The MBA Hub

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

Lessons from Recent Go Green Conference


By Max Bielenberg

Sustainability in Portland runs the gamut, from vegan barbecue food carts and bicycle delivery businesses, to green building companies and the North American headquarters of Vestas, the Danish wind power manufacturer.

Sustainability also features prominently in the Portland Development Commission’s Five Year Strategic Plan, with its stated goals of growing the clean tech sector and making Portland the capital of the global green economy. 

But what does sustainability actually mean, and how can it impact business?

On October 16, through the generosity of Portland State’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions, I attended the annual Go Green Conference along with two fellow members of the Net Impact leadership team.

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Tags: Institute for Sustainable Solutions, MBA Students, networking, Sustainability

The 2015 Application Is Now Open!

By Abby Messenger


The title says it all – after updates to our 2014 application, our Graduate Business Programs application is now live for 2015 admissions!

Whether you are ready to accelerate your career, have discovered a new field and want to make a career change, or have dreamed of obtaining an MBA to achieve your long-term educational goals, you can get started today!

 Before you do, here are some of the exciting changes to our 2015 application:

Unofficial Score Report Upload: To ensure faster processing of your application, you can now upload the unofficial copy of your GMAT/GRE and TOEFL/IELTS score reports (for international student applicants) while our office awaits the official copy of your score report from the testing center.

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Tags: admissions, MBA alumni

In a Portland State of Mind

by Kelly Doherty

Portland State's "Portland State of Mind" celebration is in full swing — students and the public alike are invited to campus for our signature celebration of knowledge and culture. This annual celebration celebrates the unique connection between PSU and the surrounding Portland community.

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Tags: Connect to Community, Events, Portland State School of Business

International Students Featured at Recent Careers Panel

By Jodi Nelson


The graduate business programs at Portland State University welcome many international students. In fact, the full-time MBA program includes about 30% international students each year. Students come from countries such as China, India, Germany and many others.

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Tags: international students, internships, mentor program

Portland State Earns "Top Business Schools" Recognition from Princeton Review

We are pleased to announce that Portland State has once again earned recognition on the Princeton Review's list of the top business schools!

The Princeton Review tallied its 2015 lists based on its surveys of 41,100 students overall attending the schools profiled in the books - including 21,600 students attending the featured 296 business schools.

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Tags: accolades, MBA rankings, rankings

Outdoor Industries Women's Coalition Parnters with Student Groups for Joint Kickoff Meeting Tonight

Portland State MBA students are invited to a joint kickoff meeting with the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition (OIWC), Net Impact, and Women in Business. The meeting takes place tonight, Wednesday, October 8, from 4:30 - 5:30 PM in SBA 170. 

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the leadership team for each group, learn more about each group’s mission, and hear what is planned for the upcoming school year. 

Following the meeting, all three groups will walk to First National Taphouse for happy hour. Please consider attending tonight's event to learn more about these exciting groups and to meet other students in the graduate business programs.

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Tags: Athletic & Outdoor Industry, MBA Students, Net Impact, networking, student groups, Women in Business

Employer Spotlight: Aequitas Capital

Did you volunteer to help with the annual School of Business (SBA) Golf Tournament on Sept. 17th? If not, be sure to participate next year. It’s a fun way to get outdoors to enjoy one the last few days of beautiful summer weather before hitting the books, and it is also a great way to meet some terrific Portland employers.

For example, this year our Silver Sponsor, Aequitas Capital, sent a foursome to play golf, a group which included three executives and a recruiter. They were there to support the PSU SBA, and also intentionally to meet our great students in a casual setting. Since their company is growing so quickly, they are constantly looking for talented candidates. In fact, Aequitas is growing so rapidly that they’ve hired well over 100 new employees already this year!

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Tags: career management, career networking, Career Services, employers, networking

Kickstart Weekend Starts Tomorrow

By Kelly Doherty


This Friday and Saturday (Oct 3-4), the Portland State School of Business, in collaboration with the Engineering School, will be co-hosting the fourth annual PSU Kickstart Weekend beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Friday and running through Saturday at 9:00 p.m.

This start-up experience is open to any PSU student who thinks they might want to start a business at some point in their career. This fun, intensive two-day session provides students with the opportunity to meet their peers, join a team, start a company, and enroll in the Launch-in-9 entrepreneurship track here at PSU.

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Tags: Entrepreneurship, kickstart weekend, Launch in Nine, Portland State University School of Business Administration

Guest Post: My Global Supply Chain Trip to Vietnam

By Rob Hodgson. This post covers the Vietnam portion of the MBA trip to Asia. Last week, Robyn Gelfand wrote about the China portion of the trip.


Becamex Town SquareBecamex Town Square


Portland State University’s International Experience program is one of the factors that most strongly differentiates its business graduate school from those of other universities, and it is one of the main reasons I chose to study here. With my focus in project management, this experience has honed my skills in operations management and even inspired me to further pursue it as a career.

One of the features that sets the Asia trip apart from the other experiences is that each day was a combination of onsite company tours and open classroom discussion. The class is divided into groups and got to evaluate the facilities in order to determine whether we would want to utilize the company as a supplier. This format spurred some great discussions and provided a framework for asking questions during the tours. 

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Tags: Asia, Study Abroad, supply chain

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.