Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Miles Jackson, USC (Marshall)

Miles Jackson

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business

“I’m equally mellow and energetic, and love to shoot film photos on disposable cameras.”

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

Fun Fact About Yourself: I play the bass guitar.

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Michigan, American Culture. Casa de las Americas, Cuba, Anthropology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Cuba Skate, Inc., Executive Director (ongoing), and Behavioral Health Specialist, Stanford Diabetes Research Center

What has been your first impression of the Marshall MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Marshall story so far. My first impression is wow. We’re only a couple weeks into Term 1 and it’s been a difficult change of pace for everyone. But connecting with fellow classmates in and out of the classroom has helped facilitate the transition. Everyone is so sharp and intelligent and fun to be around – and we all come from different environments and unique walks of life. That diversity is stimulating and I’m thrilled to be a part of such a dynamic group of people.

My best story so far would be attending the C4C beach clean-up. We started the day collecting waste, got a fun game of beach soccer going, then enjoyed the ocean and a lovely afternoon with food, drinks, and good company.

What makes Los Angeles such a great place to earn an MBA? We moved to LA in 2018 and I don’t think we’ll ever leave. The city is home to so many people and cultures, an eclectic mix of street food and fine dining, bars and speakeasys. I love the access to nature, whether going to the beach, out for a hike, or taking a camping trip to the Sierras – you could skate, surf, and snowboard all in the same day.

In regard to business, it’s great to be surrounded by sports and entertainment, biotech, film, and a variety of endless opportunities in IB, FinTech, and so much more.  On top of LA being such a special city, Marshall and USC are in the center of the city and we have endless resources at our fingertips on campus.

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? It’s tough to choose only one. I’d say it’s the perfect hybrid of a small, intimate class size, the outstanding professors, and the opportunity to study and work abroad. I’m excited to take electives at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies because I’ve been running a nonprofit since 2010, and I’m eager to learn from professors and peers about innovative approaches to problem solving locally and internationally.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at USC Marshall? I played soccer at Michigan and haven’t played much recently, so I’m excited to join the Marshall Soccer Club get back on the pitch – especially with the World Cup coming up. I’m equally excited about going on a camping trip with the Outdoors Club – camping anywhere in the Sierras is always a wonderful experience – and participating in C4C activities. Being active, outdoors, and involved in service to the community mean a great deal to me.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I delivering a Ted Talk on diabetes and skateboarding was a really special moment for me.  I’m an advocate for both, and being able to share my story with the Ted community was equally humbling and inspiring.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? On my last trip to Cuba, I picked up The Mafia in Havana and I’ve really enjoyed reading that and thinking about the intertwined presence of the mafia and the US government in the pre-revolutionary era. I’ve always loved mafia films and TV shows, but as we analyze the ongoing tensions between our countries (for over a half-century), I think it’s important to better understand the history and what factors were at play that led to the demise of the Cuban-American relationship.

In my healthcare work, I read UnHealthcare: A Manifesto for Health Assurance, which inspires us to reconsider the healthcare system altogether, specifically how we can maximize health outcomes and reduce costs across the country.  I recommend the book because, as a diabetic, I’m constantly battling to improve my health and that requires me to think strategically about health insurance, biotech innovation, and a medley of nutritional choices that affect my everyday well-being. The authors present valuable and innovative approaches to restructuring healthcare that would benefit the greater good.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into USC Marshall’s MBA program? Apply early! Keep improving your test scores and editing your essays, and make sure you present your best self in your application. Reach out and get to know us and the Marshall ambassadors.

DON’T MISS: Meet USC Marshall’s MBA Class Of 2024

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