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Last summer, MBA student Roland Hu made a point of having coffee every week with a different brand manager at Ubisoft Entertainment, a DVD game company where he had an internship. Branding, after all, is his passion, so much so that he’s currently working on a self-designed independent study course (with Prof. Shelby McIntyre) tied to a project aimed at a branding need at Ubisoft.
His other passion is networking, which he not only practices, but also preaches as a marketing associate in the Graduate Business Career Management office at SCU. He’s working on changing the common misperception that career management is a placement office. The office services run more to coaching students on resumes, helping manage career changes, and, of course, networking.
“Students sometimes have a hard time understanding the value of networking because there’s often no immediate payoff,” Hu said. “Right now, it’s easy to use your student status to do informational interviews. I think people are less likely to do them with you after graduation. I’m trying to milk my student status as much as I can.”
Hu originally planned to be a sports psychologist, majoring in psychology at the University of California at San Diego, but he liked marketing classes he took at the University of Warwick in England during a study abroad program.
After graduation in 2002, he wrote articles for The Bootleg, a website and magazine dedicated to Stanford University athletics. He also spent a year as a media relations assistant in the SCU athletic department before working for two years at Black Angus Steakhouse Corporate Headquarters in Los Altos, where he was a marketing coordinator.
“By that time, I was at a crossroads,” he said. “I’m not a math or science guy, but I knew marketing was a good fit for me. At Black Angus, I knew I’d had experience, but not the academic foundation I needed. I grew up in this area so I knew Santa Clara has a really good reputation so I applied.”
In 2010, he won a Belotti Award presented to the two top students in the survey management (501) and accounting classes. After completing his MBA, he’s hoping to work in the CPG (consumer package goods) sector, which his branding mentors say is a logical next step.
“If you can sell a bag of peas, you can sell anything,” he said.