The MBA Hub

Asia International Experience Reflection

By Jessica Ferrell

The phrases, “invaluable experience,” or “chance of a life time,” are often used when discussing a student’s opportunity to study abroad. I find both phrases to fall short when describing international experiences at Portland State University. At PSU MBA students have the opportunity to choose from several International Experience trips organized by the School of Business. Having never traveled in SE Asia and with an increased interest in global supply chain strategy, I elected to travel to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Shanghai, China with a group of MBA’s and Master’s of Supply Chain Management students.


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Brazil International Experience - Pre-departure

As the Portland State School of Business website states, a global economy demands a global mindset and a global mindset comes from firsthand experience in different cultures. I have decided to broaden my mindset through experiencing business development and marketing in the rich cultures of Sao Paulo and Jaragua du Sol, Brazil.


And the count-down to my departure has begun!


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GlobeSherpa Co-Founder & CTO, Michael Gray, on Past, Acquisition, and Future

By Rebecca Freedman


Michael Gray, Co-Founder & CTO of GlobeSherpaMichael Gray, Co-Founder & CTO of GlobeSherpa

GlobeSherpa, which created the TriMet mobile ticketing app, was founded by two graduates of the Portland State MIM program, Nat Parker and Michael Gray. Earlier this month, GlobeSherpa announced that it was being acquired by RideScout, a Texan mobile app that provides real-time information on transportation options. While an article featured in the Oregonian reassured us that the acquisition was very positive for all parties, I was granted the opportunity to discuss the developments directly with GlobeSherpa Co-Founder and CTO, Michael Gray.

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What to Do the Summer Before You Start Your MBA

by Rebecca Freedman


So you were accepted into the Portland State MBA program? Step one is clearly to celebrate, because even being accepted into this powerful masters program is an achievement. But what comes next?

You could relax and soak up summer sunshine before the term begins. You could also work tons of overtime hours and plan a destination wedding that will take place mere weeks before the program starts; that’s what I did, and I wouldn’t recommend it.

Since incoming students still have a couple of months before sitting down in their first class session, I thought I would provide my two cents on how to fill your summer.


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What's love got to do with it? - An MBA Student Review of the Love Summit

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

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.