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MBA Blog

Updated: 52 min 37 sec ago

Alumni Venture Lands $2.6 Million to Develop TriMet eFares

August 29, 2014 - 3:00am

By Kelly Doherty

Congratulations to Portland State School of Business (Master of International Management) alumni Nat Parker and Michael Gray on the success of their startup venture, GlobeSherpa.

The company developed TriMet's popular Tickets smartphone app, which has faciliated nearly two million bus and train fares since the app's launch last September. According to Nat, the company's CEO, "GlobeSherpa and its servers also process more than $900,000 in fare purchases a month."

Earlier this month, TriMet awarded GlobeSherpa with a $2.6 million contract to further develop its mobile ticketing platform.

Started in 2010, GlobeSherpa provides a secure, mobile ticketing platform for transit systems interested in moving to open payments, open data, and mobile fare collection with minimal infrastructure investment. The company also creates easy-to-use mobile ticketing systems for parking, events, and local destinations.

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Guest MBA Blogger Max Bielenberg on Mercy Corps Northwest Internship

August 28, 2014 - 3:00am

By Max Bielenberg


Having supported myself by, among other things, teaching English abroad, picking weeds in Death Valley, and running an after-school homework center, I knew I wasn’t the most typical aspiring MBA. As I researched programs, I looked for a school that would teach practical skills, while also offering opportunities to make positive social and environmental impacts. Ultimately, I decided that attending PSU would help me learn to make a living and a difference.

Thanks to the PSU Career Forward site, the opportunity to explore my interest in social impact was not long in coming. Starting in my second term at PSU, I began a six-month internship with Mercy Corps Northwest (MCNW), the domestic subsidiary of the international aid agency. This internship presented a wonderful opportunity to learn how business skills can be translated into the non-profit and social change sectors. 

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MBA Students Travel to Vietnam and China to Study Supply Chain

August 27, 2014 - 3:00am

Cultivating international business experience is an integral part of the course work in the Portland State MBA Program.

Portland State's study abroad programs give students the opportunity to experience international business firsthand, as well as further develop their leadership skills and cultural competency. This year, students have the option of participating in study abroad opportunities in France, Cambodia, and Vietnam/China.

Last summer, we featured guest contributions from Sarah Shannon and KT Bohren, who wrote about their experiences in China and Vietnam.

A group of students is currently on this summer's China/Vietnam trip, where they will explore the differences in business climate, regulatory environment, infrastructure, and cultures.

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Students Land Positions at Nike, Fiserv and KEEN Footwear

August 25, 2014 - 3:00am

By Jodi Nelson

Nic MoreauStudents come to the Portland State MBA program to gain skills that will be relevant to employers. Recently I heard from two current students and one recent alumnus about how they have put their MBA skills to work.

Nic Moreau entered the MBA program in 2012 with experience as a college athlete and an interest in product management. He wanted to combine his interests — and because of the classes he took in the Athletic & Outdoor Industry Certificate Program, and the internships he did throughout the program, he was able to land a position at Nike.

In his role as a Category Information Analyst he is part of the product creation engine and gets to see products at all stages of the process.

Nic said, “I feel like the first year and a half of the program helped me get some really solid fundamentals, and the electives helped me specialize. For example, I took electives in Athletic and Outdoor. This helped me understand the industry but also, during my first few weeks at Nike I quickly understood the terms and specifics because I'd studied a lot of those for my last two terms.”

Nic also attributes his MBA education to helping him quickly establish his reputation at Nike: “I see things through the lens of my MBA courses now. Recently we had an offsite retreat with our team and during one of the group exercises I used one of the frameworks we were taught in Strategy with Dave [Garten]. My team was impressed and asked me to present our findings.”

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School of Business - 6th Annual Golf Tournament

August 22, 2014 - 3:00am

By Kelly Doherty


The 6th Annual School of Business Golf Tournament presented by Noble Americas Energy Solutions will be held on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 12:00PM at Langdon Farms. This annual tournament raises funds for the School of Business scholarships.

Registration is now open for individuals, team participants and sponsors.

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Our 10 Tips and Tricks for Your Resume and Cover Letter

August 20, 2014 - 3:00am

By Jodi Nelson and I-Ting Chen

Portland State MBA students benefit from our numerous Career Management Resources. Our objective is more than simply helping students find a job after graduation — we also prepare them for long-term success.

The Career Management team offers comprehensive career services through a range of programs, events and resources designed to help students succeed professionally and academically.

One of our key approaches is to coach students as they become an active participant in their own career development and take advantage of resources provided in order to be successful and move forward in their careers.

Having a compelling resume and cover letter are key components for advancing your career — for today's post, we're featuring our top 10 tips for optimizing these important items:

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Applying for Fall 2014 – The Two-Week Turnaround

August 18, 2014 - 3:00am

By Abby Messenger

As we near the end of our admissions cycle every year, we begin receiving frantic phone calls and e-mails asking “I want to be considered for Fall 2014 but haven’t taken the GMAT or GRE yet – is it still possible for me to apply?”

So, as a follow-up to my previous post “Fall 2014 Admissions – Am I Too Late?”, I have included tips to submit the most time sensitive component of our application process as we near the end of our admissions cycle:

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MBA Orientation Week

August 14, 2014 - 3:00am

By Jodi Nelson


Every September incoming students converge on the PSU campus for Orientation week.

Orientation is a time for incoming MBAs to connect with their future classmates, as well as faculty and staff.

Students will also prepare for the MBA program by learning about curriculum, international experience trips, career resources, and more.

Finally, incoming MBAs have the opportunity to engage in the campus and student groups, such as the popular Net Impact and Outdoor Industry Women Coalition groups.

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MBA Questions? Ask an Ambassador!

August 12, 2014 - 3:00am

by Kelly Doherty


Recent posts on the blog have included profiles about and guest contributions from Andrew Nelson, Dan Keefe, and other current MBA students who serve as Graduate Business Programs Ambassadors.

These Ambassadors play a key role in fostering dialogue between prospective MBA students and the Portland State MBA program.

Are you wrapping up the admissions process but have some last-minute questions?

Want to chat with a part-time MBA student on fitting school into your busy lifestyle?

Or do you want to talk to speak with an international student enrolled in the program?

Starting the conversation is easy — simply visit our online Ambassadors portal and initiate an inquiry with one of our current MBA students. You can also connect with students from the Master of International Management and Healthcare MBA programs.

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Faculty: Dan Rogers Co-Authors Article on Hedging and the Airline Industry

August 7, 2014 - 3:00am

Dan Rogers

By Kelly Doherty

Dan Rogers (with S. D. Treanor, D. A. Carter, and B. J. Simkins) co-authored an article titled “Exposure, Hedging, and Value: New Evidence from the U.S. Airline Industry” published in the July, 2014 issue of International Review of Financial Analysis.

For a variety of reasons, the U.S. airline industry is a natural sample to analyze the relation between corporate risk exposure, hedging policy, and firm value.

First, the authors find that airline exposures to fuel prices are higher when fuel prices are high or when they are rising.

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Alumni Venture My Street Grocery Partners with Whole Foods

August 5, 2014 - 3:00am

My Street Grocery Founder Amelia Pape. Photo: Oregonian.

By Kelly Doherty


Last August, we featured Portland State MBA alum Amelia Pape (2011), founder of My Street Grocery.

During her time at PSU, Amelia discovered her love for social enterprise, and developed a business concept to make fresh, healthy food more accessible to underserved communities. She then took the concept to market after graduating from PSU's full time MBA program.

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PSU’s Impact Entrepreneurs: Responding to a Demand for Training in Social Innovation

July 29, 2014 - 3:00am

Impact Entrepreneurs Co-Founder Carolyn McKnight leads a group through a planning exercise using the Human Centered Design methodology.

Around the world individuals, teams, and institutions are building systems that cultivate and strengthen change leaders. The US government is investing in social innovation with programs like, and companies like Virgin are incentivizing employees to launch their own products and ideas.

It follows that students are demanding the skills that will make them successful leaders in this new economy. Particularly, they’re looking for institutions that in addition to entrepreneurship education will provide training in skills like empathy and human-centered design that make the most successful social innovators thrive.  

PSU’s Impact Entrepreneurs is stepping squarely into that space. The program that started in PSU’s School of Business Administration with leadership courses and a social innovation incubator has grown to include social enterprise field studies, an annual social innovation summit, and most recently, a majority-online certificate in The Business of Social Innovation, open to grads, undergrads, and community members alike.

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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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