MBA alum, Anita Ramachandran (’07) knew she wanted her work to have a direct impact on the world around her – and she has found that in her role as Partnerships Development Officer at Mercy Corps.
Anita chose to return to Portland State for her MBA after earning a BS in Environmental Science and Economics because of the city’s urban location and her positive experience during her undergrad program. Anita, a self-described “perpetual student,” found every class at in the MBA program an exciting opportunity to learn something new.
While the technical skills that Anita learned in the program provide a toolbox she can access when she needs it, she says she applies the critical thinking, teamwork and leadership skills on a daily basis.
"Sometimes you have to work with people you don't like or like but don't work well with — the MBA gave me experience in that," says Anita. "I also remember Carolyn McKnight once said, 'Don't be a victim, be a player in your life.' It reminds me not to let myself be a victim of the situation but to take action."
During the MBA program, Anita actively built her professional network, which helped her find a job at Daimler after graduation. When her department was relocated to South Carolina, Anita worked in marketing for Xerox and pursued her passion for helping others through a Portland-based non-profit that she co-founded. The visions for SAWERA, an organization that helps victims of domestic violence, came from Anita's friend who was helping one woman, showing the positive impact that one individual can make.
“I’m inspired to be in the midst of an organization that makes so many small but significant changes around the world,” says Anita of her new role at Mercy Corps. “Mercy Corps is one of the few groups that actually stays in regions after the crisis to help communities develop. The rewards of being part of that are so high."
In addition to benefiting from the emotional rewards of non-profit work, Anita appreciates Mercy Corps' beautiful headquarters and waterfront location. And in regards to finding a rewarding career, Anita has some advice for current students:
"Don't close any doors. You never know where they might lead."