Finance Gains in Portland

For some first-year students in the Oregon MBA’s Finance and Securities Analysis Center, glimpses of where our education could take us are very valuable. These glimpses both remind us that going back to school was the right choice and help us find our paths. We were fortunate enough to get an illuminating view of two possible futures last Friday when we visited Mazama Capital Management and Umpqua Bank.

Ron Sauer, founder of Mazama Capital, spoke with us about the history of Mazama and gave an overview of the current business. His story about how he successfully transitioned from a student to a professional hit very close to home for some of us, as it was not only his talent but also a bit of chance that helped him succeed. Next, Li Tang and Krystal Daibes spoke about the responsibilities of an industry analyst; their detailed description elucidated a complex profession, giving us a clear view of where our degree could take us.

At Umpqua bank, Daniel Sullivan, the Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, and Brooke Turner, the Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager of Umpqua’s downtown Portland location, taught us about how a bank can grow in the modern competitive market. Seeing these real-life examples of strategic business development demonstrates that the skills we are learning can be applied in many situations. Their presentation gave us insight into the types of decisions we could be responsible for someday – decisions that put a company on a successful course.

Kyle Spradling, Finance and Securities Analysis Center, Class of 2014

Written by Andrew White

Andrew is an MBA Candidate in the Center for Sustainable Business Practices. A native of Massachusetts, he came to UO to refine his business skills and build his expertise in the sustainability arena. His primary interest is in helping organizations implement environmentally and socially sustainable strategies for long-term success, and he is a regular participant on many of the MBA intramural sports teams.