University of California, Riverside

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Henry Huang (MBA Class of 2013) vies for a spot on the UCR Graduate Student Association board as president.


(April 19, 2012)

For years, the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at UC Riverside had sought to break into the U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools” rankings. In 2012 it finally did, ranking in the top 100 out of a total 441 schools surveyed.

Aiming to mark another first for AGSM in 2012 is MBA student Henry Huang, who is seeking to become the first Graduate Student Association (GSA) president from UCR’s graduate school of management.

The GSA represents the entire graduate student body at UCR, with involvement in decisions regarding conference travel grants, social events and the Graduate Student Health Insurance Program (GSHIP), among others. Its board is comprised of elected representatives from UCR’s various “mini-GSAs," or student organizations from the university’s departments.

The MBA Student Association, a mini-GSA for the business school, has never had representation on the GSA board.

“I think this would be a great opportunity for the business school to show the rest of the campus that we want to reach out and be involved,” Huang said.

A business student with a bachelor’s degree from UCR in film and visual culture, Huang views his knowledge of business as a plus for the GSA presidency.

“The Graduate Student Association operates in essence like a business, with regards to the scale of its operations,” Huang said. “So I think a leader with grounding in business would be a good fit as GSA president.”

He cites his experience with Sustainable UCR, an organization focused on raising environmental awareness, as an example of the necessity of a business perspective in any initiative.

“I was closely involved and motivated in the organization,” he said. “But in order to really make a difference, it was necessary to devise a structured and organized proposal to raise capital and execute sustainable initiatives with a tangible impact.”

As a member of Sustainable UCR he helped structure the Green Campus Action Plan (GCAP) which raised over $200,000 from students for a Sustainability Fund that would fund sustainability initiatives proposed by student organizations, appoint a Campus Sustainability Manager, fund paid internships pertaining to sustainability for three students each academic quarter, and finance the construction of the first solar panel project in the university’s history.

Huang also has experience as an investment banking analyst for Virgo Capital Holdings, in which he researched buyout targets, built financial spreadsheet models and developed corporate client presentations. His work at Virgo caught the eye of the firm’s chairman, William Yuan, a thirty-year Wall Street veteran who, prior to his current role, served as president of Merrill Lynch Asset Management Asia, chairman of Merrill Lynch’s Global Asset Allocation Committee with $488 billion under management, and was the founder of the firm’s Corporate Institutional Services Group.

“Henry’s command over the fundamentals of business and finance, coupled with his out-of-the-box creative thinking, has resulted in refining and deepening his already excellent business acumen,” Yuan said.

Blake Coffin, the outgoing president of the MBA Student Association, said that Huang’s business savvy has already left a mark in terms of the welfare of MBA students. He cites Huang’s contributions to MBA alumni affairs, his efforts to build connections with businesses as well as his assistance in planning a student-run tutoring center, which involved meeting with faculty members and the dean as well as discussing the business planning process and actual business plan.

“He has a passion for creating a high-quality environment for the students,” Coffin said. “I fully believe in his leadership abilities.”

If elected to the top GSA leadership position, Huang said he would represent all graduate students but would particularly like to bring international students into the fold.

“We have such a large international student population at UCR,” Huang said. “But I think they are largely underserved and underrepresented.”

An American of Chinese decent and fluent in Mandarin, Huang credits the diverse makeup of the MBA program at UCR for his attention to international students. “Every day I’m exposed to different cultures in our MBA program, and that has made me more sensitive to the concerns of international students,” he said. “On the campus level, I would like all international graduate students to feel fully represented.”

Huang said he is proud to be a graduate student at UCR, and likens the experience to an investment. “In the world of business, we think in terms of investments,” he said. “As president, I would seek to enhance the value of each student’s investment in their education.”

GSA officer elections are open to all UCR graduate students, and will be held electronically April 23-27 on

News Contact:
Mark Manalang
Communications Manager & Editor/Writer


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