Frances Chen completed her MBA from Oregon State in June and is currently working at Seattle-based Henrybuilt, a company that specializes in high-end customized kitchen systems. Chen is overseeing the company’s business development, helping them expand and increase sales by developing new sales and marketing strategies. Read about how Frances successfully transitioned from the Oregon State MBA program into what she describes as a “dream job.”
Did you complete any internships while attending OSU?
Yes, I was working as one of the interns in the OSU Advantage Accelerator from June 2013 to June 2014. I helped clients define their target markets, then helped establish a plan to deliver their products to the market. The experience prepared me for a career in business and defined what I really want to do after college.
What was the best part of your MBA experience at Oregon State?
The internship was a great experience for me. I was very lucky to meet lots of helpful faculty and staff members there who helped me through the MBA program and become who I am today. Bob Mayes, Jeewon Cho, Shirley Chow and John Turner all provided a nurturing environment for me to overcome challenges and apply what I learned to work and life.
What is the most significant project from completing your degree that you think will benefit you in your early career?
I think the MBA Integrated Business Plan project really helped me learn how to work as a team. In fact, in my current job, I’m responsible for organizing meetings and generating info from all departments to come up with the best possible strategy to help the entire company provide what our clients need. Also, the MBA program overall was a great opportunity and journey to reveal who I really am instead of beating around the bush, not having a goal or not knowing how to pursue my passion.
What advice would you give current and future College of Business students about how to be successful in their program and in seeking a job?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, you won’t get it when you are out of college.
Don’t be afraid to slow down and think about what you really want to do.
Don’t be afraid to make decisions on your own. You’ll learn from your mistakes and failures.
What is your favorite thing about Corvallis?
I love the summer and fall in Corvallis, it’s so lively. Since I am in a big city now, I really miss the warm and small community feeling Corvallis offers.
What’s your favorite thing about OSU/OSU’s campus?
There’s no favorite thing. I love everything about the OSU campus! Especially the people there.
If you knew you were leaving Corvallis for good, where would you go for your last meal here? What would you order?
It’s a great question. I would definitely go to Downward Dog for their happy hour.
Do you have any “secret” talents or hobbies?
I play the piano well, but not for just anyone. I only play for close friends and family.
What are you most looking forward to in your career?
Right now, I have a perfect opportunity to tackle challenges by doing what I love — marketing and sales and learning to be a leader. am hoping that someday very soon I can start my own business to help people/students get to where they want to be.