MS in Marketing Student Perspectives: Michael Burns

Our MS in Marketing students come from many different backgrounds, but share a common goal of acquiring the advanced skills needed to enhance their current and future careers in marketing. In our ‘Student Perspectives’ profiles, we explore both current student and alumni perspectives on choosing to pursue a specialized Master’s degree at USC Marshall and the overall impact of our program.

September 28, 2017

MS Marketing Michael B



Michael Burns


Boise, ID

MS in Marketing Track

Consumer Behavior & Graduate Certificate in the Business of Entertainment


Boise State University, BS Political Science, Class of 2010


Concordia University Irvine, MBA, Class of 2015


Where do you currently work & what is your position?

Special Activities Coordinator, The Walt Disney Company, and Production Intern, Red Wagon Entertainment


Why did you choose the MS in Marketing program at USC?

I chose the MS in Marketing program because of its diverse course offerings. I really liked all of the opportunities to learn about different industries. The opportunity to learn from industry professionals was also a huge point of interest; none of the other programs offered such a diverse group of guest speakers.


How do you manage your time effectively, working full-time and attending class part-time?

It’s a healthy balance of setting aside specific time slots to make sure that I am able to focus on school. I also set aside my days off of work to focus on school, coming to campus to study and read. It’s definitely a sacrifice, but worth every minute.


What advice, tips, or words of wisdom do you have for prospective students and future applicants?

Be ready for your life to change. I experienced two different universities for my undergraduate studies and MBA before enrolling in the MS in Marketing program, and nothing compares to USC. Research and understand the culture, what it means to be a Trojan, and how being a part of this program means you’re truly a part of a legacy.


What do you hope to do after you graduate?

My plan is to secure a role in either franchise or brand management at a major motion picture studio. My goal has always been to work in film, and after graduating I plan on obtaining that first step in a long career in the world of entertainment.


What’s your favorite thing about Los Angeles?

My favorite thing about Los Angeles is the culture. There are so many amazing things to experience here, whether that’s catching a play at the Pantages Theatre or seeing John Williams conduct a live symphony orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl, LA has so much to experience and the entertainment culture can be found everywhere.