Tag Archives: MBA

The MBA Business Tour in Southeast Asia

The MBA Tour is an independent and high quality information source regarding MBA admissions. Portland State University leads by Kelly Doherty, Director of Marketing and Recruiting, Graduate Business Programs will be setting up the Portland State University booth around the Southeast Asia from September 10 to September 18, 2012 in the following locations:

  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Monday September 10, 2012            16:00 – 21:30  at Legend Hotel Saigon

  • Bangkok, Thailand

Thursday September 13, 2012         16:15 – 21:30 at the Westin Grande Sukhumvit

  • Jakarta, Indonesia

Saturday September 15, 2012           11:30 – 17:00 at Sari Pan Pacific Jakarta

  • Singapore, Singapore

Tuesday September 18, 2012            16:00 – 21:30 at Marina Mandarin Singapore

The registration is free of charge. Kelly Doherty will be there to introduce the graduate programs: MBA, MSFA, and MIM offering by Portland State University. We are welcome the alumni to go visit our booth and helping us answering any question to our perspective students who are interested in enrolling at Portland State University.

Thunyarak “Goy” Katikavongkhachorn

Thunyarak Katikavongkhachorn or Goy is a full-time student in Master of International Management Program. She received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Portland State University. She was interested in studying MIM program because she would like to broaden her career in supply chain and logistics at the global level that focusing on Pacific Asia while studying Chinese as a third language. She currently specialize in supply chain and finance in the MIM program.

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The MBA Business Tour in East Asia

The MBA Tour is an independent and high quality information source regarding MBA admissions. Portland State University leads by Kelly Doherty, Director of Marketing and Recruiting, Graduate Business Programs will be setting up the Portland State University booth around the East Asia from August 30 to September 8, 2012 in the following locations:

  • Tokyo, Japan

Thursday August 30, 2012              16:00 – 22:00  at Hilton Tokyo

  • Taipei, Taiwan

Saturday September 1, 2012          10:00 – 16:30 at Grand Formosa Regent Taipei

  • Seoul, Korea

Tuesday September 4, 2012           16:00 – 22:30 at Millennium Seoul Hilton

  • Beijing, China

Thursday September 6, 2012         11:00 – 22:00 at Peninsula Hotel

  • Shanghai, China

Saturday September 8, 2012           11:00 – 17:30 at Pudong Shangri-La

The registration is free of charge. Kelly Doherty will be there to introducing the graduate programs: MBA, MSFA, and MIM that Portland State University offers. We are welcome the alumni to go visit our booth and helping us answering any question to our perspective students who are interested in enrolling at Portland State University.

Thunyarak “Goy” Katikavongkhachorn

Thunyarak Katikavongkhachorn or Goy is a full-time student in Master of International Management Program. She received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Portland State University. She was interested in studying MIM program because she would like to broaden her career in supply chain and logistics at the global level that focusing on Pacific Asia while studying Chinese as a third language. She currently specialize in supply chain and finance in the MIM program.

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Grad Business Students Get Inside Look at Nike’s Supply Chain at World HQ

Last Monday the folks from Nike arranged a student visit for Portland State Graduate Business students interested in careers in supply chain management. The visit included a presentation on Nike and their supply chain, networking with supply chain employees and executives, and a tour of Nike’s campus in Beaverton. Master of International Management students joined the group, and were excited to learn more about operations at Nike, especially growth in region like China, India, and Brazil. Continue reading

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The MIM International Business Research Project (AKA “Exit Project”)

There is no official summer break for PSU Master in International Management students in their final summer before graduation. MIMers are extremely busy during summer term from end of June through early August with three-to-four classes over an eight-week period. In early June Business Research Projects and teams are assigned with the expectation that initial client contact will be made by end of July. Project work will continue through the month of October with the hope that final presentations will be done by October 31st, but the possibility that some teams may need to continue work through November.

Students are allowed to put in a few requests for their business project experience as far as the size of the company or organization and the area in which they are hoping to gain experience in (supply chain, marketing, finance, etc.). Students do not get to specifically choose the company, as this information is kept confidential until assignments are made, nor do they get to choose their teams. However, if a student happens to find his or her own business research project opportunity (which still must be approved by the Academic Director) he/she is allowed to choose his/her own team in this case.

The MIM International Business Project gives students the opportunity to work for a real world business client providing consultation and expertise based upon the team’s skill set and experience. A student team could consist of three to five students depending on the company’s size and client’s initial project proposal submission. In addition, some teams include MSFA and MBA students. Previous clients include Fortune 500 Corporations, medium and small-sized companies, and pubic and non-profit organizations. (To see a list of some previous clients click HERE).

What I have discovered is that all the business project teams do things slightly differently for their clients. For instance, when submitting project proposals for clients I found that one team emailed a written project proposal document to their contact for approval, another team held a meeting in which they reviewed their project proposal with the client via PowerPoint presentation, while our team met in person with our client had had a loose written outline of project proposal “suggestions.”

Although all teams have project advisors – faculty or experts in the field – teams are expected to go about their projects on their own initiative for the most part. Our team advisor expects that we will consult and conduct business with our client without consulting him prior. This is very cool! We’re on our own, consulting, and doing international business things! Isn’t this the best?! However, it is very unlike what we have been doing for the past 12 (full timers) -24 (part timers) months in grad school classes, so it takes a little getting used to (I will refrain from calling it “scary” at this time, because it’s really not scary, it’s just “different”).

Are we able to apply what we learned in grad school on our projects? Definitely. (Newbie MIM, I would highly recommend saving your notes, handouts, and any relevant textbooks to your area of specialization so you can refer back to them when you are working on your final business project.) My team’s client mainly wants improvements in her product’s marketing process through research and exploration of customer feedback. This melds what I have learned in two classes, Brian McCarthy’s Global Marketing class from the very first term in the MIM program and Dennis Power’s Global Entrepreneurship class (also a marketing class) that I just took this past summer.

Our team is providing our client with a complete marketing plan; similar to the final assignment we did in McCarthy’s Global Marketing class. In addition, we are also providing our client with a few things to add to her over all business plan such as an elevator pitch and product value proposition – both things covered in Powers’ Global Entrepreneurship class. In eight-week’s time our team will also create three market research surveys, figure out our client’s TAM (Total Available Market) for the target areas, gather feedback from a focus group, and provide quotes on future work on our client’s e-commerce site. We will present the final data to our client with a PowerPoint presentation and complete 70-page written document at the end of October.

Click on the link to read more about MIM International Business Research Projects. If you are a local business and would like to take advantage of graduate business student consulting services, please read the information provided on the link and email Dr. Cliff Allen, MIM Academic Director at cliffa@sba.pdx.edu.

Photo Credit: International Research Conference http://internationalresearchdortmund.wikispaces.com/2011gbp

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MIM 510: Global Entrepreneurship with Dennis Powers

One of the best things about the Master in International Management program is when you get to the final two terms before the program is complete and you can take your MIM specialization classes. This is especially a really sweet deal if you happen to choose right and you love your specialization classes. To choose “right,” do your research in advance and talk to MIM administration about the classes and each of the instructors (this goes for any of the classes in which you have a choice). In addition, talk to MIMers who have taken the classes you are interested in.

After consulting with the MIM Academic Director, Dr. Cliff Allen, I chose to take MIM 510 Global Entrepreneurship as my final specialization course, taught by first-time Portland State University instructor, Dennis Powers. I agreed with Dr. Allen that getting the “proper tools” such as the knowledge of how to write a business plan would be a good idea for me. If you are having any doubts regarding the specialization track you should take, it is beneficial to talk it over with another party (or parties) who can provide insight and guidance. Do not hesitate to do this!

Specialization classes can be much smaller than other MIM classes, and in Global Entrepreneurship we had only 11 students, which was wonderful for quality individual attention from the instructor. Powers had extremely high expectations for our class. He comes from an extensive background of consulting for start-ups and investor groups. He is a board member of Oregon Entrepreneurs Network and holds regular business plan workshops for entrepreneurs. Powers proceeded to treat our class as if we were young entrepreneurs going through an eight-week workshop with him, just as he would treat any of his professional real-world business clients.

Powers held us to our task, held us accountable for meeting weekly goals, and moved through each class quickly. He did not hold back when it came to constructive feedback on our homework, and we spent the majority of each class actively engaged in group discussion with him, often questioning our peers and providing feedback on business ideas that would eventually morph into 25-page business plans. Honestly, when I think of what I imagined grad school to be like, I imagined a class like this, taught by Powers. This class truly lived up to my expectations of “the grad school experience.”

Assignments consisted of mandatory readings from a few textbooks, The Entrepreneurial Venture by Harvard Business School Press and The Portable MBA in Entrepreneurship by Bygrave/Zacharakis – both great reads, by the way. Optional reading assignments came from Blue Ocean Strategy by Kim/Mauborgne and Business Model Generation by Osterwalder/Pigneur. In addition we did a few case study write-ups based upon international business start-ups. However, the bulk of our work related to assignments that would help us write our business plan. This included figuring out our own Blue Ocean Strategy and creating a strategy canvas, creating a business model canvas, completing an elevator pitch workshop, creating an investor presentation, and a stand-alone executive summary document.

The second-to-last class revolved around practicing our investor presentations with Powers analyzing each individual slide while he and our peers provided written feedback for improvements in the final week. In the final class each of us gave our improved formal investor presentation and turned in our 25-page business plans. It is quite amazing that we were able to come up with a business idea in week one and within eight weeks produce a written document that included: an introduction/executive summary, the market opportunity, our products and services, a market analysis, our marketing and sales strategies, operations, management team, advisory team, a thorough financial plan, our funding requirements and use of capital, and an exit strategy. And most important, our document had to have the relevant data and research to back up our plan…it actually had to make sense!

Our class worked hard and fast. Even Powers himself admit that there is no way that in the real world you could come up with an official business plan in just eight weeks. However, he asked us to give it a sincere shot and we delivered. He congratulated our class for working so hard and confessed that in our short eight-week term, we got much further than many of his clients ever do in his professional workshops!

What kinds of tips and hints do I have for you when you are faced with a challenging and fast-paced class like MIM 510 Global Entrepreneurship?

1) Be prepared to cut back other activities in your schedule to put the proper effort toward the work that needs to be done – I will remind you that you get out what it is that you put in. When I realized that I had my work cut out for me and that my priority for the term was to really learn as much as I could from Powers and the process of creating a business plan, I dropped my twice-a-week ballet classes to put more time into homework assignments.

2) Draw from the strengths of your classmates. One of my classmates had prior experience writing business plans so I turned to her for advice on how to get through homework assignments.

3) Turn to your network…when I needed help with the complex financial spreadsheets I turned to an accountant friend and a recent PSU MSFA graduate friend to help me create realistic financial goals for my company.

4) Hoard information like crazy, but in an organized fashion – I will say it again – ORGANIZED, because each class assignment built upon the previous and all of the information gathered over the eight-week period could be used in the final business plan.

And once again, I will stress the “surprise” unexpected benefit of attending network events. One activity that a few classmates and I attended earlier in the year (three of us attended and all three of us ended up taking MIM 510 Global Entrepreneurship) was an Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) investor seed money competition between a few start-ups. At the time I was vaguely curious, but my main rationale for attending was to support GlobeSherpa, a MIM alumni start up, and to support OEN, my mentor’s organization. I would have never guessed that four months later, having had the opportunity to witness four ten-minute investor presentations complete with five-minute Q&A sessions, that it would help me create my own strong investor presentation for this class. (On a side note, an investor presentation is nothing like any of the other presentations that MIMers will be expected to do for just about every class in the MIM program.) So get out there and attend business networking events during your 15-27 months in the MIM program!

Photo Credit: Freelance Switch

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The Job Search – Get on it MIMers!

Dear current MIM cohort and newbie MIMers,

Have you thought about the job search yet? Because if you haven’t, you might want to start NOW. Have you talked to MIM alumni at all about their job search? I have discovered that the average amount of time it seems to take MIMers to secure a job is approximately six months from the moment they actively start looking. This is information I’ve collected over a few generations of MIM alumni. In addition, there are always those whose job search continues for a year or longer. I just met a part time MBA student a few weeks ago who already had a full time job and was looking to make a career change. He said he sent out many, many job applications over a two-year period. He finally got ONE job offer after looking for a new job for TWO years.

I gave myself the deadline of starting my job search in August but here it is mid-September and I finally sent off my first application. Life gets in the way, right? I got busy with the end of summer term classes, being part of a planning committee for a fundraiser, and working on my final business research project  – fondly known as the “Exit Project.” It happens, but let me warn you, starting the job search is time-consuming. You need to budget and put aside some time to get this done, even if it is just a little bit at a time.

This is how I would recommend getting your job search started if you haven’t done so already.

  • Stay organized from the very beginning! I started a list of potential employers I would like to work for, prioritizing with my most important to least important so I know the order that I should apply for jobs with each company.
  • When you find jobs you are interested in, email yourself the job link immediately and put “JOB, X-COMPANY, X-POSITION” in the subject line so that it is easy to find later when you have time to apply. This will also save you time so that you do not have to go back and search for that job again when you need the job requisition or position number for your application.
  • Keep track of every job you apply for on a spreadsheet. I know, super-geeky, but I created a spreadsheet with these categories: Company Name, Job Title, Job Posting #, Date Application Was Submitted, Resume/Cover Letter Submitted (yes/no), Three-Week Date (this is the average amount of time I assume it would take to hear back, and if I do not hear back then I know that I should follow up), and a Notes column for misc things I want to keep track of (maybe the hiring manager’s name, or maybe dates of contact). This will come in handy when and if your list of job applications starts to grow. As one MIM alum reported to me, he applied for so many jobs that after a while he was not sure which ones were calling him!
  • Print out a hard copy of the job description, along with your cover letter, resume, and the online job application (as this will contain other information such as professional reference info that your resume will not) and staple it all together and keep it in a file folder. What is the purpose of this? So that when the talent acquisition team comes calling, you can pull that file and refer to the information you provided when you applied for the job. This way, you don’t blunder your way through the initial phone conversation (also useful if you need to respond by email since you will have all the info at your fingertips). This is especially important if you are planning to apply for different types of jobs, which I have seen is often the case with MIM alumni who pursue both international and domestic jobs.
  • Start making a list of your professional references that you plan to use on your job applications. I just filled out my first job application and it asked for professional (not personal) references – the application asked specifically for people who could attest to my academic and work experience. Keep these peoples’ names, job titles, companies, email addresses, and phone numbers handy. Keep in mind that you may want to switch up your list of professional references based upon the job you are applying for. For instance, the job I applied for is one that mixes my medical background with marketing so I used my marketing professor along with a heart surgeon I have worked with as my references. If I were applying for another position or a non-medical-related position I may not feel that these references would be the best for me to use. A tip for incoming MIMers…as you go through your 15 to 27 months of school, always keep in mind which people in your network (professors, administration, business contacts, etc.) might be people whom you can ask to be your professional references at a later date. It is a good idea to start collecting them early on so that when it is time to start your job search, submit a study abroad application, or you want to go for that scholarship, you aren’t in a position where you realize you did not cultivate any close working relationships with those around you.
  • Always keep your resume updated! Then you will have less work to do when you sit down and are actually ready to apply for your dream job. The minute you start something new that is resume-worthy, take the time to update your resume with that information! You never know when an opportunity will come up and you will need a copy of your resume on the fly (i.e. a career fair or maybe a networking contact who wants to pass your resume on to someone).
  • Block out time in your schedule to work on applying for jobs. Having just finished filling out my first online job application, it was quite time-consuming! Although the website allowed me to upload my resume and auto-filled some online information boxes with info from my resume, it didn’t do a thorough or accurate job so I still had to go through and make corrections and add information. In addition, the job I applied for asked me to list my certifications related to the medical field, which was even more time-consuming. (It asked for certification info even though the job description states that medical background is a bonus but not a requirement.)
  • Be prepared for surprises! This job application asked me for a numerical figure for my base salary requirements (DOH! this is not so optimal, as we discussed and in our Business Negotiations class) – mandatory information on the job application so no way around it, and there were also spots for GPA for both my undergraduate and graduate education – not mandatory but clearly they wanted that information if there was a box for it. I was just surprised to see the GPA box as everyone tells you “GPA doesn’t matter to future employers when you are in graduate school” and that “they will never ask you for it.”
  • Give your professional references a heads up that you plan to list them on your job applications so that they are not caught off-guard when a strange number appears on their phone. Giving them a heads up also allows them to prepare in advance what they might say about you when they get the call. You may even want to go as far as to forward a copy of your cover letter and resume to your professional references so they are aware of ALL the wonderful accomplishments and skills you possess, beside already knowing that you are a great person whom they would highly recommend!
  • Get third-party feedback on your resume and cover letters, especially if you are making a career change. It never hurts to ask and see what others think when they read about the paper version of you. You might want to use trusted classmates, business professionals in your network, or Portland State University’s SBA Career Resource Management team.

I will end with part of the tagline by Edwards Lifesciences, “…life is now.” So let’s get busy living the rest of our lives, which starts in approximately 12 weeks, MIMers! GOOO MIM!!! GO SUCCESSFUL JOB HUNTING!!!

Photo credit and an interesting little blog article to read http://socialmedia101.org/getting-a-job-through-your-social-network/


Filed under Ali's Entries, Job Search

CardioStart International Fundraiser – a Big Team Effort

Is it possible to pull off a fundraising event involving 150 people in just eight weeks? You betcha, but it’s a heck of a lot of work. What’s involved? The joint effort of many, from a dedicated planning committee of six (including two PSU MIM students), to the volunteer help of friends, coworkers, family, and many generous hearts.

The CardioStart International Fundraiser planning committee included a heart surgeon, an ICU nurse, a nurse practitioner, a respiratory therapist, and two PSU Master in International Management students – myself a former ICU nurse and Kim Morrison who works in the pharmaceutical industry. Kim provided a great deal of knowledge and expertise on the area of the organization of medical-related events and auctions. My main task was to organize a fashion show for entertainment for the evening – my fashion show debut!

So how does this event relate to business school? First of all, we were working closely on a team with an end-goal in sight. Just like in school, we met regularly – usually once a week, in person and by conference call (necessary, since one party was in London for a month and another out of town on business trips at various times) to discuss event planning. As the organizer of the fashion show I had to round up 12 volunteers to be my models – six of whom I had to convince to switch their work shifts to come to the event, then get all of them fitted into two custom Cocoon Silk cocktail dresses. So not only was I working within a planning committee team, I also had to manage my “team” of models. From my end, the event required constant communication not only with the planning committee team, but also with my 12 models, my donor contacts, and the volunteer DJ and lighting person.

What is a big component of pulling off an event on limited funds? You have to tap into your network (hey, here is that word – NETWORK). I was able to secure a donation of hair and make up through Aveda Institute Portland through my fellow MIMer’s sister who is a beauty student at the school – an approximate $650 value. One member of our planning committee (and a former coworker of mine) secured a donation of a free pair of heels for every model from Shoes.com (Brown Shoe Company/Famous Footwear) – an approximate $1,300 value. Kim provided the connection for my DJ, and Dr. Aubyn provided our lightening person. All 26 beautiful cocktail dresses were provided by Cocoon Silk, whom I did some work for a few months ago, so I was allowed to come and go and take dresses home with me as I pleased.

What else comes out of going out of your comfort zone to help with an event such as this? Exposure to something new and different. Although I have experience planning and organizing medical-related events, I have never worked on one involving an auction or a professional auctioneer – that component significantly increased the amount of planning involved, even for my fashion show entertainment piece. I finally found a way to mix fashion and medical – two things I love! Kim and I got to put our education to use and ask “the business questions” of the planning committee since the other four members did not possess a formal business background. We gained non-profit work experience. And we got to network, network, network! Not only did we tap into our own networks and strengthen those ties, but also we increased our network circle with a mix of very talented and diverse individuals, and MIMers got to meet my new PSU MBA in Healthcare Management friend!

One of the things I like to stress about participating in events outside of class is the “surprise” benefit that you might get from the event. Sometimes the benefit is not obvious. What was my surprise from this event? A table was sponsored by a company that the planning committee referred to as “Edwards Life.” I looked into the company – Edwards Lifesciences– and discovered that they are an international medical company and have a number of job openings available. Their jobs that I’m interested in combine my grad school education with my health care background…imagine that! Guess where my resume will be headed soon…

(Click on the photos for larger view.)

All hair and make up for the event was generously donated by Aveda Institute Portland

Farah, a student at Aveda Institute Portland, happily makes MIM student, Ali Mondragon, ready for her fashion show debut - Farah did such an excellent job!

The models (two nurses and a pharmacist) get made up by Aveda Institute Portland's talented beauty students

A full house for the first west coast CardioStart International Fundraiser held at Mercy Corps' event space, dinner catered by DeAngelo's Catering and beer donated for the event by Widmer Brewery

PSU MIM students and Aveda Institute Portland student (L-R Farah Abubasal, Ali Mondragon, Lisa Stensby, Jackie Wang, Rana Abubasal, and Eric Dretzke)

Half the model team - including a PSU MSFA alumni, two PSU MIM students, a pharmacist, an aspiring medical student, and members of the Vietnamese community from Portland and New York. (All beautiful cocktail dresses designed by Cocoon Silk.)

Models pose for photographer, Donny Fite, who was particularly interested in snapping pics of the great heels donated by Shoe.com (Brown Shoe Company/Famous Footwear)

PSU MIM student in the spotlight, Lisa Stensby (center, looking at camera)

PSU MIM students and Aveda Institute Portland student

PSU MIM students, Jackie Wang and Rana Abubasal

Ali Mondragon, a PSU MIM student, CardioStart planning committee member and fashion show organizer for the event, waits backstage for show time.

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