Name: Stephen Huber
Pre-MBA Education: UC-Berkeley Nuclear Engineering
Work Before MBA: Nuclear Engineering for General Dynamics. Team lead and primary analyst for 19-person team responsible for operating international monitoring systems in accordance with UN Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).
Work After MBA / Post MBA Goals: Product Management and Strategy in Interactive Entertainment.
Why did you pick USC? Coming from the West Coast previously, I had personally seen the power of the Trojan Network. As someone with strong quant and leadership skills I was really looking for a strong network that could help me develop my own network. Although I knew this existed among the alumni, I realized during my campus visit that even the students were highly collaborative and that really sealed the deal for me.
Best part of program? The collaborative atmosphere at Marshall is definitely my favorite part. One of the key parts of the USC experience is the idea that we are all "One Marshall." This permeates all aspects of the MBA experience from academic to recruiting. I held several final review sessions with a classmate that negatively affected our final grade because we boosted the final score so much. On the recruiting side, when people are recruiting even for the same positions they give tips to their fellow classmates to help them in the process.
Favorite class/professor/learning experience - why? Management and Organization of Creative Industries: USC has deep ties with the entertainment industry due to it's location and how well known the film school is. This course dives deep into how films, music, and gaming currently operate and where they are headed for the future. The professor has brought guest speakers from Hulu, Netflix, Disney, Sony, Fox, and Amblin.
My alternate favorite experience are the review sessions that I've put on. I saw during our intensive first semester that several of my classmates wanted to understand the material in a few classes a bit more. I worked with a classmate of mine to put on review sessions for the finals of statistics, operations, macroeconomics, and
What were you most surprised to learn about USC after starting the program? USC really emphasizes communication and presentation skills. Within the first 3 weeks of the program, the CORE professors completely tear apart and rebuild how we are expected to present. This continues throughout the rest of the time at Marshall and there is just that expectation to perform at that high level.
Room for Improvement? There is definitely room to grow with on-campus recruiting and specific industries. Although the top companies do indeed have touch points, the various club leaders are making a concerted effort to get many of our high level alums on campus.
USC's ranking tanked a few years ago after the head of the career center left mid year and put many students in the lurch. As a result, the school is just now getting over the repercussions and returning to the top 25. The program office and career center are definitely focused on bringing in the best students possible and returning the program to the top 20.
Is it difficult for foreign students to find jobs in the US? It really depends on what industry and effort put in. I have foreign classmates who have landed positions in Tech, Consulting, Entertainment, and Finance; but at the same time there are some still searching (writing this in mid-April, so there is still time).
In your opinion, USC provides the most opportunities for MBAs entering which industries/functions/geographies? With the prime location in downtown Los Angeles, and the deep connections the school has overall, USC has one of the strongest network within Entertainment. Outside of entertainment, Consulting, Tech, and Finance provide the most opportunities for students.
For consulting, USC is a core school for many non-MBB firms (although several of my current classmates are interning at BCG over the summer) and we definitely take our Case Competitions seriously. Just this year we've won multiple external competitions and are frequently (below is a picture after my team won a case competition at Jam City - a mobile game developer).
For Tech, USC has a great network of alumni in both Silicon Valley and Beach and we have students going to all of the top firms (USC is currently a core recruiting school for Google, Amazon, Apple, and AT&T with a few more coming online next year). In the near term, my goal as head of the High Tech Association is to build stronger relationships with the LA based companies.
Other Awesomeness: I am the incoming president of the High Tech Association, so feel free to ask me any questions about the Tech scene or recruiting.
Last semester, I founded the Marshall Interactive Entertainment Association with several of my classmates. We noticed that with the growing video game industry (>$100B in 2016) and USC prime location in LA, we have an opportunity to grow Marshall's brand as the go to place for entertainment.
Podcast of my own: Earlier this year, I actually ended up starting my own podcast that looks at gaming industry from the business perspective (www.thebusinessofgaming.com). Feel free to give us a listen/leave me a comment if you are interested in us covering any topics within interactive entertainment. Our latest episode (14-Apr-2017) actually went through Activison's 10K as part of our prep for a Day on the Job visit. The Business of Gaming Podcast
Feel free to ask me about...?
Why I chose USC
My experience during the admissions journey
Professors and Classes
Global exposure and international travel
Campus life and residences on campus
Student Associations and activities
Life in Los Angeles, CA
A few more fun photos from my time thusfar:
In December, the High Tech Association travels up to the Bay Area to visit Silicon Valley Firms. Here is a picture of us after the day at Google
During spring break I went to Morocco with several classmates. This image is from the middle of the Sahara desert while we were camping
In December, I was able to attend the Video Game Awards with fellow classmates interested in Interactive Entertainment
And our recent visit to Activision