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Jonathan Jacobs

Degree: Master of Business Administration

What's next: Start his own business

The assignment: Find the greenest way to transport Nike products worldwide.

Jonathan Jacobs and a team of Portland State University Master of Business Administration students did just that. The team recommended changes to Nike's carbon tracking and reporting that could lead to a new industry standard.

PSU's online MBA program made the project possible by bringing Nike together with five students who live in three different cities: Portland, Springfield and Los Angeles.

Jacobs and the other team members—John Biggs, Jessie Hong, Jim Stevenson and Stephanie Read—all continued to work while completing their degrees. They met in person only five times during the project, communicating primarily by e-mail, online forums, and weekly conference calls.

"This is the way the world works today," says Jacobs. "It proves you can operate in a virtual team."

And after all of their hard work, Nike has decided to follow the team's recommendations.