News | METRANS Newsletter Lead Clark Hsu Making the Most of His Time At USC

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by Jacob Wong, USC Master of Public Policy, 2023

Hong-Sheng (Clark) Hsu, a student in the USC Price International Public Policy and Management (IPPAM) Program, applies a global perspective on public service to his studies in his graduate program and his work as the lead editor of the METRANS student newsletter. 


After graduating from the police academy in his home country of Taiwan, Hsu began to serve with the Taiwanese Coast Guard, where he landed a role in the agency’s International Affairs Office. This position gave him chances to go abroad through international exchange programs and by serving as an interpreter for the organization’s director general, eventually leading him to consider other opportunities outside his home country.


Hsu says, “That period of time inspired me to go abroad, learn more, and achieve more.” He began applying to graduate programs outside Taiwan that he felt were related to his government background, and was eventually accepted into USC’s IPPAM Program with a scholarship.


Hong-Sheng (Clark) Hsu, International Public Policy and Management (IPPAM), USC Price


Now in his second year of the program, Hsu says he has been able to take advantage of opportunities at USC to explore new career paths and develop a more analytical skillset. Hsu is a believer in data-driven decision making when it comes to policy and has taken several data analysis courses in the Price school, including PPD 534: Data, Evidence, and Communication of the Public Good, this semester.


“The more I’m exposed to data, the more I believe that data is a key for the future,” says Hsu. “I really enjoy learning different [types] of data software and seeing their limitations and abilities. I’m intrigued by how we can turn numbers into information that people can utilize.”


In addition to the knowledge he has gained in the classroom, Hsu has also been able to acquire new skills as the student newsletter lead at METRANS. Hsu joined the consortium in his first semester at USC after being recruited by one of the program directors. Two weeks into the job, he was placed into his current position as newsletter lead after the previous lead left for another opportunity. Although Clark did not have prior journalism experience coming into his role, it has been a smooth transition for him.


“I’m very grateful to have good teammates at METRANS...everyone does a great job in their role,” says Hsu. “This is helpful for me since I’m the one putting together everyone’s efforts each week to send out the newsletter.”


Through his connection to METRANS, Hsu landed an internship opportunity the summer with Cargomatic, a logistics company based in Long Beach, after a program director referred the position to him. Through the internship, Hsu gained firsthand exposure to freight and logistics, an industry which he did not have prior experience in.  


One aspect of the work at Cargomatic that appeals to Hsu is how data informs the company’s processes. “We are not like a traditional shipping company,” says Hsu, explaining that Cargomatic uses data stored in an online portal to efficiently run its operations and help truckers reduce their emissions output.


“It’s a new field for me, but I learned a lot and have enjoyed the work so far,” says Hsu, who has continued working part-time at Cargomatic this semester. “I’ll see how far I can go into this industry after I graduate.” 


Although the past year at USC has been rigorous, Hsu has still found time to pursue his hobbies and explore a new country. In his free time, he likes to work out and play basketball. He is also passionate about music and has performed as a DJ at student events on multiple occasions. 


Living in America for the first time, Hsu has taken the opportunity to travel beyond Los Angeles, visiting San Francisco and New York so far. He has a trip to Florida planned soon and also wants to visit Boston and Chicago. “I still feel very new to the states since I’ve only been here for one year, but I’ve enjoyed traveling to different states and experiencing a different culture…this is a very big country,” says Hsu.


About the Author:

Jacob is a second-year MPP student at the Price School of Public Policy. He is interested in urban policy and transportation planning issues. As a recent LA transplant, he enjoys exploring the area and the local food scene in his free time.