HI! Here is your first edition of the Willamette MBA Newsletter for applicants and admitted applicants for fall semester 2014!
You will be receiving periodic newsletters and emails from me to keep you informed and
updated. I promise to keep them informative and short!
We hope you enjoy reading the latest information about the
programs and people of the Willamette MBA.
We Wish You A Joyous Holiday Season!
Every December, Willamette University and Salem community join together for the lighting of Willamette's
famed "Star Trees" in celebration of the holiday season. The five giant trees are shown in the banner at the top of this newsletter. The trees are called the "Star Trees" because when a person stands
in the center of the trees and looks upward, the five trees create
a star-shaped view of the sky.
Willamette University offices will close for the holidays at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 20th and reopen on January 2nd. Although I will not
be in the office, I will have periodic access to email and will be
happy to answer your questions via email.
A World Class Education for a Reasonable Price
U.S. News ranked the Willamette MBA as one of the 10 least expensive private business schools. The U.S. News list is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students a way to find graduate programs that excel in specific areas. In addition to maintaining lower tuition fees relative to other MBA programs, Willamette has a generous merit-based scholarship program with scholarships available up to the full cost of tuition. Forbes magazine has also listed the Willamette MBA as one of the "Top 75 MBA Programs" for ROI (return on Investment).
The combination of lower price and great results stems from the unique design of Willamette's Early Career and Career Change MBA program. At Willamette, students gain more than knowledge; they gain the knowledge they need, build a professional resume of experience that shows they can apply their knowledge to help an organization meet its goals, and develop the career management and professional tools needed for career success.
Employers Enjoy Their Interactions With WU MBA Students at Mock Interview Day
Every year, employers visit the Atkinson School to help students develop their interview skills. Students participate in a mock interview and receive valuable feedback from the interviewers. Here are a few of the comments employers made to our career management staff following the fall semester mock interview event.
"I would hire 10 of her!"
"He had a really creative answer ... While I don't have a position right now, I want to find something for him!"
"Once I saw that on her resume, I knew I wanted to talk to her!"
Willamette "MBA for Life" Program Provides Alumni With Lifelong Access to Willamette MBA Courses -- Free of Charge
You may not know it now, but there will be times in your professional career that you will want the opportunity to refresh your MBA knowledge or gain new tools. As a Willamette MBA alum, you can participate in the MBA for Life program and enroll for Willamette MBA courses free of charge (see program details page for specific points).
Professor Rob Wiltbank Quoted in the Wall Street Journal on Angel Investing
Have you ever thought about becoming an angel investor? If so, this article provides some advice on what it takes to become one. Professor Rob Wiltbank, who founded the Willamette MBA Venture Investing course, is quoted in the article as one of the leading experts on the topic. Willamette’s Venture Investing course allows students to become angel investors as part of an experiential learning program where students are embedded as active investing members in angel investment groups throughout the Pacific Northwest; evaluating deal flow, performing due diligence and making investment decisions. Investment decisions are made by the students with the oversight of an Advisory Board. Additionally, students work on cutting edge research in the fields of angel investing, venture investing, entrepreneurship and economic development.
Three Semesters of Internship Experience
The Willamette MBA internship program is just one way we help students build real work experience and professional skills while they complete their MBA. In fact, Willamette MBA students have the rare opportunity to participate in up to three semesters of internship experiences. Students can participate
in a full-time internship in the summer between the first and second year of study, a part-time internship during fall semester of the second year, and a part-time internship during spring semester of the second year. And, because most internships are paid, they provide a source of income that
can help students fund their educational and living expenses. The internship report for the summer of 2013 is available for your review.
Highlights of last summer's internship experiences include student involvement in projects that had a direct impact on the bottom line of the organization and/or employers that encouraged students to present their projects to upper management. Typical projects ranged from designing and implementing a marketing plan, to identifying relevant data and analyzing it to recommend solutions, or mapping processes and recommending ways to streamline a business. Several summer interns were offered full-time positions to take effect after their graduation in May 2014, and others were asked to continue their internships into the 2013-14 academic year.
Students benefit greatly from their internship experiences, and each student is visited by one of our facutly internship coordinators on site. Even when students work overseas or across the U.S., Willamette connects with the student and their supervisor via Skype. Employers comment that the high level of commitment Willamette has to the success of its students is rare and sets Willamette apart from other programs.
International Study Trips to Chile and China
The winter break international study course in Chile is underway. Several students, accompanied by Professor Gary Knight and Director of Recruitment Aimee Akimoff, will spend 7 days in Chile (group pictured on left). The trip includes visits to numerous companies and other organizations in Santiago and Valparaíso/Viña del Mar. Throughout this course students study: 1) the fundamentals of international business, 2) the environments and challenges of emerging markets, 3) strategies and operations for succeeding in emerging markets, and 4) specific aspects of business in Chile, the most significant emerging economy in Latin America. The trip to Chile follows last year's successful venture to Brazil and precedes our 2014 spring break trip to China.
Career Management Networking and Professional Activities
A sample of this fall's activities included corporate site visits to the Portland Timbers (professional soccer), Daimler, and Rubicon International. Students also hosted speakers on campus from Amazon, Avanade, AKT LLP CPA's and Consulting, Intel, Tektronix, Edward Jones Financial, Nike, State of Oregon, Deloitte and Touche Consulting, Target and Deloite's Sustainability practice. Other activities included a workshop in Macro-Investing, and a Human Resources panel that addressed issues of recruiting, training and development, compensation and benefits and risk management.
The Willamette MBA Culture
Applicants often ask us about the culture at the Willamette MBA. Our answers always include two points: 1) we are a close community of students, faculty, staff and alumni who support and challenge each other; and 2) you will make friends and connections that will last a lifetime. Here is a recent story from Chris Magana JD/MBA'04, who told of his recent travels that reconnected him with fellow Atkinson alumni around the world:
"My wife and I along with 5 friends just got back from 20 days in Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Our first stop was Bangkok Thailand. Durit Tansiri MBA'03 and Tarn Chulphongsathorn MBA'03 showed us around Thailand. Upon arriving in Saigon we (along with Durit), reconnected with Tuan Le MBA'03 and Van Phan MBA'04 and spent time eating, drinking and reminiscing about our time together at AGSM."
"My friend Chris Blakney (non AGSM grad) described the trip best: 7 friends, 4 new ones (my AGSM classmates), 20 days, 3 countries, 8 hotels, 7 planes, 14 motorbikes, 10 boats, 3 trains, 2 ATVs, 2 buses, 10 vans, 1 elephant and 18K miles covered. Amazing trip!”
"As we reflected on the long flight home we all acknowledged that my old friends and their new friends made the trip. I think my friends were surprised at the generosity and strength of the AGSM alumni network. AGSM is filled with generous, smart and fun people that eventually scatter around the globe. Just one more reason I'm glad I chose AGSM."
Your Career Plans via CareerLeader
Students admitted to the Willamette MBA program receive free
access to CareerLeader - the most respected and comprehensive online career development tool
for MBA students. CareerLeader helps students explore a variety of
issues related to potential career choices - even before they start
A Willamette MBA Vocabulary Guide
Did you ever wonder how to pronounce "Willamette" or the meaning of some of the abbreviations you see when you read our facebook pages, student blogs and alumni newsletter? Here is a short guide to help you navigate the WU MBA vocabulary:
Pronunciation of Willamette = Will-lam-it
WU = Willamette University
Atkinson Graduate School of Management = the name of the WU graduate school of management and home of the Willamette MBA program
AGSM = Atkinson Graduate School of Management
GSM = the prefix for MBA course numbers
Bearcat = the WU mascot
PACE = Practical Application for Careers and Enterprises
IKEWs = Integrated Knowledge Exercise Week
Trek = Organized onsite visits to employers
On-Campus Preview Day - March 1, 2014
On-campus MBA Preview Day will be held on Saturday, March 1, 2014. Preview Day is a great opportunity to visit campus and experience the Willamette MBA first hand. Activities include sample classes, talking with faculty, student and alumni panels, and information about career management. If you are in the U.S., be sure to plan to join us on March 1st. If you can join us, be sure to let us know you are coming by completing the online RSVP form. If you can't join us on March 1st, you are always welcome to arrange an individual campus visit.
Connect and Learn More
Join us on Twitter (@WilllametteMBA), Facebook and LinkedIn!
Read our viewbook, news pages, Directions magazine, and updates on research.
Download the Willamette MBA Viewbook
Directions Magazine: Transformation: The MBA as a Springboard (be sure to see the two feature articles about PACE and the dramatic career changes and transitions of four alumni from the graduating class of 2012!)
Willamette MBA News Website
Faculty and Student Research and Impact
Coming in the Next Newsletter
Topics for the next newsletter will include: upcoming online chats; PACE partners and projects for 2013-14, general news, and special updates on career services.
Contact Me With Your Information Needs
Be sure to let me know if you have questions! Also, let us know if there are topics you would like us to cover.
Associate Dean and Director of Admission
Willamette University MBA