Category Archives: MIM Survival Guide

MIM Life Series: Internships and Future Career for MIM International Students

By Linda Quach

My name is Linda Quach and I come from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In this blog, I am going to share my personal story in how I ended up choosing MIM for my graduate degree, what am I doing right now and what my plan is after graduation in terms of being an international student.

Linda with Ma Weihua, a famous Chinese calligrapher during the China-Oregon conference. She received a scholarship from PSU Confucius Institute of which Master Ma is one of the donors.

Linda with Ma Weihua, a famous Chinese calligrapher during the China-Oregon conference. She received a scholarship from PSU Confucius Institute of which Master Ma is one of the donors.

I was born in  family with a strong business background, so I was always fascinated to learn about the business world since I was very little. I had a chance to come to the United States to study, and I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management in 2013 from Oregon State University. My initial plan was to go home right after I graduated and start looking for jobs in Vietnam. However, we can always change the plan. My interests in supply chain motivated me to go further, and I chose MIM because it is a perfect combination of international management, a specialization in supply chain, and Chinese. The Dean of Business School in my previous university recommended me to PSU, and I am very happy about the choice that I made.

I am now doing an internship for a web design and software provider company located in Downtown Portland. Honestly, it was hard for an international student to find internships/jobs and get hired. However, I think if we are willing to commit putting time and efforts, we could get it. I spent almost two months looking for an internship. I went to PSU career services website everyday, attended networking events, joined the mentor program, career roundtables, and the career fair. I know we hear these all the time, and they don’t work for some people. Rather than directly being offered a job, I think we go to those events to make connections, get to know more people, build relationships, ask for advice. The most important thing from these events is keeping in touch later on with the new connections that we made during the events. If we go home and do nothing, we will get nothing. Those are pieces of my advice and I hope they help. As graduation is getting close, I hope everyone in my cohort will come out as a strong candidates for the jobs they want to do.

My plan after graduation is to take a short break to travel and then find jobs in the United States, especially Portland. I’d love to run my own business later on, and it would be exciting if I can have my fellow MIM-ers as partners. We all go find jobs and work for others, but why don’t we get together and work for ourselves.

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MIM Life Series: Peak into the Life of an MIM student

By Suresh Kumar

IMG_1794Life in the MIM program is hard. It is hard because there is barely any time do anything other than studying, that is if you want to learn a lot and earn good grades in the process. We are in school for most of the day. Our classes start at 8:45 in the morning and end at 5 ‘O clock in the evening. Yes, there is a couple of hours of break, but should we use that break to study? Or should we use that break to eat and socialize with the other members of the MIM program? When we get out from class at 5, do we go home and relax or should we stay at school and complete our homework? I would like to tell you how I have approached this dilemma for the past terms that I have been a member of this program. Since, I had a girl friend at the beginning of the program, I would spend the couple hours of break with her and sometimes with my fellow MIM friends. About 95% of the time, I stayed in school to complete my homework after the 5 O’ clock class because my productivity goes up if I am studying in the library. I just cannot concentrate at home. Even when I went straight from class to the library, it would take me 4 to 5 hours to complete my homework, meaning I wouldn’t get home till 10 or 11. This was and is frustrating to my parents as they do not believe that I stay in school to do homework. I don’t know what they think I do, but certainly studying at school is not in their frame of reference. I do not even have time to eat as if I stop to take a break and eat, that takes away at least 30 minutes from completing my homework. Thus, I stay at school and complete my homework before eating anything. On the days that I decided to go home, it was almost always that I did not go to bed before 2 am in the morning. I remember during the first two to three terms, I went to bed around 2 am almost every night. One thing to note is that I work 14 hours a week while going to school full time. I would advice working more than 10 hours in this program as this program takes a lot out of you- physically, mentally and emotionally. It is important to note that I work slower than a regular graduate student. If a task takes me an hour to complete, it would probably take another graduate student 30-40 minutes. However, different have gone through the same experience as me.

IMG_1793Talking about maintaining a good work life balance, I was in school for 5 days a week and I would only go home to sleep. There would be nights when I would only see my dad and brother while they were already asleep. By the time I would wake up, they would have already gone to work and school. Additionally, there was also times when I would see my best friend only once or twice every two weeks. During the initial stages of the program, our director said that if you like working out, then forget about working out. Your life will be about studying now, you will not have time to work out. And he was not lying. I used to work out and play sports for about 2-3 hours each day, and now it would be a miracle if I could work out 2-3 hours a week. This can speak for the demand of this program.

Nonetheless, this program isn’t jus negatives as it may have sounded like. The above paragraphs are just to indicate the rigor and challenges of being in this program. This program will help you become very successful in the future due to the services being provided, the professors as well as other personnel such as Jodi Nelson and DeAnne Preston. This program is designed in a way that would lead you to becoming a successful individual if you follow each step in the process. “MIM Professional Passport” is one example which pushes us out of our comfort zone and enables us to make connections which is invaluable in attaining jobs in the US as well as abroad. The MIM program is also very similar to the MBA programs; the only difference is that this program teaches you the cultural aspect as well, such as how to interact with people from different cultures, why people act the way they do etc. So, you are learning the best of both worlds. And most importantly, you will make friends that you will keep in touch for the rest of your life. You literally spend more time with your cohort than your family, thus the bonds and relationships you create here will last a long time.

Life in the MIM program is hard, but will be an experience of a life time.

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Balancing Life, School and Other Activities in MIM

By Jake Culian

One of the most challenging parts of the MIM program is just how fast it goes.  This week is our finals week and February isn’t even over yet.  Needless to say it kind of feels like everyone is sprinting around here so I wanted to talk a little bit about time management and stress relief.  The first thing to know about MIM is that there is always something you could be doing.  There are projects for Operational Management, studying Chinese, endless amounts of reading and many wonderful events that the SBA offers http://www.pdx.edu/sba/events .  The first step to surviving the madness is organizing everything.  Personally I like writing it down so I picked up a large desk calendar and wrote out all the assignments, projects, tests and events that I need to take care of for the entire quarter.  This way I know what’s coming ahead of time and if anything new comes up it goes on the calendar.  It takes an hour or so but in return you always know what you need to take care of.

Now that you know when everything is due the biggest piece of advice I have is stay on top of it.  Many of us like to procrastinate, but this is a great way to get completely overrun.  For example yesterday we had 5 assignments due and we have final exams today and tomorrow.  By taking care of assignments sooner rather than later you can stay more relaxed and actually sleep some every night.

MIM Students and instructors at the MIM Chinese New Year Party

MIM Students and instructors at the MIM Chinese New Year Party

There are some day’s when everything stakes up against you and you just have to prioritize.  Prioritization is key skill to learn and with it you can make sure that the things that really need to get done are finished on time.  We can receive hundreds of pages of reading a week and it’s always important to take the time to actually finish it, but if you need to choose between reading and finishing off a couple assignment, finish the assignments first and read as you can.  It’s also good to remember that you can negotiate with professors.  They aren’t mind readers and don’t know everything that’s happening in your other classes.  If you’ve got a bunch of stuff coming due at the same time it can really pay off when the class asks for an extension, just don’t abuse the privilege.

Finally it’s always good to take some time off.  Eventually you can just run out of steam and trying to study for another hour just isn’t worth as much.  That’s the time to put away the books and go do something physical.  My personal favorite stress relief activities are running and dancing.  Portland has a lovely waterfront park which is great for walking, breathing some fresh air and letting things go for a bit.  Portland also has a fantastic array of dance venues which are within walking distances of school as well as classes offered through the recreational center.  For those of you interested in picking up a social dance I highly recommend checking out http://www.portlanddancing.com/ .  So remember organize, don’t procrastinate, prioritize, and find some time to relax.

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MIM Survival Guide: Gearing Up For The Asia Trip

It may seem early for new MIM students to start thinking about the Asia Trip for 2014, but by the time classes start it will seem like a whirlwind until that first plane ride to Japan. Below are some travel tips and things new students should begin to consider during this fall. 581677_10151548796807209_966615523_n

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MIM Survival Guide: Where to go during break time?

This is part of a new series to showcase all the details you need to know about the MIM program. For most MIM classes, students only have a few minutes to grab a snack, dinner, or coffee during breaks, so we tend to frequent the closest restaurants to the School of Business. Below a few favorites, along with other restaurants within a three-block radius of most MIM classes. photo-1

Coffee

Seattle’s Best Coffee: One of the closest coffee shops to the SBA, Seattle’s Best offers coffee, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches, perfect for those 5 minute breaks. Located in the PSU Urban Center.

Starbucks: There are two Starbucks coffee shops on campus for everyone’s Frappuccino fix, one in the Broadway Building and the other next to Rogue Brewery. Lines can be long, so time your Starbucks purchase for longer breaks.

Chit Chat Cafe: One block south of the SBA, this coffee shop offers organic coffee, bubble tea, and various snacks, and also boasts ample study space.

Contrary: A new coffee shop on 5th Ave. near Hall Street, Contrary is no-frills with Stumptown brews.

Pizza

HotLipsPizzaHot Lips Pizza: Great pizza with even better beverages. Make sure to try their Hot Lips Sodas made with fresh fruit, sparkling water, cane sugar and lemon juice. Located next to Chit Chat Cafe on 6th Ave.

Pizzacato: Offers pizza by the slice with a pint for a discounted price which makes a great place to relax with friends after class. This Pizzacato is in PSU’s Urban Center right next to the Streetcar platform.

Frozen Treats

Ben & Jerry’s: A well-loved ice cream shop on campus, Ben & Jerry’s is located in the Urban Center Plaza across from Pizzacato. They are known for their colorful flavor combinations such as Americone Dream which is vanilla ice cream with fudge covered waffle cone pieces and caramel.

Tartberry: This shop greets you with a wild atmosphere and more toppings than you can imagine for your self-serve frozen yogurt. Located on College St. in the University Pointe building, this is a bit far to go during break time, but definitely worth it for sweet cravings.

Ben-and-Jerrys-Collage

Fast Food

McDonald’s: Literally across the street from the SBA, McDonald’s will provide the fastest service and is the best option for hungry MIM students on an incredibly short break.

Cafe Yum: Also across the street from the SBA, Cafe Yum offers healthier options such as their rice and bean bowls with salsa. Find them in the Urban Center Plaza in the ASRC building.

Pita Pit: On the other side of the ASRC, close to Green Line Market, is the Pita Pit, if you’re hungry for pita bread sandwiches. Lines can be long around lunch hour though, so make sure you get back to class on time!

Chipotle: Wonderfully simple and delicious, Chipotle offers customized burritos, tacos, bowls, etc. Located on College St. in the Broadway building, try them out for those long 30 minute breaks, or grab dinner before class.

Joe’s Burgers: If you’re hankering for a burger but are tired of McDonald’s, try Joe’s. With a walk-up window and interior restaurant, Joe’s Burgers sells sweet potato fries, milkshakes, hot dogs, and of course, hamburgers. This burger joint is located on College St. right next to Tartberry in the University Pointe building.

While this is only a handful of restaurants on PSU’s campus, the eateries listed above are the most convenient for all business students with classes in the SBA. If you have any additional questions, feel free to add them below or email us at askmim@pdx.edu. You can also message or tweet us your questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Juli Tejadilla

juli

  Juli Tejadilla is a full-time student in the Masters of International Management program. She previously graduated with two Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Studio Art from Linfield College. While her interest in international business began as an undergraduate student, she has been traveling around the world since she was nine months old. She hopes through the MIM program to learn key insights to conduct business internationally and to establish herself as a global citizen.

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MIM Survival Guide: A Guide to Teamwork

This is part of a new series to showcase all the details you need to know about the MIM program. The post below gives an example of how to approach teamwork as well as a few helpful resources.

IMG_1125

The MIM program provides numerous opportunities for the cohort to work in teams, both assigned and by choice. Often students will be working with multiple teams during one term, and these groups may even change dependent upon different class structures. Organization is necessary, but there are also other considerations for developing a successful team.

Generating Your Team

Before choosing your teammates it is helpful to ask yourself a few questions. What skills are needed for the project at hand? Where are my strengths and weaknesses in that skill set? What tasks can others accomplish more efficiently than myself? One thing I can recommend for MIM students is to recruit a native English speaker for your team. Correct spelling and grammar will keep professors focused on the content of your work during feedback, and international students will have a chance to learn more nuances in English writing. 

How to Start

Before the team begins working it’s helpful to discuss how you will work together, how to communicate with one another, and meeting logistics. I find it helpful to select a team leader to facilitate meetings and keep everyone updated and in contact with the group, however, I have also had successful groups without a designated team leader wherein everyone is responsible for these items. Some teams decide to do the actual work as a whole, while others may allocate sections of the project to various team members.  Whether it is best to do one or a combination of both strategies will depend upon the type of project and the team dynamics.

Where to Meet

There are multiple venues for student groups to meet on campus, but the MIM students have a few favorite places. In the school of business building the third floor lounge and computer labs are often frequented, as well as the couches on the second floor. The library is also a popular choice, either in reserved study rooms or on non-quiet floors, and even campus coffee shops and restaurants can be great choices (though a little loud). When a physical meeting is too difficult to schedule, students will use video conferencing or instant messaging as a substitute.

Google Drive

unnamedThis is the ultimate tool for students in the MIM program. Since all PSU students are allotted a school gmail account, everyone in the MIM program has access to Google Drive. Essentially this function of gmail provides storage and editing capabilities to various documents (text, presentations, spreadsheets, etc) which can either be created or uploaded. However, what makes the tool so useful is its sharing function wherein multiple users can access a document to view or edit at the same time. Google Drive also has a chat window and comments feature that makes it easy to discuss projects at anytime with other team members. The ability to work on a project simultaneously, even when team members are apart, has become the most valuable asset to many MIM teams.

Cultural Differences

One of the best aspects of the MIM program is its incredible diversity. Over half of any cohort consists of international students from China to Chile to Kazakhstan, and many other countries in between. Of course working with people from so many cultures can be difficult and much MIM classwork revolves around how to most effectively work in certain countries. For new students in the MIM program I would advise keeping an open mind, speaking clearly (try not to use idioms native English speakers!), ensuring all parties understand discussions and decisions, and helping everyone to participate.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to add them below or email us at askmim@pdx.edu. You can also message or tweet us your questions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Juli Tejadilla

juli

  Juli Tejadilla is a full-time student in the Masters of International Management program. She previously graduated with two Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Studio Art from Linfield College. While her interest in international business began as an undergraduate student, she has been traveling around the world since she was nine months old. She hopes through the MIM program to learn key insights to conduct business internationally and to establish herself as a global citizen.

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MIM Survival Guide: How to Get Around

This is part of a new series to showcase all the details you need to know about the MIM program. The post below showcases the different transportation methods, both public and private, that can transport students across the Portland Metro Area. 

streetcar-at-psu

The Portland Streetcar: Free to PSU students!

 

Public Transportation

Since moving to Portland I’ve found that public transportation is a breeze through Trimet, our local public transportation system, and that I definitely do not miss driving around. Trimet offers bus, light rail, and commuter rail transportation throughout the Portland Metro Area. The Street Car runs right through campus to NW and SE Portland, and is still free to all PSU students! Continue reading

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