The MBA Hub

Guest Blogger: Ben Song on Kickstart Weekend


By Ben Song

So you want to pursue a startup, huh?

I mean who doesn’t!

In this day and age, the online service industry is booming, the market is recovering, and investors are spending money. Everyone and their brother (or sister) seem to have some ideas in the back of their mind.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, Events, kickstart weekend, MBA Students, networking

PSU Highlighted as "Encore U" in Forbes


By Kelly Doherty


Forbes recently highlighted Portland State as part of a list of "Encore U" campuses throughout the country. The list was formulated by, an organization founded by Marc Freedman to help older adults engage in "encore" or new careers to help solve key national and global problems such as those in education and health care. was founded in response to the anticipated changes in the country's population: the number of Americans who are 55 and older is expected to double in the next 25 years.

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Tags: accolades, Impact Entrepreneurs, media, social entrepreneurship, Social Innovation

Business Briefing: What is Big Data Anyway?


By Kelly Doherty


We're looking forward to tomorrow's installment of the Business Briefing Breakfast Series — the theme is Big Data.

The session will explore:

  • What is Big Data anyway?
  • How is it harnessed and implemented across sectors?
  • What are the encryption and security precautions associated with its implementation?

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Tags: Business Briefing, Events, networking

Guest blogger: Andrew Nelson on Volunteer Work & Time Management

By Andrew Nelson

For anyone who has read my posts before (looking at you mom and dad), you know I am gung-ho about volunteering – both at the school and in the community.

During this past summer, and into fall, I had some unique opportunities to volunteer in the community and within the School of Business.

Before I go into those experiences, I want to talk a little about why I volunteer — I do it for completely selfish reasons. Not to get too academic here, but it follows a basic principle of economics — a transaction only occurs if both parties benefit. Let me assure you, I get plenty of benefit out of my volunteer work. It is more than just the good feeling you get when you help others, it is a load of fun. The fact that I am helping others while having such a great time is icing on the cake.

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Tags: alumni golf tournament, current students, MBA Students, student ambassadors, volunteering

Meet the New MBA Class

By Kelly Doherty


For today's post, we're sharing some statistics about this year's incoming MBA class.

Each year, we track average work experience, GMAT and undergraduate GPA averages, median age, and more.

Full Time MBA

  • Average GMAT Score: 630
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.31
  • Average Work Experience: 6 years
  • Domestic Students: 70%
  • International Students: 30%
  • Male: 63%
  • Female: 37%
  • Average Age: 29; Median Age: 28

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Tags: admissions, mba admissions, MBA Students, statistics

PSU Net Impact Team Travels to National Conference


By Max Bielenberg 


I recently joined fellow members of the Portland State Net Impact chapter to travel to Minneapolis for Net Impact’s annual national conference, which took place November 6-8.

We joined 3,000 other attendees for three days of workshops and panels on topics such as “Zero Waste: Working Towards a Sustainable Economy,” “Beyond the Like: Marketing For Sustainable Action,” and “To Hell With Good Intentions: Lean Start-Up Principles for Social Enterprise.”

Based on our interests, our cohort fanned out to different sessions in diverse categories such as Career and Professional Development, Corporate Impact, Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise, Environmental and Natural Impact, and Sustainable Food and Agriculture.

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Tags: Net Impact, Net Impact Conference, Portland State MBA students

Admissions Corner: November 15 Deadline — Why It Pays to Apply Early

By Abby Messenger

Whether you have ordered a copy of your transcripts, taken the GMAT or GRE exam, or are just now fine tuning your essay to submit a competitive application for Fall 2015 consideration, there are some exciting benefits to keep in mind for our November 15 Early Admissions deadline:

Applicants who submit a complete application file, including both applications of our 2-part application process, by this Saturday, November 15, will be reviewed by our admissions committee and given a final admissions decision or invitation for an interview by January 1, 2015. Please note: due to a supplemental evaluation process, international applicants may receive the admissions decision or invitation for an interview after January 1.

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Tags: admissions, mba admissions

Summer Course Highlights Regional Food, Athletic and Outdoor Industries with Site Visits and Speakers

Our field visit to Sokol Blosser, with "Sadie the Vine" in the background.Our field visit to Sokol Blosser, with "Sadie the Vine" in the background.


By Max Bielenberg

Commenting on the depth of experience and perspective available close to home, Thoreau wrote “I have travelled a good deal in Concord.” A similar ethic of close-to-home exploration informed the experiential BA 526 course, which I took this summer with 20 students from the MBA, MIM, and MGSCM programs. The course was comprised of site visits and speakers from a variety of firms — from the intensely local to the multi-national — that truly captured the diversity of the Portland business scene.

Taught by Tichelle Sorensen, the Academic Director of the Portland State MBA Program, the course was ordered around the central theme of fair and sustainable supply chains in a global economy. Its lens for this inquiry was two prominent sectors of the Portland economy; food and outdoor/athletic gear.

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Tags: Business Connections, electives, MBA Students, Oregon Wine, Portland business community, site visits, sokol blosser, Sustainability

MBA Info Webinar Coming Up This Wednesday

By Kelly Doherty


Mark your calendar for our first MBA Webinar for Fall 2015 admissions — the webinar will take place this Wednesday at noon Pacific time.

The session will be hosted by Tichelle Sorensen, Portland State MBA Academic Director, and will include tips for applying to the program for our upcoming November 15 Early Admissions Deadline.

What are the advantages of applying for early admission?

Applicants who submit a complete application by November 15 will receive a final admissions decision or invitation for an interview by January 1 and, per the approval of our Academic Director, can start taking MBA electives this coming spring and summer quarter. 

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Tags: admissions, Events, Portland State School of business events

Kelly O'Rourke Talks About MBA experience and Columbia Sportswear Internship

By Max Bielenberg

I recently had a chance to catch up with Kelly O'Rourke, a first-year MBA student who worked as a Temporary Organizational Change Management Specialist at Columbia Sportswear this summer. We talked about her experience in the MBA so far, what brought her to Portland State, and where she hopes to take her career after graduating.


Kelly O'RourkeKelly O'RourkeQ: What do you like most about the program thus far?

A: The people. I love my classmates. I also love the innovation aspect. There was an article in Inc. that discussed how some people feel an MBA is actually a hindrance to real innovation or to an innovative company. I feel Portland State contradicts that, in that it offers opportunities for innovation and creativity.   

Q: What has surprised you about the program thus far?

A: How much I like accounting.

Q: Could you share some of your past educational and work experiences with me?

A: My undergraduate degree from Boise State was in psychology with a minor in Spanish.  I moved to Portland after graduation and started working with non-profits. I started working with a small non-profit that worked with transplant centers like OHSU, Providence and Legacy. I ran educational programs in schools and with their Latino outreach program. After that I worked at the Red Cross in blood services. I was essentially an account manager and then a supervisor.

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Tags: Athletic & Outdoor Industry, MBA Students, Portland State 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.