Student ambassador spotlight: Stephen Murphy

Stephen Murphy Headshot

Program Name: MBA
Year of Graduation: 2020
Program Schedule: Part Time

What is your background?

I graduated from the University of Oregon in 2011 with a degree in applied mathematics and a minor in business administration. I’ve spent the last five plus years working in corporate information technology, seeing “how things work” in the business world.

You have an impressive IT background. Are you planning to continue in that field?

While I am looking to enhance my non-IT skill set through the MBA program, I don’t have any particular plans to abandon the realm of IT. I believe it will always play to my strengths to keep one foot in IT, and there are a variety of roles and positions that can leverage the knowledge of both the MBA program and my technical knowledge.

How has your experience been at The School of Business at Portland State?

The PSU School of Business has clearly put a lot of effort into designing the MBA program. Meeting our MBA cohort has been wonderful, and the
PSU School of Business staff is very accommodating and willing to help with any issues.

What advice do you have for prospective graduate business students who are interested in your field?

Business school offers a wide variety of specialties and skills, from people-focused to detail-oriented. If you’re worried it won’t be a good fit for you, do some research into different fields — you might be surprised!

How do you spend your free time?

In undergrad, I worked as a barista, and I still like to get creative with my espresso machine. I can’t manage to get the hang of getting my pour over coffee to turn out well, though. I play video games in my spare time, although that’s in pretty short supply with the MBA course load, so I haven’t been doing too much of that lately. Mostly, I spend my free time with my friends, hanging out and playing board games.

What inspires you?

Realizing that there isn’t that much of a barrier between me and doing something different with my life. I think it’s very easy to assume that people who have desirable jobs are insurmountably qualified for them, and ignore the fact that they’re human as well. Once I decided to pursue the The Portland MBA and committed myself to the process, I’ve been amazed at how much I’ve been able to change in my own life simply by deciding that it was time to make a change. Understanding how I was selling myself short has inspired me to do a lot more than I have before.

What are your future goals?

Determine the direction I want to take my career and begin exploring the relevant skills.

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