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MBA Blog

Updated: 49 min 33 sec ago

MBA Guest Blogger Andrew Nelson on Inspiration and Community

July 24, 2014 - 3:42pm

As Dan Keefe talked about in his post last week, being a part-time MBA student with a full time job is challenging, but not impossible. While he talked about some of the logistics that allow him to be successful, I am going to touch on some of the one-off opportunities I have had through the School of Business that provide that little bit of extra drive that is sometimes needed to keep going.

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Lab2Market: Innovating for a Better Future

July 22, 2014 - 3:00am

It's almost time for this year's Lab2Market event!

Lab2Market targets campus innovators and entrepreneurs with early stage ideas. Through an intensive, two-day experiential workshop, participants learn to evaluate and shape their concepts for the commercial marketplace.

Led by venture capitalists from DFJ Frontier, and sponsored by Ater Wynne, Lab2Market integrates lectures and exercises to help entrepreneurs critically assess their business idea and refine their elevator pitch.

PSU business faculty and startup mentors will join the DFJ Frontier team in delivering a dynamic, results-oriented program to help innovators:

  • Communicate and refine their business idea
  • Craft, refine and practice their elevator pitch
  • Evaluate technology/market opportunities
  • Navigate the path from research to market
  • Find and tap funding opportunities

Jon Talik pitches his team's aquaponics system to DFJ Frontier venture capitalists from a PSU rooftop at the 2013 Lab2Market.Prospective participants must apply by 11:59pm on July 31 — applicants will be notified of their status by August 7. The 2-day program, including meals, is free of charge for those selected.

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MBA Guest Blogger: Dan Keefe

July 18, 2014 - 3:00am

When I tell people I’m a part-time MBA student with a full time job, the most common response I get is “Whoooah!”, followed soon after by the question “How do you do it??”

For those readers who don’t know the school schedule of a part-time MBA student at Portland State: a standard course load is two four-hour night classes per week (with a few exceptions).

The program is designed to accommodate people who work full-time during the day, and to that end the professors are very accommodating when it comes to rescheduling assignments and tests to fit the student’s work schedule.

I tell people that it isn’t easy, but it’s completely possible to manage being a student who also works 38 hours a week.

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PSU Business Accelerator selected as a Global Top 25 University Business Incubator

July 15, 2014 - 2:19pm

We always knew the PSU Business Accelerator was world class, but now it's official!

The Accelerator was selected as a Global Top 25 University Business Incubator by the UBI Index, a Swedish research initiative that benchmarks programs in 67 countries to identify and rank the world's top business incubators.

For the 2014 rankings, the UBI Index compared more than 300 university-affiliated business incubators in 67 countries. The PSU Business Accelerator earned its place in the same company as Rice University and the Georgia Tech VentureLab.

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Admissions Corner: Fall 2014 Admissions – Am I Too Late?

July 10, 2014 - 4:00pm

Here's some great news for all late term applicants – you're not too late to apply for Fall 2014 admission!

As we have passed our May 1st Priority Admissions deadline, we are now accepting applications on a space available basis.

While we cannot guarantee how long we will have seats available, there are a few important steps and tips to keep in mind to submit your application as soon as possible:

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My Experience in the School of Business Mentor Program

July 8, 2014 - 3:00am

Mentor Todd Ruberg (left) with Portland State MIM student I-Ting Chen.The School of Business and Administration (SBA) Mentor Program is designed to help students increase their workplace savvy, gain clarity on their career interests, develop their networking skills, and successfully make the transition from college to the workplace through a mentor relationship with a business professional.

As an international student in the MIM program, I really benefited from the SBA Mentor Program because my mentor helped me better understand my career goals and build connections with professionals in the US.   My mentor, Todd Ruberg, helped me edit my resume, gave me advice on choosing my specialization, taught me how to use LinkedIn, and helped me analyze my strengths and weaknesses.

Most importantly, he did his best to help me build connections with his employees, friends, and even business colleagues.

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Introducing: I-Ting Chen

July 2, 2014 - 3:00am

Today we'd like to introduce a new member of our MBA blog editorial team: I-Ting Chen.

I-Ting is currently enrolled in Portland State's Master of International Management (MIM) program, and she'll be helping generate and coordinate content for the blog in the coming months.

Here's a little more about I-Ting, her career background, and her experience here at Portland State:

You've been working on the MIM blog over the past year — could you tell us about your role?

As a marketing and communications coordinator, I am helping to manage the MIM social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the blog. Sometimes, I also write some content about my experience.

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Holly Koontz Places 3rd at State Competition

June 24, 2014 - 3:00am

Last month, we wrote about MBA candidate Holly Koontz advancing to the 3 Minute Thesis State Competition.

Holly placed third in this prestigious competition, and presented on behalf of her Launch-in-9 capstone project, Treelectriq.

She competed against students from Oregon Health & Science University, University of Oregon, and Oregon State University.

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition designed to help students develop presentation skills by consolidating their research and presenting it succinctly to a non-specialist audience—all in just three minutes.

The Three Minute Thesis was developed by The University of Queensland, Australia for Master’s and Doctoral students. 3MT began in 2008 and has since spread to 80 universities in a dozen countries.

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Launch-in-9 Capstone Results

June 19, 2014 - 3:00am

On Wednesday June 4, four Launch-in-9 capstone teams completed their start-up experience with a final pitch in front of their MBA business advisers and a panel of venture capital judges from the Portland start-up community.

Portland State's Launch-in-9 program takes teams of engineering and business students through a nine-month process that results in the formation of student-led start-up companies. Teams are supported through a mix of coursework, mentoring, and hands-on project work and can obtain up to $5,000 in start-up financing.

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Women & Angel Investing

June 17, 2014 - 3:00am

One of the ways startups fund their nascent businesses is by tapping investors. An angel investor is a type of individual investor in early-stage companies who accelerates startup progress, both with investment dollars as well as with mentoring support and industry connections.

OEN’s Angel Oregon attracts the state’s brightest doers, innovators, and big thinkers. Since 2005, 551 companies have applied to compete at Angel Oregon, and 89 have been selected to present. Over $2.9 million has been directly invested through OEN’s Angel Oregon LLC investment award.

Portland State MBAs and the general public have an opportunity to join some of Angel Oregon’s female investors for an informative panel on angel investing.

Lauren WallaceOrganized by the Women's Center for Leadership, the event features Angel Oregon's Lauren Wallace, Ana Andueza, and Wendy Kotila — they'll talk about how they were invited to join, what they learned about angel investing, and any advice for accredited investors who might want to get involved.

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Faculty: Pete Tashman Publishes Article on Corporate Social Responsibility

June 13, 2014 - 3:00am

Pete TashmanPete Tashman coauthored an article titled “Half a World Away: The Integration and Assimilation of Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, and Sustainable Development in Business School Curricula” published in the May, 2014 issue of Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management.

In this paper, the authors review efforts by business school academics to integrate corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and sustainable development in their teaching and coursework. They draw from recent research to describe the challenges and constraints to such integration, as well as the opportunities and potential of such efforts. The authors report on the results of a survey of academics in business schools which underscore these challenges and constraints. The article concludes with suggestions regarding how individual faculty members, business schools, and the broader field and its institutions can respond to the relative absence of these subjects and their integration in business school curricula.

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Q&A with Winning CEO for Leadership Immersion

June 11, 2014 - 3:00am

Winning Leadership Immersion Team and Judges

Kate Rood is a part-time MBA student who also serves as a Graduate Student Ambassador for the Portland State School of Business Administration.

She recently served as CEO for a team competing in Portland State's unique Leadership Immersion, where students participate in a two-day business simulation workshop designed to assess their technical and leadership skills.

Many MBA alumni point to the Immersion as one of the most transformational and empowering experiences of the MBA program.

Kate's team won the competition, and we caught up with her for a quick Q&A about the experience:

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Anycuff - An IndieGoGo project from Marcus Duffin (MBA, 2012)

June 9, 2014 - 3:00am



Today we are proud to share the news that one our own MBA graduates, Marcus Duffin (MBA 2012), will launch an IndieGoGo campaign for his start up business, Anycuff, on June 16th.

Anycuff cufflinks offer a unique fashion accessory detail for men and women. They are unlike traditional cufflinks because they can be worn to accessorize any shirt or blouse that has button cuffs. Traditionally, cufflinks have only worked on long-sleeve French cuff shirts. The new Anycuff cufflinks can be used both in the French cuff or barrel cuff configuration, transforming a long-sleeve or short-sleeve button cuff shirt into an attractive and trendy apparel item.

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PSU Earns Net Impact Gold Status

June 6, 2014 - 3:00am


Net Impact has announced the 2014 Gold and Silver standings for Net Impact chapters, awarding the Portland State University Net Impact Chapter the prestigious Gold standing.

These standings, based on the chapter’s performance this past academic year, represent the most outstanding chapters in the Net Impact network. This year, just 16% of over 300 Net Impact chapters worldwide achieved Gold standing.

We are extremely proud of this designation. My fellow members of the 2013-14 leadership team and I worked hard to ensure that we maintained this designation. Chapters achieve Gold standing by meeting a rigorous set of requirements based on their activities, programming, membership reach and network contribution.

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Employer Spotlight: ESCO

June 4, 2014 - 3:00am

ESCO is an independent developer and manufacturer of highly engineered wear parts and replacement products used in mining, infrastructure development, oil and gas, and industrial applications. The company was founded in 1913 and is headquartered in Portland. While ESCO has 4,900 employees and 25 manufacturing sites throughout the world, with operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Middle East, the company’s growth strategy is guided by an aim to do more with less, leaving a minimal impact on the environment.

In order to alleviate this impact and give back to the community, ESCO contributes match dollars for every hour volunteered by employees, retirees, and spouses. In 2012, ESCO employees from China participated in “Green Xuzhou,” China’s version of Arbor Day, and planted nearly 1,000 trees. In Australia, ESCO employees regularly donate blood in a continuing effort to donate every three months.

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Workshop: Interview Like a Champ

June 3, 2014 - 3:00am

Lori RushInterviewing is where all of the hard job search efforts come together. After all, you can't get an offer without an interview.

Lori Rush, President of Rush Mentoring Services, is the featured speaker for an upcoming workshop being organized by the PSU Alumni Association and taking place this Thursday, June 5.

At the session, Lori will take a strategic look at interviewing — offering advice and specific examples of what you can do before, during, and after an interview to best position yourself as a top contender for the role.

Workshop participants will learn what questions to anticipate, how to develop the right questions to ask, and how to best answer behavioral questions by developing and delivering the most powerful response.

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Early Stage Social Entrepreneurs to Compete at Elevating Impact on June 20

June 2, 2014 - 3:00am


Early stage social entrepreneurs will soon vie for audience vote, cash prizes, and in-kind gifts at the Elevating Impact Summit on June 20 in downtown Portland.

The Elevating Impact Summit, put on by Portland State University's Impact Entrepreneurs, is a full-day event celebrating entrepreneurship and innovation for social impact.

On the morning of the event, the Elevating Impact Pitch Fest will showcase Portland's latest and greatest as students, professionals, and experienced social innovators pitch their early-stage social ventures to a audience of 400+. Audience members will vote for their favorite idea, and a panel of experts and impact investors will provide strategic feedback.

Immix Law Group has offered to award the Pitch Fest participant with the most public votes $1,500 cash and $1,000 of in-kind legal support. The runner up will also receive $1,000 of in-kind legal support.  

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Launch-in-9 Final Presentations

May 30, 2014 - 3:00am

This is a reminder that the final presentations from the Launch-in-9 engineering and business collaboration teams will be next Wednesday, June 4 in the Smith Memorial Student Union on campus.

This event is open to the public. Four teams will pitch at this event. The winner of this event will be the Launch-in-9 representative to participate in the Business Briefing Battle of the Start-Ups pitch competition taking place at the Multnomah Athletic Club on June 6 (7-9 am).

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Pitching: Hope, Resilience and Passion

May 29, 2014 - 5:54pm

Pitchlandia: Sarah Shannon, John Dowell, Sam Weiss, Emily Wooton (from left to right)


Let me start by saying this: I have not particularly loved giving presentations or public speaking in the past.

In fact, to this day I get weak in the knees before a big speech. And yet, as I write this blog post I am between pitch presentation rehearsal sessions in my living room. On Tuesday night, I pitched my start-up, The Portland Shower, to a crowd of 300 guests at OMSI as a Pitchlandia contestant (sadly, we did not get funded). Also this week, I'm pitching to a smaller group as a semi-finalist for the Clean Tech Challenge.

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Scott Marshall named Interim Dean of PSU's School of Business Administration

May 27, 2014 - 3:00am

Scott Marshall, associate dean for graduate programs at Portland State University’s School of Business Administration (SBA), has been named the school’s interim dean following the resignation of Scott Dawson.

Scott Dawson, who has been on the PSU faculty since 1985 and the dean of SBA since 2000, announced in April that he is leaving PSU at the end of July to become dean of Orfalea College of Business at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

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