Justin Royal is an MBA Candidate at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Born and raised in the Nashville, Tennessee area, Justin attended Pomona College, where he studied Psychology and Italian. After graduation, he focused on customer experience and satisfaction research as an analyst at Fors Marsh Group in Arlington, Virginia, then transitioned into the tech industry as a client services analyst at Medallia. Justin then worked in community and product marketing roles for five years at Salesforce, where he managed an online user community and various engagement programs, led the social media presence for multiple products, and served as the voice of the customer for product managers. Outside of work, his interests include yoga, anything fitness-related, and Halo Top ice cream.
What made you consider business school?
I wanted to broaden my skill set and take advantage of everything that business schools offer - from exciting leadership opportunities to invaluable action-based learning projects. I loved my experience at a liberal arts college, but as I grew my career, I realized there were gaps in my education that needed to be filled in order to improve my business acumen. Pursuing an MBA seemed like a great way to fine-tune my education while getting exposure to industries and functions outside of those I've previously worked in and ultimately accelerate my career.
What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?
Learning from peers from so many diverse backgrounds, and using my own experiences to support others' growth. When I visited UCLA and sat in on a class, I noticed the professor called on students that she knew would have very different answers to her question (based on their prior professional experiences). It was an exciting reminder of how much I could learn from others with expertise in fields outside of those I've worked in.
Who are some leaders (in the LGBT community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?
My former CEO, Marc Benioff, and Joey Gonzalez (CEO of my favorite fitness franchise, Barry's Bootcamp), Serena Williams, and Ellen DeGeneres.
What's one thing everyone should know about you?
If we pass each other on the street and you have a cute dog, there's a 99% chance I will either exclaim "Aww!" or ask to pet it.