Max Browne came to USC in 2013 as the top-rated quarterback recruit in the nation and Gatorade National Football Player of the Year.
Five-star recruits want to play early, but Browne had to patiently wait his turn for three years behind Cody Kessler. But he wasn’t so patient when it came to his education. Browne got a head start by completing high school a semester early to enroll at USC in the spring and taking summer courses to have 24 units in the bank before his first fall semester.
Rather than coasting with a light load as he enters the starting lineup as a redshirt junior, he completed his BA in communications from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in December, and began pursuing an MBA at the USC Marshall School of Business last spring.
Browne will have a big stage for his first college start, facing defending national champion and top-ranked Alabama on Saturday at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, in Arlington, Texas. After weeks of fielding football questions, Browne was eager to discuss his academic path.
What made you interested in pursuing an MBA at USC Marshall?
I did an undergraduate minor in entrepreneurship, so I had a taste of Marshall. I know how powerful the school is and how valuable an MBA is down the line. Obviously I want to play football for however long it lasts, but after that maybe I could be in the front office of a sports team or run my own business. There’s so many different things you can do with an MBA.
Why are you taking the online MBA program given that you are on campus?
I chose the online program simply for timing reasons because I graduated in December of 2015 and could enroll in the online program immediately. I have realized a few additional advantages to the program. The online structure allows for a significant amount of the work to be done on my own time, and that flexibility, as a student-athlete, is key. The smaller class size also has been a plus. My class only has 20 students, so I’ve been able to build relationships with all of them.
Do you have a favorite class or professor so far?
All the professors have been great to work with and passionate about what they’re doing, but my favorite class has been “Organizational Behavior in Negotiations” with [professor of management and organization] Peter Kim. I love the game that’s at play with negotiations as far as what information you’re going to reveal and what you keep to yourself. I found the case studies and mock negotiations with my classmates really fun and educational. Maybe it’s the athlete in me, but the competition element was also very enjoyable.
This semester I’m taking four courses. I’m most looking forward to the finance class. Both my parents are CPAs, and my brother is involved in that area as well.
You’re taking full advantage of your academic opportunities at USC. But how have you juggled academics with athletics?
I was raised with a hard-working mentality. It’s really about being productive with your time. If I’m not doing something productive, I almost get antsy. I’ve tried to maximize that and be a trailblazer for others on the academic side of the student-athlete.
What do we have to look forward to with USC football this season?
A very fun team to watch for sure. People always ask me what’s different about this team. It’s definitely the deepest team I’ve been on. There’s a lot of good talent. We’re excited for the Week One challenge, and it should be a good year.