Celebrating Graduation with Gabrielle!

GabrielleD_22A7138Gabrielle Duniphin is a graduating senior and marketing major at the PSU School of Business Administration. Gabrielle and I sat down to talk about her various internships and her experiences at the SBA. Read on to learn her advice on how to network your way into a great position.

Gabrielle started at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, studying apparel industry management. She later moved to Florida, where she attended the University of South Florida. It was then that Gabrielle decided to begin studying marketing. Although she switched to a different field of study, Gabrielle was just as passionate about both. “Every time I moved to a new city, I made of list of companies that I wanted to work for at some point. Here’s five places that I wanted to work at. I’d always stay tuned in to the companies, like if there are internships available.” And one of the companies on her list that she made when she moved to Florida was the Home Shopping Network.

Gabrielle highlighted the importance of networking in helping her secure an internship at the Home Shopping Network. “My last position was at the Home Shopping Network, and I got that job through networking. You always think, ‘Networking. It’s hit or miss.’ But every single job I’ve gotten, I’ve gotten through networking. I formally applied prior, but I’ve always happened to meet someone who had the ‘in’ that I needed to get my name pulled out of the pile. You have to put yourself out there. People want to help you, but they won’t know you need help until you ask.”

After moving to Hood River and deciding to attend Portland State University, Gabrielle landed an internship at Insitu, Inc. Insitu is a Boeing subsidiary that specializes in drone creation. Gabrielle has been a research analyst intern at Insitu for over a year. Gabrielle’s main role is to analyze new markets for Insitu to enter and then present her findings to the executive team. Gabrielle finds her role to be very interesting, but not where she thought she’d end up. Oddly enough, her sister works for Boeing in Alabama!

Gabrielle also mentioned that networking had a lot to do with her current internship at Insitu. She says you have to put yourself out there and ask for what you want. Gabrielle’s other piece of advice to getting an internship is to tailor your resume to the position. “You need to match your resume to the posting. Pick out key words in the posting to include in your resume.” Tailoring your cover letter to the position is also extremely important.

What does Gabrielle find to be the most underutilized resource available at the School of Business Administration? Teachers. Gabrielle says to go to see your teachers during their office hours. Teachers have so much to give, but not all students ask for help and advice! Who knows? Maybe your teachers can give you a great lead on an internship or job!

Gabrielle also advises that you go check out the Advising and Career Services. The advisors there can be a great resource for resume writing. “They really help you to hone your focus and to be clear and concise.” Again Gabrielle stresses the importance of networking in your career. “Go strike up a conversation with that person you don’t know who looks interesting. Chances are they want to know you too or you have something to offer them. Don’t be intimated by people are higher up. Chances are they want to help you, like someone may have helped them earlier on in their career.”

What does fearless mean to Gabrielle? “Fearless to me is standing up for your beliefs and your self-worth. You have to go for it. If it’s your dream and you want it, go for it. No one can stop you from achieving your goals. You’re always going to face a hill, but as long as you keep going, you’ll get over it. Don’t be afraid to fight for what you believe in and what you want.”

The School of Business Administration offers a plethora of networking opportunities to help you land your dream job. The student organizations offered through the SBA are a great way to connect with other students and professionals in the field. Go to your teachers’ office hours, as Gabrielle suggests. Check out professional chapters of various organizations. Or even just strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you in class! You never know where a connection could take you; it could even help you to land your dream job!

~Mckenzie Miller ’15, Fearless Business Student

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Facing Graduation Jitters with Shaymaa Taha ’15

shaymaa tahaMarketing major and graduating senior Shaymaa Taha sat down with me to talk about her passion for business and her career goals and aspirations. Read on to learn more about Shaymaa’s experience at the SBA and her advice on how to make the most out of your time at PSU!

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m a senior in the PSU School of Business Administration with a marketing major and a certificate in Middle Eastern Studies.

I saw that you’re from Cairo?

Yes, I was born there. I moved here when I was very young. My mother’s American, so I have dual citizenship.

Tell me about your experience in the PSU School of Business Administration.

I started out as a freshman knowing that I wanted to study marketing. In high school, I was involved in Future Business Leaders of America and I found that marketing was the creative side of business. I’ve always been creative. I also like business because I naturally have a bubbly personality and I get to combine that with my love for professionalism. I really like the combined aspect when it comes to marketing. I also really appreciate that our SBA is AACSB accredited. It’s nice that I can talk about that in job interviews. You’re getting more value for your money.

I saw you’ve been involved in Student Ambassadors, as well as other student groups.

I was involved in student government for a combined two years. I held a variety of positions. In my Chief of Staff position, I did a lot of HR work. It was nice to see what I had learned in my HR class reflected in my role as Chief of Staff. I was provided the opportunity to create my own motivation systems, accountability systems, on-boarding systems, and hiring systems. It was great to see the correlation between my business classes and what I was actually doing. I’m really proud of that work.

What are your career goals?

I eventually want to end up in Dubai. I really like variety. I like working on different projects so that I’m not doing the same thing. I do want to do tech sales at one point and I would also love to go into an agency one day. I’ve recently been more interested in strategy, so that would be a great area to get involved in. I think sales will be a great entrance into the market.

Why tech sales?

It’s something that’s very cutting edge, it’s always developing. I’m always going to have to do research about it.

What motivates you?

I want to be the best at what I do. One day I want to be someone sought out for what I do. I really enjoy working with people and being with people. I want to make a personal impact as well. I want to inspire other people. You get to inspire people when you’re good at your job.

How do you think the SBA has helped prep you for your career?

The SBA has helped me to get a holistic view of business. I have a focus in marketing, but I also know about supply chain and logistics. I know that gives me an advantage, because I can talk to and connect with other business professionals.

What are some of the important tools and resources offered through the SBA that students should know about?

Any of the retail leadership programs. They offer experience on a specific skill – a specific skill you can talk about to a potential employer.

Best advice for new SBA students?

Advisors. They really know what’s going on around the city and in the school. They can help point you to resources and opportunities. Start projects or find projects to work on because that’s how you get to talk with people. For example, I got to meet with someone at Nike because I did an advertising project. I wrote her a letter asking to show her my project and she allowed me to show her my work. It’s more memorable to show a potential employer a project. It’ll give you more credibility. Take the initiative.

What does fearless mean to you?

Fearless to me means — despite being afraid — you just keep going. We all have people that we look up to and we think that they have it all together. But the secret to life is that nobody really has everything together. There’s always something that people are worried about. But the people who we admire and look up to just keep going despite being uncertain. Just keep going.


As we come closer to June 1st, many of us begin to feel apprehension. Although June signifies warmer weather and longer days, it also means graduation for many of us. And with graduation comes the job hunt, which can be extremely stressful. For those of us not graduating, June can seem like the end of an era. It can feel very bittersweet to complete one year of classes, projects, and tests, and then to prepare for another year of school. But no matter how stressed or overwhelmed we may feel, remember Shaymaa’s advice: just keep going. And if you ever need advice, help, or just a little push to keep you going, remember to connect with your advisor or a peer advisor. They’re here to help!

~Mckenzie Miller ’15, Fearless Business Student

How To Network Like A Rockstar

Guest post by Angela Stanton ‘16

Blog_02I recently had the pleasure of joining several Fearless Friday events. Due to schedule issues I know some students are unable to attend so I wanted to share some highlights from April’s Hot Topic the Value of Networking. The perfect time to start networking is anytime but the most effective time is before you start looking for an internship or a job. Successful networking could be just what you need to launch your new career. The key to networking is making connections and forging relationships. As you begin networking think of it as building partnerships that will support you while mapping out your career goals.

Here are some tips for getting started.

First establish a networking goal. Maybe you want to gain information about a chosen field or get strategies to enter a new career, whatever it is; having a goal in mind will help. If your goal is to get a job, then be prepared to ask for a referral, secondary contact or an informational interview.

Have your pitch ready and follow networking etiquette to get the most out of your networking opportunities. Common network etiquette includes contributing your own insights, passing on your own knowledge, and introducing connections. Don’t neglect the networking you have already done and don’t over promote yourself.

Be ready to share information about yourself, what do you stand for? Pick out three unique qualities about yourself to share; passionate, creative, and innovative for example. A 20 second pitch is a good way to start the conversation.

Be relevant. Networking keeps you current on trends in the field.

Be prepared by having a current resume and business cards. Include your LinkedIn or other network opportunities.

Be strategic with your networking. Show interest, get involved, volunteer!

Develop your personal brand. Being creative and standing out from the crowd can get you on the “short list.” That is because for most companies it is about organizational fit. Develop your digital presence. Online networking is another avenue. Creating profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are just a few of the networking opportunities available online. Just a reminder to those who like to use social media (that’s most of us) that potential employers may check you out so try and keep it “clean.” If your user name is sexy4U, you may want to change that.

Get involved with networking associations. There are both professional associations and student associations for business majors at PSU including the Human Resource Management Association (HRMA), American Marketing Association (AMA), and Supply and Logistics Management Association (SLMA) are excellent networking opportunities right here at PSU. Many associations have free or discounted student memberships. And if you join any organizations you can list them on your business card and resume, it looks good! Visit the School of Business Administration for more information about getting involved.In addition to professional and student associations your network could include friends and family, coworkers, faculty, classmates, alumni, and business contacts. Another good resource for network connections is campus events and job fairs.

Follow up. According to guest speaker and PSU alumni Kathy Braeme-Burr follow up is important and shows initiative.

Networking is not a process of making cold calls or using people to get a job. But networking can lead to professional and personal growth as well as new career options. Ask a favorite teacher or professor to join your network today, that’s what they are here for! Start your network today and start building beneficial relationships that could last a lifetime.

Angela Stanton is a double major in Advertising and Marketing and a peer advisor in the School of Business Administration.