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A Day in the Life: MBA Student Max Bielenberg

January 30, 2015 - 12:19pm

by Max Bielenberg

There’s no two ways about it: being a graduate student is exhaustingly and impossibly busy —which isn’t to say it’s not fun or incredibly worthwhile.  Here’s a peek at what a PSU MBA candidate might cram into a typical day.

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Guest Blogger: Gyde Gilgen on How to Turn a Business Around in 48 Hours

January 28, 2015 - 9:34am

By Gyde Gilgen

Today’s post by guest blogger Gyde Gilgen is a reflection on the Leadership Immersion, an integral part of the PSU MBA experience. An intense 48 hour business simulation that divides students into competing business units, the immersion consciously builds on the leadership competencies developed throughout the program. Gyde was CEO of the winning team. — Max Bielenberg 


How to turn a business around in 48 Hours?

A personal reflection on the MBA Leadership Immersion

Getting up earlier than usual on a Friday morning and making my way out to the Double Tree Hotel, I knew that two full days of intense class were ahead of me.

Admittedly, my excitement about participating in the Leadership Immersion was rather limited as fellow students told me it would be challenging, exhausting, and intense. The package with a lot of confusing information on D2L a few weeks in advance doesn’t really help to get you excited. You realize quickly that the business you are dealing with is not in the best situation and that the processes are rather complex.

Because I have participated in a few business simulations before, I expected it to be a finance-based challenge, which turned out to be true. However, I was asking myself how the leadership aspect would be integrated as the class was called Leadership Immersion.

After a quick introduction into the business and the overall process of the next two days, the group got split up into teams of 9-10 people. In the moment the groups are posted — and you know who will be part of your executive team for the next 48 hours — there is both the excitement of working with new people and the fear of potential conflict ahead.

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Alumni: Jude Lieberman ('13) Discusses Nike Career, MBA Program

January 26, 2015 - 9:44am

By Max Bielenberg

For today’s alumni profile, I met up with Jude Lieberman (MBA ’13). Jude works in internal communications at Nike.

Q: Thanks for meeting with me today, Jude. To start off, can you tell me a bit about your background before you began the MBA program at PSU?

A: My undergrad is in Sociology and French from Pitzer College. I had about ten years of diverse work experience: I taught English in France, worked with a political consultant, managed a handmade photo album studio and worked for a cell phone sales company in the corporate office. All those companies were very small, so I had to do a little bit of everything, including marketing, operations and employee engagement.

Q:  What led to your decision to go back to school and to PSU specifically?

A: I was interested in going back to school to further my career potential. I definitely wanted to do something practical rather than academic. I decided the issue I felt most passionate about was sustainable business and the triple-bottom-line concept. In thinking about driving change through business vs. nonprofit vs. government, it was business where I could see myself plugging in and adding value.

I didn’t want to relocate, so I looked into all the local programs including Willamette and Bainbridge. I debated between part-time and full-time. Ultimately for me, going full-time and being in a physical classroom was important to get the most out of the experience. The program’s strong reputation, particularly in sustainability, appealed to me as well.

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SBA Professors Publish Article on Stress Theory and Workplace Newcomers

January 20, 2015 - 10:25am

By Kelly Doherty


Talya Bauer, Berrin Erdogan, and Lauren Simon (with A. Ellis, L. Mansfield, and D. Truxillo) coauthored an article titled “Navigating Uncharted Waters: Newcomer Socialization Through the Lens of Stress Theory” published in the January 2015 issue of Journal of Management.

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February 1 Scholarship Deadline — What You Need to Know

January 19, 2015 - 10:03am

By Abby Messenger


With less than two weeks until our February 1 scholarship deadline, we want to make sure that you have all the important details in front of you to gather your admissions materials, complete all necessary applications, and set yourself up for success to finance the Portland State MBA.

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MBA Student Jon Rieman on Nike Internship and PSU Experience

January 15, 2015 - 8:22am

By Max Bielenberg


Today’s student profile focuses on Jon Rieman. In addition to being a second-year full time MBA student, Jon is an avid athlete and fearsome Ultimate Frisbee player who interned with Nike last summer.

Q: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Jon. Can you tell me a bit about your educational and professional background?

A: I got my undergrad from University of Pittsburgh in Business Administration. After undergrad, I joined the Army. I was in the infantry for five years. I used the leadership experience I gained to transition to an operations management position with Conway Freight, a less-than-truckload carrier. I worked there for four years in multiple roles.

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School of Business Administration Welcomes New Dean

January 13, 2015 - 3:00am

By Kelly Doherty


Big news!

This week, Portland State announced that it has hired Daniel Connolly, senior associate dean at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business, as dean of the School of Business Administration (SBA).

Mr. Connolly replaces longtime SBA dean Scott Dawson, who left PSU last year to become dean of Orfalea College of Business at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Business faculty member Scott Marshall is serving as interim dean until Connolly starts this summer.

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Guest Post: Rob Hodgson on the Benefits of Extra-Curricular Work During Graduate Studies

January 12, 2015 - 9:13am

By Rob Hodgson


If you’re in a business graduate program at Portland State University, then you’re familiar with the concept of not having much free time. You know just how priceless that one, or even just half-day a week is when you get to relax and not think about classwork.  Why then, would I suggest that you go and ruin that by adding a completely voluntary project to your plate?

Last winter a classmate of mine organized a group to enter a graduate student contest through Net Impact, called the Banana Republic Grad Student Challenge. One of the prizes for the winning marketing strategy was a “Banana Republic wardrobe,” but the real prize was a trip to the Banana Republic office headquarters and access to top executives of the company.

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Business of Social Innovation Certificate Benefits Students as Entrepreneurs and Changemakers

January 8, 2015 - 3:00am

By Abby Chroman


Look anywhere in Portland’s metro area and you’ll see signs of it changing.

New construction is transforming the skylines and new industries are shifting the economy. With those changes, Portland’s communities, and our challenges, are also inevitably evolving.

If PSU’s vision is to let knowledge serve the city, the university’s curriculum must adapt alongside our urban center. Not only are we charged with creating lessons relevant for today’s unique questions, Portland State needs to craft programs that will arm students to serve the city long into our future.  

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Tanya Murray Discusses Role at Oregon Tilth and MBA Experience

January 7, 2015 - 3:00am

By Max Bielenberg


Tanya MurrayFor today’s student profile, I sat down with MBA candidate Tanya Murray. Tanya will graduate in June and has taken classes with both the full and part-time cohorts.


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

A: I graduated from Prescott College in Arizona where I self-designed a degree in Education For Sustainable Agriculture. My interest in school gardens and farm-based education evolved pretty quickly into a passion for the production side of farming.

Most of my professional experience has been working on and managing diversified organic vegetable farms. I plowed my first field in Connecticut in 1998, harvested my first crop of blueberries on a farm just outside San Luis Obispo, California, and was part of the management team here in Oregon at Sauvie Island Organics for nine years.

Q: What motivated you to pursue an MBA?

A: All of the farms that I’ve worked for have been rooted in ecological and social sustainability but struggled when it came to achieving economic sustainability. I wanted to learn more about the business side of farming to help these operations become more economically viable.

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Jay Cornelius Discusses Television Career and MBA Experience

December 23, 2014 - 3:00am

Today, we continue our MBA student series with a profile on Jay Cornelius. He has worked in television and film production for 15 years as a producer, director of photography and editor. He has edited and shot shows for National Geographic, The History Channel, A&E, PBS, HGTV, and the Discovery-Times Channel.

Jay CorneliusQ: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Jay. Can you tell me a bit about your educational and professional background?

A: I was an art major at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. I wanted to work in the television business and was able to incorporate video into my studies. For the past 15 years or so I worked in television.

I made documentaries for the History Channel, National Geographic, and Discovery Channel. I shot a show called Lockdown for National Geographic, where you go into prisons. I also worked on Making History With Roger Mudd, which involved extended interviews with, among others, Sandra Day O’Connor and David Childs, the architect of the Freedom Tower in New York.

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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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