Engaging Asia Singapore

Warsaw Sports Marketing Center Engaging Asia Recap

As second year Oregon MBA students, we experience the trip of a lifetime for two weeks in September to Shanghai, Beijing, and Singapore. This trip was filled with trips to visit companies, amazing food and company, and plenty of time to explore. Students from the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center took some time to highlight their favorite memories and experiences from this incredible trip.

What was your favorite experience in Shanghai, Beijing, or Singapore and why?

Ismael Nunez-Oliva:

Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 3.19.05 PMThe Sports Matters conference was quite the highlight of my trip. We had the opportunity to attend the most important sports conference in Asia at the Marina Bay Sands. During the conference, we met professionals of the industry from different locations, such as China, Thailand and Australia.

James Stewart:

My favorite experience had to be the Great Wall of China. I never really thought too much about it before actually being there and walking along the wall. How something of that size was built on top of these mountains and is still there today is mind-blowing.

Will Eidam:

received_10206952594325133Being able to visit the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena in Shanghai with Charles Humphrey Smith was a great behind-the-scenes experience that one could only get through Warsaw’s connections. Not only were we given a private tour of the heavily-guarded complex, but we also learned a lot about the political structure of sports in China, specifically Shanghai, that you don’t hear too much about unless you’re talking to someone who has experienced it first-hand.

David Ehrlich:

My favorite experience was the Formula 1 practice in Singapore. I have a huge passion for the sport of Formula 1 racing and to see the cars up close was beyond amazing. The speed, the technology that goes into the cars and the love that fans have for specific manufacturers and drivers. The American market hasn’t embraced Formula 1 much like a country like Singapore. The sport has helped put Singapore on the global sports landscape and provides the opportunity to bid on additional events like junior world championships and the upcoming Rugby 7’s.

received_10206987356154157Vanessa Pollitt:

I most enjoyed the visit to the Olympic Village in Beijing. I remember watching the Olympics back in 2008 and it was incredible getting to see the facilities that made that type of event possible. I personally enjoyed the tour of the Water Cube. As, a former swimmer seeing the pool where Michael Phelps won a historic eight gold medals was definitely a highlight of the trip.


What was the best meal you had on the trip?

Ismael Nunez Oliva:

Chinese hospitality can be overwhelming. As part of the Chinese culture, you need to provide as much food as you can when you are hosting. Some days, we were invited to taste local Chinese dishes that were an explosion of flavors and weird components, such as duck heads.

Will Eidam:

MrShisDumplingsAs great as the large family meals were– and they were amazing and stomach-filling — my best meal was when I went off the beaten path and explored the Hutongs of Beijing. (Alleys formed by lines of historical, traditional courtyard residences.) There, I discovered Mr. Shi’s Dumplings, a Euro-friendly modest restaurant where I was treated to various combinations of steamed and fried dumplings. (The pork, cheese and coriander combo was the best.) Sampling duck head or other non-traditional food items during family meals were great, but it’s hard to beat a well-served plate of hot dumplings.

Benji Bryant:

Breakfast at the hotel in Shanghai was my favorite meal of the trip. It was the most epic breakfast buffet that you will ever see. I seriously spent 2 hours every morning trying to make it to every buffet station. Also, the meals with duck were amazing. It is like a better version of turkey.

What was your favorite company or site visit of the trip and why?

Ismael Nunez-Oliva:Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 3.30.57 PM

I enjoyed our visit to Sport Singapore the most. We had the chance to work and engage with different professionals on a two hour workshop about specific obstacles of the local sports industry. In addition, the opportunity to visit the National Stadium in Singapore was overwhelming and we ended up our visit with a small game of Netball against SportSG. We had a close game but at the end we lost.

Whitney Scott:

IMG_7647 (1)I really enjoyed going to the NFL activation in Beijing. The NFL is still working through how to market in China, and seeing a true activation was a great learning experience (and super fun to take part in). I thought they did a great job of using technology to promote and make their activities more fun and engaging, but also very easy on the “consumer”. I enjoyed hearing about the challenges that China is facing with the NFL, but more so how they are going about tackling those issues.

Christine Lutz:

My favorite company visit was to a hat factory in Shanghai. We received a tour of the entire facility and were walked through the process of making a hat, from idea generation to fabric selection to manufacturing. It was incredible to see the inner workings of a factory and I was amazed at how many famous brands were made under the same factory roof. We then got to explore their showroom and learn a Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 3.35.11 PMlittle bit more about their sales process.

Vanessa Pollitt:

My favorite company visit of the trip was the Sentosa Golf Course in Singapore. I really enjoyed the presentation as well as the tour of the grounds. I also felt it was a fun experience to share between all of the centers.

What city did you most enjoy and why?

James Stewart:

Each city was great for its own reasons. If you were dropped in the middle of downtown Shanghai, it seemed like any other large city in America, except much bigger. The lights and buildings at night were amazing along the river. You could find other people who spoke English and stores and restaurants that you recognized. Beijing was great because it was the first time I really felt like I was in China. The Great Wall was an experience I’ll never forget and a few of us got to check out the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Singapore was very interesting. It didn’t seem like there was a stereotypical Singaporean culture or person, just a mix of all different types of cultures, and on one tour they were explaining to us that the country was growing by using imported sand to increase the size of the island. Pretty wild if you ask me. Being somebody who had never been to Asia before it was very eye-opening. There’s so much to this world that would never cross your mind until you go out there and experience it for yourself.

Jacob Rosen:

I had the best time in Singapore. It’s such a mix of so many cultures and despite the almost unbearable humidity, I wish we had some more time to wander around. Singapore’s history and culture is just so fascinating, including the fact they’ve built up 20% more land by being the world’s largest importer of sand. Since we Engaging Asia Great Wall of Chinahave such a good relation with SportSingapore, we had inside information from our peers and past trips of where to go all around the city-state. I’d love to go back.

Christine Lutz:

My favorite stop of the trip was Beijing. I enjoyed all of the rich history and culture of this city and definitely felt it was the most educational. Visiting the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven were just a few of the amazing places I explored while in Beijing. The food was very authentically Chinese and there were street vendors set up every night selling all sorts of exotic creations such as tarantula, shark, and silk worm.

What advice do you have for future students going on this trip?

Will Eidam:

To make the experience more rewarding, I would advise all students to do research on China’s political and social culture. Having even the most basic understanding will allow you to go more in depth during conversations with speakers who have graciously taken time out of their busy day to speak with students from across the Pacific. Also, you’re only in each city for a couple of days, so having an understanding of where you want to go and what you want to see during your downtime can make a huge difference between having a so-so experience and having an unforgettable one.

Engaging Asia SingaporeJacob Rosen:

Explore the cities during your free time. The long days of networking can be exhausting but you might only go to Asia once in your life. Take time to just wander out and explore the city. Wake up early in the morning or defer your naps until your return to Eugene. Cherish the time you’ve got overseas and make the most of it.


Benji Bryant:

Go! No matter what. This is a once in a lifetime trip that you definitely do not want to miss out on.

Written by Christine Lutz

Christine was born and raised in North Carolina and is a current second year MBA Student in the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center.

Pike Place Seattle

How the Net Impact “Game On” Conference was a Game Changer


Chelsea Clinton at NI15For first year MBA students interested in sustainable business practices, the Net Impact Conference is a must have experience. The Net Impact Conference gives a well-rounded view of how sustainable business practices function in the real world and how a shift towards sustainability can alleviate many economic and social plights the world currently REI Opt Outsidefaces. In addition to the outstanding networking and career search opportunities, the Chelsea Clinton, Jerry Stritzke (REI), Cliff Burrows (Starbucks), and Daniel Lubetsky (KIND Snacks).


A favorite session among the Oregon MBAs was “Conservation Finance: Investing in Nature at Scale,” led by Joe Whitworth and Oregon Alum David Chen. David Chen is the CEO of Equilibrium Capital, a firm, “that David Chenbuilds sustainability-driven real assets investment strategies, funds, and products that generate institutional-quality returns and scale to investors”. The session was a mixture of lecture and group workshop that allowed us to learn from Whitworth and Chen, tackle problems they presented, and then receive feedback to the solutions our teams brainstormed. Most exciting for me, was the ability for Whitworth and Chen to fuse monetary value and conservation into a package which both provides return for investors and measurable ecosystem services.


One of the most compelling sessions that I attended was put on by CollaborateUp, a consulting firm that aims to bring people and companies together to solve big problems. In the workshop, “Nourshing 9 Billion Challenge: Planting the STEM in Food,” groups of 5 were teamed with an expert from Google, Monsanto, or Starbucks and pitted against each other to find solutions for integrating science, technology, engineering, and math education (STEM) into resolutions for feeding the planet. My team was composed of industry professionals, MBA students from all over the United States, and Mary Wagner, a Senior Vice President at Starbucks. This workshop reminded me of Sports Matters Panel at NI15the work we do at the Oregon MBA and reinforced my satisfaction with my choice and my cohort. Much like the Oregon MBA, my team had educational and cultural diversity that, paired with the expertise of Mary, aided in a strong presentation of our final solution.


Net Impact Conference 2015 SeattleThe Net Impact Conference was my first opportunity to see first-hand how sustainability initiatives and business come together. As a biologist with virtually no prior business education or experience, it is reassuring to see that social and environmental problems are becoming a top priority for many companies. These shifts in priorities are exciting and meaningful. The work being done by many innovative thinkers and practitioners are successfully creating shared value solutions that are more profitable than their archaic counterparts. The conference gave new insights into the types of careers available for sustainable business MBA’s and instilled in me a whole new perspective in creatively solving some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental matters.

Written by Eric Parsons

Parsons is a biologist with hospital-lab and field-research experience looking to integrate sustainability into mainstream corporations. Most recently, he served as a field technician for the Belize Raptor Research Institute and performed a study on migrating neotropical raptors. In that role, he identified migrating raptors, produced reports analyzing daily activities and assisted with public outreach. Through the Oregon MBA, Parsons plans to develop the skills necessary to integrate conservation biology with corporate sustainability programs to create value for the business and protect the environment. After graduation, he plans to create sustainability initiatives for companies with interests in neotropical regions or healthcare.

shannon emerson_final

Student Internship Spotlight: Shannon Emmerson

Name: Shannon Emerson
Year: Senior
Major: Accounting
Internship: Asset Management Intern, ESPN in New York City
Internship Dates: Summer 2015

Shannon Emmerson is originally from San Diego, California, and is a current senior in the Lundquist College of Business. She has been involved in many different activities during her time at UO, and during the summer of 2015, she took the initiative to purse an internship for ESPN in New York City. She generously shared with me some details of her experience during this internship and answered questions that may intrigue current students pursuing an internship.

What steps did you take to get your internship for ESPN?

I started by making a list of every person I know and their relationships to employees at ESPN. The first person I reached out to was an older student who had interned for ESPN in the past. He quickly became one of my mentors and I will always be grateful for his advice and encouragement.

After talking to him, I began to reach out to University of Oregon alumni who worked at ESPN and asked for an informational interview. I was amazed at how kind and supportive our alumni are. I was so humbled by their willingness to take time out of their day to help me succeed.

Did you utilize any of the resources offered by Lundquist College of Business Career Services to get your internship?

Absolutely! Career Services not only helped me refine my resume and cover letter but they provided me with the confidence I needed to pursue a position with ESPN. I would highly recommend making an appointment with an advisor before you begin applying to any position. They have reviewed thousands of resumes from every field of business and know from experience what it takes to succeed.

What exactly did you do at your internship?

I was an intern for the Asset Management department within television and digital media. This department is responsible for overseeing, pricing and placing all commercial inventory across every ESPN network as well as ABC Sports. Over a 10-week period I was exposed to the advertising strategies within Monday Night Football, National Basketball Association, College Football Playoff, the ESPYS, Major League Baseball and many more.

Within the television division, I was tasked with several jobs including creating the commercial schedule for the ESPYS, managing the commercial inventory and sponsorship for the Special Olympics World Games, and ensuring the effective placement of millions of dollars of inventory into the correct television programming.

On the other hand, working with the digital department allowed me to gain exposure to advertisement strategies within WatchESPN, ESPN.com and other digital platforms.

What skills did you use from being an accounting major to successfully complete the internship?

In week two of my internship I was tasked to examine millions of dollars of data relating to digital advertising spending and performance. In order to succeed on this project, it was imperative that I understood how each decision and dollar spent affected Finance, Research, Sales Strategy, Business Operations and Marketing. After weeks of pouring over the details, I presented an analysis that was so well received it was escalated to the Vice President and Sr. Directors of our department.

I am certain that without my accounting degree I would not have possessed the necessary knowledge or organizational skills to succeed on this assignment.

How do you hope to use your accounting major in the future?

I decided to pursue an accounting degree because I wanted to be able to understand the impact my decisions have on the business’s bottom line. Accounting has provided me with a strong business acumen that will allow me to make informed business decisions at every stage of my career.

What suggestions do you have for students who are looking for or who are about to start an internship?

Don’t be afraid to reach out to others in your field of interest! You would be surprised how many people want to help you succeed. I live by the saying “never hope for it more than you work for it.” You cannot wait for an opportunity to come to you! I promise, you will be amazed at the results when you begin to put yourself out there.

This Student Spotlight blog post was conducted as a Q&A written interview with Shannon Emerson.

Written by Claire Guy

Claire Guy is from Ashland, Oregon. She is a junior at the Lundquist College of Business and is concentrating in marketing. She plans to purse a career working in the beauty industry.

Engaging Asia: Great Wall of China

4 Cultural Trends That Will Affect Business in Asia

Engaging Asia SingaporeHaving studied international relations and lived abroad for a number of years, I’ve experienced first hand the interconnectivity of our current world. One of the reasons I chose the Oregon MBA is because this program also understands the importance globalization has on business. The Engaging Asia BeijingOregon MBA takes it one step further by offering all students a highly subsidized international business trip to Asia to experience international business first hand.

Through the Engaging Asia study tour I was given the opportunity to experience the culture, history, politics, economics, and business of three very distinct cities: Shanghai, Beijing, and Singapore. The two-week trip consisted of meetings and tours with leaders from a wide variety of organizations, from large international businesses, to local start-ups, to government officials. In the course of these meetings and cultural experiences I identified four common trends to watch as I enter my career:

1)   The rising middle class and consumerism: The United States middle class is no longer the driver of the world’s economic growth, with over 109 million people worth between $50,000 and $500,000 in China alone; the Asian-Pacific market is now the most influential consumer class. Since 2000, twice as many Chinese as Americans have joined the middle class (CNN Money)  and by 2030 two-thirds of the world’s middle class will be in the Asia-Pacific region (Jeffrey Towson and Jonathan Woetzel). What does this mean for international businesses looking for growth? You’d better establish a presence now and start building a relationship with this powerful market.

Engaging Asia Shanghai2)   Young consumers: Asian consumers are significantly younger than their Western counterparts. Chinese born after 1980 represent more than 50% of the Chinese population, and Indian’s median age is only 27. These young people have grown up in a connected world, are more receptive to Western ideas and businesses, and deeply aspire for a better life (Helen H. Wang). They pose a huge opportunity, but are also a difficult segment due to their ability to detect manipulations and false intentions. That’s why authentic brands are crucial.

Engaging Asia Beijing3)   The importance of authenticity: Asian consumers are getting savvy to fake offerings and poor imitations and now that they have the financial ability, they want the real thing from brands that recognize traditional differences and cultures. What this means for new businessmen and women is that it is going to become vital to have someone on the ground who really understands what the Asian consumer is looking for and his or her pain points. It is also a huge opportunity for people with strong people and relationship building skills if they are willing to live and work internationally.

4)    The increased awareness of health and happiness in place of money as a symbol of status: Chinese citizens have realized that a higher income doesn’t always have the expected correlation with well-being, thus recent trends have shifted. The increased importance on happiness and welfare as measurements of success has led Chinese citizens to be more physically active, more relationship and community focused, and care more about the state of the environment. Average Chinese citizens are sick of pollution and the illnesses it causes and are demanding more from the government. Chai Jing, for example, became a sensation with over one million YouTube views of her documentary Under the Dome Investigating China’s Smog. However, Chai Jing doesn’t claim to be an extreme environmentalist; she’s just a Nike Shanghainormal citizen bringing light to the questions that all Chinese have begun asking. She’s just a mom who wants a healthier life for her daughter, as do all Chinese citizens. Corporate social responsibility and sustainability will be vital to the success of businesses operating in Asia.


Written by Natalie Colvin

Natalie is a 2016 MBA from the Center for Sustainable Business Practices. The experience of living abroad in Costa Rica, instilled in Natalie a passion for improving the world. She hopes to bring this passion to a career in the outdoor/athletic industry after completing her MBA. Natalie received a dual undergraduate degree in development anthropology and Latin American studies from the University of Arizona honors college where she was also on the equestrian team.

Anna Karvina Pidong

Student Internship Spotlight: Anna Karvina Pidong

Name: Anna Karvina Pidong
Year: Senior
Major: Accounting
Internship: Audit Intern, Deloitte in Portland, Oregon
Internship Dates: Summer 2015

Anna Karvina Pidong is a senior accounting student in the Lundquist College of Business. This past summer, she worked for Deloitte, one of the Big Four accounting firms, in Portland. Below, she shares some of the details of her internship, what she learned from the experience, and some advice for prospective interns in the accounting world.

What was the structure of your Deloitte internship like?

My Deloitte internship was two months long with 40-hour weeks. The first two weeks were spent in training, at both the regional and national level. The remaining six weeks of the internship were spent with our assigned audit engagement teams. I was at a client site for one-to-two weeks at a time so I had a fair glimpse into the firms that Deloitte audits and what it was like to be working with an audit team.

Describe your internship role and responsibilities?

As an intern, your biggest role is to soak in what the internship experience has to offer, and to do it with a positive attitude. Each audit team will engage an intern differently. For example, in one engagement team, I helped with the planning process of an audit by simply updating the information on prior year forms to the current year forms. In another audit, I helped out with preliminary risk assessments by working on the income statement fluctuation analysis. This meant I had to compare prior quarter income statement accounts with the current quarter’s income statement and explain why those fluctuations occurred. Yikes! But at the end of the day, the biggest responsibility that I had was to ask questions, be a positive and enthusiastic learner, and to complete each task that I was given to the best of my abilities.

What did you enjoy most about your internship?

Every intern class at Deloitte Portland puts together a video that we show to the whole office at the end of our two months there. It’s a pretty big deal. There were rumors that previous intern videos were never really good so our class was determined to make a high-quality video. We spent three weeks putting it together, from script-writing to acting to editing. We made a satire of Law & Order … and we called it Law & Order: Financial Victims Unit, SOX Edition (because the two main detectives were named Sarbanes and Oxley. Accounting jokes). There was no better feeling than having people crack up over our jokes. People at the office commented that it was one of the best intern videos they’ve ever seen. My intern class really bonded over this project and it just solidified the fact that folks at Deloitte work hard but play hard, too.

What was challenging about your internship?

The most challenging thing about the internship was probably getting over what I felt like was expected of me. I came in nervous about whether I was competent enough to even be there. What if I asked a stupid question? What if I didn’t know how to do an assignment? What would they think of me? But I eventually learned that when you are an accounting intern, you are not expected to know everything. My audit team was there to help me with my bajillion questions and they were happy to do it! Learning to ask for help, even in small things, and not be ashamed of it was one of the biggest lessons I learned this summer.

What advice do you have for other students?

Don’t take your accounting classes for granted. What you learn in financial accounting, tax and audit will actually show up in your accounting career some day. Public accounting firms want to see that you are taking your technical skills seriously. There were several times this summer that I wish I had paid more attention in class because we were doing work related to PP&E valuations and investments accounting.

And I would also say, take time to get to know the culture of the different accounting firms that you are interested in. Don’t simply label a firm based on what you hear about them. Talk to the recruiter and go to networking events. The connections you build really make a difference before, during, and after your internship. Good luck!

This Student Spotlight blog post was conducted as a Q&A written interview with Anna Karvina Pidong.

Written by Karina Padilla

Karina is a senior from Oregon pursuing a B.S. in Business Administration in General Business. She plans to purse a career working in the banking industry.