The MBA Hub

What's love got to do with it?

By Rebecca Freedman

Love is not the first word that I would have previously connected to sustainability. This changed on Saturday, June 13th, when I attended the first annual Love Summit. The all-day event, presented by non-profit, DreamChange, and hosted by local advertising agency, Wieden+Kennedy, kicked off with an eye-opening declaration of love.


 John Perkins, Founder of DreamChange, called out to the hundred plus people in the stadium seating of Wieden+Kennedy’s presentation hall, “Are you ready for love?” Although I normally haven’t rolled out of bed at this hour on a Saturday morning, I heard myself joining in with the emphatic group shout of assent. 


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Tags: MBA curriculum, Portland State MBA students, Sustainability


After graduation, Max Bielenberg is returning home to Minnesota where the trees are smaller and the food carts less plentiful, but at least the biking is flatter.After graduation, Max Bielenberg is returning home to Minnesota where the trees are smaller and the food carts less plentiful, but at least the biking is flatter.



By Max Bielenberg

George Harrison and Ecclesiastes agree: all things must pass.

This month, I'm graduating from the PSU MBA program and leaving my job as marketing and social media coordinator for the graduate business programs.

Like all intense multi-year experiences, my time at PSU can’t be neatly summed up. So much has happened in the last year and a half that it’s difficult to name only a few final thoughts for current and future students, but here it goes:

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Tags: Business Connections, graduation, internships, MBA Students

Fall 2015 Admissions – Space Available

By Abby Messenger



Even though we can no longer guarantee space availability in our Fall 2015 cohort — we will continue to accept applications as long as space remains in the program.

We historically have space until June, July or potentially August.

Are you interested in applying?

If so, you're invited to attend an online or in-person session to find out more about the MBA program:

1. MBA Webinar (Monday, June 1 — 12pm – 1pm). Please click here to RSVP.

2. MBA Last Call Networking Reception and Information Session — Thursday, June 4:  6 – 7:30 pm at Portland State University, Smith Memorial Student Union (Browsing Lounge: Room 238), 1825 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201. To RSVP, please send an email to Space is limited for the event.

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Tags: admissions, mba admissions

PSU Team Takes 2nd in NextBillion Case Competition


By Pamela Dusschee



Congratulations to the Portland State team of Cindy Cooper, Jacen Greene, and Ted Khoury, who took second place in the 2015 NextBillion Case competition for their case titled “Grameen Intel Social Business: Technology Solutions at the Base of the Pyramid.” The $2,500 prize money is being donated to students for educational opportunities in sustainability and social innovation/social entrepreneurship, such as conference travel. The case has been published at GlobaLens following peer review.

Grameen Intel, a Bangladeshi-based joint venture between the Grameen Trust and Intel Corporation, is a social business that develops and delivers new technology products and services to base of the pyramid (BoP) customers. Grameen Intel bases its impact assessment and business agenda toward achieving a selected group of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs are a collection of social goals developed by the United Nations that help track societal progress through predetermined indicators.

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Tags: awards, Curriculum, Faculty, MBA curriculum

Soft Skills, Hard Skills, and the Art of Guanxi


By Jessica Ferrell



Let's start today's post with a couple of definitions:

Soft skills: noun

Personal attributes and interpersonal skills that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.

Hard skills: noun

A specific, technical skill set and the ability to perform certain functional tasks that can be defined and measured.

Only recently did this definition duo begin to bother me. I like that I am good with people; I understand and am frustrated that calculus and advanced analytical quandaries are hard. So I haven’t fretted too much about my imbalanced strength in soft skills.

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Tags: Asia, career changers, current students, MBA Students, Study Abroad

Graduate Business Student Finds Work-Life-School Balance with PSU Online Program


By Garima Gautam



Garima is a graduate business student enrolled in the online program for the Master's in Global Supply Chain Management (MSGSCM). Portland State MBA students have the opportunity to take electives within the MSGSCM, and can also pursue a dual MBA/MSGSCM degree at Portland State.


While deciding for my higher education apart from dedication, drive and executing deliverables, I was also factoring in time and money.

Along with my job journey from a software industry to being an entrepreneur, I do have a personal life like so many others — the most important being my two children. I made some adjustments and tweaks in my career path to balance it all out ☺

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Tags: current students, MS in global supply chain management, Portland State School of Business, supply chain

Rankings: #1 Part Time MBA Program in Oregon


By Pamela Dusschee



Back in March, we announced that the Portland State part time MBA program earned a Top 100 ranking in the most recent US News & World Report's "Best Business Schools" list.

To celebrate, we shared this news through several billboards around town — maybe you've seen the billboards in your neighborhood or on your daily commute?

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Tags: admissions, mba admissions, MBA Students, part time mba, rankings

PSU Net Impact Chapter Appoints New Officials


By Max Bielenberg



The MBA school year is winding down — in preparation for the next academic year, many organizations, including PSU Net Impact, recently held elections and arranged leadership transitions. 

My role as the treasurer of Net Impact has been an integral part of my PSU experience and, though it’s bittersweet to bid it farewell, I’m excited by the energy and drive of the new leadership team.


Standing from left: Rich Schwartz, Doug Beyers, Rob Ellsworth and Emma Ingebretsen.

Kneeling from left: Jay Cornelius and Jessica Ferrell. Not pictured: Kelly O'Rourke.


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Tags: MBA Students, Net Impact, networking, Sustainability

MBA Alum Returns to China, Lands Job in Athletic/Outdoor Industry

By Max Bielenberg


MJ Chen (left) with classmates Jacob Bell and Tony Ferrer.MJ Chen (left) with classmates Jacob Bell and Tony Ferrer.


I recently had an email conversation with MJ Chen, a 2014 MBA graduate who returned home to China after graduation last June. MJ recently began working at Kailas, a Chinese outdoor gear company.

Q: How did you decide to attend PSU for your MBA? What was your background prior to entering the program?

A: I attended PSU for my bachelors degree and graduated in 2010. Twenty years before that, my uncle graduated from PSU with a masters degree in engineering. So when it came to picking grad school, PSU was always on top of my list. Besides, I was the co-founder of a baby product distribution company in China by the time I applied for grad school. Knowing that the PSU MBA program has such a great emphasis on startups, I knew it would be the right fit.

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Tags: Athletic & Outdoor Industry, China, Entrepreneurship, international students, MBA Students

MBA Student Wins National Rising Star Award


By Pamela Dusschee


Congratulations to Jennifer Chambers — Portland State MBA student and assistant dean of finance and administration for Portland State’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) — for being selected for the 2015 Rising Star award from the National Association of College and University Business Officers. 

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Tags: awards, MBA Students

About the Blog

Portland State's MBA program has earned numerous accolades, including a 2011-12 Beyond Grey Pinstripes Report rating of #1 in the world — for small schools — for its emphasis on environmental stewardship.