The MBA Hub

Posts tagged with MBA alumni

May 1st Priority Admissions Deadline – Apply While Space is Available


By Abby Messenger


May 1st is our last official application deadline for Fall 2015 admissions! As a priority admissions deadline, it is the last date that we can guarantee space availability in our Fall 2015 cohort. As the deadline is less than a month away, there are some helpful steps that you can be taking to ensure than your file is complete by May 1:

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Tags: admissions, MBA alumni

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

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 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 Alumni: Maia Zampini (2013)

By Max Bielenberg

For today’s post, I caught up with PSU alum Maia Zampini (MBA ’13). Maia works as an inventory planner for Rejuvenation, a Portland-based lighting and hardware company that is a subsidiary of Williams Sonoma. regularly features Portland State MBA alumni and students.



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

A: I had a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Penn State. After graduating, I practiced in that field for four years in Portland.

Q: That sounds like an interesting job. What led you to transition away from that and pursue an MBA?

A: I wanted more options. I wanted more analytical projects. I also wanted to stay in Portland. PSU had a really good reputation for leadership and innovation.

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Tags: Alumni, Business Connections, career networking, MBA alumni, networking

Alumni: Jude Lieberman ('13) Discusses Nike Career, MBA Program

By Max Bielenberg

For today’s alumni profile, I met up with Jude Lieberman (MBA ’13). Jude works in internal communications at Nike.

Q: Thanks for meeting with me today, Jude. To start off, can you tell me a bit about your background before you began the MBA program at PSU?

A: My undergrad is in Sociology and French from Pitzer College. I had about ten years of diverse work experience: I taught English in France, worked with a political consultant, managed a handmade photo album studio and worked for a cell phone sales company in the corporate office. All those companies were very small, so I had to do a little bit of everything, including marketing, operations and employee engagement.

Q:  What led to your decision to go back to school and to PSU specifically?

A: I was interested in going back to school to further my career potential. I definitely wanted to do something practical rather than academic. I decided the issue I felt most passionate about was sustainable business and the triple-bottom-line concept. In thinking about driving change through business vs. nonprofit vs. government, it was business where I could see myself plugging in and adding value.

I didn’t want to relocate, so I looked into all the local programs including Willamette and Bainbridge. I debated between part-time and full-time. Ultimately for me, going full-time and being in a physical classroom was important to get the most out of the experience. The program’s strong reputation, particularly in sustainability, appealed to me as well.

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Tags: Alumni, careers at Nike, MBA alumni, Nike

MBA Alumni Employment Statistics

By Jodi Nelson

Every year we track the career status of our graduates from the full time MBA program. We use this information for benchmarking, we submit it to publications and we answer questions from prospective MBA students about what they can expect in terms of employability.

We recently compiled the data for graduates between July 2013 and June 2014. Nearly half of all graduates (48%) had accepted a job by graduation. By three months post-graduation, that number rose to 68%. Usually by six months post-graduation, over 90% of graduates are employed.

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Tags: Alumni, career management, Career Services, careers, employment, MBA alumni

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

Career Visioning Workshop & Upcoming Events

By Jodi Nelson

The career services team has been preparing for a busy fall season of events. Here are a few of the upcoming events:

Career Visioning Workshop - Tuesday, September 16

This workshop is designed for students seeking clarity on what career path to pursue. Participants will complete a CareerLeader assessment before attending the workshop. CareerLeader is a fully integrated approach to business career self assessment built on the premise that your interests, motivators and skills will drive your future career success and satisfaction.

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Tags: Alumni, career management, Career Services, Finance, international business, international students, MBA alumni

HuffPost Covers Alumni Venture, My Street Grocery

Amelia PapeAmelia Pape

Amelia Pape (MBA 2011) and her venture, My Street Grocery, are in the media again — this time, on Huffington Post.

Huffpost recently covered My Street Grocery, which has partnered with Whole Foods to run mobile markets featuring Whole Foods' 365 Everyday Value products.

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Tags: Alumni, MBA alumni, My Street Grocery, Social Enterprise, social entrepreneurship, Social Innovation

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.