Finding More Meaning

PROVO, Utah – Nov 10, 2022 – When Ronell Hugh worked as an account manager after graduating from college, he quickly realized he wanted to make decisions about products instead of simply overseeing customers using them. Hugh was told he would need an MBA for such a goal, which he earned in 2010 at the BYU Marriott School of Business. While the degree gave Hugh the career path he was looking for, other aspects of the program ended up being much more meaningful to him.

“I have learned innately that success for me is rooted in how well my relationships are with my family members, peers, and friends. Those relationships are the most rewarding parts of my day,” Hugh explains. “The best thing that came out of going to BYU Marriott was the friends I made; they’re like an extended family. When I travel and end up in areas where these people are living and working, I reach out to those friends, and we get together.”

Hugh had already seen how important relationships were at BYU; in 2004, he earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the university. He chose BYU again for his MBA because he knew that the program would support him as a father and husband while attending as a student. He and his wife, Briawna, now have four children, two of whom were already born when Hugh enrolled at BYU Marriott. As a family, they love traveling, trying new food, playing games, and spending one-on-one time together in their American Fork, Utah, home.

Because his family is his top priority, Hugh ensures any job he accepts provides the flexibility to continue building his relationships with his wife and children. Since completing his MBA, he has worked in a variety of marketing positions at several companies, including Walmart, Microsoft—where he was the global product manager for Xbox games such as Halo—and Adobe. Hugh is now a senior vice president for experience insight company Qualtrics, overseeing product marketing and strategy.

As career progression was his main reason for earning an MBA, Hugh is grateful for the way BYU Marriott enabled his transition to a job where he could be involved in making product decisions. “My MBA gave me a well-rounded experience, and I was able to learn a variety of business principles,” he says. “The program afforded me the opportunity to gain insight and think about how to operate at a management level.”

Hugh also values how BYU Marriott helped him realize what was possible as a first-generation college student. “The first thing I did after starting the program was go on a trip with recruiters from well-known companies. That moment opened my mind to a new world,” he observes. “The experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met, and the expertise I’ve developed since then are all because I went to BYU Marriott.”

Throughout his career, Hugh has found ways to give back. He is a part of several nonprofit organizations focused on inclusivity, and he also sits on the boards of various companies. In addition, Hugh returns to BYU Marriott to support current students. He is a member of the school’s Marketing Program Advisory Board and assists Brigitte Madrian, dean of BYU Marriott, as an advisory member on race initiatives.

Giving back to his alma matter and improving the world around him is another aspect of BYU that Hugh finds more meaningful than career success. He especially appreciates the university’s potential for improving inclusivity. “I think BYU has a unique opportunity with diversity to be the answer. The university is one of the few institutions in the world where people can talk about religious topics and use those as the basis for doing good business and being good people,” Hugh says. “I believe wholeheartedly that BYU, the faculty, and the students can be examples throughout the world of how to be inclusive in a Christlike way.”

BYU Marriott MBA alumnus Ronell Hugh. Photo courtesy of Ronell Hugh.
BYU Marriott MBA alumnus Ronell Hugh. Photo courtesy of Ronell Hugh.
Hugh (second from left) with his family. Photo courtesy of Ronell Hugh.
Hugh (second from left) with his family. Photo courtesy of Ronell Hugh.
Hugh (center) at his MBA graduation. Photo courtesy of Ronell Hugh.
Hugh (center) at his MBA graduation. Photo courtesy of Ronell Hugh.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Mike Miller