Undergrad Blog

2017 Honors Program Spring Banquet

On May 15, the Lundquist College of Business Honors Program hosted its 19th annual spring banquet at the Ford Alumni Center. Students, their families, and faculty members gathered together to celebrate and recognize the 2015-2017 cohort and their completion of the Honors Program curriculum and resulting graduation from the program.

Keynote speaker Jonathan Evans began the evening by sharing his experiences as co-founder and CEO of Skyward IO, a Verizon company. Skyward is a revolutionary drone operations company that Evans started during his time in the Oregon MBA program in 2012. Since then, Skyward has grown tremendously and recently merged with Verizon. Evans shared inspiring stories from his company as well as important lessons that he learned through his business experience. As Evans discussed making it through Skyward’s most challenging years, he emphasized the importance of persevering and maintaining core values. By sharing his story, Evans hoped to spark students’ curiosity to explore new things—after all, that’s how Skyward began years ago.

Sahar Petri, the 2016 Leadership Award recipient, announced two award winners. First, Julie Meunier of the 2016-2018 cohort received the 2017 Leadership Award. Meunier is highly involved in the Lundquist College of Business, notably working as a Duck Guide and as a member of the Oregon Consulting Group. Next, Doug Wilson was recognized as the recipient of the 2017 Faculty Award. Wilson taught the honors capstone course, BA 453H, in which teams of students worked on projects with the City of Albany.

Next, Amanda Gonzales led a look back on the 2017 Honors Program alternative break trip to Guatemala. Gonzales took time to thank the generous sponsors, donors, and all of the other individuals who made it possible for 11 students to travel with Where There Be Dragons, an experiential learning organization, this past spring break.

Honors Program director Deb Bauer followed Gonzales to present the final award of the night, the 2017 Student Achievement Award. This award is given to the graduating member with the highest GPA. This year’s recipient was Jack Miller. Bauer also recognized members of the student management board for their hard work and contribution to the program’s success this past year.

Graduating senior Ben Tesluk ended the night with a speech reflecting on the 2015-2017 cohort’s time in the Honors Program. He emphasized his appreciation for his cohort, whose members are now close friends, and for the opportunities the program provided. Tesluk also thanked Bauer for her enormous contributions to the program over the years, as she is finishing her final year as program director. Bauer received a standing ovation from banquet attendees as Tesluk presented her with a thank you gift from the graduating class.

The evening was full of inspiration and recognition of notable people involved in the Honors Program. The banquet marked 35 students’ successful completion of the program, a significant challenge and honor worthy of celebration.

Story by Carolyn Graeper ’18. Graeper is a business administration major with a minor in art. She will spend this summer working before traveling to Denmark to participate in a fall semester exchange program at Copenhagen Business School. Graeper will graduate in spring 2018.

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.

2017 Honors Program Spring Site Visit to Nike

In May, members of the Lundquist College of Business Honors Program were invited to Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon for a campus tour and panel discussion with long-time Nike employees.

The tour included visits to numerous buildings dedicated to the different departments that make up the Nike brand. Some notable buildings included the Michael Jordan building and Prefontaine Hall. It was amusing to hear about Nike’s humble beginnings making sales out of the back of a van in Eugene. The storytellersmdash;as Nike fondly calls their guides—gave students insight into how the campus and numerous intramural clubs, courts, fields, and gardens all contribute to Nike’s incredible business culture. The stories of sports legends like Mia Hamm and Jerry Rice demonstrated Nike’s culture of treating its sponsored athletes as part of the team.

Students explored the many food options available during their lunch break, during which they shared what they had enjoyed most about the tour and what they had learned about Nike’s history. Nike’s cafeteria space provides employees with a place to come together and interact over lunch, creating an exciting and vibrant atmosphere.

After lunch, students attended a panel discussion comprised of Nike employees, the majority of whom were part of the golf division. The panelists included Aaron Heiser, David Pearce, Collette Hemmings, Jarod Courtney, and moderator Heather Broderick. Each panelist shared the story of their career paths and the challenges that they faced along the way. Many of the panelists had experienced career journeys best described as nomadic, experiencing Nike’s global reach by landing positions in the U.K., Europe, and Asia. Another aspect of Nike life the group discussed was how interconnected the business culture is to their everyday activities.

Each panelist discussed the Nike company value that spoke to them most and that they keep in the back of their mind to help guide their way through decisions and challenges. During the Q&A portion, the panelists were candidly open and honest about their experiences. From the closure of the golf equipment sector to the struggles of following your career in unfamiliar places, their stories resonated with students on both a mental and emotional level.

To conclude the day, Honors Program students received access to the Nike company store, where they had the opportunity to purchase merchandise and further mingle with their peers. All students left full of insightmdash;many left with bags full of Nike gear as well.

Story by Liam Jacobs and Nick Miller, 2016-2018 Honors Program cohort members. Jacobs is a business administration major, concentrating in sports business with a minor in economics. He will spend this next school year as a marketing and promotions intern for UO Athletics, and graduates in spring ‘18. Miller is a business administration major with a concentration in finance. He is also pursuing a second major in economics. This summer he will hold a position as a summer analyst at Ascent Private Capital Management, a subsidiary of U.S. Bank, in San Francisco. Miller will graduate in spring ‘19.

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.

Honors Students Travel to Guatemala

The Lundquist College Business Honors Program took its sixth annual alternative break trip to Guatemala during the week of spring break in late March 2017. The program partnered with Where There be Dragons, an experiential learning-based organization, to expose students to cross-cultural education, global citizenship, and opportunities for individual growth. Eleven students from the program—led by Honors Program director, Deb Bauer—participated in the trip and engaged in extending their learning outside of the classroom.

The group travelled to Antigua, a UNESCO world heritage site, as well as various communities around Lake Atítlan, where the group was able to experience local Guatemalan culture. For four nights of the trip, students stayed with host families in San Lucas Toliman. Living with host families proved to be a very challenging, but also a rewarding experience for all. Many students didn’t speak Spanish, but learned to communicate in other ways and made meaningful connections with their host families by cooking together, playing games with their host siblings, or spending time together in the evenings.

The group spent their days visiting various organizations and individuals in the community where they learned about traditional Mayan culture, Guatemalan history, sustainable agriculture practices, and the current social, political, and economic challenges that the people of Guatemala are facing.

The group spent a number of days with the Mesoamerican Permaculture Institute (IMAP), a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching local Guatemalans how to incorporate sustainable agricultural practices and traditional Mayan agriculture techniques into their daily lives. IMAP serves communities around Lake Atitlan and is dedicated to promoting food sovereignty, community development, and the preservation of local biodiversity and ancestral knowledge. With IMAP, the group learned about Mayan cosmovision and engaged in hands-on projects, including introducing new plants into a community garden.

Overall, the trip was a great success, allowing students to interact with local Guatemalans and learn about a new culture. Expanding our knowledge of the world around us is an invaluable lesson that the future business leaders in the Honors Program were able to experience.

Story by Amanda Gonzales ’17. Gonzales is an accounting major minoring in Spanish. She will spend this summer working as an audit intern with Deloitte in their Portland office. Gonzales will graduate in the fall of 2017.

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.

A Breakdown of WIB’s Bay Area Site Visit

A Quick Overview

While thousands of UO students completed their finals and promptly rushed home for the holidays, 15 eager Women in Business (WIB) members opted for a little adventure instead. These students packed their bags – with business casual attire, of course – and embarked on an eye-opening journey throughout the Bay Area where they were able to explore a variety career opportunities available to women today.

Thanks to LinkedIn, some very supportive UO alumni, and our dedicated executive board the 15 of us were able to participate in employee-run discussion panels and in tours of companies ranging from Pinterest to Google to AKQA and more. Over the course of five days, we got to connect with women from a variety of careers and educational backgrounds who were more than happy to answer questions and share their wisdom and experiences with us. Our group learned about the myriad of jobs in data analysis, finance, creative directing, risk mitigation, and business management while, at the same time, learning about presentation and negotiation skills that aid in landing those jobs.

Hearing dozens of success stories from women who live in one of the most male-centric areas in the U.S. was a very empowering experience. Although Silicon Valley is widely known for under-representing women and for fostering a sexist culture, women continue to push back against the discrimination and bias that persists in the workplace today. The general consensus from the women panelists was that when trying to overcoming gender bias, the most appropriate way to fight back is by working hard, being professional, and knowing your own worth.

The trip highlighted the necessity for women to encourage and support one another. That’s what WIB is all about!

 

Taking It Day By Day

Sunday, December 11

After landing in San Jose and getting settled into our hotel the previous night, we resolved to spend our only “free” day exploring the big, bad city of San Francisco. We spent the first part of our day walking along the Golden Gate Bridge, checking out the scenery, and taking an unspeakable amount of pictures.

You know, typical tourist stuff.

Then we decided to head to Mission Dolores Basilica – the oldest surviving structure in San Francisco – where one of WIB’s very own executive board members, Giselle Andrade, spent her childhood. Our group gained new insight into the history and culture of San Francisco as we took a guided tour of the church and cemetery. After one too many ghost stories, we decided it was time to move on to the next item on the agenda.

We hopped on BART and headed to Union Station later that afternoon for a little bit of shopping. The plaza was filled with great smells, beautiful architecture, and a swarming crowd of people enjoying themselves. After splitting up for a few hours, our group met back up in front of Macy’s 80 foot tall Christmas tree. We snapped a few group photos and, with that, concluded our first day of the Bay Area site visit!

Monday, December 12

The first company visit took place at Pinterest’s headquarters in San Francisco. We were invited by UO alumni Amy Gilmer who has been working as a creative strategist for Pinterest for a little under a year. After helping ourselves to a catered breakfast – which is only one of three free meals that employees are provided daily – we sat down with Amy and three of her colleagues to discuss what it’s like to work at Pinterest.

The rapidly growing web and mobile application company values creativity, diversity, innovation, and teamwork. The women unanimously agreed on the staff and company culture being their favorite part of the job. They also mentioned plenty of opportunities for growth within the company as well as opportunities for internal job changes and travel. What’s not to love?

Naturally, the next question must be: How exactly does one land a job at Pinterest? The panelists attributed their career success to the power of networking, relevant work experience, and higher education. All of the women we spoke to had completed either a bachelor’s or master’s degree and all but one had been backed by a recommendation from within the company. After imparting a few more words of wisdom and giving us a quick tour of their beautiful workspace, the kind panelists headed back to work and we set off for our next adventure.

After a 15 minute walk, our group arrived at the headquarters of an international ideas innovation company named AKQA. WIB was invited by UO alumni and former WIB member Catlin Bowers who manages a four-person team that works on a variety of projects for different companies and firms.

The panel of female employees included a creative director, a contract writer, an experiential data analyst, a design strategist, and a recruiter who all earned their positions through higher education and related experience. These women have worked to create iconic experiences and products for big name brands like Nike, Apple, and Visa. And although the panelists only comprised a tiny fraction of AKQA’s 2,000 employees they managed to give us valuable insight on what it’s like to work for a giant media firm.

Tuesday, December 14

Our first stop of the day was in Levi’s Plaza which houses the headquarters of multi-billion dollar company Levi Straus & Co. Our group was invited by UO alumni Rosita Rerat who works as a marketing manager in the San Francisco office. On the panel was Rosita and four of her female colleagues who work in a variety of departments from finance, operations, and risk mitigation to creative services and ecommerce. To help us determine if we were interested in a certain career field, they each went in depth about what their individual job entails and then ran through a typical day on the job.

When asked about their favorite part of working at LS&C, the women acknowledged that the positive company culture is a big part of what keeps them around. The company’s values encourage social and environmental responsibility and also promote open access to superiors including their very own CEO! Of course, there are other perks that keeps LS&C’s turnover rate relatively low including the opportunity for growth and development within the company as well as for new experiences through travel. Unfortunately we were not able to tour the corporate office, however the panel discussion had more than made up for it!

A short walk later our group reached San Francisco’s Financial District, the city’s main central business district which houses the headquarters of Wells Fargo. We were welcomed by a panel of 5 women who work in Wells Fargo’s financial and managerial departments. The panelists briefly described their responsibilities within the company and then focused the discussion on work life balance and sexism in the workplace.

The women were very honest with us, admitting that work isn’t always exciting and there are some days when they aren’t exactly thrilled to come in. But, they said, it’s okay to feel bored with your job sometimes! There is plenty of opportunity for excitement outside of the workplace. In regards to a question about dealing with sexism in a male-dominated environment, the panelists advised us to always be professional, to communicate frequently and clearly, and to work really hard. After wrapping up with the Wells Fargo employees, we visited the Fisherman’s Warf and the Ghirardelli chocolate factory before calling it a night.

Wednesday, December 15

We were fortunate enough to be able to squeeze in one last company visit before flying back to Eugene. WIB was invited to tour the Googleplex by UO alumni and former WIB member Kelly Weiss who manages a team of software engineers at Google. Kelly gave us a tour of the corporate office and its amenities which included gyms and restaurants that are free to employees. Afterwards, we sat down with Kelly and asked her questions about how she’d landed a job at Google, what she talked about in her interviews, what she majored in at UO, etc.

Kelly had worked as a manager at Frito Lay prior to landing a job at Google. She was fortunate to have a friend within the company because she was offered an interview through the recommendation. During her interview Kelly talked about experiences related to her marketing degree and also about her commitment to WIB as an executive board member. Sure enough, she got a call back a few days later! She mentioned that because Google does not pigeonhole their employees by forcing them into a job based solely on their degree, her career took an unanticipated but welcome turn. Instead of working in advertising like she’d imagined, Kelly’s job as a technical channels specialist is to discover software engineer superstars and untapped talent in hard-to-reach places. She absolutely loves her job and is grateful for the opportunity to work for a company that has such a vast and meaningful impact on the world. After spending the afternoon with us, Kelly had to get back to scouting the world for gifted individuals and us WIB girls had a plane to catch.

While waiting for departure our group talked about how beneficial this experience had been for us as women preparing ourselves for careers in business. The trip opened our eyes to jobs we’d never heard about and subsequently helped many of us narrow down our career interests. The site visit was also a great networking opportunity for those potentially interested in working for Pinterest, AKQA, Levi’s, Wells Fargo, or Google. One of the company’s even asked for our resumes and two offered internships!

I couldn’t have picked a better way to spend my winter break than hanging out with my WIB family! Thanks to everyone for making it such a memorable experience!

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.

2017 Honors Program Winter Site Visits

During winter term, the Lundquist College of Business Honors Program was fortunate enough to visit two wealth management firms in Portland, Oregon. Joining two other student groups—the UO Investment Group and the UO Financial Management Association—Honors Program members spoke with executives from Ferguson Wellman and Arnerich Massena to learn the ins and outs of what each company has to offer and the culture of each firm.

The first stop was Ferguson Wellman, located in the heart of downtown Portland. Students had the privilege of hearing from two executive vice presidents and UO alumni: Ralph Cole, executive vice president of research; and Josh Frankel, executive vice president for West Bearing Investments. Both discussed how the nature of their careers allow them to develop long, rewarding relationships with their clients. Cole and Frankel also gave great advice on how to reach dream careers by getting involved on campus and not being afraid to reach out for help.

Later in the day students headed over to the largest private wealth management company in the state of Oregon: Arnerich Massena. They were greeted by three staff members—Ryland Moore, Mr. Christopher Van Dyke, and Mr. Matt Bryant—who expressed their love for the company and conducted a question and answer discussion. Much of the company’s success is due to its strong values of always doing what is best for the customer and investing in firms that have the potential to not only yield economic success but also help the world around them.

All in all, the site visit attendees had a great time learning more about the financial industry and meeting incredible people who are so willing to help students on their journey to find their dream career.

Story by Arianna Shapiro ’18. Shapiro is an accounting and economics double major. She will spend the summer in Tel Aviv, Israel, participating in a data analysis internship program for a start-up company. She will also participate in a number of accounting summer leadership programs. Shapiro will graduate in spring 2018.

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.

2017 Honors Alumni Networking Event

In January, the Lundquist College of Business Honors Program held its annual alumni networking event at the Portland White Stag building. This event offered students the opportunity to network in a professional environment, alumni the chance to reconnect with old colleagues and meet current Honors Program students, and a chance for everyone to see how the Honors Program is growing and developing.

This year the alumni networking event had five program alumni panelists: Corinne McWilliams, senior global demand planner at Nike; Ryan Dingler, digital product manager at Visa; Justin Christiansen, general manager for the Internet of Things market and channel sales at Intel; Ben Estes, product marketing manager at Apple; and Annie Klug, director of community programs for the Portland Trail Blazers. These individuals shared their experiences, reflected on their time at the Lundquist College and in the Honors Program, and provided insight to life post-graduation. The recurring theme of the discussion focused on the indirect paths each took to get to their current careers.

New Lundquist College of Business Dean Sarah Nutter was also in attendance. She spoke about her excitement to join the Lundquist College of Business, to work with faculty, staff, and students, and to continually improve both individual programs and the college as a whole.

The event was a successful night of opportunities for students to gain insight on defining their career goals and discovering how the Honors Program can help them achieve those goals. Connecting with the students that have come before us and are now Honors Program alumni gives students a solid foundation of support, inspiration, and motivation.

Story by Jessica Goss. Goss is a business administration major and economics minor. Goss is a member of the Oregon Consulting Group and will be graduating spring 2018.

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.

2017 Honors Program Fall Site Visits

On the chilly morning of November 4, a group of ten honors students piled into carpools and headed south for the first site visit of the 2016-2017 academic year. The first stop was Cottage Grove, Oregon to visit Aprovecho, a non-profit organization with a mission of “living, learning, organizing, and educating to inspire a sustainable culture.” While there students toured the heart of the 40-acre grounds with the center’s permaculture program director and land steward, Abel Kloster. The group visited and learned about the meaning of the gardens, orchards, water catchment systems, homes, classrooms, and strawbale dormitory. Aprovecho hosts programs related to permaculture, building and design, green technologies, and community education. The visit was a fun experience for students to learn about non-profit business as well as witness the collaboration between business and community.

The second stop was Hop Valley Brewing, located near downtown Eugene. While touring the facility, students learned about the day-to-day operations of the entire brewing operation. The tour included weaving through giant tanks, hoses, and conveyor belts to experience the creation process from hop to bottle. Additionally, Hop Valley’s acquisition by MillerCoors was a point of interest that students asked questions about. Following the tour the group claimed a table in the tasting room and shared a large lunch while discussing the day’s events.

The day started on a cold, but beautiful mountain and ended in a cozy brewhouse. Students were exposed to a meaningful non-profit, learned about supply chain operations, and had the opportunity to engage with amazing local businesspeople and their peers. The honors site visits are not just about questions and tours—they’re about the people who make communities thrive and inspire everyone to succeed.

Joslyn Bryant is currently a sophomore double majoring in business administration and romance languages and minoring in food studies. She studied abroad her freshman year in Italy, and plans to study abroad again this summer in Greece in a food studies program. Bryant will graduate in spring 2019.

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.

Honors Program Nike Site Visit

Members of the Lundquist College of Business Honors Program had the chance to tour the Nike World Headquarters and hear from a panel of highly experienced employees. Beyond learning about the heritage of the world’s premiere athletic apparel company, students saw firsthand what it means to make a career out of your passions.

The day began with a tour of the Nike Campus, led by Dana Reams of Nike Golf. On the tour students learned the rich history of the company’s humble beginnings, which involved selling shoes out of the trunk of a car mere minutes away from where the Lillis Business Complex stands today. While sharing with us how Nike became the world’s premier athletic apparel and supply company, Reams instilled an important lesson: never lose sight of who you are. For the honors students on the trip, this meant varying things; however, for Nike it means never losing sight of the innovation instilled in Phil Knight, the dedication of Steve Prefontaine, and the unrelenting drive and loyalty of Coach Bill Bowerman.

During the panel discussion at the end of the day, students heard from Heather Broderick, Jane Moss, David Pearce, and Amy Bartlett. Each panelist shared a very different story of their journey from childhood to Nike. Some took the “traditional path,” while others spent a stint as a bartender or self-proclaimed ski bum. These varying experiences led to distinct advice and core values from each. The one thing they all had in common is that each took something about which they were particularly passionate and found a way to turn it into a career.

One of the most resounding pieces of advice was “listen to your athlete.” Moss and Barlett explained that if you are “listening to your athlete,” simple comments, such as “I wish I could wear these shoes on the golf course” or “These are my favorite shorts,” can lead to revolutions in the industry and carry the athlete to victory.

Although the student audience members were not in a position to listen to comments from Tiger Woods or Maria Sharapova and create a multimillion-dollar product, many of them will likely be in the position in the future where they can either choose to follow the status quo or choose to innovate. The advice given by the panelists will undoubtedly linger in the minds of the students on the trip.

Beyond stories and lessons from the panelists, the site visit proved particularly significant for the members of the Business Honors Program. For the newly admitted 2016-2018 cohort, this was one of the first opportunities to meet and get to know one another. At the same time, the visit served as the last official Honors Program event for the graduating seniors in the upper cohort. Memories from this visit are sure to stick with everyone who took part in the trip.

Story by TJ Reardon ’17. Reardon is an accounting major minoring in economics. He will be spending this summer interning as a core assurance intern with PwC at their Portland office. Reardon will be graduating in the winter of 2017.

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.

Honors Program Banquet

At the end of May, the Lundquist College of Business Honors Program held their annual banquet to acknowledge the achievements of the graduating members. Students and families in attendance celebrated and reflected upon all the accomplishments of the 2014-2016 cohort.

Scott Allan was the keynote speaker for the banquet. He split his speech up into three stories: his personal story; his experiences at Hydro Flask; and what he called “everyone else’s story.” Allan’s own background included the challenges and hardships that molded him into a successful executive, and how he went from working in high tech in California to a consumer goods company in central Oregon. Anecdotes from his time at Hydro Flask reflected on what it takes to maintain excellent company culture and how to recruit the right employees. Scott ended his inspiring speech by telling honors students to keep an open mind as they created their own story and to enjoy the ride that comes along with working in business.

Deb Bauer, the college’s Honors Program director, expressed her gratitude for the students graduating, the hard work they’ve put in over the past two years, and how they all have incredibly bright futures. Bauer also gave out two awards. The first was the Academic Achievement Award, which was given to senior Katie Wight. Following Wight’s recognition was junior Sahar Petri, who received the Leadership Award.

Mike Holland rounded out the three student speeches with a presentation that was equally funny, heartwarming, and informative. He discussed the friendships that he made while in the program and the challenges of taking classes with 34 other motivated students–all while going through an entertaining slideshow of past memories.

The event was certainly a night to remember. There was much appreciation for Scott Allan, Deb Bauer, the students, and the comedy show that was Mike Holland’s senior speech. This year’s banquet demonstrated the significance of the Business Honors Program and the high level of success of its students.

Story by Joe Hiefield ’17. Hiefield is a junior studying business administration with a concentration in finance and a minor in economics. He serves on the University of Oregon Investment Group management team and will be interning in Seattle with Meridian Capital Group. Hiefield will be graduating in spring 2017.

Written by UO Business

The UO Lundquist College of Business empowers an engaged community of students, faculty, staff, and stakeholders who create, apply, and disseminate knowledge that contributes significantly to their professions, communities, and society. The college delivers a dynamic learning environment where world-class professors engage and get to know students, where students work on real projects for real companies, and where alumni go on to high-powered jobs worldwide.

Student Internship Spotlight: Katie Wight

Name: Katie Wight
Year: Senior
Major: Honors Business Administration, concentration in Sports Business
Internship: Business Operations Intern, Atlanta Dream, Atlanta, Georgia
Internship Dates: Summer 2015

Katie Wight is a senior sports marketing student in the Lundquist College of Business. After graduation, she plans to work in the sports business industry. She and other interns at the Atlanta Dream had a well-rounded experience and learned more about the ins and outs of the sports business industry. Learn more about her internship experience, her suggestions for a job search, and advice for other students.

The above photo was after the Dream Pink game at a live auction, the proceeds of which were donated to breast cancer awareness and research. Katie Wight is seated next to Laurel Richie, who was president of the Womens National Basketball Association at the time of the photo. Richie stepped down from her position last fall.


What was the structure of your Atlanta Dream internship program?

The internship was structured differently for each intern depending on their availability. Some were with the Dream for the entire season (May – September), while others were there for the part of the season when they weren’t in school. This flexibility was great for someone on the quarter system because it allowed me to start in June and then work until the end of August.

The Atlanta Dream has several departments, each of which had interns working for them. Each intern reported directly to the manager of that department. However, because the WNBA is still a relatively small professional league, the staff is very integrated. As a result, while a majority of projects were under a single department manager, it was still necessary to work with every department. This integration was invaluable experience in working with others on projects and also making connections with more people in the sports industry.

Describe your internship role and responsibilities.

Initially, I applied to be a corporate partnership intern, but after a week, I met with the General Manager and was moved to be an intern for the executive team, which included the GM, the COO, and the Manager of Finance. Because of the change, I became involved in a project with nearly every department, but I was specifically under Business Operations.

While in this role, I had myriad responsibilities and was often treated as an employee and was relied upon to complete necessary tasks to prepare for games and events. I worked in ticket sales, business operations, marketing, merchandise, finance, corporate partnerships, and gameday operations, and had separate smaller tasks in each of these departments. Overall, I had four primary consistent responsibilities throughout the entire internship.

First, because I was working for a WNBA team, I had gameday responsibilities. I was at every home game and either helped corporate partnerships, marketing, or the executive team with their gameday responsibilities.

At the office, my main project throughout the summer involved helping create, maintain, and build an inventory management system on Microsoft Excel. This involved tracking merchandise, sales, and cost of goods sold, among other things. Each week, I had to make sure that this was up to date and to build in any additional components required. I also completed a weekly reconciliation to ensure we had recorded inventory and sales correctly. I was then able to calculate weekly revenue and profit. The first half of my internship was largely spent helping to develop the inventory tracking model, while the second half included two other main projects in addition to keeping up with inventory and sales numbers.

The other two projects that I spent significant time on were gameday checklists for each department and the corporate partnership newsletter. For each game there were a lot of small tasks that each department had to complete, so I compiled a list of these tasks so each department knew what it had to finish before the next game. I also designed the monthly corporate partnership newsletter that was sent out to all corporate partners of the Atlanta Dream.

Because changes are constantly occurring in professional sports, I had to be ready to take on any task that was assigned. Often, trades were announced before a game or we had to completely change the plan for a game, so I just had to be flexible and ready to take on any task that was assigned.

What did you enjoy most about your internship?

I am passionate about women’s basketball and my dream is to work in the WNBA and hopefully one day work for the league headquarters. I have always been a fan and student of the sport, so I loved being behind the scenes of the WNBA. I was able to learn about the business behind the league and the sport itself. It inspired me to continue to pursue a career on the business side of the WNBA and also inspired to me think of ideas about how the WNBA can improve and expand in order to increase the awareness and support for women’s basketball.

Furthermore, I really enjoyed working in a variety of different departments and roles because it gave me a better idea of what I want to do after I graduate. I also really enjoyed working with all the staff at the Dream as well as the players. As someone who has always followed the sport, it was amazing to be able to meet some of my favorite WNBA players as well as the WNBA President at the time, Laurel Richie.

What was challenging about your internship?

The biggest challenge about my internship was the pace and expectations. The interns were definitely expected to complete tasks and assignments that often had a direct impact on the team. Thus, interns were held to a high standard. Also, because the team was in the middle of its season, the work environment was fast paced, especially close to gamedays. Often changes had to be made or new information arose at the last minute and interns had to be flexible and ready to complete any task. This definitely held everyone to a high standard, but through this structure I learned so much and was required to develop creative solutions and greater problem solving skills. Even though I was incredibly busy, I loved working for the Dream and had an incredible experience in Atlanta.

What were some strategies you used used to get and prepare for the internship?

Make sure to get involved in campus groups you’re interested in and make connections with students, faculty, alumni, and companies. Your network is vital in helping you find an internship that you will enjoy and that will help you gain experience. If there’s an industry or company that you want to work for, see if someone who works there is an Oregon alumnus and reach out to do an informational interview with them. Many alumni are more than willing to help students and might be able to help you refine your resume or interview skills. In addition, you will learn more about the company or industry from an employee’s perspective. I learned so much from the informational interviews I completed and made incredible, long-lasting connections that helped me find my internship with the Atlanta Dream.

In regards to preparing for the internship, I would definitely recommend refining your Excel skills. I worked with Excel and spreadsheets throughout my entire internship and having a background was incredibly useful. Furthermore, go into your internship with an open mind and be willing to work hard and learn from your experiences. You might not be interning at your top choice, but you can still learn a great deal and make life long connections during an internship. Also, be prepared to be put in unfamiliar or uncomfortable situations. This experience is new and there will be times that you are unfamiliar with what you have to do. Come up with creative solutions, problem solve, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or clarification.

What advice do you have for other students?

Follow your passion and apply for internships in industries in which you want to work, but also don’t forget to apply for other internships. It’s important to follow your dreams and apply for an internship with your dream company, such as the WNBA for me, but also know that other internships can be just as valuable and can lead you to your dream career. Your internship is a time to learn, grow, and challenge yourself, so just make sure to take advantage of every opportunity and moment.

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

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.