Picture of Danny Kradjian

Alumnus Attributes Success to USC Dornsife Education

Most new university graduates spend their first summer out of college trying to figure things out. Some may be preparing for graduate school, searching for a job or just taking a break before entering the post-graduate work world. For Danny Kradjian (B.A. International Relations and Global Business, 2014), the summer after his graduation from USC Dornsife held a very different set of challenges. That was when he started his business, Hillock Land Company, a real estate firm that focuses on mixed-use development. It’s a decision that he says his USC Dornsife education prepared him to undertake.

“I always attribute my professional successes to my experiences at USC,” he says. “I’m pretty sure that the opportunities that I have today wouldn’t have arisen had I not had the college experience that I had.”

21st Century Leaders 

In particular, Kradjian says that his studies at USC Dornsife taught him critical thinking and problem solving. It was in the nature of his major, which combined the study of history, international politics, anthropology, economics, public policy, and business.

“Deep analysis, looking at problems from different perspectives, being entrepreneurial — those are all things I learned at USC Dornsife,” he says. “What I’ve done in business comes from that, along with a commitment to do good.”

Four years later, Kradjian has built Hillock into a major player in real estate development in the Los Angeles area, with multiple mixed-use projects currently underway. He is motivated, he says, by a desire to “create projects that contribute to Los Angeles as a vibrant, walkable city.” He believes in the potential of planning and development to improve people’s health and well-being.

Paying it Forward 

Kradjian continues to stay involved at USC Dornsife by mentoring students who are interested in pursuing careers in real estate and business. He recently participated in a case workshop and roundtable discussion with students in a class offered by USC Dornsife’s Spatial Sciences Institute about the revitalization of the Los Angeles River.

“It was great to see people with so many different perspectives coming together,” he says. “The students also came prepared with really insightful questions.”

Kradjian is also participating in the Gateway Internship Program, which offers USC Dornsife students the opportunity to gain real-world internship experience in a field of interest over the summer. He also joined the USC Dornsife Alumni Advisory Council, whose members provide strategic counsel to USC Dornsife’s alumni relations department, serve as ambassadors for USC Dornsife with fellow alumni and the greater community, and grow philanthropic support of USC Dornsife through increased alumni engagement.

Kradjian relishes the opportunity to give back. “It’s very important to acknowledge when a place or person has invested in you,” he says. “And it’s also very important to repay that and make sure that others have those opportunities.”



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