Incoming MIM Student Gayathri Selvaraj: Gearing up for the MIM Program


Finance professor Michael Dimond’s Pre-MIM course at PSU

As an accelerated graduate business degree, the Master of International Management program has certain business prerequisites that all students must have taken before starting the program. If your undergraduate degree was in business administration or a related field, you will likely have already taken many of the required prerequisite courses, but for many students who have a background in a field other than business, the Pre-MIM program takes place during the summer before the program officially begins, and offers courses such as Micro and Macro Economics, Statistics, Accounting, and Finance, that will help build a foundation for the more advanced coursework of the MIM program itself. Class sizes are typically smaller than usual, which means that students have the opportunity for more direct interaction with instructors, but can also get to know their classmates better before the real program even begins.

We spoke with one incoming student, Gayathri Selvaraj, who herself is taking several Pre-MIM courses this summer. Gayathri was nice enough to talk a little about her own background before coming to the MIM program, as well as her thoughts on the courses she has taken so far.

Which Pre-MIM classes have you taken this summer? What have you found to be the most helpful so far?  What advice would you have for future students preparing for the MIM program? Has anything surprised you about the classes or program so far?

I have taken five pre-MIM classes: Financial Accounting, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, Managerial Accounting and Business Finance. I found financial accounting to be the most helpful so far.  Though I worked on providing financial services to corporations back in India, I always needed some assistance in accounting from my father. Having studied this course now, I am quite confident about being able to understand and interpret financial statements of companies. My advice to future students is to be prepared to work hard during the pre-MIM courses as it is structured to be a jump-start to the actual MIM course. I was really surprised at how the professors relate the course contents to real world business readily. This approach made learning absolutely interesting.

What did you do before coming to Portland? 


Gayathri and other students in the Pre-MIM Finance course

I completed my Bachelors degree in Computer Science Engineering and spent almost 5 years working as a Security Consultant for Multinational Corporations in India. In 2011, I setup my own business along with my dad to provide XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) services to corporations. XBRL was a relatively new concept that was introduced in India and all corporations were required to file their financial statements using XBRL. I worked on software acquisition, training the team and meeting with the clients. I did this for about a year after which I got married and moved to Portland to live with my husband.

What interested you about the MIM program? 

Unlike a general business degree, the global nature of the MIM program interested me the most. The opportunity to learn a foreign language, along with the focus on business and economics in the Asia-Pacific made it even more interesting. The diversity in the classroom and the cultural immersion aspect of the Asia study tour were other factors that helped me decide to enroll in the MIM program.

What are your goals for after the MIM program? 

After completing the MIM program, I would like to put my classroom skills to the test by working for a global corporation. This would help me better understand the real business world and enrich my knowledge in the area of business that interests me the most. After gaining sufficient real world experience, I want to explore good business opportunities and start my own company.

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Joshua Thorpe is a full-time student in the Master of International Management program.  After graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in Japanese, he taught English in Tokyo for 3 years, before moving to China and teaching at a university in the city of Zhengzhou.  Inspired by his experiences in Japan and China, he was drawn to the MIM program because of its regional focus on Asia, as well as for Portland State University’s reputation as a leader in the field of sustainable business. He is studying Chinese in the MIM program, but tries to keep up his Japanese whenever he can.


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