Business, mastered: Saying farewell to a graduate program

It only takes about 20 months.

At the starting line, 20 months feels like a marathon. At the finish line, it feels like a sprint. Only 20 months at The School of Business — honestly the most effort I’ve ever poured into anything — and I’ve earned my MBA. Okay, I don’t have the fancy piece of paper yet, but I got the email, and I’m pretty sure I’m in the clear at this point. As my farewell to the School of Business, I have some parting thoughts to share:

The capstone was an exhausting but incredibly valuable experience

Yes, the first and second term of the program were tough, but a lot of that was due to the fact we just weren’t used to the intensity yet. The capstone, on the other hand, we were prepared for.

As part of the Portland MBA’s hands-on curriculum, the capstone consulting project is an opportunity to work in small teams with a local, regional, or international company to solve a meaningful problem.

We’re meant to spend eight hours a week for five months on this project. Our team had a consistent pace from the get-go, but I still spent 25 hours during the last weekend before our final presentation. It was grueling work, but luckily my teammates were rockstars.

Every team’s project depended on constant communication and complete trust in one another. The MBA curriculum taught us to value one another’s strengths, and by the time the capstone rolled around, we knew exactly how to fully maximize our collective competencies to take our projects from acceptable to exceptional.

Was the juice worth the squeeze?

Yes, 100%. It’s that simple. I got everything I expected out of my MBA, and then some. My career has advanced, and I feel smarter and more capable.

The business acumen and skills are what you’d expect, but the curriculum, the faculty and the cohort model deliver so much more. You get mentoring and coaching, soft skills valuable in and out of the workplace and an amazing network. Our cohort became close, and I enjoyed every opportunity to connect with the full-time and part-time MBA candidates.

Not goodbye

I’m the kind of person that gets sentimental, so it felt strange to walk the stage and leave the campus for what felt like the last time.

Of course I still live just a 15-minute walk away from the Karl Miller Center. I know I’ll keep in touch with my classmates and stay involved with The School of Business community through events and networking opportunities.

When you depart the program, you’re not gone for good — you just change your name tag and LinkedIn handle from “MBA Candidate” to “MBA 2018.” I plan to leverage my connection to the PSU School of Business for a long time — for my own benefit and for others. I’m seriously proud of myself and my fellow grads.

It’s been quite a ride.


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Kyle Huck has a background is in graphic design and web-based marketing. He graduated from The Portland MBA in 2018.



Categories: student life