Experiential Learning Seattle

Cameron Center takes on Seattle

One of the major components of the Oregon MBA experience is the experiential learning trips. Every term, our academic classes shut their doors, and students venture out to metropolitan areas across the country and the world. We visit cities like Seattle, New York, Shanghai, San Francisco, and Portland, to meet with top executives and recent alumni in the field. The purpose of these excursions is for students to experience real world applications of the academic theories we are learning in the classroom. These trips also serves as a major networking tool that garnish connections that continue on well beyond the MBA program.

Seattle skylineThis past week, all first year MBA students had the opportunity to travel to Seattle, Washington and engage with top executives from companies such as Microsoft, Milepost Consulting, D. A. Davidson, and REI.

For me, one of the highlights of the Seattle trip was the key industry and career insights provided by top executives in the finance industry. Due to the small size of the Cameron Center for Finance and Security Analysis, we were able to sit around the board room table with Seattle’s financial giants and speak candidly about issues that were important to each one of us. These topics ranged from sports to hedging future currency rates to how each of these top executives started their careers. These open conservations were immensely valuable because they provided us the knowledge and motivation that will guide us through the MBA program to internships and careers.

Oregon MBAs in SeattleThe Seattle trip was my first opportunity to see how the city stacked up against the other major cities. Born and raised outside of Dallas, Texas, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to travel much of the United States and abroad. But until coming to the Oregon MBA program, I had never ventured to the Pacific Northwest. So besides getting an excellent education at the University of Oregon, I am also test driving the region to see if I would want to eventually make it my home, and Seattle exceeded expectation. Between the food, the cultural diversity, the career opportunities, the breath taking scenery, and the genuine kind-hearted nature of the people that we got to meet, the city of Seattle has now been added to the list of cities that I could call home.


Written by Alex C. Bibb

Alex is a 2017 MBA in the Cameron Center for Finance and Security Analysis. He started his career in the financial development career field by helping lower-income households and communities gain access to financial services. Upon graduation, Alex hopes to continue this work by bridging the gap between the traditional financial world and economic depressed areas.

The Role of the Risk Manager

JeffVernorHeadshotJeffrey Vernor, Senior Director of Enterprise Risk Management and Internal Audit at TPG Global, LLC., will be visiting the Lundquist College of Business on February 4 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Lillis room 262. Jeff comes with extensive knowledge in risk management. He will be talking with students about the role of a risk manager, suggestions for starting a risk management career and more.

Question: Can you give a brief description of your role working on enterprise risk management and internal auditing at TPG Global, LLC.?

Answer: I lead the Enterprise Risk Management and Internal Audit department at TPG, which is responsible for providing management with the leadership, advice, assurance and tools they need to identify and manage the risks that could impact the achievement of TPG’s objectives. I am responsible for executing the team’s strategy for TPG, which includes establishing the risk management framework, audit plan, and building the appropriate risk culture throughout operations. I also assess the risks associated with TPG’s critical service providers and provide support for the risk hedging process, which sometimes includes purchasing commercial insurance products. I have leadership responsibility for implementation of the risk framework including the development of key training materials and the delivery of risk assessments and facilitation of workshops. I have a small team of risk and audit professionals and augment that team with vendors that specialize in risk and internal audit.

Q: You have a lot of experience working in risk management. What advice would you give students interested in going into this field?

A: Be open-minded about the type of job opportunities that are available. While there are many jobs available in risk financing (underwriting, brokerage, reinsurance, etc.), there are an increasing number of firms hiring entry-level positions directly into corporate risk management functions. I always tell students to focus on three things: 1) make good grades; 2) obtain an internship with a name brand firm; and 3) network, network, network.

Q: What resources did you utilize at the University of Texas at San Antonio that you would recommend current MBA students take advantage of?

A: My program was an Executive MBA, so I was really lucky to be studying with managers and leaders who were already established in their respective fields. The main resources I tapped into were the intellectual capital of my fellow students and the program faculty. We also had the opportunity to take two international trips to study busy practices outside of the U.S. I would encourage students to study abroad our do international visits to broaden their worldview.

Q: Do you predict the future job of Risk Manager will be different than it is today?

A: Yes. It will be much more technical and require a solid understanding of statistics, modeling and analytics. However, because risk management is so closely tied to understanding human behavior, there will still be a premium placed on risk talent who can understand how organizations work, and have the communication skills to build trust with management and staff.

Q: Can you give me a brief description of what you plan to discuss in your lecture on February 4th?

A: I want to give the audience insight into a day in the life of a risk manager, my crooked path to risk management, current issues facing risk managers and suggestions on starting a risk management career. But, frankly, I hope there are lots of questions so the audience gets to control the direction of the dialogue.

Be sure to stop by Jeffrey Vernor’s lecture on February 4, 2016 in Lillis Business Complex room 262. The event will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Written by rogers9@uoregon.edu

Andrew Rogers is a sophomore at the University of Oregon studying Public Relations and Chinese. Andrew aspires to work in PR for non-profit organizations or political campaigns. In addition his studies, Andrew works as a Resident Assistant for UO Housing and volunteers in the music department of KWVA, UO’s campus radio station.


Media Access at the Moda Center: An Insider’s View of NBA Game Day

When I first landed in the United States (Boston in particular), the first thing I did was book a ticket for a Celtics game. I chose to see a Knicks – Celtics game due to their historic rivalry. The TD Garden had a perfect atmosphere and, although neither team was at its best, it was an unforgettable experience. Today, two years later, I’ve been given the opportunity to see the NBA from the inside. As part of the NBA press media representing a Spanish radio station, I am lucky to see the NBA from another point of view; one much closer than I ever expected.

How did this amazing opportunity come about? I have connections with media outlets back home in Spain, and I thought that they might need someone that they know and trust who could cover NBA games in the Pacific Northwest. I sent a few emails and in a few weeks was at the Moda Center with my first NBA press credential happier than ever.

Lesson: Create your own job and your own chances through networking. The right connections are key in the sports business industry.

I usually arrive at the Moda Center an hour and a half before the games. The media entrance is the same one as the entrance to the floor so we have to pass through security. They check my backpack, and I have to go through the metal detector to verify that I am not carrying anything dangerous. After that, I can pick up my accreditation and am all set to start working. Since I am not a full time journalist, but an MBA student who lives in Eugene, I have to ask for credentials for each game. I email the radio station a few days before, letting them know that I will attend the game and they let me pick up my credentials upon arrival.

Once I have collected my press credentials, I enter the media room where I enjoy the delicious dinner that the Blazers’ staff politely offers to all the accredited journalists for the game. This is my chance to talk to fellow journalists and do some networking which always helps. An hour before the game, I have the option to interview the coaches of both teams and go on the floor to take photos. As a member of the press, I have access to the VIP area, the bench, and the court. After the game, media members also have access to the locker room.

My working station is in Section 207 of the Moda Center, just behind the VIP area. I can see the game perfectly and have a table for my laptop and a TV where I can watch other NBA games or check the game statistics. We definitely have everything we need there. At the end of each quarter, a representative of the Blazers gives us a sheet with game stats and fun facts that help us tweet or write to fans with data to support our comments. I admit that most of us spend the game tweeting. At the end of the game, the Blazers PR department emails or posts on the media website a press release with the game report that we can use to write our articles.

Once the game ends, I can attend the Blazers coach press conference or interview the rival coach in the hallway of the entrance to the locker room. After the coach answers our questions we are granted access to the locker rooms to interview the players.

                           The Media Room at the Moda Center

How many times have we seen in the media that a player had a triple-double in the game? Or beat the record of 3 pointers in a quarter? If you were a coach, would you give a player that has 18 points and 9 rebounds a chance to play a few more minutes to get his double-double even if you were winning by 20 points? In this game, the statistics have a tremendous influence on the game. Let me share with you an interesting anecdote: Why do you think Draymond Green, aka “Mr. Triple-double,” played just one minute in the 4th quarter of the Warriors – Blazers game? They were winning by 15 points and as one of the players with the most overall season minutes, Green needed the rest. But at that point in the game, Green had 11 points, 12 rebounds and 9 assists. Could you guess what happened after that minute? Good old Draymond got the assist needed for his umpteenth triple-double of the season and went straight to the bench.

That’s another advantage of watching NBA from behind the cameras: Continued access to statistics and fun facts provided by the excellent public relations department of the Blazers. This makes a journalist’s life much easier–not only to objectively discuss the game (If you see the “Splash Brothers scoring 60 points with more than 50% FG” no doubt that you can objectively say they have destroyed the Blazers) but it also helps to understand some coaching decisions that a viewer, focused on the game and its continuous highlights, simply cannot see.

The line-up of the players that I have had the good fortune to watch and report on at the Moda Center are:

PG – Steph Curry

PG – Russell Westbrook

SF – Kevin Durant

SF – Draymond Green

C – DeAndre Jordan

6th Man: Klay Thompson


And my favorite moments are:

1. Taking part in the Steph Curry post-game interview

2. Meeting Paul Pierce

3. The food at the Rose Garden / Moda Center– simply delicious!


Written by jcampos@uoregon.edu

Jose Campos is an experienced Sports Marketer born in Spain and 2017 Warsaw Sports Marketing Center MBA. After a few years working in the UK, Jose came to the US to work at the East Coast before arriving at the UO. After graduating he is looking to work as Sports Agent.

work wear

Outfitting America’s Toughest Women

Similar to other businesses, the founding of TOUGHER came from frustrations I personally experienced. For women in professional trades or hardcore DIYers like myself, finding workwear that holds up to the abuses of hard physical labor is daunting. Despite the fact that women have been getting it done well before Rosie the Riveter, hard physical labor is still viewed as men’s work- leading to a chronic lack of focus on women as a consumer group among workwear brands.

Until now.


Beth getting it done on her organic farm. She wishes for better work pants that fit women.

Since enrolling last year in the Oregon MBA’s innovation/entrepreneurship track, significant strides have been made in launching our brand. Over 300 women have validated the need for a women’s workwear brand focused on comfortable workwear without the color pink or bedazzlement. TOUGHER was also selected as the regional winner and semi-finalist for the Small Business Administration’s InnovateHER Challenge. Lastly, our team comprised of Justin La Tempa (Finance, Class of 2016), Brawnson Adams (I/E, Class of 2016), and myself have been selected to compete in the 2016 Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge at the University of Louisville on February 13, 2016.

Starting an apparel brand has many moving parts and takes a special kind of crazy, as one of my advisers would say. However, it is the most alive and creative I have ever felt- hinting that we’re on the right path. Whenever I receive an email or grab coffee with a woman who is craving a better work pant or field shirt, like I am, it fuels me through any hardship experienced at the moment. After all, I founded TOUGHER not as a vanity brand unto myself, but to unite a community of women long ignored and inspire a new generation of young girls to get dirty, grow, build, and make.

Written by Stacey Edwards

Stacey will be graduating in June 2016 from the Oregon MBA's Innovation/Entrepreneurship track. Her past career experience include more than ten years of service in public health. She has successfully authored and passed local and state-level statutes, mentored more than 700 college students in professional development, taught undergraduate and graduate courses at Oregon State University and conducted assessment on client satisfaction and programmatic learning outcomes.

OIA Member

#MyOutdoorStory an Outdoor Industry Association Movement



“Each of us has a story—unique in its particulars but ubiquitous in its theme—about how we fell in love with the outdoors. The first time you went camping, your first job at a local outdoor retail shop, the piece of gear that saved or changed your life, the ‘aha’ moment when you realized that you were an outdoorist.” So begins the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) article on the #MyOutdoorStory campaign trying to collect and archive the unique stories and perspectives that create the industry’s soul.

During the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market January 5th-9th the OIA set up a mountain gondola in the middle of the expo floor for attendees to record their stories. Thanks to the Oregon MBA I was in attendance and while chatting with OIA employees was convinced to add my aspiring outdoor industry member’s voice to the mix (see the text version of my interview below).

I was also fortunate to chat with Todd Walton, the Marketing Communications Manager from the OIA and the brains behind #MyOutdoorStory, to get a little background on the initiative.

The idea for #MyOutdoorStory was strongly influenced by the StoryCorps movement because people like telling their stories and the outdoor industry is built on stories from iconic brands OIA Micstarted on the tops of mountains, with the sole purpose to enable the founders to be outside more. We all know these stories, but what about the hundreds of others that make up the industry? #MyOutdoorStory was built to capture those stories, from retail employees, to CEOs. These stories bind us together as an industry, they are what makes the outdoor industry special. As Walton says, “You can never replicate the lessons learned being outside.”

Although Walton was concerned that the initiative might not be successful, the old gondola turned sound booth couldn’t help but draw people in. In all they averaged 20-30 interviews per day over the four days of the tradeshow and became a highlight of the expo floor.

The best thing about #MyOutdoorStory is that it isn’t going to end with the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. OIA has plans for people to continue posting 1-2 minute sound clips on the website to continue to capture these stories. OIA hopes to grow #MyOutdoorStory beyond the outdoor industry because telling these stories crosses barriers and breaks people out of their shells. “In the gondola there were people who broke down in tears and plenty of roaring laughter,” Walton said. “No matter what the tone, every unique story captured a piece of the person telling it, their passion was palpable.”

#MyOutdoorStory GondolaRead on if you’re interested in a text version of my experience in the gondola and go to #MyOutdoorStory to check out sound clips of others.

Deborah Williams from the OIA and I stepped into the gondola, she handed me a mic and told me keep answers short but to have fun with the interview.

“What was your first experience with the outdoors?” she asked me.

“I was lucky to grow up along a greenbelt in Portland, Oregon and my youth is full of stories exploring this forest, building forts, climbing trees, and playing make believe. During the summers we would go camping at lakes in the Cascades and on the Oregon coast. I’ve always loved water. I would splash around and pretend I was a mermaid any chance I could.”

“What brought you to Outdoor Retailer?”Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2016

“I’m a Sustainable Business MBA student at the University
of Oregon getting ready to graduate. I was invited to attend the Sustainability Working Group meetings yesterday and was excited to come learn more about collaborative efforts like the HIGG Index and Responsible Down Standard, as well as meet people who are actually working on the tough environmental and social issues we study.”

“Do you have a moment you consider your ‘aha’ moment that you realized you were an outdoorist?” was the next question.

“You know, I would have to say the moment I connected with surfing.” I pause thinking of all the amazing surfing memories I’ve had. “Surfing to me is a way to connect with something bigger than myself. You have to become one with nature and the waves to be successful. You have to learn to understand the subtle nuances, read the ocean, make your best guess, and then just go for it. I’ve come close to extreme danger while surfing more times than my mom would like to know. But being in the ocean has taught me more than anything else in my life. It’s taught me patience and living in the moment, how to read subtle cues and changes in situations, how to just hold your breath and stop fighting, that in the end with a little faith, things usually turn out better than you imagine.”

The last question I really made me think. “Why are you a part of the Outdoor Industry?”

Keen's OR Winter Market boothMy first thought was that I wasn’t, I was just a student with aspirations, but over the past few days I had been accepted and included and my ideas were listened to just as much as anyone else. I realized to the professionals I respected I was a part of the outdoor industry. I answered, “The Outdoor Industry inspires me. I have met so many amazing, passionate people this week. People who are committed to preserving the outdoors so that everyone can have the experiences and the inspiration we have, as REI says, A life outdoors is a life well lived. And I see that manifested in companies like Patagonia, Keen, MEC, Hydroflask, prAna, REI, and in the people that make up this industry. But as Terry Tempest Williams said in her keynote this morning, we aren’t doing enough. I believe the outdoor industry needs to stand up for what it believes in, be more vocal, and demand change. I hope to get a job in the outdoor industry because the level of collaboration and passion is unparalleled. This industry is a vital piece in advancing the environmental movement both with consumers and policy makers and I want to be a part of that movement.”


Thank you to Todd Walton, Katie Boue, and Nikki Hodgson from the OIA. All photo credit to the Outdoor Industry Association.

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.