Portland Alumni Reception at The Nines

Golden opportunity for recent graduates to connect in Portland

Of the many exciting opportunities that arise from OSU’s Portland expansion comes the greater ability to connect with our Portland-based alumni. With that in mind, the College of Business is inspired to build the Business Graduate of the Last Decade network – Business GOLD – and take advantage of the great new location at Pioneer Square to get to the heart of Beaver Nation, PDX. So, register today: our first Business GOLD reception is Friday, October 26, 2018.

The event, timed to coincide with the fall opening of the OSU Portland hub at the Meier & Frank Building, will be the inaugural Business GOLD welcome reception. The upper floors of Meier & Frank house The Nines, a modern boutique hotel with stunning interiors and views of the city’s bustling business district. We can’t think of a better place to have our first Business GOLD celebration.

Portland is the destination of choice for a large percentage of our recent graduates where the hip, big-city lifestyle provides an exciting contrast to the idyllic, college-town atmosphere of Corvallis. Our event brings together these Portland newcomers and the more experienced early-career beavers in business.

Specifically, at this happy hour we hope to connect our new graduates with their early career, Business GOLD peer network.

Through Business GOLD we will host additional social events throughout the year; we’ll create access to educational workshops and other professional development opportunities. We’ll create mentoring relationships, including outreach to the undergrads with tips on breaking into that first job after graduation.

We hope to see you there. It’s a time for celebration and pride for Beaver Nation, and we hope to make an impact with Business GOLD.

Business GOLD Inaugural Reception

The Nines Hotel | 6th Floor Ballroom

525 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR

October 26, 2018 | 4:30 – 6:30pm

RSVP

Our Hollywood heavy hitters are coming!

Our Hollywood heavy hitters are coming ― the Office of the Provost and the College of Liberal Arts welcome you to a bonus appearance from commencement speaker Harley Jessup (BFA ’76) and screenwriter Mike Rich (‘81). Friday, June 15 @ LaSells. Facebook event page.

Commencement speaker Harley Jessup (BFA ’76) and screenwriter Mike Rich (‘81) will discuss their work in a program centered on clips from their most iconic films. Moderated by Peter Betjemann, Director of the School of Writing, Literature, and Film.

Harley Jessup has worked at Pixar Animation Studios since 1996, where his credits as production designer include such films as Coco, Ratatouille, Cars 2, The Good Dinosaur, and Monsters, Inc. Previously at Lucasfilm, Industrial Light and Magic, and Disney, he worked on The Hunt for Red October, James and the Giant Peach, and many other films. He received an Academy Award for Visual Effects for Innerspace in 1988.

Mike Rich broke onto the screenwriting scene in 1998, when his screenplay for Finding Forrester won the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship and became a box-office hit starring Sean Connery, Rob Brown, and Busta Rhymes. Since then, he has become a go-to screenwriter in Hollywood, with credits that include such films as The Rookie, Secretariat, Radio, and Cars 3.

Audience questions will be welcome throughout the program by voice and mobile device.

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the College of Liberal Arts.

Read our feature interview “Words of Wisdom from Master Storyteller Mike Rich

Finance grad opens The Show

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.

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.

Kluempke’s real world means ‘killer job’

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.

 

Willener: COB students poised to soar

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.

Haakenson: Success reflects on OSU

Katie Haakenson.
Katie Haakenson.

When Katie Haakenson was still an intern, Boeing tasked her with creating and hosting a conference for the company’s project managers in the Puget Sound area.

The idea was for them to talk about methodologies they’d used and lessons they’d learned.

About 20 people attended.

“Everyone thought it was very valuable and said, we want to do that again,” said Haakenson, who earned a finance degree from Oregon State in 2009 and added an MBA a year later. “So the next year when we hosted the Boeing Project Management Conference, it went from 20 to about 100, and they came from all across the country. The third year, there were more than 300 from around the world. The event still goes on, and all the project managers look forward to it. It’s pretty cool to be able to say I started it.”

The creativity, leadership skills and organizational savvy that Haakenson used in developing the conference are among the reasons she’s this year’s Distinguished Young Business Professional.

“I think it’s a great honor,” she said. “Any success I’ve had reflects back to my experiences at OSU.”

Haakenson, hired as a permanent employee after starring in her internship, spent nearly four years with Boeing at the Everett (Wash.) Delivery Center. She’s now a project leadership associate with Point B Management Consultants in Seattle, having started there in January following one-year stints at Microsoft and Logic 20/20, also a Seattle-based consulting firm.

The bustle of Seattle represents a stark change from Haakenson’s youth in Corbett, Ore., where her graduating class at Corbett High featured 45 people.

Choosing Oregon State after a campus visit and conversations with faculty made her feel at home, she worked two jobs to pay for school and still graduated in three years, then stayed a fourth year and collected an MBA.

“I really liked the IBP (integrated business plan) program, and I wanted some additional time with College of Business faculty since I’d learned so much as an undergraduate,” Haakenson said.

She mentioned in particular professor Erik Larson, who taught Haakenson project management, and professional development instructor Gene Young, whose lessons “helped me get positions that on paper I didn’t have enough experience for by defining and highlighting what I could bring to the table.”

“Going to OSU was a great experience, and the connections I’ve kept with the university are very valuable for me,” she said. “I don’t think I could have made a better choice.”

Spathas was destined for OSU

Matt Spathas with his wife and four children.
Matt Spathas with his wife and four children.
Matt Spathas with his wife and four children.

The son of an OSU-educated entrepreneur and a graduate of the same Portland high school that produced Linus Pauling, Matt Spathas’ trail to Corvallis was blazed early on.

“My dad told me, ‘You can go to any college you want, but the only one I’ll help you pay for is Oregon State,’” he said.

Four decades later, there’s little doubt in Spathas’ mind that his father really did know best.

“I’m really grateful for the education I received at Oregon State,” said Spathas, this year’s Distinguished Service Award winner.

Spathas, College of Business class of 1980, is one of three managing principals at SENTRE Partners, a San Diego-based firm that describes itself as “Stewards and Entrepreneurs of Real Estate.” He’s been with the company for 21 years and in his career has had a hand in more than $2.5 billion in transactions.

But what stands out for Spathas isn’t dollars or buildings, it’s “the mentors I’ve had along the way, and second to that are the relationships that we’ve built.”

Spathas grew up in southeast Portland, where his family operated Claudia’s Tavern. His father, Gene, had opened the saloon on Hawthorne Boulevard in 1958, fulfilling a promise to put his bride’s “name up in lights.”

“It wasn’t exactly what she had in mind,” Spathas joked.

As a senior, Spathas was named athlete of the year at Washington High School – where the principal was former OSU football All-American Bill Gray.

After earning his degree, Spathas landed a job as a sales associate with Portland commercial real estate firm Norris, Beggs & Simpson. There he found mentors in Clayton Hering, now the company chairman, and another OSU alum, Joe Wood, who’d earned the nickname “Mr. Downtown.”

“He was legendary,” Spathas said. “He’d leased virtually every new high-rise that had been built in Portland.”

After two years, Spathas and wife, Kristen, also an Oregon State graduate, moved to San Diego, where Spathas became a marketing principal for Trammell Crow, the nation’s biggest commercial development company. He joined SENTRE Partners in 1994.

Spathas 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. 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.

COB alum gives ethics lessons

Retired Accenture executive Joe Lobbato.
Retired Accenture executive Joe Lobbato.
Retired Accenture executive Joe Lobbato.

University professor and retired executive Joe Lobbato delivered a series of powerful yet simple messages on business ethics April 27 to a crowd of about 150 in Austin Hall’s Stirek Auditorium.

Among them: If you’re unethical, it will eventually come to light.

Lobbato earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Business in 1981 and added an MBA the following year before embarking on a 22-year career with Arthur Andersen, later known as Andersen Consulting and now Accenture. He was a managing partner the last 10 years and has worked and lived abroad extensively, currently residing in Thailand, where he teaches business ethics at Chulalongkorn University.

Lobbato graduated from Corvallis High School and noted one of his earliest business ventures was a paper route not far from Austin Hall.

That newspaper theme came up again later when he outlined strategies business people can use to remain ethical. They included the “newspaper headline test”: If you wouldn’t be comfortable with the news of what you’re doing being blared across the top of page one, don’t do it.

Also on the list: Take responsibility, develop personal discipline, know your weaknesses, align your priorities with values, admit wrongdoing quickly and ask forgiveness, take extra care with finances, use checks and balances, put your family ahead of work, place high value on people, and don’t associate with corrupt people.

Lobbato noted that a society’s culture, norms and values dictate which practices are acceptable. In some cultures, including Thailand’s, corruption is just considered part of the overall landscape.

But accepted or not, corruption brings many negative consequences, said Lobbato. It reduces the overall wealth of a country and the amount spent on “good stuff,” distorts the way money is spent, undermines trust, and harms the environment and innocent people

Lobbato noted that a person crosses three lines on the way to the most unethical types of conduct. The first line is violating the Golden Rule, the second is the “tort line” – venturing into territory that makes you vulnerable to civil action – and the third is the criminal line, i.e. doing something that makes you subject to prosecution.

He left the students in the audience some words of advice if they ever feel pressured by an employer to do something they know is wrong.

“Do not ever do anything that you believe is unethical,” he said. “You guys will always lose. The company will say, ‘we never told him to do that.’”

Lobbato passed along a number of tips designed to foster ethical behavior.
Lobbato passed along a number of tips designed to foster ethical behavior.