Passing the Torch

Mckenzie PhotoAs spring term draws to a close, most of us are feeling mixed emotions. Excitement for summer weather and (hopefully) some time to relax. Nostalgia for our experiences over the past year. And, especially for those of us graduating in June, apprehension for the coming months. Although I am graduating at the end of fall term and not in only a few short weeks, I am certainly nervous for the impending job hunt and the stress that accompanies it. Over the past four years, I have prepared for my career but a nagging thought is ever-present in my mind. What if it wasn’t enough? What if I don’t secure my dream job right away? And, as I’m graduating, my time writing for the Fearless Business blog is drawing to a close. Although it will be sad to say goodbye to the blog, I’m excited to see how it progresses! So if you’re interested in being part of this blog as a writer, please contact Wenye Tang, the director of marketing for undergraduate business programs, at wenye@pdx.edu. Read on to learn about my experience in the School of Business Administration and what I do to keep job hunt fears away.

Even though my first day taking a class at the School of Business Administration was only three years ago, it feels much longer than that. As for most others, my first business course was BA 101. I remember sitting down to my first day of BA 101 and thinking, “Ah. This class makes sense to me.” Many of the other types of courses that I had taken previously – science, math, writing – just didn’t resonate with me like my business classes did. Although business is a very broad title, I felt like I had discovered my career path.

As I moved through the business course sequence, I was able to experience a variety of classes and career options. BA 211 introduced me to the world of accounting. BA 339 gave me an insight into supply chain and logistics. BA 311 allowed me firsthand experience creating a marketing plan. But it was MKTG 340, the beginning course in the Advertising Management course sequence, that truly defined my career path. After taking MKTG 340, I became involved in FIR, PSU’s own student-run ad agency. FIR provided me singular experience working with a team and clients in an advertising setting – something that you don’t see at most universities. Through FIR, I was able to hone my advertising skills while creating memorable pieces for my portfolio. After working with FIR, I was hired on as a marketing intern for the Business Outreach Program (BOP). The BOP works with Portland’s small businesses to aid them in developing their businesses and to help create more jobs within the community. With the BOP, I have been able to further my marketing talents and work with some amazing small businesses in the community.

I feel that the SBA, as well as other PSU organizations such as FIR and the BOP, have provided me a diverse and unique business experience. Not only have I learned marketable skills, from how to draft a marketing plan to public speaking abilities, but I have been able to put them to direct use in both an academic and a professional setting. I feel prepared to begin my job hunt and to find a job within the advertising field. Although it sounds cheesy, I’ll look back on my years with the SBA fondly.

There are lots of obvious (and not so obvious) aspects of the SBA that I have discovered over the years that I know will help you prepare for your career. Teachers are an often under-utilized resource available to you. Check when your teachers’ office hours are. Not only can your teachers help you with your homework and tests, but they can be a great resource for prospective jobs. The SBA’s teachers are well-networked within the business professional community, and often know of job openings or have an in with potential employers. Fellow students are also a great way to learn of jobs in the community. Attempt to connect with your teachers and other students in your classes – you never know where it will lead!

This is my last blog post with the SBA’s Fearless Business blog. I have had an amazing time introducing you to outstanding students and grads, sharing events, and providing some insight into the SBA. I wish you the best with your studies and know that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to.

Good luck graduates!

~Mckenzie Miller ’15, Fearless Business Student

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