Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Yang (Jason) Yang, USC (Marshall)

Yang (Jason) Yang

USC, Marshall School of Business

“I am a collaborative leader with confidence in others and always with a sharing mindset.”

Hometown: Shenzhen, China

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have been to more than 40 states in the U.S. (more than I could count on top of my head) for leisure travels, and I have lived in many cities for school and jobs (New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, and many client cities when I worked in consulting).

Undergraduate School and Major: B.S. in Business and M.S. in Information Systems from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: ByteDance, Senior Solutions Manager

What word best describes the Marshall MBA students you’ve met so far and why? I will describe the students I have met are being highly inclusive. Our classmates come from very diverse backgrounds. At Marshall, students all try to engage the diverse mix of people by fostering a collaborative culture that welcomes, respects, and empowers everyone.

What makes Los Angeles such a great place to earn an MBA? After living in many big cities and smaller towns in the U.S., I have nothing but good things to say about LA and Southern California.  Los Angeles is the 2nd largest metropolitan area in the U.S., with many job opportunities in different industries. LA also has fantastic weather, which allows you to do all kinds of activities such as hiking, surfing, snowboarding. If you are not an outdoor person, you could participate in many entertainment, sport, and art events as well. It’s LA.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of USC Marshall’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The most important aspect that led me to choose USC Marshall is the Trojan Network. When I connected to USC alumni while doing my research for schools, I received nothing but warm welcome messages. As someone interested in settling in LA and establishing my own business in the long term, the collaborative community and engaged alumni network are precious assets given to me. It is important to me because I want to grow my leadership skills and build up an extensive business network here in LA to prepare for future entrepreneur adventures.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at USC Marshall? I am looking forward to participating in the Marshall Global Programs PRIME program. As part of the curriculum, The PRIME program serves a vital role in connecting students to international business cultures and empowering them to succeed in the global workspace.  There will be a 10-day experiential learning trip at the end of the term. Students will visit other countries to experience first-hand how business is conducted in these countries on the ground and work on analysis projects directly with companies there to apply the knowledge and concept they learn from Marshall.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment prior to my MBA was joining as one of the founding members at ByteDance’s (Tiktok’s parent company) enterprise services and cloud computing division and overseeing the commercialization of ByteDance’s Data and MarTech Platform. I was fortunate to take a sip of the experience in building a multi-millions B2B business and having a fantastic opportunity to work with industry leaders, startup customers, and amazing competitors.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? In terms of career, I see more opportunities than challenges. Companies are trying to adapt to the fast-changing business environments. Hence there are many new business models and job opportunities that surfaced. In terms of life in general, COVID helps me realize that it is so easy for nature to take away lives from us, and I started to think about what meaningful things I can do to help the society

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? Like I mentioned above, before enrolling at USC, I had worked in management consulting and the technology industry with the end goal of starting my own business here in southern California. During my last role, I had the opportunity to lead my team, and I realized that I need to develop my leadership skills further in addition to my hard skills. I decided to pursue an MBA to develop more soft and leadership skills and learn more about how to utilize these in my upcoming careers. In the short term, I hope to continue my career as a product manager in the technology industry.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Because my family is planning to settle in California, I only applied to a few schools in California, including USC, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC Irvine.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into USC Marshall’s MBA program? Value the work that you are doing, focus on your own stories, and do not get distracted. It is easy for us to compare ourselves to others by metrics (Big company names, wages, grades, etc.) and feel bad sometimes. But we need to know that we each have our unique path and are fighting hard for our own stories. Stay focused and do your best. Good things will come in the end. Fight on!


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