Before coming to PSU to pursue his MBA, Jason owned and managed Paccini's, an on-campus restaurant. As successful as the venture was, though, he knew he would ultimately outgrow his restaurant. So he decided to join the part-time MBA program to explore his options.
As Jason completed his studies, he participated in interviews for jobs in industries ranging fromconsulting to management, and subsequently accepted the position of Economic Development Manager with ROSE Community Development, a Portland-area nonprofit.
ROSE stands for Revitalizing Outer South East, and the organization offers affordable housing in well-built and maintained units to low income families in the outer southeast neighborhoods of Lents, Brentwood-Darlington, Powellhurst-Gilbert, Foster-Powell and Mt. Scott-Arleta.
In March of 2012, ROSE was awarded a grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust (MMT) to enhance economic development programs in outer southeast Portland neighborhoods. With that grant, ROSE opened up the position Jason eventually interviewed for and accepted. Today, he is responsible for interfacing with the community and advising community members about all the services offered through ROSE.
Reflecting upon his MBA experience, Jason says leveraging Career Management Resources was probably the most valuable part of the program for him. “I found my job through PSU’s CareerForward and I did mock interviews that were recorded so I could see what I needed to improve on. When I was deciding which position to take after graduation, Jodi [Career Advisor] encouraged me to try something different so I took the position at ROSE.”
“The MBA program helped me to think strategically about problems and to recognize strengths in the community and in the organization,” says Jason. “It also taught me that problems in a project are not as bad as they seem.”
That positive attitude comes in handy when Jason faces challenges in his current job, especially the issue of gentrification.
“It’s the biggest challenge we’re facing,” he says. “It’s really difficult to revitalize a neighborhood and at the same time support low income families. For us, it’s about showing them the resources available for economic growth through small business ownership.”
Despite the challenges, Jason’s finds his position incredibly rewarding.
“The best part is working with young people,” he says. “They have so much potential, talents, skills and drive. It’s really special to help them through the difficult transitions.”
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