What was your first experience with Portland State?
I wanted to pursue something creative in college. My high school counselor had attended PSU and she encouraged me to look into the school. I was interested in advertising because it looked like an area where I could use my creativity.
After knowing I was going to PSU, I learned about the Summer Business Institute. The Summer Business Institute allows diverse, underrepresented youth to learn about business, gain college credit and spend time with other youth. It allowed me to build relationships with staff and faculty. That’s how I met Marketing Professor Maureen O’Connor and Dean Scott Dawson. The Summer Business Institute was a great experience because it was a good segue into college and the business school. It laid down the foundation of what was expected of me in college and jump started my college career.
How were you involved with the Portland State community as a student?
The first couple of years I made it a point to be involved across campus. I was involved in the NAACP and the Black Cultural Affairs Board and then I became a student ambassador in my sophomore year. In the first part of my education, I focused on being involved on campus. In the latter half, I focused on academics by taking internships and adding a minor. I wanted to make sure I was doing everything I could in order to set myself up to be successful.
How did you begin working at Metropolitan Group?
A PSU advisor introduced me to someone at Metropolitan Group, which lead to an internship during my senior year. Those PSU relationships have actually helped me a lot. It was pretty intense because I was doing two internships, working part time and finishing classes. It was well worth it. I graduated officially in August 2007 and then I got hired here in September.
What is Metropolitan Group?
Metropolitan Group is a full-service social change agency that offers a range of services in four practice areas: strategic communication, resource development, multicultural communication and organizational development. We work exclusively with social purpose organizations—nonprofits, socially responsible businesses and public agencies.
Was social cause a draw for you?
Yes, I didn’t want to just work for any marketing firm; I wanted to promote a good cause. I was looking for an agency that wanted to make change and impact communities. The fact that people at Metropolitan Group are passionate about impacting the lives of individuals made me want to work here.
How have your PSU education, experiences and connections helped you as a recent graduate?
The business school prepared me for real life. Everything I picked up at the School of Business, I’ve been able to apply to my experience here, from marketing terms or work ethics. I really appreciated that the business professors have worked in their field and have real expertise. This made my education very relevant.
How do you stay connected with PSU?
I still have relationships with professors and people who work there, such as Rahel Yared who runs the Summer Business Institute. The Summer Business Institute is something I’m still passionate about and I have volunteered with the program, including speaking to groups about my experience as an SBI alum. I’m in contact with the advisor for my diversity scholarship, Sherie Guess, among others. I still value relationships I developed at Portland State.
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