Podcast 10: Career Transitions, Ross, and MBA Life with John Huang (Ross, ’15)

John Huang

In this week’s podcast, I had the chance to interview John Huang, a 2nd year MBA Candidate at the University of Michigan (Ross.) John previously worked in consulting and is making a transition into a Strategy and Finance Rotational program at Wal-Mart after business school. During our interview, I had the chance to talk with John about:

  • His background in consulting, and why he chose to attend Ross
  • His Ross experience, and specifically, his MAP project with a local retailer
  • John’s decision to transition out of consulting and into the retail industry
  • Advice and lessons learned

Podcast Link: Direct Download

iTunes: Direct Link



Show Notes

1:27 – John’s background and work experience

4:13 – Why John chose Ross

8:18 – The most challenging part of John’s MBA experience

12:35 – John shares his experience with his MAP project

15:56 – John talks about his experience in management consulting

20:26 – John talks about his career transition to working in industry

23:28 – John talks about how most post-MBA Retail industry jobs are not in strategy

24:38 – John compares and contrasts different retail jobs for MBA students

30:52 – John gives some examples of where of retail-industry MBA jobs his classmates are taking

34:16 – John gives advice for people interested in consulting


For people interested in retail: “If you’re interested in retail, not a lot of opportunities in strategy working across the enterprise. You’ll see roles that are focused on buying or marketing, you don’t see leadership programs offer something in strategy”


For people interested in consulting: “Think about how do you differentiate yourself amongst a pool of smart and capable peers?”


On how to network: “Network early and often with consulting firms. People skills matter, and these interactions you have make a difference.”


On picking an industry: “Get an idea of an industry that you’re interested in pursuing within consulting. People who get into consulting want to get a general management background, but if you want to advance in consulting you’re going to need to specialize in and build a brand around and be known for”


John’s important lessons from business school

  • “Relationships matter. You should spend as much time as you can nurturing them.
  • “Try not to think of business school as its own little bubble. Think about other additional resources such as other graduate schools at your school; your network extends further than you think.”
  • Figure out who the best professors are and take their classes regardless of what they are teaching