The MBA Hub

Alumni Spotlight: Nanette Reid

Today, we continue our Alumni Spotlight Series by visiting with Nanette Reid (MBA, 2003). In addition to being an executive with U.S. Bank, Nanette serves on the Portland State SBA Graduate Alumni Ambassadors Council.

As a Vice President and Team Leader with U.S. Bank's Oregon Commercial Banking group, Nanette currently manages three relationship managers and a team portfolio of more than 140 relationships — representing approximately $11 million in annual revenue.

She has been with U.S. Bank for more than 20 years, and was nominated by management to enroll in the Pacific Coast Banking School (PCBS). PCBS a prestigious 3-year graduate level program with core classes in macro-economics, credit risk management, leadership, managing bank financial performance, and finance.

We recently had a chance to chat with Nanette about her job, her MBA experience and life as a busy working mother of three...

What is the favorite part of your job? I enjoy working with clients and prospects the most. My job allows me to be out in the market, in front of business owners and executives and advise them on various potential financial decisions. It is particularly rewarding when I can help someone make decisions that positively affect their company and help them achieve their objectives.

What is the most challenging part about your job? Our organization is a very large one and it is sometimes difficult to challenge others to “go against the grain” or push back on doing something a particular way. We have a great leader and a great culture at U.S. Bank but it is also a very conservative organization so at times it’s difficult to contemplate different ways of doing things.

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA? Also, why did you choose PSU? I was at a crossroads after completing my undergraduate degree in June 2001. I was interested in either going to law school or getting an MBA and was determined to have some form of an advanced degree. I took both the GMAT and the LSAT and did much better on the LSAT than the GMAT but after working for a summer at Stoel Rives LLP (a prominent law firm in downtown Portland) and talking with many women attorneys, I realized that it would likely be a demanding career and one that would be difficult to manage with small children. Although I was admitted to both PSU and Northwestern School of Law (at Lewis and Clark) I decided to pursue an MBA because I felt it was more diverse and would result in more job options. I chose to attend PSU because it was close to downtown and I had enjoyed my undergraduate experience there. I also felt that it would provide me with more resources and introductions to Portland businesses versus any other college. 

How did PSU prepare you for your future career? The benefit of getting an MBA later in my career was that I had already had 10 years of work experience before entering the MBA program. Therefore, I was able to directly tie what I was learning in the classroom to the experiences I had while working at U.S. Bank. The program was very well-rounded, the professors were wonderful and my cohort was made up of individuals with diverse backgrounds and a strong desire for success. PSU provided me with introductions to business leaders in the banking industry and an enhanced knowledge base which is a great value to the clients and prospects I work with daily. The primary “skill” I honed was an ability to speak in front of large groups of people. There were many requirements to do this in graduate school and as a result I am able to lead team meetings, division meetings and meetings with owners and executives of the companies I work with. 

What were the highlights of your MBA experience at PSU? I really enjoyed getting to know people in my cohort, who were from industries other than banking. I had been immersed in banking for the prior 10 years and getting to know people in marketing roles at a high-tech company or mortgage bankers or heads of manufacturing at various companies was of tremendous value. In addition, everyone came with various levels of experience, but most people had a minimum of 5 years of work experience which made the program more meaningful as we could each draw from our own experiences. I also learned that accounting isn’t as horrible as I thought it was as an undergraduate, thanks to Donna Philbrick

Where do you find inspiration? I am very passionate about learning new things and experiencing new things. Rather than “fighting change” I am typically an early adopter of new and different ways of doing things. I love juggling multiple projects and objectives and thrive on stress! Sometimes that backfires, however! I am also greatly inspired by my children. I want to inspire a strong work ethic and sense of achievement in them and try to model the way. Additionally, since being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis is 2000 I have a different perspective on life and want to ensure that my children grow up with a compassion for others and a focus on giving back to the community and helping those who sometimes can’t help themselves. My children participate in the annual MS WALK event and help fundraise for the National MS Society to raise funds to help fund research to cure MS as well as provide funding for those individuals who live with MS and need modifications to their homes or work environment in order to maintain their lifestyle.  My motto with my children is always: 1) Do your best; 2) Be kind to others and 3) Appreciate what you have.

How do you like to spend your free time? I have three children (ages 18, 13 and 7) and therefore don’t have a lot of free time. However, I enjoy attending the kids’ basketball, softball, and t-ball events whenever possible and I enjoy being on the Board of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the PSU SBA Graduate Alumni Ambassadors Council. I like any opportunity to spend time with others!  In addition, I enjoy running, golfing and playing tennis with my family. 


Click here for more stories about Portland State MBA alumni.


By Kelly Doherty: Kelly is the Director of Marketing and Recruiting for the Portland State Graduate Business Programs. She leads the global marketing and branding initiatives and student recruitment strategy for five distinct graduate business programs including: MBA, Master of International Management, Master of Science in Financial Analysis, Master of Real Estate Development and the Healthcare MBA programs.You can connect with Kelly on LinkedIn.


Tags: Alumni, MBA Capstone, Portland State MBA

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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.