Alumni ambassador spotlight: Alyssa Phillips

 Alyssa Phillips

Program Name: MBA
Year of Graduation: 2018
Program Schedule: Part Time

What is your background?

I have a bachelor’s in psychology and minors in communications, French and dance.

How was your experience at The School of Business at Portland State?

Through my cohort, international experience, events and guest speakers, Portland State University has introduced me to a lot of people I would not have met otherwise. Some of these people have helped me discover career possibilities that I did not know existed. In the classroom, I gained the tools I needed to apply my knowledge in my career. As a part-time MBA student, I also learned how to better manage my time and balance competing priorities while balancing career, school and life.

It sounds like you’ve built a strong network through PSU. What advice do you have for students who are looking to do the same?

Be open to possibilities and take advantage of opportunities. Many of the relationships I built through PSU were through working on group projects, attending events that were offered as a student — including some catered more to undergraduate students, taking electives outside my cohort and following up with guest speakers and alumni connections. I have interests outside my specific program, so I wanted to diversify my experience as much as possible. Also, take time to do something social with cohort members. My cohort had a tradition of going out together after the last class of every term, and those are some of my favorite memories of the program. If I had to do it over again, I would find ways to incorporate even more networking and activity-based events.

What international experience did you participate in, and can you tell us more about it?

I chose the international trip to Marseilles, France, which now includes a trip to Brussels. As a French minor in undergraduate, I learned so much about France and French culture that it had long been a dream to visit. Since I chose the finance option, it made sense to choose the international experience that correlated with it. The classroom experience taught me a great deal about how international trade works and provided a perspective on how other countries view the United States related to those topics. We had a group project related to the trip that helped form a team environment and also group activities with KEDGE Business School students, which were good for building not only local but also global connections.

Like other students on the trip, I chose to extend my trip and visit some other places including Iceland, Monaco and various cities around France. After everyone returned in the fall, it seemed that everyone had formed stronger relationships with those on their trips, and I think everyone had a wonderful trip no matter the destination.  

What inspires you?

I am inspired by stories of people who work hard to achieve something big in the face of adversity. I also find inspiration in music, dance, art and nature — the beauty of the everyday.

What are your future goals?

Currently, I am transitioning my career to a business analyst role with an emphasis on using data driven insights to propel corporate strategy.

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