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GMAT and GRE Prep Resources

December 18, 2014 - 9:02am


By Abby Messenger


Are you preparing to take the GMAT or GRE?

If so, here is a list of free prep resources to prepare for either the GMAT or the GRE:

Free Kaplan GMAT/GRE Practice Tests 


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Career Changers: English Major to MBA Candidate

December 15, 2014 - 3:00am

By Max Bielenberg



I can clearly recall the experience that first led me to consider getting an MBA. Unlikely as it may sound, it was eating a sea salt chocolate chip cookie at Avalon International Breads in Detroit, Michigan (motto: Eat Well, Do Good). I was working as a teacher’s assistant in the Saint Paul public schools and had taken the summer off to volunteer on urban organic farms in Detroit and then bicycle the Pacific Coast.

On my day off from harvesting arugula and hammering in tomato stakes, I decided to traipse around the city on a beat-up mountain bike lent to me by my host. On my ride, I encountered Avalon, a self-described triple-bottom line business that provides a living wage, health insurance, and is credited with helping to spur the revival of its particular corner of the Motor City.

I had never heard of a triple-bottom line business before and had never considered getting a business degree. Yet the more I read about Avalon and what it provided for its employees and community, the more I realized that solid business skills can produce the most meaningful kind of social impact.

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Faculty: Charla Mathwick and Jill Mosteller Publish Article in Journal of Consumer Marketing

December 12, 2014 - 3:00am

Charla Mathwick

Perfect timing for the year's busiest retail season — Portland State's Charla Mathwick (with Jill Mosteller) coauthored an article titled “Reviewer Online Engagement: The Role of Rank, Well-Being, and Market Helping Behavior," which appeared in vol 31, issue 6/7 of Journal of Consumer Marketing.

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of a retailer-managed ranking system on product reviewers’ well-being and its relationship to customer engagement.

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Career Services Team Offers Career Panels, Employer Visits and Mentor Program

December 10, 2014 - 3:00am

By Jodi Nelson


Fall term is the busiest term for the career services team here at Portland State University. The last three months have included three career panels, five employer visits, the kickoff to our mentor program and countless other workshops, networking events and more.

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Intel Interview Workshop Provides Valuable Insights

December 9, 2014 - 10:47am

By Max Bielenberg



As fall term draws to a close, graduation no longer seems so far away.

For both graduate and undergraduate students alike, the job hunt is beginning in earnest. Students are fine-tuning their resumes, conducting informational interviews, and squeezing in one last internship. Fortunately, Career Services and other on-campus organizations offer resources to help students successfully make the transition to their next job.

This past Thursday, I attended one such event. Titled “Workshop With a Pro: Preparing For Your Interview,” it featured Diane Hwang, a Marketing Program Manager at Intel.

The event was standing room only as dozens of graduate and undergraduate students gathered to hear Hwang speak about resume, cover letter, and interview tips.

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Career Changers: MBA Student Jim Simmons Plans Transition to Career in Higher Education

December 5, 2014 - 3:47pm

By Max Bielenberg


Jim SimmonsToday we continue our series profiling current MBA candidates. I sat down to chat with Jim SImmons (MBA '15) to discuss his experiences at Portland State and his goals for after graduation.

Q: Can you tell me a bit about your professional and academic background?

A: I grew up in Southern Oregon but through no choice of my own ended up in Tulsa, OK where I got my undergraduate degree in marketing many years ago, graduating from Oral Roberts University in 1986. After college I spent about eight to ten years in the advertising industry working for a number of agencies, including BBDO, Bozell, and Deutsch, primarily in Los Angeles.

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Guest Post: Cori Batey Explores Sports Business Strategies Course

December 3, 2014 - 8:42am

By Cori Batey


Our tour of the Trail Blazers locker room

When I started thinking about which electives to take, I knew I wanted something unusual and unique, something I could only find at Portland State. When I heard about Brian Berger’s Sports Business Strategies, I knew I had found a class that fit the bill.

Brian Berger is an industry professional, with two decades worth of experience in sports marketing and public relations. He is the founder and host of Sports Business Radio and the founder of BBPR and the media training firm Everything is on the Record. Through all of these avenues, Brian has worked with companies like Nike and adidas, various sports teams and athletes, and countless other industry professionals.

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MBA "Coffee Chats" to Take Place This Week

December 1, 2014 - 8:43am

By Kelly Doherty


Tichelle Sorensen

Are you thinking about applying to the Portland State MBA program for 2015 admission?

If so — and you live in the Portland area — you may be interested in attending one of our upcoming MBA "Coffee Chats" hosted by MBA Academic Director Tichelle Sorensen. She'll be hosting these events at neighborhood coffee shops throughout the Portland area this week. 

You're invited to bring your most pressing questions and join in the conversation at one of our 4 coffeehouse chat locations below.

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MBA Student Profile: Net Impact President Cal Gosla III

November 26, 2014 - 3:00am

By Max Bielenberg

Today's installment of our ongoing series on MBA students introduces Cal Gosla III, a Portland State MBA student who is also President of our local Net Impact chapter.


Cal Gosla III

Q: Can you tell me a bit about your educational and professional background?

A: I graduated from the University of Arizona in 2009 with a degree in aerospace engineering. I started working right after school with Raytheon Missile Systems as a systems engineer. I did that for four years and quit to come back to school and get an MBA.

Q: Tell me more about your reasons for pursuing an MBA in general, and at Portland State in particular.

I didn’t feel like I was living up to my full potential in a purely technical role. I had always been interested in business, especially through conversations with my Dad, so I wanted to explore that. I was interested in entrepreneurship and starting up my own company. I couldn’t be happy as a human being unless I explored that; I’d never be able to live with myself unless I took the chance and risk of going back to business school.

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MBA Alumni Employment Statistics

November 24, 2014 - 9:55am

By Jodi Nelson

Every year we track the career status of our graduates from the full time MBA program. We use this information for benchmarking, we submit it to publications and we answer questions from prospective MBA students about what they can expect in terms of employability.

We recently compiled the data for graduates between July 2013 and June 2014. Nearly half of all graduates (48%) had accepted a job by graduation. By three months post-graduation, that number rose to 68%. Usually by six months post-graduation, over 90% of graduates are employed.

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Guest Blogger: Ben Song on Kickstart Weekend

November 21, 2014 - 12:00am


By Ben Song

So you want to pursue a startup, huh?

I mean who doesn’t!

In this day and age, the online service industry is booming, the market is recovering, and investors are spending money. Everyone and their brother (or sister) seem to have some ideas in the back of their mind.

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PSU Highlighted as "Encore U" in Forbes

November 20, 2014 - 9:43am


By Kelly Doherty


Forbes recently highlighted Portland State as part of a list of "Encore U" campuses throughout the country. The list was formulated by, an organization founded by Marc Freedman to help older adults engage in "encore" or new careers to help solve key national and global problems such as those in education and health care. was founded in response to the anticipated changes in the country's population: the number of Americans who are 55 and older is expected to double in the next 25 years.

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Business Briefing: What is Big Data Anyway?

November 19, 2014 - 4:36pm


By Kelly Doherty


We're looking forward to tomorrow's installment of the Business Briefing Breakfast Series — the theme is Big Data.

The session will explore:

  • What is Big Data anyway?
  • How is it harnessed and implemented across sectors?
  • What are the encryption and security precautions associated with its implementation?

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Guest blogger: Andrew Nelson on Volunteer Work & Time Management

November 17, 2014 - 9:46am

By Andrew Nelson

For anyone who has read my posts before (looking at you mom and dad), you know I am gung-ho about volunteering – both at the school and in the community.

During this past summer, and into fall, I had some unique opportunities to volunteer in the community and within the School of Business.

Before I go into those experiences, I want to talk a little about why I volunteer — I do it for completely selfish reasons. Not to get too academic here, but it follows a basic principle of economics — a transaction only occurs if both parties benefit. Let me assure you, I get plenty of benefit out of my volunteer work. It is more than just the good feeling you get when you help others, it is a load of fun. The fact that I am helping others while having such a great time is icing on the cake.

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Meet the New MBA Class

November 14, 2014 - 3:00am

By Kelly Doherty


For today's post, we're sharing some statistics about this year's incoming MBA class.

Each year, we track average work experience, GMAT and undergraduate GPA averages, median age, and more.

Full Time MBA

  • Average GMAT Score: 630
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.31
  • Average Work Experience: 6 years
  • Domestic Students: 70%
  • International Students: 30%
  • Male: 63%
  • Female: 37%
  • Average Age: 29; Median Age: 28

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PSU Net Impact Team Travels to National Conference

November 12, 2014 - 3:00am


By Max Bielenberg 


I recently joined fellow members of the Portland State Net Impact chapter to travel to Minneapolis for Net Impact’s annual national conference, which took place November 6-8.

We joined 3,000 other attendees for three days of workshops and panels on topics such as “Zero Waste: Working Towards a Sustainable Economy,” “Beyond the Like: Marketing For Sustainable Action,” and “To Hell With Good Intentions: Lean Start-Up Principles for Social Enterprise.”

Based on our interests, our cohort fanned out to different sessions in diverse categories such as Career and Professional Development, Corporate Impact, Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise, Environmental and Natural Impact, and Sustainable Food and Agriculture.

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Admissions Corner: November 15 Deadline — Why It Pays to Apply Early

November 10, 2014 - 1:54pm

By Abby Messenger

Whether you have ordered a copy of your transcripts, taken the GMAT or GRE exam, or are just now fine tuning your essay to submit a competitive application for Fall 2015 consideration, there are some exciting benefits to keep in mind for our November 15 Early Admissions deadline:

Applicants who submit a complete application file, including both applications of our 2-part application process, by this Saturday, November 15, will be reviewed by our admissions committee and given a final admissions decision or invitation for an interview by January 1, 2015. Please note: due to a supplemental evaluation process, international applicants may receive the admissions decision or invitation for an interview after January 1.

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Summer Course Highlights Regional Food, Athletic and Outdoor Industries with Site Visits and Speakers

November 6, 2014 - 1:00am

Our field visit to Sokol Blosser, with "Sadie the Vine" in the background.


By Max Bielenberg

Commenting on the depth of experience and perspective available close to home, Thoreau wrote “I have travelled a good deal in Concord.” A similar ethic of close-to-home exploration informed the experiential BA 526 course, which I took this summer with 20 students from the MBA, MIM, and MGSCM programs. The course was comprised of site visits and speakers from a variety of firms — from the intensely local to the multi-national — that truly captured the diversity of the Portland business scene.

Taught by Tichelle Sorensen, the Academic Director of the Portland State MBA Program, the course was ordered around the central theme of fair and sustainable supply chains in a global economy. Its lens for this inquiry was two prominent sectors of the Portland economy; food and outdoor/athletic gear.

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MBA Info Webinar Coming Up This Wednesday

November 4, 2014 - 1:00am

By Kelly Doherty


Mark your calendar for our first MBA Webinar for Fall 2015 admissions — the webinar will take place this Wednesday at noon Pacific time.

The session will be hosted by Tichelle Sorensen, Portland State MBA Academic Director, and will include tips for applying to the program for our upcoming November 15 Early Admissions Deadline.

What are the advantages of applying for early admission?

Applicants who submit a complete application by November 15 will receive a final admissions decision or invitation for an interview by January 1 and, per the approval of our Academic Director, can start taking MBA electives this coming spring and summer quarter. 

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MBA Spotlight: Kelly O'Rourke

October 30, 2014 - 1:00am

By Max Bielenberg

I recently had a chance to catch up with Kelly O'Rourke, a first-year MBA student who worked as a Temporary Organizational Change Management Specialist at Columbia Sportswear this summer. We talked about her experience in the MBA so far, what brought her to Portland State, and where she hopes to take her career after graduating.


Kelly O'RourkeQ: What do you like most about the program thus far?

A: The people. I love my classmates. I also love the innovation aspect. There was an article in Inc. that discussed how some people feel an MBA is actually a hindrance to real innovation or to an innovative company. I feel Portland State contradicts that, in that it offers opportunities for innovation and creativity.   

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