Former Marine boasts score of eclectic talents

Hochiang Wang, DMSB'14, is a Marine Corps veteran and treasurer of the Student Veterans Organization. Photo by Brooks Canaday - See more at:


Hochiang Wang, DMSB’14, always knew he would join the mil­i­tary, but it was a high school trip to the Marine Corps Wash­ington, D.C. bar­racks that helped solidify his decision.

There he saw a per­for­mance by “The Commandant’s Own,” The United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps, and was wowed by the pageantry of the 80-member band. A few years later, Wang found him­self playing trom­bone in the same group.

Wang started playing the trom­bone in the fourth grade but never dreamed it might lead him to the mil­i­tary. “I signed an open con­tract when I joined and when I told the Marines Corps I played the trom­bone, they said, ‘That’s what you will do for us,’” Wang explained.

He trav­eled all around the country per­forming, including at the Tour­na­ment of Roses parade. He first played with Marine Band San Diego and then with “The Commandant’s Own.” The Marine Corps music pro­gram, he noted, is kind of like its mar­keting and recruiting arm.

But his mil­i­tary expe­ri­ence was not just about music. As the load­master for the bar­racks, it was his job to strate­gi­cally load cargo onto planes, whether it was boxes or the Marines themselves.

Wang said he was very happy with his eight years of mil­i­tary ser­vice but felt like there was a lot more in the world to explore—college being one of them. He noted that the university’s sig­na­ture co-op pro­gram was a major factor in choosing Northeastern.

On campus, Wang serves as the trea­surer of the Stu­dent Vet­erans Orga­ni­za­tion. He is also working to estab­lish a speaker series in which stu­dent vet­erans would share their mil­i­tary expe­ri­ence with pro­fes­sionals and classes. Wang said eight stu­dent vet­erans have vol­un­teered and hopes to get the series rolling this semester.

“What I want people to realize is the mil­i­tary is not just a one-dimensional war fighting machine,” Wang explained. “The mis­sion is national defense, and there are var­ious oper­a­tional and sup­port roles that work together to ensure success.”

A busi­ness stu­dent with a con­cen­tra­tion in supply chain man­age­ment, Wang was a member of the North­eastern team that won the fifth annual Under­grad­uate Supply Chain Chal­lenge at Michigan State Uni­ver­sity in November. He also works as a research assis­tant for asso­ciate pro­fessor Gilbert Nyaga in the D’Amore-McKim School of Busi­ness, who researches logis­tics strategy, supply chain rela­tion­ships, and new product launch.

He did his first co-op with EMC, a multi­na­tional cor­po­ra­tion that offers data storage and infor­ma­tion secu­rity, which sub­se­quently hired him ear­lier this year to work part time on cost-saving strate­gies in cus­tomer ser­vice logis­tics. Wang helped the com­pany iden­tify sub­stan­tial costs sav­ings by finding ways to improve ship­ping, stocking strategy, and realigning inven­tory with demand.

“To say I per­son­ally made it happen would of course be an exag­ger­a­tion,” Wang explained. “I simply iden­ti­fied the areas of oppor­tu­ni­ties by researching past per­for­mance and pre­sented the costs to ben­e­fits of imple­menting new ideas.”

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This article was originally posted on Northeastern News. Read it here.