Accelerator Platform

The USF Customer Success Management CAP is an academic program focused on the rapidly growing CSM profession. Through coursework, company visits, workshops, and industry consulting projects, this Career Accelerator Platform prepares students for a variety of customer-centric roles within the technology industry.

Information for Companies Interested in Student Consulting Projects

Company Participation

About the USF MBA Career Accelerator Program

Video: What is Customer Success?

"We're given the opportunity to work with product individuals, with sales, with finance, with leadership. So what people go to (Customer) Success for is to have the exposure into different teams and things that they might be curious about for long-term career growth.

Mark Dondanville, MBA '13
Strategic Success Manager

Video: Leadership in Customer Success Education

"Our university, USF, is essentially the first master's program to have customer success as a curriculum. They gave me more experience in terms of applying some of the in-class knowledge to real-world projects."

Kaveleen Batra MBA '19

Information for Students

Required three classes

  • Customer Success Management and SaaS
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Marketing Research Methods

CAP-Focus Classes

For Students Interested in Careers in Customer Success Management


  • Customer Success Management
  • Product Management
  • Operations Analysis
  • Customer Experience Management
  • Customer Insights Analysis
  • Account Management

CAP OVERVIEW

Students in the Customer Success Management (CSM) CAP develop the skills, attitudes, and perspectives needed to become trusted business advisors, effective business analysts, and valuable partners and consultants, with a focus on customer-facing activities, processes, and data.

CSM students and graduates work to drive customer retention and loyalty through operational, product, and process improvement.  Because of USF's location and connections within the Bay Area’s dynamic tech industry, the CSM CAP places a special focus on technology companies with subscription-based business models.

These companies must systematically monitor, understand, and improve their customers’ experience in order to (a) profitably retain customers; (b) develop referenceable customer success stories; and (c) increase revenues through account growth and new customer acquisition. Students and graduates from the CSM CAP understand how important all of this is – and how to help make it happen.

 CSM Student Consulting Projects

Customer Success Management Student Consulting Projects provide value for both the students in this CAP and for the companies that they work with.  Past projects have included analysis of customer churn data, examination of Net Promoter Score trends and drivers, and evaluation of customer profitability and product usage patterns. Projects have come from large organizations (including McKesson, Charles Schwab, and Sage/Intacct) and also from mid- and early-stage companies.

Spring 2019 Project Cycle Example

  • “Pitch Presentations” From Clients
    February 4–15
  • Students Assigned to Teams and Clients
    February 18
  • Project Kickoff Meetings
    February 19–25
  • Statement of Work Approved by Clients and Professor
    March 1
  • Weekly Project Status Meetings (with Professor) and Check-Ins (with Lead Client Contact)
    March 1 – May 3
  • Mid-Project Status Presentation to Clients Client Feedback to Project Teams
    April 1–5
  • Final Presentations to Clients
    May 13–17

Additional Student Project Opportunities

The CSM program also has MBA students working on Innovation Projects throughout the year. Please check with Professor Mehrotra (vmehrotra@usfca.edu) if interested in exploring other possibilities.

Company Participation FAQs

What is the primary commitment required for our company to participate?

Each client company is required to designate a primary Point of Contact (POC) for the project.  The POC will work with the project team to determine who is needed for the project kick-off meeting and for the final project presentation and to coordinate other activities (most notably data delivery and quick feedback on preliminary results).  An important part of our process is teaching the students to respect their client’s time and efficiently collaborate with the POC.

Where will the project work take place?

Except for occasional meetings, the bulk of the project work will take place at the USF Campus in downtown San Francisco.

Will our information and data be secure?

Our students and faculty take client confidentiality very seriously.  If needed, we will usually be happy to sign non-disclosure documents (and can provide examples from past projects if needed).

What happens at the end of the project?

Our teams work diligently with clients to ensure that results, knowledge, and recommendations are successfully transferred to the client organization.  In some cases, students are hired as interns by their clients to continue the project work or to build on their project experience to tackle other challenges.

I would like to get some more information about company participation. What should I do?

We are happy to discuss possibilities with you.  Please contact Professor Vijay Mehrotra (vmehrotra@usfca.edu) with any questions that you might have.

CAP Director, Customer Success Management


Vijay Mehrotra

Professor
(415) 422-2257

Professor Vijay Mehrotra serves as a professor of Business Analytics at the University of San Francisco, where he has recently developed an innovative module for his MBA students that is focused on Customer Success Management (the first such academic program in the world). He also leads the Business Analytics concentration within USF's MBA program and teaches courses in Business Analytics, Predictive Modeling, and Data Mining. Since 1992, he has been active in the world of analytics, technology...

Education:

Ph.D., Operations Research, Stanford University, 1992, M.S., Operations Research, Stanford University, 1989, B.A. Mathematics, Economics and Statistics, St. Olaf College, 1986

Contact Info

Admission: Graduate

Monday–Friday 9 a.m–5 p.m.

University of San Francisco
Downtown Campus
101 Howard Street, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 422-2221