A strange object appeared this year at the first day of the Oregon State University spring football practice. Or more accurately, it appeared above it.
For the first time, the Beavers used an aerial camera to document its practices. The person responsible for the copter was Oregon State sophomore Michael Williams, part of the Austin Entrepreneurship Program in the College of Business.
Williams said he’d always been interested in creating his own flying machines, starting with radio-controlled airplanes.
“Throughout middle school and high school I kept building bigger stuff,” said Williams. “Right around when I came to college I got involved with multicopters.”
Multicopters, so named for the multiple blades configured around the copter body, have become popular over the past few years as a way to do aerial photography.
When Williams started, the technology he had access to wasn’t advanced enough to lift a high quality camera, but advances in both photography and flight since then have made it possible.
Last year he started tests with a small camera, and immediately got a huge reaction from friends.
“It was an instant success,” he said. “Eventually my friends would say, ‘Oh, you’re the multicopter kid.’”
Williams started Multicopter Northwest, selling kits so others could build their own copters. But a chance meeting sent the project in another direction.
Originally an engineering major, this fall Williams transferred to business on a friend’s recommendation and got involved with the Austin Entrepreneurship Program. From there he also joined the Weatherford Garage, which provides resources to help students start their own businesses.
“This past fall I fell into the hands of Sandy Neubaum, [Weatherford GTA] Dale McCauley and Bob Mayes,” Williams said. “It transformed from selling a couple of kits to friends to something bigger.”
During the fall Oregon State head football coach Mike Riley spoke at an entrepreneurship class and Mayes, a former Oregon State quarterback, pushed Williams to approach and share his business plan.
It turned out the Riley was looking for a better way to get photos and videos of offensive lineman, often packed too close together to see well from the sidelines.
“I got the opportunity to do a mini pitch and he was instantly interested,” Williams said. “He invited me to come to spring practices and do some demos.”
Williams showed up on day one and went to work. The system records video but also sends it to a video unit on the ground, so coaches can watch in real-time.
The next step for Williams is getting funding for better equipment while continuing to develop the business.
No matter where the idea takes him, so far he’s happy with the decision to jump into his own business.
“I walked into Weatherford [Hall] not knowing what to expect,” Williams said. “Now I spend hours on hours in that building.
Behind every successful university and college student stands a community of people who have stepped forward to help and make that success possible. On Friday the School of Design and Human Environment at Oregon State said thank you to a special group of individuals who have helped support their students this year, and honored those students who excelled with the opportunity at its Celebration of Academic Excellence. The event recognized the top students in each discipline and also those receiving scholarships, as well as giving thanks to those who have made the scholarships possible. In all, 25 students received scholar awards and more than 30 were recognized as scholarship awardees.
School of Design and Human Environment Scholar Awards
Friday afternoon, with a late bit of sun peaking through after early morning clouds, the Oregon State University College of Business community took a moment to celebrate the construction launch of Austin Hall, the new home for the College of Business that will open in Fall 2014.
That community included not just current students and faculty but alumni, friends, family and those invested in Oregon and its continued economic growth – and it was a capacity crowd with more than 300 people in attendance.
“The dream and this journey to Austin Hall has been a vision of so many alumni and donors for many years and I have had the privilege of carrying this dream and sharing the story of the College, of Bexell Hall, of the people and the programs,” College of Business Dean Ilene Kleinsorge told the crowd assembled on 26th Street to see the official launch.
The lead gifts came from two storied OSU families, those of Ken and Joan Austin and the Al and Pat Reser. Together they pledged a combined $16 million — $10 from the Austin’s themselves — to kick off the campaign.
Then Friday Kleinsorge announced that 1965 College of Business graduate and E*TRADE co-founder Bernie Newcomb raised his already substantial gift of $250,000 to $1 million, becoming the sixth to pledge at least $1 million.
Newcomb has been a strong supporter of the College of Business for many years.
Friday Newcomb’s partner Gerry Marshall was in attendance at the construction launch. She also took time to visit with COB faculty and staff picked as Newcomb Fellows and the students supported by the Newcomb Family Scholarship.
Newcomb’s gift pushed the campaign past its original $30 million philanthropic goal, a major milestone as the campaign continues toward the Fall 2014 completion of Austin Hall.
Throughout the afternoon different members of community took turns to share their thanks and what the new building will mean to them.
Oregon State University President Ed Ray addressed the gathering, and noted that while many buildings at OSU have names on them, Austin Hall will be a fitting tribute for a great OSU family.
“I can’t think of a name other than Austin we could be prouder of being on this building,” Ray said.
College of Business student Connor Deeks shared testimonials from his fellow students, from bringing together students, alumni and faculty into a single space to the creation of a landmark students could point to as a point of pride.
“Austin Hall will propel students to achieve their highest potential,” Deeks said. “I take great honor in saying thank you.”
Representing the state of Oregon, state Treasuer Ted Wheeler pointed out that while Austin Hall was a great moment for OSU, it would pay dividends for the entire state economy by helping to better prepare graduates to contribute in the workforce.
“[Austin Hall] is the kind of thing we need to invest in now to continue the economic development of our state,” Wheeler said.
You can continue to follow the progress of Austin Hall by going to business.oregonstate.edu and clicking on the live webcam, where you can watch the construction as it happens
It’s the dream of every entrepreneur looking to fund a new startup. You’re holding the elevator door open and in walks the investor you’ve been waiting for.
What do you say? Well, after watching the 11th annual Oregon State MBA Business Plan Competition Thursday night, here are some possible strategies:
Go right into the pitch, and wow them with your market research.
Take a quick phone call on a successful test of your product.
Start with an icebreaker, such as “Hey, my power was out last night, how about yours?” or “There’s a gas station down the street. The pump has one slot for your credit card and one for your 401K.”
Oh, and whatever you chose from above, don’t forget a business card.
Each year the Oregon State MBA Integrated Business Project teams take a real-world technology and spend nine months developing a commercialization plan around it, whether that’s a new company, product, licensing agreement or other plan.
The Business Plan Competition gives the teams a chance to present those plans in front of not only their teachers, advisors and other business professionals but the friends and family members who have watched the entire journey.
Thursday’s competition included a five-minute “Shark Tank”-style pitch to introduce the teams and technologies and the Elevator Pitch, which gave a team member 45 seconds to wow a potential investor.
Each team took a different approach, trying to get the investor’s attention while showing the best their business plan had to offer.
In the end the team of Eric Revell, Bi Tran, Raymond McGuinness, Edward Brown and Kelong Kim took first place for their presentation, including the Elevator Pitch from Brown.
In second was Yi Zhuang, josh McBee, Amanda Williams, Adam Welch and Sarah Che. Third place went to Chalo Masias, Ryan Meyer , Jenny Cheung and Michael Knapp.
Josh Gilardi got a text message May 11 that sent him scrambling for a copy of that morning’s Daily Barometer.
“I couldn’t find a paper for the life of me,” said Gilardi, co-president of the Oregon State Marketing Club. “I got one the next day and took two or three copies. It made my day.”
The text told Gilardi that Marketing Club was picked as one of the top-3 student organizations at OSU in the Barometer’s 2013 Best-Of issue.
“We figured there are around 250 groups,” Gilardi said. “So to be in the top three in the whole of OSU, that’s amazing.”
The club’s award wasn’t the only College of Business connection, with Weatherford Hall winning for best residence hall and for Bing’s Cafe, which was named best place to eat on campus.
Karissa Moore, co-president of the club with Gilardi, said the honor validated the hard work they and all the members have put into the club.
“We put so much time into providing students with opportunities for now and in the future and to me, getting on the Barometer best-of list was the students’ way of saying ‘Thank You,‘” Moore said. “I feel like a proud parent.”
The section was organized by another college of business student, Nathan Bauer, who serves as the Barometer’s business manager.
Bauer said the section, in its second year, helps the paper connect with students and local businesses in a different way from its everyday offerings.
“We realized it’s something that people enjoy, and it’s all about staying relevant to the community,” Bauer said. “We’re adding value to the paper to keep people reading.”
Bauer and his team organized the all-online survey, which drew more than 1,000 responses. After tabulating the results, they contacted businesses and organizations to write profiles of the winners.
“That issue was really driven by the business side,” Bauer said. “We were the ones who got the photographers, wrote the articles.
“Getting something to go to press takes a lot,” he said. “That was the biggest eye-opener.”
That commitment meant Bauer and the rest of the staff was still putting the finishing touches on the section late into the evening.
“One sales rep and I, we were there until 1 a.m., finishing everything,” Bauer said. “I have a lot more respect the writers and editors now.”
Last week the Oregon State MBA Association organized its once-a-term happy hour event, bringing MBA students together in a relaxed setting to take a breath at the end of winter term.
Students had a chance to talk about projects, commiserate on the challenges of the term and just hang out and connect for a while outside of the confines of Bexell Hall (thought you’ll notice a few with papers still available).
Also, congratulations to all our students who are graduating this term. One in particular announced his end of college with authority (literally), and we gave a shout-out to him on our COB Facebook page.
Jobe is planning to graduate from Oregon State spring term and interned with Intel in the summer and fall.
A marketing major, Jobe worked with Intel’s Client Board division and helped to head up the department’s social media efforts along with fellow College of Business student and MECOP intern Rachel Sauter.
The pair helped coordinate, produce and publish social media posts for the group, researching and developing strategies that could provide a tangible return on investment for Intel.
“I was the one who updated it and helped decide what the key messages were that needed to go out,” she said. “Just the variety and magnitude of the things I was given to do went way beyond what I expected.”
Sauter, a Business Mangement major, also worked on data anlysis reports for the department and helped troubleshoot a new website before launch.
“Being a part of launching a product was really fun,” Sauter said. “It was such a broad range of experiences, I was able to apply all my knowledge from school and from working in my family business.”
Jobe said the experience gave her not only real-life job experience but also a group of mentors who are already helping her shape her next steps after graduation.
“I can’t even really put into words all the things I got out of it,” she said. “My idea of what a job is and what a career could look like has developed immensely. I have resume items that are competitive with other people. I’m not going into the workforce blind.”
Sauter, graduating this spring, already feels like she’ll be a better employee because of her internships through MECOP.
“The references I have now, I could get four or five good references from managers at Intel,” Sauter said. “This has been such a key part of my education, I can’t imagine graduating without it.”
Trevor Husseman, an accounting and business information systems major, spent this past summer with Daimler Trucks North America in Portland.
There he worked on an internal application repository system to track the applications Daimler employees used, and helped integrate that with a system Daimler’s international operation was expanding.
“It keeps track of applications created within Daimler that people use on the shop floor, on their computers that we created,” Husseman said. “I worked with one of the engineers and actually implemented it into production.”
The opportunity to push something into the company workflow motivated Husseman, giving him a taste of what his career could be like after graduation.
“I learned to step up my work and my work ethic,” he said. “This is real life. This is going into production so it has to be perfect.”
This summer he’ll participate in his second internship, this time with Garmin in Salem.
Husseman said he already feels better prepared for starting his job search once he leaves Oregon State.
“It prepares you so much for your first real job, it’s invaluable,” he said. “You’re a year ahead of everyone else that’s starting.”
Looking back at his experience and ahead to his joining the workforce, he can’t imagine entering without his time with MECOP.
“I get a year of experience and two six-months of awesome pay, but really the work experience was worth it,” he said. “I think MECOP is just phenomenal and anyone who doesn’t do it is crazy. How could you not in this day and age when it’s so competitive?”
Students of the School of Design and Human Environment got an opportunity to start building their future Thursday at the school’s annual Career Symposium.
Held at the CH2M Hill Alumni Center, the 27th annual event connected students with Oregon State alumni and representatives from industry leaders such as adidas, Columbia Sportswear, Nike and many more.
“As internship coordinator, this is when it all comes together, to see the students in action,” said Sandy Burnett, SDHE senior instructor and internship coordinator. “Almost every year you see students making those connections for internships.”
Titled “Envision Your Tomorrow,” this year’s symposium was also special as it was the first year the event was student-organized.
“This year we all agreed to give that project management experience to the students,” Burnett said.
College of Business Dean Ilene Kleinsorge set the tone in her opening remarks, reminding students the work they put in that morning could have a major impact on their opportunities after graduation.
“Today is important for you and your future,” Kleinsorge said as she helped welcome students. “The career preparation you do as a student the netowrking and oportunites you create for yourself are a valuable part of the experiential learning that will help you establish your carrer. And I differentiate a job and a career.”
The event provided plenty of chances for students to connect with companies and alumni in a number of different ways. Students could find their favorite alumni or business in the main ballroom for networking or to talk job and internship opportunities, while side sessions allowed smaller groups to dive into topics such as branding and creating a professional identity.
In a session on starting your own business, Oregon State alumni Leanna Petrone, owner of Leanna NYC, and Jillian Rabe, owner of Jillian Rabe LLC, talked about their paths to entrepreneurship.
Petrone worked in the New York fashion industry for 12 years after graduating from OSU with a BS in Apparel Design and a minor in Merchandising Management before realizing her dream was to own her own business, like both her parents did. She said the process is more work than she imagined, but fulfilling in a way her previous jobs weren’t.
“Every day, week, month, year, I’m on,” Petrone said. “But every day I do what I love.”
Rabe — whose company produces fashion shows, video and photo shoots and other events and marketing services — graduated from OSU with a degree in speech communication an psychology. She quickly realized she had other interests, and eventually went into business for herself.
“No one is going to work as hard for you as you are,” Rabe said.
Every international exchange experience is different.
Some students enter college waiting for the chance (“Back to freshman year I wanted to do study abroad”) and others more reluctantly (“I decided why not, I’ll travel”).
Some desire familiar aspects (“I wanted to understand [the language] the people in the country I was going to”) while others wanted something completely new (“To me, Europe was a little too westernized and didn’t give me a different enough experience”).
In the end, though, most find themselves changed after, with a new perspective not only on where they visited but their own culture, as well.
“When I went there I saw our culture,” said College of Business student Lyndsay Toll, who studied in Murcia, Spain. “Once you step out of it you see how everyone else views you. You see how you handle a situation different from the rest of society.”
Nearly 100 students took part in the Arthur Stonehill International Exchange Program last school year. The program allows College of Business Students to earn an option in International Business, which includes coursework at OSU before and after an international experience.
Toll said when she landed in Spain there was an initial anxiety as she got acclimated to her home for the next few months.
“I remember being in the airport and standing there, like what do I do now?” she said. “I called my landlord and could not understand him. It’s frightening. You’re in this whole other country, you have no idea where you are, bags and suitcases everywhere and you feel so vulnerable.”
She combatted that by immediately getting involved everywhere she could, meeting new people and finding opportunities to join in.
“I went to all the social events, played soccer, got a tutoring job teaching English,” Toll said. “I just tried to make connections with as many people as I could and adopt the culture and the language.”
Soccer became a common bond between Toll and fellow exchange students. A varsity player in high school and intramural player at OSU, Toll took every chance to join pick up games.
“My favorite parts were playing soccer everyday, and the culture around that was fun,” she said. “I’d always get asked that question. So you like soccer? Are you for Barcelona or Madrid? I’m impartial; I’m not from Spain.”
Willen Sin attended City University, the largest business school in Hong Kong, studying finance, Chinese business culture and other topics.
While he had also been looking forward to a study abroad experience, Sin didn’t know where he wanted to go until a conversation with his father.
“I talked with my father, and he encouraged me to go to Hong Kong,” Sin said. “One, it would strengthen my language and if I wanted an option to go somewhere to work, where would I want to go? Hong Kong topped both of those lists.”
Sin said it took a bit to get used to a more hands-off teaching style at the university, as well as the speed of living in a major city like Hong Kong.
“The Asian culture, even coming from an Asian family descent and growing up in that, it’s so much different then I could have imagined being there,” he said. “They can be very fast paced and slow paced at the same time.”
Lauren Hines came to OSU skeptical about a study abroad experience, but was eventually convinced by friends who had traveled themselves.
“It was kind of a spur of the moment thing,” Hines said. “It was hearing the stories of other students who’d gone.”
Hines had visited Italy in the past and so decided to go to Asia, eventually settling on Singapore.
At Singapore Management University Hines studied family business, international finance and other subjects.
A member and officer in a number of organizations at OSU, Hines found the exchange schedule freer.
“There’s meetings constantly and things to do here, but there it was kind of a clean slate,” she said. “I only had classes Monday and Tuesday.”
That gave Hines time to visit not only more of Singapore but also Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Hong Kong, meeting up with fellow OSU exchange students such as Sin.
The schedule gave her time to interact with a number of different people and cultures.
“I spent holidays with an Indian family in Singapore,” Hines said. “The locals would take us to eat or meet their friends.”
It also meant that often she stuck out as the American of the group.
“They say nobody but Americans say totally,” she said. “I don’t think I say it that much but I must. One time I dropped food somewhere and that was called very American.”
For all three, that added self-awareness was a key learning point in the trip.
“I learned that I am very small and that this world has so much to offer,” Sin said of his time in Hong Kong. “It challenges yourself to do better because you never know once you get out in the real market just how many people you’re competing against.”
Sin said the experience gave him not only a more global outlook in his thinking, but expanded his network of friends.
“Now if I go to Europe I know I have a place to stay in Austria, a place I can go to in Sweden or Thailand,” he said. “And opportunities may come from that.”
For Toll, living in Spain helped teach her to see problems and issues in a new way, something she thinks will help when she starts her career.
“The biggest lesson was just understanding that not everybody thinks the same,” Toll said. “Going in with an open mind and perspective and trying to be understanding. I think that’s an important lesson as we continue to become a more global economy.”
That self-discovery is something she didn’t expect, though looking back she said that’s the excitement of a study abroad experience.
“You never really know what you’re going to experience until you go out there and put your self in a position where you have to fend for yourself,” Toll said.
All three said they’d recommend the experience to any College of Business student, regardless of what he or she plans to do after graduating.
“I knew I’d like it, but it was a completely life changing experience,” Hines said.
Entering the International Affairs Club’s event Wednesday night, featuring Oregon Freeze Dry President Jim Merryman, organizer Jessica Kim was keeping her expectations grounded.
“I said if we got 50 it’ll be a success,” Kim said of Merryman’s talk at the LaSells Stewart Center’s C & E hall. “It’s a cozy room.
“We ended up not having enough seats for everyone,” Kim said.
The event attracted more than 200 attendees in the first major event the club has held and first big talk Kim and fellow club member Riley Kinser have organized.
Kim said the idea came from a desire to do something different than the traditional student club guest speaker, but something smaller than the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series put on by the College of Business the pair had volunteered with earlier in the year.
“We decided [DDLs are] great, but we wanted something more intimate, less like a lecture, and more geared to stories and not just what their business is about,” she said. “Riley and I are finance majors so we hear that all the time.”
College of Business Dean Ilene Kleinsorge introduced Merryman to Kim and Kinser last year, and the executive agreed to take part in an event. Kim said the group started preparing last spring, touring Oregon Freeze Dry in Albany, and kicked into high gear during fall term.
Kim said Merryman and Oregon Freeze Dry made a compelling invite because the company has needed to navigate the Great Recession while maintaining a global business, keeping their business moving in uncertain times both nationally and internationally.
“They’re a private company, so not a lot of the things they are in the media, and a lot has happened over the past 10 years, so we wanted to hear how they went through all the volatility in the market,” she said.
In the past few months Kim said the amount of work started to overwhelm her and Kinser, but a callout to club members over winter break and assistance from the Dean’s Student Leadership Council helped keep everything under control.
“It was fortunate for us that they stepped up,” Kim said.
The night of the event went smoothly, Kim said, the only issue a few spectators sitting in the aisle after all available seats filled up.
“Jim was a lot more relaxed, and very witty,” Kim said. “Lots and lots of stories. Because he got the audience so engaged, lots of people raised their hands.”
After her first major event Kim, said her advice for other student groups would be to just put as much work in as possible before the event but let go as the day came.
“Just put in all the effort you can until the day before, then forget about it,” Kim said. “If you’re stressed out, nothing gets done. Most of the time, if you put in a lot of work, things come through.”