REAL People: Shari Sands

Dean Mitzi Montoya, right, lauds Shari Sands at the finance and accounting manager's retirement party.
Dean Mitzi Montoya, right, lauds Shari Sands at the finance and accounting manager's retirement party.
Dean Mitzi Montoya, right, lauds Shari Sands at the finance and accounting manager’s retirement party.

Shari Sands, finance and accounting manager with the Business and Engineering Business Center, is officially retiring Nov. 30. We say “officially” because she’ll continue on a post-retirement, part-time basis through 2016.

Sands, a former Army personnel specialist who grew up in Klamath Falls, started at the College of Business in August 2001 as the director of budgets and faculty services and became finance and accounting manager eight years later. She calls the COB “definitely the best place I’ve ever worked.”

In retirement Sands plans to get even more involved in genealogy – she’s traced her roots to the one person known to have been both at Jamestown and on the Mayflower – as well as become a Master Gardener and spend time with her 23-year-old son, Tyler. But we still have some time to reap the benefits of Sands’ considerable expertise and enjoy her personality before she leaves Austin Hall for good, so allow us to introduce her to you via our latest installment of the REAL People of the College of Business.

In her words:

“Before I came here I’d been working for Motorola, and I took a year off to regroup. I’d been working in Scottsdale (Ariz.) for six years, and I’d just had enough, so I sold my house, moved back to Klamath Falls, rented a house out on Lakeshore Drive and spent a year doing yoga and feeding the birds and the deer.

“After I’d gotten out of the Army, I’d gone to OIT (Oregon Institute of Technology) for a few years, studying accounting, and then I moved to Los Angeles and went to UCLA. I’d always wanted to live in Los Angeles, because of the Beach Boys. I loved the Beach Boys, so I went to the beach. I worked for the VA, put myself through school and got a degree in sociology. I wanted to get my master’s in social welfare, but I couldn’t afford that much more school, and a nurse I worked with had a husband who worked with a defense contractor, Northrop, that had an opening for an auditor. I only needed one class to have a degree in accounting, so I took that job and audited at Northrop for five years.

“Eventually my boss left and went to KPMG, and I followed him there. Then I went to work for TRW, and then Motorola. I loved LA, but I had to get out of LA – my son was born in 1992, and after the (Rodney King) riots and the (Northridge) earthquake, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I loved LA, but I don’t anymore. Now I love Corvallis.

“I feel like I’ve led a blessed life. Everything I wanted to do, I did it, and it worked out. And I’m so lucky I ended up here.”

Sands shares a laugh with instructor Chuck Toombs.
Sands shares a laugh with instructor Chuck Toombs.


Get involved: Join a COB club

Representatives from eight of the College of Business’ student organizations set up shop Tuesday afternoon in Austin Hall’s Masterson Family Marketplace for the college’s Club Fair.

Members passed out information — and in some cases, candy as well — and answered questions regarding membership and club activities and expectations.

Represented Tuesday were the Marketing Club, Management Club, Sales Club, Enactus, DAMchic (fashion magazine), Beta Alpha Psi (accounting) and the Institute of Management Accountants.

Links to detailed information about all of the college’s student groups are available here.

Students learn to ‘Land the Job’

Every student received a resume starter kit.
Every student received a resume starter kit.
Every student received a resume starter kit.

Lindsay Vanek had always found writing a cover letter to be sort of “intimidating.”

But after attending the Oct. 20 “Land the Job” event at Austin Hall’s Stirek Auditorium, the Oregon State marketing student feels a lot more comfortable about that part of the employment search process.

Presenter Gala Jackson told Vanek and the other students in attendance to use their cover letter as a means of elaborating on the information in their resume – to go into detail about their background and qualifications so the letter builds on the resume rather than repeats what’s already there.

“You don’t just want to copy and paste,” Vanek said. “That shows you haven’t put in the time and effort.”

Vanek also noted that Jackson shared techniques for making a resume appear as rich and complete as possible, which is especially important for college students and new graduates who may feel as if they don’t have much to put on a resume. Volunteer service counts, for example, as do class projects in line with what a job would entail.

Jackson describes herself as a “millennial career expert and career coach” and travels the country as the national spokesman for the Land the Job campaign, sponsored by Neenah Paper, Inc. The sponsor provides “resume starter kits” featuring Southworth by Neenah products to all students attending a Land the Job workshop.

Rene Reitsma, professor of business information systems, was on hand for the OSU workshop as well.

“I think it was a useful event,” he said. “Good attendance, and an hour-long opportunity for students to reflect on how they present themselves on resumes and job fairs.” in 1972; he’s updated it annually ever since.

How to build a career-specific network

Vickie Maleterri, relationship manager for MassMutual Oregon, addresses COB students Tuesday.
Vickie Maleterri, relationship manager for MassMutual Oregon, addresses COB students Tuesday.

It sounds simple, but it’s a key point job hunters often manage to overlook: Ending up with the career you want requires you first to look inside yourself and decide what tasks you’re interested in and where and with whom you’d like to work.

That was among the messages passed along Tuesday by Vickie Maletteri of MassMutual during her “Developing a Career-Specific Network” workshop in Austin Hall’s Robert Family Events Room.

Maleterri shared insights from the legendary career guide, “What Color Is Your Parachute?” by Richard Bolles. Bolles, 88, is a former clergyman whose book was first published in 1972; he’s updated it annually ever since.

Maleterri had the students attending the workshop do a Bolles-developed exercise called “The Flower.” She gave each student an 11-by-17 piece of paper with six numbered circles arranged as if petals on a flower and asked them to fill in the information asked for in each petal: 1, My Favorite Knowledge or Fields of Interest; 2, My Preferred Kinds of People to Work With; 3, What I Can Do and Love to Do (My Favorite Transferrable Skills); 4, My Favorite Working Conditions; 5, Level of Responsibility I’d Like, My Preferred Salary Range, Other Rewards Hoped For; 6, My Preferred Place(s) to Live (sooner or later); 7, My Goal, Purpose or Mission in Life (or my philosophy about life).

Coming up with the requested information helps a person make his or her career search more targeted.

Another Bolles-created handout Maleterri distributed featured an upside-down triangle that illustrated the way employers look for new workers is inverse to the approach most people take when trying to get hired. For example, many job seekers start by turning in a resume, while sorting through resumes is most hiring managers’ final (read: desperate) tactic.

Employers, Maleterri explained, would rather fill openings with people whose work they’ve already seen – because the candidate is a current or former employee, temp, consultant or contractor.

Bridging the gap between what most job-seekers do and what most employers prefer to do is effective, career-specific networking that infuses hiring managers with trust in their candidates abilities and potential.

Students complete "The Flower" as a means of developing a more targeted career search.
Students complete “The Flower” as a means of developing a more targeted career search.

REAL People: Benny Kuo

Benny Kuo
For his MBA studies, Benny Kuo chose Oregon State over his undergrad alma mater, Willamette, in part because of all the opportunities a large, research university has to offer.

Our weekly REAL People of the College of Business series continues today with first-year MBA student and accomplished vocalist Benny Kuo.

Kuo (the U is silent), a first-generation university student, grew up in Bellevue, Wash., and earned a bachelor’s degree in music while minoring in economics at Willamette University in Salem.

Here’s more of his story, in his own words:

“I went to Willamette so I could study to be a music educator, and as I joined clubs and joined a fraternity, I learned a lot more about myself. I stepped away from the music education side and switched to general music and liberal arts – I’d been so tunnel vision on the music education side that I didn’t look at my other strengths, and one of my strengths was fixing computers.

“After graduating from Willamette I worked for the IT department for Garten Services, a recycling facility in Salem, and I realized that for everything I wanted vertically in the IT world, I’d need to learn more skills, learn to code, learn to be a manager, and an MBA seemed most relevant.

“I learned I had a lot to offer in leadership in high school, and that drove me to continue that in college. Through that I learned that I loved it, that I’m passionate about it and good at it. I’m organized and goal oriented, and I’m hoping to go into strategic management, organizational management, work with organizations in crisis mode, and also organizations that are doing well but could do better.

“There are so many options here at OSU, that’s what I love about it. What I wanted, OSU is able to offer. I’m still learning about all the resources we have here, and I guess intrigued would be the right word about how many resources students do have, resources they maybe didn’t even know were possible. Like at the Valley Library, you can check out GoPros if you want to do something like climb Mount Hood.

“In five or 10 years I would like be working with a tech firm that really is impactful in how we use technology, kind of changing the way technology works in our lives, the recycling of technology, being green, a firm that educates the public about how much power their technology needs. I love being able to educate people about how to upgrade their computer and how to save money that way.”

Benny Kuo
Kuo has a passion for educating people regarding the technologies integral to their lives.


How to shine in a job interview

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.

Alumni Association honors 2 from COB

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.

REAL People: Salvador Cazarez

Salvador Cazarez

Salvador Cazarez

Our weekly REAL People of the College of Business series continues today with third-year OSU student Salvador Cazarez, who came to Corvallis to study business information systems.

Cazarez started his academic career at Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls. His plan was to study computer engineering, but realizing he had a passion for business as well, Cazarez transferred to Oregon State after his freshman year to pursue BIS.

In his own words: “I was born and raised in a small agricultural town called Malin, Oregon. I found my passion for technology as a kid when I realized I was good at fixing computer problems for my friends and family. A major milestone in my life is being accepted into the MECOP program, where I will work toward two six-month internships with engineering companies in the Northwest. After graduation, I will continue to aim my career toward technology. My life goal is to start a family, enjoy my career, and give back to those who’ve helped me on this journey.”

If you would like to be featured as one of the REAL People of the College of Business, or if you’d like to nominate someone else, please email Steve Lundeberg.Salvador Cazarez


REAL People: Kareman Rawy

Kareman Rawy believes what Neil deGrasse Tyson says about math: that it's the language of the universe.
Kareman Rawy believes what Neil deGrasse Tyson says about math: that it's the language of the universe.
Kareman Rawy believes what Neil deGrasse Tyson says about math: that it’s the language of the universe.

Many of you have likely seen the popular Humans of New York blog in which a photographer roams the city collecting life-story summaries of people he meets. His work is fascinating and often deeply moving as his subjects share what they consider to be some of the most significant aspects of their lives.

Inspired by his efforts and his subjects’ photos and stories, we’ve launched our own version of the project, which we’re calling REAL People of the College of Business.

Our weekly series continues today with Kareman Rawy, the daughter of Egyptian immigrants. Kareman is from Brentwood, Calif. (the one in the Bay Area, not Los Angeles), is in her first year in the professional school and is serving as president of SIM Club (Students of Information Management).

Here’s more of her story, in her own words:

“My inspiration to help people started from helping my younger brother as a little girl. He is one year younger than me and even though he has cerebral palsy that made him unable to talk and walk, I always read to him dinosaurs, science, and astronomy books to comfort him. That’s when I realized that I have a passion for science, specifically astronomy, but I also want to make an impact in the world by making a business that is known worldwide like my late idol once created. The late Steve Jobs once said, ‘I want to make a ding in the universe.’ However, I hope that I can become the next big bang the universe will see and hopefully one day I can change and help the world in a big way like he once did.”

If you’re interested in being featured as one of the REAL People of the College of Business, please email Steve Lundeberg or come see him in Austin Hall 384D.

Kareman has found inspiration and compassion, in addition to knowledge, in the College of Business.
Kareman has found inspiration and compassion, in addition to knowledge, at the College of Business.

Calandrelli talk nears 60,000 views

Emily Calandrelli
Emily Calandrelli mingles at the LaSells Stewart Center, host of 2015’s TEDxOregonStateU.

A presentation on STEM literacy delivered by Emily Calandrelli at February’s TEDxOregonStateU event is nearing 60,000 pageviews on YouTube.

The title of the talk by Calandrelli, producer and host of Fox’s “Xploration Outer Space,” is “I don’t do math.” It discusses the importance of STEM education even to those outside of STEM fields. As of the evening of Oct. 19, it had been watched 59,976 times.

Calandrelli was one of five speakers at the TEDx event. Among the others were fashion designer Michelle Lesniak and OSU microbiology student Matthew Kaiser. Kaiser has since graduated.

YouTube videos of the other talks are online as well.