Welcome to 2016 at the College of Business, and we wish all of you the greatest successes in the year ahead.

But before we all get too immersed in the coming 12 months, here’s a quick look back at the top 10 highlights the college experienced in 2015. In no particular order (we’ll leave the rankings to you), here they are:

— Guest speaker lineup that includes design-thinking guru Barry Kudrowicz, international business CEO and ethicist Joe Lobbato and Israeli diplomat Ido Aharoni entertains and enlightens Austin Hall audiences.

— Online/Portland hybrid MBA program produces first class of graduates.

— Seaweed that tastes like bacon, the subject of an MBA student group’s integrated business plan, takes the nation by social media storm (the celebrated plant is known as dulse).

— Business Expo packs every floor of Austin with potential employers.

— Change in leadership atop the college as Mitzi Montoya takes over as dean following Ilene Kleinsorge’s retirement.

— COB students organize, stage TEDxOregonStateU, which packs the LaSells Stewart Center for a night of “Disruption.”

— OSU students dominate Duck counterparts in Civil War Shark Tank.

— Celebration of Excellence crowns new Hall of Famer (Stephen Bailey) while honoring college’s best and brightest.

— Oregon State Investment Group contingent meets “King of Private Equity” Stephen Schwarzman during annual trip to New York.

— Marketing professor Jim McAlexander receives KEDGE Business School’s “20 Years On” research prize for his 1995 ethnography on Harley-Davidson consumers. The prize recognizes research that has “paved the way for significant development within a field or a scientific approach.”

Best of the rest: COB alum Jaymes Winters serves as the kickoff speaker at the opening of the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center; OSU Advantage Accelerator continues work with entrepreneurs, startups; employers fill loge level at Reser Stadium to network with students.

The Show
The Show
The Show, 1915 N.W. Ninth St., Corvallis, is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.

Like other mid-valley residents who grew up in China, Xiuyu “Connor” Xue likes American meal staples like pizza and hamburgers.

“But I can’t eat that every day,” the 2014 College of Business finance graduate said.

Knowing many of his fellow expatriates felt the same way, and preferring to be his own boss, Xue has launched The Show, a quick-serve eatery dishing up authentic Chinese food from its north Corvallis location at 1915 N.W. Ninth St.

The name was a suggestion from Prof. Ray Brooks, after hearing that Xue planned to have USB chargers and plug-ins at every table so busy customers could meet their electronic work and recreational needs while waiting for their food or eating.

Xue, 24, figures The Show fills a previously empty niche in a university town with 1,500 Chinese students: high-quality and authentic Chinese food that customers can experience without having to spend 40 minutes or more in a sit-down dining environment. Three to five minutes is The Show’s service goal for options including sweet and sour pork ribs, braised beef with potatoes and carrots, shredded pork with bell peppers, Chinese crepes, and tea eggs. Customers can order by phone at 541-602-7790.

Xue notes that Corvallis has excellent Chinese restaurants but that the only fast-serve establishment is Panda Express, which he likens more to American food than Chinese. Roughly half of his customers so far, he notes, have been American.

The Show is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.

Xue’s restaurant was recently featured in the Corvallis Gazette-Times in a report by business writer Kyle Odegard.

Xue had initially planned to open The Show in early November, but a soft opening at that time revealed operational tweaks that needed to be made before the eatery could be fully ready to go.

Connor Xue
Connor Xue dropped by Austin Hall to talk about his new restaurant.
Lori Rush of Rush Recruiting & HR says her two most important tips are to be prepared and well practiced.
Lori Rush of Rush Recruiting & HR says her two most important tips are to be prepared and well practiced.

Before you can give an impressive job interview, career consultant Lori Rush stresses, you have to get yourself ready to be impressive.

“How prepared you are for the interview is how prepared you’ll be for the job,” Rush told College of Business students Oct. 28 in a one-hour seminar in Austin Hall’s Robert Family Event Room sponsored by the college’s Career Success Center.

Rush, a COB graduate and the president of Rush Recruiting & HR in Portland, says pre-interview prep should be both thorough and detailed. For example, what are the mission and values of the company, and how has it been affected by changes in the industry? Also, learn the firm’s lingo — if it prefers “clients” and you instead use “customers,” that shows a lack of homework and/or attention to detail.

Other highlights from Rush’s presentation:

— Remember an interview is your chance to gather additional information about the company and the job, so be ready to ask questions as well as answer them.

— Don’t interrupt the interviewer.

— Don’t be afraid of a few seconds of silence; if you’ve thoroughly answered a question, resist the urge to break dead air by saying something else, something you’ll likely end up regretting.

— Don’t talk negatively about a former boss, company or colleague.

— Anticipate questions you might be asked and practice answering them aloud. Have specific accomplishments to share.

— Be prepared to talk about your failures/weaknesses, what you learned from them, and how you’re bettering yourself.

— Close the interview strongly. Express your interest, ask about next steps, and include a query such as “what questions do you have about my fit for the position.”

— Follow up with a thank you note.

— And if rejected, use it as a learning experience, including politely asking why you weren’t a successful candidate.

The Oregon State University Alumni Association honored six alumni fellows and one distinguished young alumna Oct. 23 at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center as part of the university’s Homecoming festivities, and two of the honorees are products of the College of Business.

D’Anna Foster of Portland, class of 2009, received the 2015 Young Alumni Award, representing the College of Business, the College of Public Health and Human Sciences, the University Honors College and the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Foster was a member of the Beaver gymnastics team (when she was known as D’Anna Piro) and is manager of direct to consumer strategy at Nike.

Among the alumni fellows is 1982 COB graduate Tom Toomey of Evergreen, Colo. Toomey is CEO of UDR, a multifamily real estate investment trust.

The other 2015 alumni fellows, and the OSU colleges they represent, are:

  • Laura Anderson of Newport, a 2000 graduate representing the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. She is president and owner of Local Ocean Seafoods.
  • Penny Reher of Corvallis, a 1982 graduate representing the College of Pharmacy. She is chief pharmacy officer for Samaritan Health Services.
  • Tom Skoro of Vancouver, Wash., a 1981 graduate representing the College of Engineering. He is senior vice president of Peter Kiewit Sons’ Inc.
  • Dave Underriner of West Linn, a 1981 graduate of the College of Forestry, representing the College of Public Health and Human Sciences. He is Oregon regional chief executive for Providence Health & Services.
  • Mary Carlin Yates of Vancouver, Wash., a 1968 graduate representing the College of Liberal Arts. She is a former U.S. ambassador to Ghana and has received appointments from three U.S. presidents.

The OSUAA established the alumni fellows program in 1988, and the young alumni award was established in 2006 to recognize alumni 35 or younger.

Tyler Kluempke, far left, joined other students for a panel discussion last winter to talk about internships.
Tyler Kluempke, far left, joined other students for a panel discussion last winter to talk about internships.
Tyler Kluempke, far left, joined other students for a panel discussion last winter to talk about internships.

For 2015 marketing graduate Tyler Kluempke, when Oregon State’s football season started without him in Corvallis to cheer for the Beavers in person, that’s when it hit him that he’s part of the real world now.

The good news for the former Marketing Club president is that his first stop after the College of Business is “exactly what I wanted to get into.”

Kluempke is a sales and business development representative with Oracle, and as the school year approached in Corvallis, he was wrapping up five weeks of training – the final three at corporate headquarters in San Francisco, the first two in Boston, where Kluempke will be based.

“It’s been a crazy couple weeks to say the least,” Kluempke said Sept. 14.

In his role with Oracle, he will serve as an account manager with current cloud ERP systems clients and also try to grow revenue streams. ERP stands for enterprise resource planning, and Kluempke describes the systems as “software packages that are the essential backbone of all businesses across all industries.”

“Financial reporting, procurement, project management, everything a C-level employee needs to run a business,” he said. “My territory is the Pacific Northwest and all of western Canada, mid- to small-size businesses up to $500 million in revenue. I’ll try to generate new business, warm calling, cold calling. It’s a sales role, a killer job, exactly what I wanted to get into. I always wanted to be in the tech world.”

Kluempke said the Career Success Center in particular and the College of Business in general “really put the opportunities in place for me to learn a lot of essential material, to really excel.”

“You hear a lot of material, it’s like drinking out of a firehose, and things kind of piece together once you’re out of the school zone and in the workforce,” he said. “I went to a lot of guest speaker events and talked to executives. There were a lot of similarities in the answers when it came to people successful enough to reach upper-level management or the executive level, and it usually came down to putting your head down and just working, just doing your job. Those are simple concepts that kind of get masked in the tech world, where everyone thinks they’re going to have the next Facebook or Snapchat and it’s going to go boom overnight. They’re not paying attention to those long hours, going to the events they need to go to, going to a networking event.”

Kluempke, third from right, says his education is coming into particularly sharp focus now that he's in the workforce.
Kluempke, third from right, says his education is coming into particularly sharp focus now that he’s in the workforce.


Adam Nasset.

Having spent his youth in Salem building computers and providing technical support for a variety of family members, and even their companies, Adam Nasset arrived at Oregon State in fall 2002 planning to study engineering and computer science.

But when he began his studies, he realized what he really wanted to do was take his technical background and give it a business focus.

So Nasset pointed himself toward the College of Business and double majored in Management Information Systems (now Business Information Systems) and Accounting, and the result has been a rapid ascent in the profession of information system auditing.

“It definitely set me up well,” said the 2007 COB graduate, who began his latest job April 13, doing IT security and compliance work for The Standard Insurance. “The curriculum is set up well for work, and getting sponsored by ISACA was a good move.”

For more on Nasset, and for information on other BIS grads and the program in general, click here.

Willen Sin, right, with Benny Beaver and fellow Trail Blazer staffers McKenzie Malone, left, Hannah Blumhardt and Lindsay Jones at Reser Stadium.
Willen Sin, right, with Benny Beaver and fellow Trail Blazer staffers McKenzie Malone, left, Hannah Blumhardt and Lindsay Jones at Reser Stadium.

Like many sports fans growing up in the Portland area, Willen Sin had long dreamed of working for the Trail Blazers.

Empowered with a degree from the College of Business, Sin is making that dream come true.

“Oregon State is pretty embedded in me,” said Sin, a partnership marketing specialist.

Sin completed his studies at OSU in 2013, graduating with a marketing degree and international business option. He was also involved in the Austin Entrepreneurship Program, and he says the event management skills he picked up in the AEP come in particularly handy in his role with the Blazers, which requires him to handle the logistics for a wide range of corporate-sponsored events including the Toyota Half Court Shot (more on that in a minute).

Sin signed on with the Blazers in September 2013 as corporate partnership intern; he worked game nights and basically made sure the team’s business partners had everything they needed. Sin started as a full-fledged Blazer employee in July 2014.

He personally manages about 15 accounts and assists with the management of five larger accounts, including Toyota.

The Toyota Half Court Shot takes place 11 times a year, and the basic format is simple: At halftime, the contestant spins a wheel to determine which kind of car he’ll win if his heave goes through the hoop.

Sin says no one had connected for four or five years – until March 5, when a bearded man in his late 20s named Chris found the bottom of the net — Rip City, indeed — and drove off with an Avalon hybrid, sparking pandemonium among the fans … and the person who coordinates the promotion.

“This is business to me, but I’m a fan too, and I just lost it,” Sin said. “I was so excited for the guy. And then I realized I had a ton of paperwork to do. It was another two or three months of processing everything. It was a roller coaster.”

The wild ride did nothing, however, to dampen Sin’s overall enthusiasm.

“I’m proud to be part of the Blazers,” he said. “That culture and this brand are so ingrained in this city, I’m building a network that down the road will go a very long way. I’m open to other opportunities, but I’m really enjoying it and still learning, and I want to capture as much knowledge as I can. I have great co-workers and great mentors, and I’m just taking it all in.”

Majed Abdelrasul.
Majed Abdelrasul.

At the College of Business, we always enjoy hearing, and spreading, the news of our alumni as they take what they learned out into the working world.

So whether it’s via social media, email or an old-fashioned letter or phone call, please do as 2015 finance graduate Majed Abdelrasul did this week and stay in touch with us.

Abdelrasul was pleased to report that he’d accepted an offer to be a financial analyst with Aequitas Capital Management starting Aug. 1. He’ll work in Portland and will, he says, “be supporting consumer financing receivable programs, maintaining and reporting of portfolio management performance, implementing and enhancing financial models, and supporting ad hoc tasks for our team.”

“The COB helped me prepare for success by providing tons of resources,” he said. “Whether that was clubs/organizations, or simply bringing in industry professionals to educate us. There was always help from professors and staff members around the college. At the same time, the college held my peers and me accountable for everything we completed and continued to challenge us throughout our tenure. Everyone was very supportive throughout my time at the college. If I ever had a question, I felt as if I could go to any faculty/staff member and they would be open to helping me out.”

As he prepares to start his career, Abdelrasul offered some advice for those who’ll follow him in the College of Business: “Never give up and always go above and beyond. Even if you have to sacrifice a few hours of your social life or sleeping schedule, it will be worth it in the end. Continue to learn and take on as many responsibilities as you can. Lastly, hold yourself accountable for everything you do, even if no one is watching.”

adidas logoA culture built around honesty, commitment, passion, innovation, inspiration, teamwork, empowerment and student engagement has earned adidas this year’s Distinguished Business Partner award.

That culture is in sync with that of the College of Business, adidas executive Nic Vu said.

“The professors and other educators focus on placement,” said Vu, a senior vice president and a 1995 College of Business graduate who spearheaded his company’s partnership with the college. “College of Business students are very well versed in team dynamics, group projects and results orientation, and they’re open to learning.

“I work with lot of Ph.D.’s and consultants who have master’s, MBAs, whatever, and they don’t have all of that packaged together as well as some of the undergrads I see coming out of Oregon State,” he said. “That’s a compliment to the dean and all the educators at Oregon State.”

Beavers who have joined Vu at adidas have taken note of a supportive environment that mirrors that of the college that prepared them to launch their careers.

“The College of Business stresses networking and adidas allows recent grads to take networking to an entirely new level,” said OSU senior Jacob Knightley, who’s majoring in finance and business information systems and works 30 hours a week for adidas’ finance reporting team.

“All managers — junior, senior and above — are extremely approachable and will take time out of their day to talk with you. My CFO walks around and talks with everybody on a first-name basis and will make the effort to learn your name as soon as possible.”

Knightley said he and others consider the adidas culture to be an extension of their university life.

“We make sure our work is getting completed to the best degree, but we have fun while we do it,” he said. “Adidas benefits (from the College of Business partnership) by getting great local talent who bring new and fresh ideas about how to win in America, and the college benefits by having a local company that loves to recruit local talent.”

Adidas will be honored May 11 in Portland at the college’s annual Celebration of Excellence, along with the rest of the 2015 award winners as well as retiring Dean Ilene Kleinsorge.

The evening begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards presentation. For more information or to register, contact Elsa Frey at elsa.frey@oregonstate.edu or call 541-737-6648, or register online at http://business.oregonstate.edu/awards.


Curt Willener.
Curt Willener.

The College of Business prepares people to measure up against the best, says Curt Willener, this year’s Distinguished Early Career Business Professional.

The Hillsboro resident should know. Three years after his OSU graduation, he was accepted into the MBA program at Harvard Business School.

“OSU was on my list, but since I’d gone there as an undergraduate, I wanted a new experience,” who at the time was working at a mill in Albany. “I had just gotten done with a super dusty, 14-hour shift when I talked to (Dean) Ilene (Kleinsorge) about going to graduate school. I think I got her office dirty. But she was so open to talking with me and supporting me, and Ilene wrote a recommendation letter that helped me get into Harvard.

“You’re always a little nervous with something like that, but Ilene said don’t worry, we prepared you, and she was absolutely right,” Willener said. “The top students at Oregon State can compete anywhere in the world against anyone.”

For Willener, now operations manager and Danaher Business System leader at Tektronix/Danaher, the route to OSU began on Sauvie Island, where from age 12 to 18 he worked at a local farm and kennel. After graduating from Scappoose High School, he followed in the footsteps of his OSU alum father, Henry, and headed to Corvallis.

Willener graduated in management and finance from OSU in 2004 and earned a place in a Weyerhaeuser program designed to develop new leaders. Within a few months he was the night-shift supervisor, winning over the older, more experienced workers by “treating them with respect and giving them a fair shake” and “approaching situations with humility and common sense.”

“Listening is a really big part of it,” he said. “People respect you for it.”

Willener will be honored May 11 in Portland at the college’s annual Celebration of Excellence, along with the rest of the 2015 award winners as well as the retiring Kleinsorge. For more on the event and the honorees, follow the College of Business blog as the countdown to the celebration continues over the next couple of weeks.

The evening begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the awards presentation. For more information or to register, contact Elsa Frey at elsa.frey@oregonstate.edu or call 541-737-6648, or register online at http://business.oregonstate.edu/awards.