The Struggle is Real

Diana Shukri ‘17, Business Management/Human Resources Major

I hope all my fellow transfer students are adjusting to this first week at Portland State! I know it can be scary and frustrating adapting to change, especially when it comes to school. You may now are starting to realize how different community college is from a university!

Thoughts like “How am I going to get through this?” or “This is not what I expected!” are common. Trust me, I know the feeling. I remember my first term here feeling like I was struggling. Here’s my advice for getting over that feeling quickly.

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Get used to the rigorous work load. You’ll soon realize that classes here are challenging. I came here thinking I could breeze through my classes and soon realized how wrong I was.

The good news is, you will adjust. Don’t stop working hard, even when you’re feeling discouraged. Always ask for help if you need it. You can talk to your professor, visit the tutoring center for free help, or join a study group.

Decide on your major. It’s a good idea to evaluate your major and decide if you truly want to continue on this path. Maybe you want to take on a minor? Or you’re losing interest in school and want a change of pace?

It can be a stressful decision. My advice: Think long-term, talk to your advisor, and trust your intuition.

Don’t procrastinate. Do not wait until the last minute to apply to school and get your transcripts transferred over. It will only result in a mad rush and potential delays.

Similarly, don’t wait until the last minute to register for classes. There’s no guarantee the classes you want will be open – and you don’t want to end up wait-listed for every class you sign up for. The lesson: Be aware of the academic calendar and meet with your advisor to create a plan.

Stay on top of your class work and work hard – pretty soon, you’ll feel right at home here.

~Diana Shukri ’17, Fearless Senior

What are you waiting for? Learn more about free tutoring for business students, schedule with your advisor, and check out the academic calendar.

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Diana Shukri is a senior with a double business major studying business management and leadership and human resources management.

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Is on-campus employment worth it?

By Gene Park ’17, Supply and Logistics Management

There is a stereotype about student jobs that they aren’t “real jobs.” Especially if you are in need of money, working outside school seems like the most logical choice. When I started my first student job at Portland Community College, I didn’t have high expectations but knew I need to add some work experience for the sake of my resume.

It turns out, I was wrong about student employment. My job at PCC was one of the best experiences I’ve had because it provided me with personal growth opportunities that I would have missed if I had chosen an off-campus job that paid a few more dollars per hour.

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Since that first job, I’ve had two others on campus. Here are some of the things I’ve learned along the way:

  • Time management – Most student jobs allow flexible schedules that will adjust for students’ scheduling needs. I was able to cut commute time dramatically by working and studying on the same days. It was a like an oasis in a desert for me when I needed more time to study.

 

  • Student friendly work environment – If you have worked off campus, you know how demanding a job can be. My  supervisors in student employment understood my struggles much more than my off-campus supervisors.

 

  • Competitive pay – Surprisingly, student job pay is not as bad as what you might think. Almost all student jobs will pay more than working at a franchise restaurant, for example. Obviously, I could not make a living from my student jobs, but working on campus is a great way to earn extra income.

 

  • Network opportunity – Working on-campus provides more opportunities to get to know your professors and fellow students. I was able to broaden my social circle and be exposed to new opportunities on campus.

~Gene Park ’17, Fearless Senior

 

Want to hear more about working on-campus? Attend our upcoming Finding and Getting an On-Campus Job workshop this Friday, Sept. 23 from 10 – 11 a.m. in SMSU 296. Find out more information here.

 

gene-park_webGene Park is a senior majoring in Supply and Logistics Management. He is also a Peer Advisor in the Undergraduate Programs Office. Connect with Gene via LinkedIn or by coming in for Express Advising.

Making the Leap

By Diana Shukri ’17, Business Management

I remember when I was about to start school at Portland State. Transferring from PCC, I was excited and nervous. Most importantly, I was ready … or so I thought. So many people who made the leap from community college to PSU told me, “Oh it’s the same thing, PSU is just bigger.” I took their advice and kept that mindset. Little did I know, that wasn’t really the case.

My first impression was, “Wow! This place is so big!” When that faded, I realized there was a lot I needed to learn and do in order to have a smooth and successful transition into PSU’s business program. Here’s what I learned that might help you:

  1. You still need to take those “other” business” classes. If you transferred here thinking, “Finally! I don’t have to take business classes that don’t apply to my major anymore!” Think again. All business students have to take a set of 8 core business classes that range from finance to marketing to supply and logistics. Expect a lot of group work in these classes as well.

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  1. If you didn’t get it together at community college, you better start now. All business students have to be mindful of not one but two GPAs: Your cumulative GPA includes every class you’ve taken, and your SBA GPA includes only business courses. Both GPAs need to be at or above 2.5 to maintain good standing with SBA.If one or both GPAs fall below 2.5, you’ll be put on academic probation and have three terms to bring your GPA back up. This can become a stressful situation, so it’s best to avoid it by starting off on the right foot. My advice: Do your work. If you’re having trouble, talk to your professor and get help from fellow classmates. Don’t be intimidated about asking your professors for help: They are here to help you! I have done this countless of times and it has always helped.

  2. Meet with your advisors as much as you think you need to. The SBA advisers are some of the greatest sources of information I’ve found. They help with anything that you need academically and provide career counseling, too. Your adviser will become a major supporter that will help you stay on track to graduate on time.

You made a wise choice transferring from community college to the School of Business at PSU. I hope my advice will help make your transition to Portland State a positive and successful one!

~Diana Shukri ’17, Fearless Senior

Visit Academic and Career Advising for more tips on how to succeed as a transfer student!

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Diana Shukri is a senior with a double business major studying business management and leadership and human resources management.

True Confessions of a Graduate

Angela Stanton ’16, Advertising Major

Like many of those who walked in the graduation ceremony June 12th, 2016, I am feeling excited and relieved to finally graduate but scared at the same time.

What’s so scary about graduation? FOR ME EVERYTHING! It is a little overwhelming to spend four years and $37,640 on a piece of paper (I mean a degree). Graduation itself is easy. It is what comes next that is so hard. How do I describe the complete chaos in mind about the future? I think my childhood friend, SpongeBob SquarePants, sums it up quite well.

Angela_Spungebob

The last four years of my life have been an endless sea of classes, work, study, and sleep. I have been on a mission for 4 years, to get through college. I felt like “the little engine who could” and guess what? I did!

Now that graduation has come and gone, many of us are wondering now what? It seems everywhere I turn, people are asking me, “Didn’t you just graduate?” And, “What are your plans now?”

Well, I have a lot of plans, but no job lined up yet and no idea of how I am going to pay back my large amounts of student loans. So I did a lot of soul searching and here is the top three pieces of advice I took to heart.

1. Take a break. Go camping, sleep in, binge watch your favorite crush, drive across country, do something fun, but whatever you do take some time off! Because if you are anything like me, that is a hard thing to do. I came across a great book written by millennial Katherine Schwarzenegger (yea, Arnolds’ kid) who has just recently experienced the “I just graduated now what syndrome.” This book really puts things into perspective. Her mother, Maria Shriver, spoke at her commencement ceremony about the “power of the pause.

2. Don’t give up on your dream job. I think there is always pressure on graduating students to get a great job right after graduation. We all know it doesn’t work like that, so as you can see the pressure is on. Well, take the pressure off and just get a job you want to do every day. And if that isn’t your dream job, just don’t give up. Having a back-up plan and get by job is good but don’t settle. Sometimes finding that first job in the field of your study can take some time so be prepared if it takes a couple months, 6 months or a year. Just keep trying.

3. Keep calm, nobody else knows what they are doing either! It’s okay to not know what you want to do. Just take life as it comes at you, surprises and all. Keep in mind that this is an opportunity that you have been preparing for. Finding a job is not easy – but it is possible. Portland State University also offers a wide range of additional Resources for current students and recent graduates.

The Academic Career Services (ACS) offers services and workshops for resume review and mock interviews, as well as other workshops on topics such as LinkedIn or networking. Portland State University also offers online job opportunities and internships for alumni through career connect.

  1. August 4 – Career Workshop: Networking 101 | 3:00-4:00pm

  2. August 11 – Career Workshop: Writing Resumes and Cover Letters | 2:30-4:00pm

  3. August 17 – Career Workshop: Introduction to Interviewing | 10:30am-12:00pm

  4. August 23 – Career Workshop: Introduction to Interviewing | 3:00pm-4:30pm

Graduation means different things to different people, but the one thing everyone has in common is the feeling of uncertainty that comes with the unknown. It is the way we handle ourselves and the choices that we make that will determine our success. And remember, we are the future!

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From left to right: Chuck Nobles, Angela Stanton, Maureen O’Connor

~Angela Stanton ’16, Fearless Senior

Angela Stanton is a recent Advertising graduate.
She is also a member of the FIR Advertising student-run agency.

What I’ll Miss About PSU

Sydney Kim ’16, Marketing Major

drupal_commencement_2016 - smallI can’t believe that I have come to the final days of my life as a college student. I know that many soon-to-be fellow graduates will agree when I say that this is truly a happy and scary moment in our lives. There is so much out there for us and so much we have to leave behind. I have truly appreciated my time at Portland State University and in commemoration of graduation; here are a few of the things that I will miss the most:

My group members: There is a special bond formed between people that cannot be created anywhere else but in the depths of despair bubbling with group projects, long nights, 50 page papers and stressful presentations. I will miss eating delivery pizza in the library study rooms and complaining about classes with these great people. They have made the journey that much better.

Diversity: We have people from all walks of life at Portland State University: old, young, recent high school graduates or people that took a less conventional route. I will miss the amount of diversity we have in our classrooms and the various perspectives that they bring. It has been a very educational and inspirational experience.

Hard-working professors: I’ve taken a lot of night classes during my time at PSU and it’s never easy going to class right after work. But, a lot of our professors are in the same boat. They work 9-5 and then come to teach us so they can give back to the community. I will miss their compassion and hilarious stories.

Everything else: Here is where I will list all of the other things that I will miss, because I’m too indecisive to make a short list: the Park Blocks during the Fall, people yelling at people in the Park Blocks, having food carts on campus, the gorgeous tree by our library, amazing student advisors, being within walking distance of practically everything, and all of the amazing people that I have met during my three short years at Portland State University.

PSU is bustling and dynamic. It’s been a place of growth and new beginnings for me. As bittersweet as this moment of time is, I know that there are more amazing milestones ahead and I look forward to them. Congratulations Class of 2016. We’ve worked hard for this moment. Now go out and enjoy life.

~Sydney Kim ’16, Fearless Senior

Sydney KimSydney is a marketing major graduate ’16. She is an intern at Adpearance and a member of the events committee of PSU’s chapter of American Marketing Association (AMA).

My Good Frenemy, Sallie Mae

Sarah Dunbar ’16, Accounting

As we near graduation it’s time to celebrate and congratulate ourselves on a job well done! It’s not an easy accomplishment to persevere through the challenges of college to complete your degree. All of the late night study sessions and Top Ramen breakfasts have finally paid off and it is time to take that next step in our lives. As we say farewell to the many experiences we’ve had at PSU, it’s time to say hello to our new best friend, Sallie Mae.

Sallie Mae* is one of the nation’s largest educational loan servicers, for private and federal loans. It works closely with the Department of Education to collect on the student loans it disburses through FAFSA. Sallie Mae is one of those friends who is always there for you in the beginning, always there with a helping hand to support you through the difficult times, but you know they are only being nice so they can cash in the favor later.

When I made the decision to go to college I happily accepted her help, but I never fully understood what I was getting myself into. So I decided, with less than a month to go, to figure it all out.

1. Understand Your Loan(s).

When I first started this process I had no idea how many loans I actually had or what their balances were. Thankfully, the National Student Loan Data System exists. Once you create a login, NSLDS provides a detailed list of all of your outstanding federal loans, including dates when payments are required and the name of your loan servicer. If you have private loans, it is recommended to reach out to your specific lender to understand the details of your loan.

The NSLDS and Department of Education provide a breakdown of the Federal Loans provided. Under the Direct Loan program, the U.S. Department of Education is your lender. There are three main types of Direct Loans:

Direct Subsidized Loans: made to eligible undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need to help cover the costs of higher education; Interest does not start accruing until after you have graduated.

Direct Unsubsidized Loans: made to eligible undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, but in this case, the student does not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible for the loan. The kicker? Interest starts accruing from the date of disbursement.

Direct PLUS Loans: made to graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid.

Additionally, the Federal Loan program offers Perkins loans. Perkins loans are a school-based loan program for undergraduates and graduate students with exceptional financial need. Under this program, the school is lender.

(Source: studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/loans)

2. Determine Your Monthly Budget
Money Bags
Adding an additional expense to your monthly budget can be scary, regardless of your post-grad plans. This is why it’s important to know how much you can realistically pay on a continual basis for your student loans.

In my last blog post I talked about tips on how to build an emergency fund into your monthly budget, you can utilize the same philosophy here. Look at your projected income and deduct all of your current necessary expenses, and find little ways to reduce the non-essential expenses (do you really need the two DVDs at a time plan from Netflix?) Once you know how much you can comfortably spend on student loans, you can then pick the right payment plan.

Keep in mind that many federal student loan programs provide a 6-month grace period after graduation before your first payment is due. This provides time for new graduates to get settled and find a steady stream of income. Note: Most loans will start accruing interest for this 6-month period, so if you can start making payments immediately, it will cost you less in the long run.

3. Determine Your Payment Plan

Most graduates will take on a traditional payment plan for their loans. Traditional plans typically span over 10 years, include a required minimum payment of $50 (or more depending on your loan amount), and have the benefit of paying the least amount of interest over the life of the loan compared to other payment plans. Two other variations of traditional plans include extended plans, which amortize the loan over 25 years, and graduated payment plans, which slowly increase the monthly payment over time.

An alternative to traditional payments are Income-Based Repayments. With Income-Based Repayments your monthly payments are capped at a percentage of your income.

One unique opportunity provided to Federal Direct Loan recipients is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which provides an incentive for graduates to work in either the public or non-profit sector. If you are interested in working in one of these industries, check out the PSLF website for more information.

4. Set Up Auto-Pay

Adjusting to life after college can be scary. Maybe you’re moving to a new place, starting a new job, navigating a newly free social life. It’s easy to lose track of all of the moving parts and forget to make your payment. Setting up auto-pay, like you may already do for your other bills, is an easy way to make sure you’re on track. Falling behind on payments can have a serious impact on your credit score, so why risk it? On the plus side, some loan servicers provide benefits, such as interest rate reductions, for those who enroll in auto-pay. Check with your individual servicer about your options.

5. Make Friends with Your Loan Servicer

Yes, Sallie Mae is quite demanding when it comes to getting repaid, yet she also is flexible when it comes to how and when she gets the money. Because life isn’t always predictable, it’s important to build a relationship with your loan servicer from the time you believe you may not be able to make a payment on time or in full. There are two main avenues through which to postpone or reduce your student loan payments, deferment and forbearance.

Deferment: Period during which your principal payments are temporarily delayed.

Forbearance: Up to a 12-month period where your payments are postponed or reduced. This is an option if you don’t qualify for deferment but your loan servicer may grant the reprieve if you are having significant financial difficulties or illness.

For a full list of qualifying conditions, check out this web page. In any case it is important to stay in contact with your loan servicer about your plans and options. Both deferment and forbearance require documentation and a formal request to be put into place.

Whether you’re graduating in a few weeks or a year, it’s important to understand your relationship with Sallie Mae and any other financial entity you interact with. Financial aid is a big part of being a college student. Thankfully, we’re not the first students to have to deal with this issue. Work with your friends, family and academic advisors to find the right repayment schedule that works for you!

*Correction: The business was spun off in 2014 into a separate, independent company Navient Corporation. It owns federal and private student loans and services loans on behalf of Sallie Mae and other parties, such as the U.S. Department of Education. Sallie Mae transformed into a banking and financial services company offering private education loans, goal-based and traditional savings products, scholarship search and college financial planning tools.

~ Sarah Dunbar ’16, Fearless Senior

Photography by Portland Oregon Photographer Craig MItchelldyer www.craigmitchelldyer.com 503.513.0550Sarah Dunbar is a senior business student majoring in Accounting. She is a member of Beta Alpha Psi, the Accounting and Finance Honor Society.

 

 

 

 

Professional Networking for Dummies

Edwin Garcia, Advertising and Marketing Major

Since my journey through the Athletic & Outdoor (A&O) Certificate Program began, I have met over a dozen industry professionals. For an aspiring A&O professional, such as myself, the chance of clamoring “GIVE ME A JOB PLEASE” could not be more tempting. However, something tells me that would be wrong. I will detail how I have approached these industry professionals, and hopefully you find some of my experiences useful as you continue your SBA journey. On a side note (and hopefully needless to say), be respectful.

1. Be authentic.

As a general rule, you should never use people. People do not like to feel used. People are not assets or capital (barring all accounting logic – sorry accountants). Instead, thank them for their time, shake their hand firmly, smile genuinely, and just talk to them. I know that I want to work in the A&O industry one day, so I always introduce myself as a PSU advertising and marketing student pursuing an A&O certificate. Then I shift the conversation to them, and not just the companies they work for. What was their first job? How did they get into the A&O industry? What have they found most inspiring about their careers? What paved the way for their career? These questions are no rite, they can actually provide valuable information about how to shape your own career. Once again, refrain from asking them for a job, and instead ask if you can follow up your conversation via email or over a cup of coffee if the conversation went well.

2. Value their opinions.

Make sure that the people you network with feel valued. Valued not only for their position in a company, but also for their insight and knowledge. Feel free to ask them if you are on the right track. Ask if they would recommend you do something different. Take their advice with a grain of salt, but be grateful that you received a personalized recommendation from someone who has already made it (you should probably listen to them).

3. Grow your network.

It may be the case that the person you speak to works for a company that does not interest you. Perhaps they work with sneakers when you want to go into high fashion. One of the guest speakers in my retailing class said that for all intents and purposes, you do want a job in the company of any person you speak to (most of us are going to be begging for just about any job worth applying to anyway). You do not know who that person knows – the world is a small place after all and one contact could mean the difference in landing your dream job. Upon completion of your second meeting or conversation, ask politely if they can contact you with one or two people to continue your growth. You might want to do so casually by asking them “who should I contact next to discuss the industry?”

4. Apply yourself.

PSU knows how important it is to grow your network in your industry by applying yourself alongside others with similar goals. PENSOLE, the footwear design academy, will partner with adidas this summer for a four-week immersion program. Led by founder, D’wayne Edwards, a former design director at Nike whose designs have sold more than $1 billion worldwide. PENSOLE is dedicated to develop the talent of women and minority shoe designers and business professionals. The program is selective and I will be working arduously to be selected. Additionally, MKTG 436/437 courses will be offered in condensed one-week formats. This is a great opportunity to take the two A&O classes towards the certificate without having to wait until winter and spring term when they are offered again.

Apply for both the PENSOLE immersion and for MKTG 436/437 now!

~Edwin Garcia ’17, Fearless Senior

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Edwin is a senior business student majoring in Advertising and Marketing.
He is also a member of A&O Connect, a student group that hosts industry professionals.

 

Insights from Portland Business Journal’s Women of Influence Awards

Sydney Kim ’16, Marketing Major

When I am asked to imagine a person of power and success, I imagine a man. I imagine a man when someone says the words doctor, professor, scientist and engineer. I believe that one of the reasons why no women come to mind when these professions are mentioned is because our media depicts men as doctors, women as nurses, men as executives and women as secretaries. On average, it seems like men get to play the cool, bad-ass roles while women are stuck acting as supporting characters. It’s not a secret that there is an inequality between the sexes.

WOI Awards SelfieToday, I got the amazing chance to attend the Portland Business Journal’s Women of Influence Awards and it was eye-opening. It was eye opening because I got to see women from all career paths get the recognition they deserve, whether they work in the private sector or to help build homes in the Pacific Northwest. Every single man and woman in that giant ballroom seemed so supportive of each other. The loud clapping and cheering for each and every woman that walked onto that stage was amazing.

However, the obstacles that these women had to traverse to get to where they are today are what make it even more amazing. They kept their chin up when people told them they couldn’t succeed due to their gender, because they are strong women. They leapt back into the professional field after having children and being a full-time mother for several years, because they are strong women. They took risks and faced their fears, because they are strong women. These women inspire me to imagine female doctors, professors, scientists and engineers. I am proud of Portland State University for being progressive and supporting great causes like this. My hope is that one day we won’t need award ceremonies for women only because we’ll all be on equal footing regardless of gender.

~Sydney Kim ’16, Fearless Senior

Sydney KimSydney is a marketing major graduating in spring 2016. She is an intern at Adpearance and a member of the events committee of PSU’s chapter of American Marketing Association (AMA).

What does your e-identity say about you? 7 reasons to be a better person online

Angela Stanton ’16, Advertising Major
Just for fun Google yourself. If you haven’t done it lately, you might be surprised by what you find. You might find old pictures of yourself, school records, twitter comments, or other random information and of course, it never fails that every mug shot, murderer, or porn star with your name will be the first name to pop up on the list.

Your online presence, aka your e-identity, is basically all of your online activities: the good, the bad and the ugly. A good way to look at it is everything you input goes through an online community and produces an output. Because of this, potential employers are now capable of researching job candidates before the interview and are using this information to decide if they even want to meet you for an interview.
This is the #1 reason you should control your online e-identity!

And when it comes to employers a non-existent online presence also says something about you. If you don’t have one you won’t appear to be as relevant and may be passed over by more savvy applicants for the same position.

Here are the top 7 reasons you should control your online presence:

1. Employers are using online platforms to make hiring decisions. The current job market is more demanding than ever. Statistics show that employers are doing more than just looking at your resume. A recent report released by Microsoft shows that 69% of recruiters have rejected applicants based on information they found online. The information ranged from posting inappropriate pictures and comments to lying about their qualifications.

Forbes, 2011

Things to avoid if you are job seeking (Forbes, 2011)

However, it is not all bad! In the same report, 68% of recruiters said that they have hired candidates because of what they saw about them on a social networking site.

Forbes, 2011

It’s not all bad (Forbes, 2011)

2. If you don’t others will. Big data is here and everyone is a part of it. If you don’t start branding yourself now, others will. Putting positive information about yourself and your brand makes you more relevant when you are job searching or building your online network.

3. You are more than a commodity. If you are not actively controlling your online presence than the sites you are using are treating you like a commodity by mining your information. By being a creator of your own online presence you are able to take control of how you are perceived online.

4. Shows skills that get jobs. A well rounded online presence can demonstrate skills to future employers. Online presence is all about show not tell. Having a positive online presence shows a certain amount of effort and showcases the skills you used to create the work. Making a cool infographic resume that showcases graphic design skills and marketing knowledge will surely get the job.

5. Builds personal credibility. The stronger your e-identity is the more credibility you will have in the eyes of any future employer. When you take control of your online presence you can also raise your visibility by connecting yourself to others who have strong affiliations, like PSU!

6. Creativity and passion can help set you apart from other job seekers. Again it is all about showing not telling. Creating an interesting relevant online presence through an e-portfolio, LinkedIn profile, or blog can showcase your creativity and your passion for something. This highlights skills that potential employers are looking for.

7. Builds your online network. Your LinkedIn profile is a great example of an online community that works as a networking tool and a landing page for employers to learn about you. LinkedIn also has a resume builder which will turn your profile into a resume for employers to download. The more online presence you have the more employers will be exposed to you and the more opportunities you will get. If you want to learn more about LinkedIn and how to use it effectively to network please join the Advising & Career Services for a LinkedIn and Networking Workshop on April 25 at 3:00 pm.

Here are some Best Practices/Do’s and Don’ts.

Do include a photo, a video, relevant storytelling, embed your resume, include your blog, be creative,
include your URL, and a link to your e-portfolio in your email signature. Don’t be unprofessional or turn your online platforms into tell all memoirs.

Having a positive e-identity is one of the first steps you can take in preparing for the job search. Controlling your online presence can help you get informational interviews and can help you land the job you have been dreaming about. The School of Business also offers Fearless Friday Workshops every week which are designed to help with all aspects of professional development. Please join us for these future events:

  1. April 22 – “Job Negotiation” – Melanie Billings-Yun

  2. April 29 – “Your unique job search: less time, better results” – DeAnne Preston

  3. May 6 – “Panel of recruiters/Do’s and Don’ts of the job search” – Jennifer Nice

  4. May 13 – “Cover letters and after interview follow up” – Nathanial Garrod

  5. May 20 – “Professionalism and polish” – Becky Sanchez

  6. May 27 – “You got the job, now what?” – Andrew Adeboi

~Angela Stanton ’16, Fearless Senior

Angela Stanton is a senior business student majoring in advertising.
She is also a member of the FIR Advertising student-run agency.

Be Open To Learn….Change

Edwin Garcia, Advertising and Marketing Major

Welcome to my journey through the School of Business Administration (SBA)! I am an advertising and marketing major. Through this blog, I will be chronicling my experiences pursuing the Athletic & Outdoor (A&O) Industry Certificate from start to finish.

My career aspirations are to work in a creative and challenging business environment where I can interact with professionals to promote new products. In order to achieve my goals, I am enhancing my general education with internships, student groups, and certifications. Along the way, I invite you to interact with me via social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram), join me at the various A&O-hosted events, and say hi around campus. Let’s get started!

Because of limited space, and in order to insure that my classmates are just as dedicated as I am, an application was required for MKTG 437 Channel Management in the A&O Industry. MKTG 437 is generally the last class in the certification process. The excerpt below is from my application to MKTG 437. I was asked to define my brand and story. To me, they are one and the same — each developing the other over time.

“My path to this point in my education has been unique, and that path has come to define my brand.

After two different majors at two different schools, I was quickly humbled by my mistakes. I had to focus on my strengths and persevere despite setbacks. Those strengths brought me to the SBA where I have gained the confidence to achieve success. Although the A&O industry is competitive, I am hardworking and I am determined to thrive in this environment. My motivations to pursue an education and career in this industry are authentic and rooted deeply in my passions. Before, I made decisions based on fear – fear of judgment, fear of career uncertainty, fear of failure. Now, I act based on love – love for achievement, love for myself, love for my family.

My brand has been torn down and rebuilt. My brand is focused and persevering. My brand is confident and striving. My brand is competitive and hardworking. My brand is authentic and passionate. My brand is loving what I do.”

Thankfully, the SBA had helped me define who I am and what I want to do. The amazing thing about business is that it empowers me to combine my strengths and passions into a career.

I want a career in the A&O industry because it is among the most competitive, exciting, and innovative. I follow adidas, Nike, and Under Armour very closely, as do millions of others. When I travel off the beaten path, I have preferences in my performance gear – Columbia, North Face, Patagonia, etc. – and I happen to live in the mecca of the industry. Luckily for us as college students, HR managers are seeking prepared, talented individuals to fill key business roles.

Before I started this journey, I had the privilege of conducting an informational interview with a Senior HR Manager at adidas. From the interview, I gathered that the journey is difficult; he compared job seeking to playing the lottery. However, he also advised me that gaining the right experience is key to catching their eye, mentioning the A&O Certificate at PSU specifically.

I opted to postpone my graduation to pursue the A&O Certificate. It was not long before the program showed its worth. I joined A&O Connect, a student group that hosts industry professionals to share their experiences. The first meeting I attended featured Russ Hopcus, the Senior VP of North America Sales at Columbia Sportswear. He had some words of encouragement and inspiration from his experience:

  1. 1. We Own Our Career Path.

    2. Our Paths Are Not Linear.

    3. Progress Through Performance.

    4. Be Open To Learn…Change.

Pursuing the A&O Certificate fits the criteria of all four, so I am on the right course.

If you are passionate about fitness, the outdoors, performance gear, and sports, then I encourage you to get the right experience.

~Edwin Garcia ’17, Fearless Senior

Edwin_Garcia

Edwin is a senior business student majoring in Advertising and Marketing.
He is also a member of A&O Connect, a student group that hosts industry professionals.