The MBA Hub

MBA Alumni: Anita Ramachandran (MBA '07)

MBA alum, Anita Ramachandran (’07) knew she wanted her work to have a direct impact on the world around her – and she has found that in her role as Partnerships Development Officer at Mercy Corps.

Anita chose to return to Portland State for her MBA after earning a BS in Environmental Science and Economics because of the city’s urban location and her positive experience during her undergrad program. Anita, a self-described “perpetual student,” found every class at in the MBA program an exciting opportunity to learn something new.

Charla Mathwick’s Pioneering Innovation and Carolyn McKnight’s Leadership Development and Assessment classes — and the Leadership Immersion — were some of the most valuable aspects of the program for me,” recalls Anita. “I also learned so much from the Technology Marketing course [an elective available to MBA students through the Engineering and Technology Management program]. Dave Garten’s strategy class was great, so was Information Systems and Technology.”

While the technical skills that Anita learned in the program provide a toolbox she can access when she needs it, she says she applies the critical thinking, teamwork and leadership skills on a daily basis. 

"Sometimes you have to work with people you don't like or like but don't work well with — the MBA gave me experience in that," says Anita. "I also remember Carolyn McKnight once said, 'Don't be a victim, be a player in your life.' It reminds me not to let myself be a victim of the situation but to take action."

During the MBA program, Anita actively built her professional network, which helped her find a job at Daimler after graduation. When her department was relocated to South Carolina, Anita worked in marketing for Xerox and pursued her passion for helping others through a Portland-based non-profit that she co-founded. The visions for SAWERA, an organization that helps victims of domestic violence, came from Anita's friend who was helping one woman, showing the positive impact that one individual can make.

In her current position as Partnerships Development Officer for MicroMentor at Mercy Corps, Anita drives corporate sponsorships and encourages corporate employees to become mentors. With MicroMentor, a free online service that connects entrepreneurs with business professionals to give them the information and guidance to build a successful business, Anita combines her experience in marketing and business development with the mission-driven work she has always been drawn to.

“I’m inspired to be in the midst of an organization that makes so many small but significant changes around the world,” says Anita. “Mercy Corps is one of the few groups that actually stays in regions after the crisis to help communities develop. The rewards of being part of that are so high."

In addition to benefiting from the emotional rewards of non-profit work, Anita appreciates Mercy Corps' beautiful headquarters and waterfront location. And in regards to finding a rewarding career, Anita has some advice for current students:

"Don't close any doors. You never know where they might lead."


Click here to read more about the role leadership plays in the MBA curriculum.

Click here to read more about MBA alumni.

Click here for info about the full time, part time on campus, or part time online Portland State MBA Program.


By Mallory Miller: Mallory has experience in marketing, management and sales. She plans to apply her experience, interests, and skills to a career in product marketing and business development. She will graduate from the Portland State full time MBA program in June 2013. You can connect with Mallory on LinkedIn.



Tags: Alumni, career change, career changer, career management, career networking, leadership, MBA alumni, networking

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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.