The MBA Hub

Net Impact Careers in Sustainability Breakfast

By Max Bielenberg

Two weeks ago Portland State Net Impact held its annual Careers in Sustainability Breakfast, an event which brings together sustainability professionals and Portland State students from a variety of programs to network, learn and eat bagels together.

The breakfast provided a great opportunity to hear more about the intersections of business and sustainability in Portland, as well as time to personally reflect on all that’s happened on my MBA journey since last year’s version of the same event.

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Tags: career networking, MBA Students, Net Impact, networking

Demystifying the Supplemental Evaluation Process

By Abby Messenger



Our admissions committee works hard each year to admit students who will enrich classroom conversation and increase learning opportunities.

Strong work history, managerial experience, non-traditional undergraduate study, and distinct personal backgrounds are some indicators that our committee evaluates, but another area of importance is international citizenship.

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Portland State Part Time MBA Earns Top 100 Ranking in U.S. News & World Report 2016 List

By Pamela Dusschee



The Portland State School of Business is pleased to announce that our part time MBA program earned a Top 100 ranking in U.S. News & World Report's 2016 "Best Business Schools" list (#73).

According to the 2016 list, Portland State's part time MBA program is now the highest ranked MBA program in Portland!

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Tags: accolades, admissions, GMAT, mba admissions, MBA rankings

Brand Storytelling + How a Good Story Can Trump Facts

By Max Bielenberg


After nourishment, shelter and companionship,” author Phillip Pullman once remarked, “stories are the thing we need most in the world.”

I’m inclined to agree: we are instinctively drawn to the people, places –and brands—that tell the most compelling narratives.

This was the theme of this month’s “Brand Storytelling” event at the Portland State School of Business Administration, which was organized by the Outdoor Industry Women’s Coalition and featured Lisa Prince, Group Strategy Director at Wieden + Kennedy.

Prince led off with the real world example of the Significant Objects Projects — in which authors write stories about random objects they’ve been paired with — to demonstrate how stories can add value to a product experience.

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Tags: Athletic & Outdoor Industry, Events, marketing, MBA curriculum, MBA Students, Outdoor Industry Women's Coalition

Faculty Member Brian Bolton on PSU MBA Students: They Want to Change the World in Their Own Way

By Max Bielenberg


I recently met with professor Brian Bolton, who teaches economics in the MBA program. Brian is currently the only instructor who teaches MBA candidates in each of their first two terms.

Q: What was your background before PSU?

A: I have an MBA in finance from the University of Texas. After that, I spent two years consulting for PricewaterhouseCoopers. I got my PhD in finance at the University of Colorado and then taught for five years at the University of New Hampshire. When this opportunity came up in 2010 I jumped on it. I wanted to get out west — some faculty here were doing really cool stuff.

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Tags: Curriculum, Faculty, Finance

MBA Student Kat Thirakomen

By Max Bielenberg

This past weekend I met with first-year MBA student Kat Thirakomen for coffee. Kat hails from Thailand and is particularly interested in social enterprise and the education sector.

Q: To start off our conversation, can you tell me more about your educational and professional background?

A: I’m from Bangkok, Thailand. My undergrad is in economics from Chulalongkorn University. After graduating, I went into consulting, because I believed that being able to employ the consulting framework in a variety of industries would be beneficial in my future work.

I worked for the Thailand division of Ernst & Young Advisory, and after that, I went to work for my family business. We have a chain of restaurants and wanted to expand to Singapore; I had lived in Singapore for 2 years and understood the market, so I co-managed the project.

We opened two branches in Singapore. I worked on everything: sourcing ingredients, recruiting, training and a bit of marketing to help people learn about our brand. It was interesting work, especially because I got to work abroad and further studied the F&B industry there.

Do you know that Singapore imports almost all meats and produce from its neighboring countries? They no longer have an agricultural sector because of their extremely limited supply of land. Anyways, once the project was complete, I decided that I wanted to pursue an MBA.

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MBA Student Cori Batey Visits Cambodia with Impact Entrepreneurs

By Cori Batey

The Portland State MBA program offers the unique opportunity for students to incorporate an international experience into their core business curriculum. Current international study programs include Vietnam/China, Brazil, Marseille (France) and Bangalore (India).

For today's post, Cori recapped her experience while participating in the Impact Entrepreneurs trip to Cambodia.


Angkor Wat, first a Hindu, later a Buddhist, temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world.Angkor Wat, first a Hindu, later a Buddhist, temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world.


On our first day of “class” in Cambodia, we traveled to Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument, and a stunning architectural work. 

The visit was a perfect way to introduce us to the history and culture of Cambodia, and we had a wonderful local tour guide named Nak, who engaged us with his knowledge of history and his passion for his country and its people.

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Tags: Impact Entrepreneurs, MBA Students, Study Abroad

Tips for Submitting a Highly Competitive Application [2015 Edition]

By Abby Messenger


As we near our May 1st Priority Admissions deadline and with the hundreds of files that our admissions committee reviews each year, we wanted to give you some tips to help your application stand out. To be fully prepared, you can review some of our past tips here.

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Tags: admissions, mba admissions

Events: Supply Chain Management Career Fair

By Jodi Nelson

A few weeks ago I wrote about the supply chain career events that would be taking in February. Both events were a success in that they offered our students the ability to make connections with many companies.

The Supply Chain Management Career Fair is a particular highlight for our students because we had 30 companies there to recruit our students for jobs and internships. There were a mix of corporations (such at Nike, Daimler, Oracle, Boeing, Toyota), logistics providers (such as CH Robinson, Expeditors International, Mainfreight) and governmental agencies (City of Portland, Multnomah Country).

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Tags: career events, career management, Events, networking, on-campus recruiting, supply chain

MBA Student Rich Schwartz Recaps Organicology and FoodWorx Events

By Rich Schwartz


In early February I had the opportunity to attend two different food-related conferences within three days of one another.

On Thursday, I attended the Organicology conference at the Portland Hilton. On Saturday, I spent the day at FoodWorx, which was held at the World Forestry Center.

At both conferences I learned more about subjects in which I am interested, wrestled with interesting and thorny questions, and met a number of fascinating people to inspire me forward on my path. And in both cases, my attendance was made financially possible through connections I've made at Portland State.

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Tags: Events, food, MBA Students, networking, Portland, Sustainability

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.