Hello, and welcome to the MIM blog! My name is Patrick Dedrick, and I am one of the three student ambassadors for the program for this year’s cohort. Before we dive right into some of the particulars of the program that this blog is intended to provide, the three of us thought it’d be nice to give some self-introductions, to give potential students an idea of exactly what kind of people apply for the MIM, what kind of academic and professional background we’ve had prior to the program and where they see the MIM taking them in the future.
I finished my undergraduate work from Pacific University in 2008, with a major in Anthropology and International Studies and a minor in Japanese, and as soon as graduation was over, all I could focus on was the fact that this was the end of the academic road for me, and that I would never have to worry about another piece of homework again. Well, I rode that feeling for some time, and settled into a great job at a winery in Carlton, Oregon, where I worked in the tasting room and was eventually given the responsibilities that often befit a tasting room manager. While I was having fun, learning about wine, and meeting great people, I couldn’t help but feel that I didn’t belong in that setting just yet, and began to look for graduate programs that would allow me to build on my newly inculcated interest in business and my previous experience with the Japanese language. I spent long hours scanning the internet for programs and degrees that fit my specifications… and I came up empty handed, time after time. I remember distinctly, sitting down to my computer on what I vowed would be my last search effort for a program that I genuinely wanted to apply for, before I resigned myself to applying to a program that I felt was malleable enough to meet my needs. Needless to say, the Masters of International Management program came up in the search results, and I couldn’t be happier for it today – it is the perfect program for my interests, and truly one of a kind in the opportunities and experiences that it has to offer.
We’ve only just finished the bulk of our first quarter, and I’m more excited about the MIM than I have ever been. The academics are challenging, interesting, and pertinent to business in an international setting. The location in Downtown Portland is ideal for developing a very real relationship with the city. Being an Oregon native, I’m finding myself getting to know Portland in an entirely new way, living right in the heart of it, on campus. But the most rewarding aspect of the program has been the people. Adam spoke briefly of this in his post Wednesday, but I have to mirror the sentiment – that the people really are what make the MIM so special. I’ve gotten to know people from all over the world, and have made friendships in the past three months that I consider to be life-long. And while this is largely due to the people in the program, these modes for friendship are facilitated by the program, with activities like a mandatory four day camping trip in Eastern Oregon, complete with rock climbing, canoeing, and white water rafting. So far, my experience with the MIM has shown me that the program is committed not only to providing a quality academic experience in a specialized field but also to giving students the tools and resources they need to network and build lasting relationships that are meaningful in both their personal and professional lives.
The other ambassadors, Adam, Austin, and myself would like to encourage readers to participate in this blog, with questions that they may have – or any one of us can be reached at the firstname.lastname@example.org email. I look forward to passing on my experiences in the program through this blog, and would be more than happy to help prospective applicants any way possible.