Alumni Spotlight: Michael H. Curtis

Michael H. Curtis

As the YouTube strategy manager at Quest Nutrition, what exactly does your position entail?

My first responsibility is channel optimization for Quest’s YouTube content (SEO). This means discovering video titles, popular tags and keywords and so on. There’s a science to ensuring your videos surface above other likeminded content.  I’m also fortunate to manage a team to help me with this task. That said, no matter how efficient you are with following YouTube’s best practices, it always comes down to how appealing your content actually is. Part two pertains to creative development. We produce many shows at Quest and I play an instrumental part in the brainstorming. Lastly, my biggest responsibility is overseeing talent relationships with digital influencers. This means implementing all initiatives between YouTube and Quest. I build influencer marketing campaigns and organically place product in their content. From this, I have helped create countless video integrations, but more importantly, I’ve developed many amazing relationships along the way.

What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job?

Managing relationships with our YouTube partners. Due to many moving pieces, at times it can be chaotic. That said, those relationships breed the content I am most proud of and some of my closest friends to date.

What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned – as a student or a young professional?

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

If you were an undergraduate again, is there anything that you would do differently?

More extracurricular activities. There are so many opportunities and people out there that I never discovered because I was comfortable doing what I was used to and what made me feel safe.

What is your favorite Newhouse LA memory?

My favorite Newhouse LA memory was when I was given the opportunity to direct a zero-budget telenovela that would be featured in a Hallmark movie. I rallied together my classmates to help me with the production. Anyone who was willing to help got involved, from art direction to assistant directing to camerawork, acting, sound and so on. While I did practically flunk Spanish in high school and the entire production was Spanish improvisation, the footage was absolutely beautiful and the producers were highly impressed with our work.