Program Name: MBA
Year of Graduation: 2015
Program Schedule: Part-Time
Please briefly describe your career path and what led you to choose PSU’s Graduate School of Business. What drew you to The Portland MBA in particular?
Early in my career, I was on a project management track at an energy efficiency company and I quickly realized that all business decisions were driven by financial impact. At the time, I was unfamiliar with income statements and balance sheets, so I decided to go back to school for corporate finance. I considered many part-time MBA programs in the Northwest. Portland State stood out because of its strong focus on sustainability and connections with the local business community.
You’ve had several advancement opportunities in the field of finance. Can you describe how The Portland MBA set you up for success in your current role as a Senior Financial Planning Analyst at ZOOM+Care?
The broad scope of the program allowed me to better understand how businesses function and how financial planning supports each department in achieving its goals. The managerial accounting curriculum was really crucial for the day-to-day operations of my current job. Classes on product and service innovation specifically prepared me to work at a company that is revolutionizing access to healthcare.
What do you like most about working at Zoom+Care?
I became interested in ZOOM+Care when a ZOOM+Care executive and a Legacy Health executive came to speak at our Executive Perspectives on Leadership class. The contrast of the two business models could not have been more stark with the industry incumbent trying to fend off a nimble start-up. It was so interesting to see disruption in action. ZOOM+Care’s flat organizational structure allows me to participate in many different functions that I wouldn’t be able to interact with at a traditional organization. PeaceHealth recently purchased ZOOM+Care and I am looking forward to starting a new chapter with the business in which we will have access to additional resources.
How did your time at The School of Business impact your business mindset today?
Before going to business school, I hardly ever thought about product or service innovation, and now I think about it all the time.
What skills and/or experiences gained at PSU have you found most valuable?
Forecasting and financial analysis have both been central to my role in finance. I use these skills daily.
What inspires you?
I love international travel. During the MBA program, I went on two study abroad trips, one to Nicaragua and one to Cambodia. Connecting with people from different cultures, trying different food and taking time away from work are so important for me. After I finished the MBA program, my partner and I both left our jobs to travel around the world for a year.
What advice do you have for current or prospective School of Business students who want to advance their career?
Early in the program, clearly define what your next career move will be after you graduate. PSU offers many opportunities including internships, mentors and guest speakers from local companies that it helps to focus on establishing relationships within the local business community. This network has had the largest impact on my career path post-graduation.