The MBA Hub

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

Max Holfert (MBA 2010) Discusses Role with Mercy Corps Northwest and Pitchlandia

By Max Bielenberg

For today’s blog post, I chatted with Max Holfert (MBA 2010). Max is a business lender at Mercy Corps Northwest, the domestic economic development-focused subsidiary of Mercy Corps.

Full disclosure: I interned under Max for six months last year, thanks to his preference for hiring interns who share his name (ha!).




Q: Thanks for meeting with me, Max. Can you start off by telling us a bit about your background?

A: After growing up in a commercial fishing port in Alaska, I was a commercial fisherman in the summers while I studied pre-med biology for my undergrad at Oregon State and PSU, which was fascinating to study and provided a great lens to view the world through.

However, I opted not to apply to medical school — I made a pretty rational decision in hindsight, as spending 250K on something I was only moderately interested in as a career seemed like a high stakes gamble.

Instead I got a job working on a commercial crab boat. After the crab season, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I bought a house in Eugene anticipating a grad school plan that didn’t pan out. So I remodeled the house, sold it, made more money and did it again.

I enjoyed the process of designing and remodeling and managing teams of people working on coordinated projects. This led to starting a remodeling business with the aim to differentiate through a more sustainable approach to remodeling and design. I had a business partner. Like most overzealous entrepreneurs, after a few conversations and some haphazard planning we just dove in and went for it. The company was called Building Forward LLC and operated as a fairly successful local construction business for more than 5 years prior to getting my MBA at PSU.

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Tags: career change, internships, MBA alumni, Mercy Corps, Portland State MBA, Social Innovation

PSU "Parklet" Project Raises Funding to Build in Spring 2015

By Pamela Dusschee


Contratulations to the team behind the SoMa (South of Market) Parklet — the team raised more than $15,000 to build a public gathering space adjacent to the food carts pod along SW Fourth Avenue.The project is being organized by the SoMa EcoDistrict, PSU’s School of Architecture, and Institute for Sustainable Solutions.

You may be wondering — what's a parklet?

It's actually a small space serving as an extension of the sidewalk to provide amenities and green space for people using the street. When completed, the parklet will cover the length of two parking spaces in front of Portland’s SW 4th Avenue Food Carts, providing sustainably designed public seating options for this popular community lunch spot.

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Tags: campus, Sustainability

MBA Alum Bjarke Kronborg On Renewable Energy Career and PSU Experience

By Max Bielenberg


For today’s post, I spoke with Bjarke Kronborg (MBA ’13). Bjarke is Director of Business Development for eWind Solutions, a Beaverton-based renewable energy start-up.

Q: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me today, Bjarke. You graduated from the MBA program in 2013. Can you tell me a bit about what you were doing before that?

A: I have an undergraduate degree in design and innovation engineering from the Technical University of Denmark. It is focused on bridging the gap between design and engineering. This required us to learn the languages of both engineering and design.

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Tags: career change, MBA alumni, Sustainability

MBA Experience: Learning How to Network Like a Pro

By Rebecca Freedman



Before I started the MBA program, just the hearing the word “networking” made me sweat bullets.

Even for the most socially graceful people, networking can be tough. Connect to Community makes it much easier. Connect to Community is a Portland State student and alumni networking event which is held quarterly. I attended the most recent event earlier this month.

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Tags: Business Connections, MBA Students, networking events

MBA Team Launches Capstone Project for B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery

By Max Bielenberg

Now that January has come to a close, my fellow second-year MBA candidates and I are in the home stretch of our PSU experience. However, one major challenge lies between us and our diplomas: the capstone consulting project.

The capstone consulting project is a fundamental part of the PSU MBA curriculum. Usually conducted over six months, the project pairs MBA candidates with a local client to solve a real-world business problem. The projects are substantial and students are expected to contribute around 150 hours over the course of the project.

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Tags: Business Connections, capstone project, MBA alumni, MBA curriculum, MBA Students

MBA Student Dan Keefe on the Leadership Immersion Experience

By Dan Keefe


As a student in the MBA program at Portland State, one of the classes that one is required to take is BA-524: Leadership Immersion.

In the most conventional sense of the word, it’s not really a class; it’s a business simulation. You and eight of your classmates are thrown in a conference room and given control of a fictional multi-national company for 5 fictional fiscal years, and tasked with turning the company around. You are given a handful of financial targets, and at the end of the simulation, you have to present how you did to your board of directors. The board then gets to decide which of the groups of student-executives get their contracts’ extended and who gets fired.

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Tags: leadership, MBA curriculum, MBA Students

MBA Student Doug Beyers: Archaeology Career Leads to Passion for for Sustainability

By Max Bielenberg


For today’s student profile, I met up with Douglas R. Beyers (MBA ’16). Doug is a first-year student very interested in new, sustainable ways of doing business. 

He is a fellow Net Impact-er and, as part of his Graduate Assistant position, is engaged in sustainability consulting work with the Port of Portland.


Q: Thanks for taking the time to meet with me today, Doug. To start off our conversation, can you tell me more about your educational and professional background?

A: My background is in archaeology, actually. I got my degree in anthropology at Washington State University, and prior to PSU, I was working as an archaeologist in cultural resource and heritage management. It was actually that work that inspired me to pursue business.

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Tags: career change, career changers, MBA Students, Sustainability

Upcoming MBA Info Events: MBA "Coffee Chats" & Webinar

By Abby Messenger



Are you thinking about applying to the Portland State MBA program for 2015 admission?

If so — and you live in the Portland area — you may be interested in attending one of our upcoming MBA "Coffee Chats" hosted by MBA Academic Director Tichelle Sorensen. She'll be hosting these events at neighborhood coffee shops throughout the Portland area next week.

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Tags: admissions, Events

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.