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Oregon State MBA alum Wassana Yantasee, Ph.D.

Oregon State alumna Wassana Yantasee, Ph.D. has a very impressive résumé and list of accomplishments. Certainly not least among them was that Yantasee completed her MBA at night while simultaneously earning her doctorate in chemical engineering during the day.

Currently an associate professor of biomedical engineering at Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine, Yantasee’s research focuses on implementing nanomaterials into medicine in order to treat cancer and toxic metal exposure.

In addition to her teaching and research, Yantasee is also the president of the small biotech company PDX Pharmaceuticals that has received a fast-track Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract award from the National Cancer Institute to develop a new drug that will potentially treat cancer that becomes resistant to the standard-of-care drugs.

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Yantasee’s biotech company has received an award from the National Cancer Institute to develop new drugs to combat drug-resistant cancer.

“My MBA training helps me with my career as a scientist tremendously in terms of proposal development and doing scientific research with the market and customer needs in mind,” said Yantasee. “I believe that science and business can’t be exclusive of each other.”

Yantasee says that her MBA courses prepared her for the business planning and market analysis required to secure the SBIR grants and contracts from federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, and to effectively manage them afterward. Yantasee’s MBA experience is also helping her give back to the next generation of students.

“I’m most proud of being able to give all four of my current Ph.D. students free education through funding from my research grants, and my MBA training helps me with balancing budget costs effectively as well as managing people and the resources that make it possible,” said Yantasee.

Even though she grew up in Thailand, Yantasee found Oregon State to be a perfect fit. “Although I was far from home, I felt at home at OSU. The university has great student diversity, and I had opportunities to make friends from all over the world,” she said.

Yantasee’s advice for current students at Oregon State? Take advantage of information technology. “Information is so easily accessible today, allowing students to learn new things both inside and outside of the classroom,” she said.

“I received excellent education through OSU’s MBA program, and would strongly recommend it to anyone who has an opportunity,” added Yantasee.

Wassana is proof that there’s truly no limit to the uses and applications that an MBA from Oregon State will have in any career, and we’re proud to count her as an alum!

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Last Friday, nine teams of MBA students in the Commercialization and Clean Technology tracks competed in the 12th Annual MBA Business Plan Competition. The two day event brought 16 business leaders from around the state to Oregon State’s campus to judge the competition and to serve as mentors.

Each team was tasked with creating a viable business plan based off of real-world scientific breakthroughs, then presenting their business plans in a variety of competitive formats. The presentation is a culmination of their Integrated Business Plan (IBP) projects which the teams have been working on since last October.

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Oregon State MBA students wait to present their business plans at the 12th Annual MBA Business Plan Competition.

On Thursday evening at the LaSells Stewart Center, each team gave a brief “shark tank” pitch outlining their business’ market opportunities and objectives. Then, one student from each team presented their “elevator pitch” to one of the judges. This pitch is a simulation of a chance meeting with a potential investor in an elevator, whereby the seller has only 45 seconds (or about five floors) to pitch their business.

“As time intensive and energy-consuming as the Integrated Business Projects can be, the process is so valuable for our students and faculty that even though they’re very challenging projects, they’re equally rewarding,” said Ilene Kleinsorge, dean of the College of Business.

Team nine, composed of Jordan Stutzman, Wenqian Chen, Qinqing Song and Yuhang He took first place in both the shark tank and elevator pitch portions of the competition. Their business project is a technology for a storm water management company.

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From left: Yuhang He, Wenqian Chen, Qinqing Song and Jordan Stutzman took first place in both the shark tank and elevator pitch portions of the competition

The next day, each team presented their in-depth plan to the judges, who are also potential investors. Each team had 35 minutes to present before being grilled on all aspects of the endeavor. By the end of the session, teams experienced more than an hour of a high-pressure, high-stakes sales meeting. On the second day of the competition, MBA candidates Jujie Hao, Pei Yu Lu, Muchen Liu, Milo Ullstad and Siqi Chen walked away victorious for their business plan for a technology company aimed at improving prescription drug label information.

While preparing for the Business Plan Competition was very challenging, the students know the real-world benefits the projects have.

“In a cross-functional business environment, being able to get all departments on board for a new project is the key to its success,” said MBA student Sam Pincock. “Knowing how to effectively communicate to each department motivates and inspires cohesion within an organization, and the Business Plan Competition definitely helps prepare us for the challenges ahead.”

“Every MBA class has unique and special attributes,” said MBA program professor Tom Dowling. “I was very impressed by how well these students took on such challenging commercialization projects, quickly grasping the complexities and possibilities of innovative breakthroughs. This year’s class never backed down from the challenges they faced week after week, and they should be proud.”

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A huge thanks to this year’s team of judges and mentors!


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Last Wednesday evening some of Portland’s best and brightest students were introduced to three successful young College of Business alumni at OSU Night PDX, held in the Oregon Convention Center.

Jenny Bruntmyer ’11, Daniel Changkuon ’13 and Kim Pedergrass ’12 each spoke to the group of high-achieving high school students about their experiences at Oregon State, and what the prospective Beavers have to look forward to this fall.

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Daniel Changkuon ’13 addresses the crowd while Kim Pendergrass, Jenny Bruntmyer and Associate Dean Jim Coakley listen.

Bruntmyer, a senior accountant at ESCO Corporation, graduated with a degree in accountancy. As a student ambassador in the Advising office, a member of Beta Alpha Psi and intern at Deloitte,  Bruntmyer knows the “extras” the College of Business offers are what helped her achieve early success in her career.

Kim Pendergrass '12 networks with high-achieving students at OSU Night PDX.
Kim Pendergrass ’12 networks with high-achieving students at OSU Night PDX.

Now an advisory consultant in IT Risk at Deloitte, Changkuon endorsed the benefits of studying internationally and shared with the audience how Oregon State offers ordinary students extraordinary opportunities.

Pendergrass, marketing manager at NVoicePay, graduated with degrees in marketing, international business and art history. As a high-achieving student, she explained how she was once convinced that private school was the option that suited her best; but completely changed her mind when she visited Oregon State.

A networking session followed the alumni presentations, where the prospective students could ask more in-depth questions to the alumni; Jim Coakley, Associate Dean for Academic Programs; and Pam Knowles, Executive Director of Industry Relations.

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Austin Hall is set to become the new home for Oregon State University’s College of Business in the fall of 2014

This fall, the newest addition to Oregon State University’s already stunning campus will officially open. Austin Hall is set to open its doors in the fall of 2014, and its 100,000 square feet of space will include ten classrooms, a 250-seat auditorium, collaborative team rooms, more than 70 faculty offices, staff and program offices, a café and an event space. Last week, faculty, staff and students from the College of Business traded in their laptops for hardhats for the afternoon for an up close tour of the project.

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OSU College of Business Dean Ilene Kleinsorge and DSLC students pose for a photo outside of Austin Hall
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Staff and faculty from the College of Business passing through Austin Hall
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A peek down the hallway of faculty office space on the third floor of Austin Hall
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Copper tubing in the radiant ceiling heating system efficiently regulates the temperature in 100,000 square foot, LEED certified building

 

College of Business Dean Ilene Kleinsorge brought along several students from the Dean’s Student Leadership Council (DSLC) on the Austin Hall tour. Kleinsorge says that she’s most excited about the “creativity and innovation that Austin Hall will inspire among our students, faculty and staff.”

This was the second tour for business student Obum Gwacham, who said “One of the biggest surprises is the amount of space the building will have for students to sit back and just work on their computer, work on projects, or even sit down and gather their thoughts.”

College of Business Director of Operations Malcom LeMay agrees. “I think the Digital Commons will be one of the more popular spots on campus for students to study and collaborate, and I can’t wait to see the Marketplace full of students enjoying the fireplace,” said LeMay.

Everyone on the tour was very impressed and excited about the new space opening in just a few more months, and business students, staff and faculty will surely feel the same once they see it. But don’t just take our word for it. Pictures—like actions—speak louder than words, so see for yourself and check out some photos of the construction updates below!

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One of Austin Hall’s ten classroom spaces
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It may not look like much now, but the College of Business’ event space in Austin Hall will soon sparkle

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Dean Ilene Kleinsorge looks on at the exterior of Austin Hall and shares her vision of the College of Business’ bright future
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The new hub of the College of Business at Oregon State provides plenty to smile about

 

If you ask senior finance major Sara Stillwell for advice on expanding your post-graduation job prospects, she’ll tell you to network. That’s why Stillwell, president of the Finance Club, coordinated Oregon State’s participation in Portland State University’s First Annual Northwest Finance Career Fair.

Portland State Financial Management Association president Kris West reached out to Stillwell while planning the event, which took place on March 4, 2014 at PSU’s Native American Student and Community Center.

The career fair was targeted at students from top finance and business schools interested in accounting, finance or economics, and provided a unique opportunity to hear from and network with companies in those fields. More than 150 students (30 of which were from Oregon State) from six schools in the northwest attended the event and talked with representatives from fourteen companies.

The event, which ran from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., began with an employer showcase, where business representatives each gave a 15 minute overview of their company. The rest of the day was a typical career fair, where students could meet and discuss potential opportunities.

It is estimated that the event resulted in 85-120 interviews scheduled, and equally as important were the countless connections made.

“The event was not only for those that wanted to interview; it was also a perfect opportunity to network,” said Stillwell. “It’s great to be able to put yourself out there.”

The fair was equally as beneficial to employers, as it provided them access to top-tier students interested in finance, accounting and economics from a variety of different schools. Students and companies that participated were surveyed, and the feedback was positive. It is the hope that next year’s fair will double in size and will remain the largest finance recruiting event in the Pacific Northwest.


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The Austin Entrepreneurship Program recently welcomed back three young alumni to talk with students as part of their Austin Fellows series. Willen Sin (’13), Jennifer Villalobos (’12) and Darryl Lai (’11) returned to Oregon State in February to share their insight. Click here for the full story.

 

 

The 28th annual Career Symposium was put on by the DHE 499 - Symposium Coordination and Planning Course
Students of the DHE 499: Symposium Coordination and Planning course pose during their event titled “Designing Tomorrow’s Business” February 27.

While in its 28th year, the School of Design and Human Environment’s (SDHE) Career Symposium is constantly evolving to bring students the most relevant and valuable career opportunities.

20140227_SchoolofDesignandHumanEnvironmentCareerSymposium_VB-032This year’s Career Symposium, titled “Designing Tomorrow’s Business,” connected 368 students to 70 industry professionals and 30 companies.

Last year was the first time the symposium was entirely student-run, and this year Sandy Burnett, SDHE senior instructor and internship coordinator, took it one step further by developing a for-credit class to manage the entire event.

“We had 15 students enrolled in the class, and they took on the entire project, encompassing all aspects of the event planning, from securing speakers and sponsorships, to the layout, to the design and content of the event materials and marketing,” said Burnett.

In addition to the event providing networking opportunities and sessions run by alumni, business partners and other industry professionals, it also adds the opportunity for students enrolled in the class to plan and execute the event, enhancing the experiential learning aspect of the day.

“We were split into five committees and managing across those groups got a bit tricky at times, but we were able to pull it off,” said Rachel Draper, a senior apparel and merchandising management double major.

The ballroom of the CH2M HILL Alumni Center was the center stage for the event, where companies and industry representatives set up booths for networking. Students perused the room, talking with employers about their companies, career and internship opportunities.

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Mixed throughout the morning were various breakout sessions led by alumni, business partners and industry representatives. Sessions titled “Work in Progress” featured alumni of the various degree programs, who talked about what they are doing now. Sessions titled “What you can do with your degree” featured representatives that talked about various career opportunities associated with their respective fields.

Angela Snow, an alumna and Managing Director of Design and Operations at Nike, presented “Designing for Tomorrow’s Business,” where she discussed Nike’s story, and how they initially set out simply to sell better shoes; and never considered they’d be as ambitious as a “design” company.

20140227_SchoolofDesignandHumanEnvironmentCareerSymposium_VB-041Scott Trepanier from Colombia Sportswear and Jillian Rabe from JILLIAN RABE LLC spoke on “The Business of Social Media,” talking about how each use social media in marketing their brands.

At the end of the day, both students and Sandy Burnett were thrilled with how the day turned out.

“This is the main networking event for students and employers. It’s so cool to see students back here after going through the program and now recruiting,” said Burnett.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Business 360The Austin Family Business Program has launched a new podcast series to complement their Family Business 360 education program. In Family Business 360, professional advisors come together with a family business client to lead discussions on topics of interest to family business owners. Over breakfast, attendees can learn about succession and estate planning, hosting family meetings, conflict management and more. The podcast extends the reach of the program by offering educational content in a convenient audio format.

Each episode of the podcast contains an interview with the professional advisor that delivered the Family Business 360 presentation and a recap of the audience questions from the event. While the podcast is tied closely to the live programs, they also stand alone as great sources of information on family business topics.

“We wanted to provide some of the highlights from the sessions for people that couldn’t attend the events in person, and the podcast has proven to be a very popular way to do that,” says Roger Anderson, AFBP program manager and host of the podcast.

The podcast also provides an opportunity to hear perspectives from different professional advisors that participate in the Family Business 360 program. “These advisors have worked with many family businesses and that variety of experience brings tremendous value to the listener,” says Anderson.

There are currently seven episodes of the Family Business 360 Podcast available online. They can be accessed either at the Family Business 360 webpage or through iTunes University.

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Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian speaks to a standing-room only crowd at LaSells Stewart Center.

The OSU Entrepreneurship Club and the Austin Entrepreneurship Program hosted Reddit.com co-founder Alexis Ohanian Thursday evening, who spoke to a standing room-only crowd at LaSells Stewart Center.

In a funny and inspiring talk riddled with internet-meme references, Ohanian told the story of Reddit while encouraging students to use the tools and resources available to them to create and innovate.

Ohanian and Steve Huffman co-founded Reddit – a social news and entertainment site where users submit content for others to either up-vote or down-vote – after a failed attempt to create a mobile food-ordering site. Ohanian has since started two other successful websites, Breadpig and Hipmunk.

Ohanian admits that the duo didn’t always know what they were doing when they started, but he encouraged the audience to embrace that feeling.

“Get comfortable not knowing what you were doing,” Ohanian advised the room full of entrepreneur hopefuls.

Author of “Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed,” Ohanian stopped at Oregon State as part of his tour to promote his book and enlighten the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Although Ohanian isn’t sure what the future holds, he wants the internet to be a powerful tool for people with great ideas.

“The internet is a new frontier –you are Lewis & Clark, and I’m Sacajawea.”

Ohanian closed with a “fireside chat” with recent College of Business alum Ryan Connolly. Connolly, a marketing and entrepreneurship graduate, co-founded Tally, a mobile app developed for users to gain opinions on fashion choices, with the help of the Advantage Accelerator.

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Ohanian closes his talk with a “fireside chat” with College of Business graduate and entrepreneur Ryan Connolly.

 

 

At the beginning of her College of Business Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Tuesday, Harvard Business School Associate Professor Francesca Gino gave the audience a short quiz.

Harvard associate professor Francesca Gino speaks about her new book Sidetracked: Why our decisions get derailed, and how we can stick to the plan.
Harvard associate professor Francesca Gino speaks about her new book Sidetracked: Why our decisions get derailed, and how we can stick to the plan.

After asking the crowd to rate their own decision-making abilities, she told all those who said they were above average to raise their hands.

“I see about 98 percent of people,” Gino said. “That’s a mathematical impossibility.”

It was just one of a number of entertaining demonstrations Gino used to show the crowd of nearly 1,000 how we often don’t realize the subtle cues affecting how we make decisions.

The talk focused on Gino’s research and findings she shared in her book “Sidetracked: Why our decisions get derailed and how we can stick to the plan.”

One of those issues that can sidetrack a decision includes our perceptions of ourselves. Taking time and honestly assessing a situation and how it will affect us can go a long way to creating a positive outcome, Gino said.

From there, it’s important to look at the context of a situation — our emotions, relationships and other influences — and imagine if those could be changing the way you see a decision.

Gino showed an experiment where subjects were more likely to cheat if they saw someone wearing shirt for their school do it, but less than average if the cheater had a rival’s shirt on.

Francesca Gino sits down with College of Business assistant professor Keith Leavitt for a Q&A at the end of her talk.

“Even in a situation as important as ethics, we’re often swayed by those close to us,” Gino said.

While Gino said realizing the effect small factors have on us can be discouraging — would we really act differently if someone next to us had a Beaver or Duck on their shirt? — it’s also empowering to know we can change.

“You can sort of end up with your hands in your hair, screaming ‘We are so biased!’” she said. “But it’s also hopeful, because you can find that context and next time make a better decision.”