Showing Up Fit and Well

Kathryn Butera USF Graduation

When I graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2013 with a B.A. in International Studies, I had no idea what I would do with my degree. Everyone talks about the mid-life crisis, but no one ever talks about the the post-graduation crisis. I spent four years scheduling out every day with homework, extracurricular activities, and part-time jobs, all while exploring everything that San Francisco had to offer. However, when it came time to go off and pursue a full-time career, I was unclear about my direction.

I decided to take advantage of my freedom and move to Panama City, Panama. I figured I would work any job I could find while exploring what I was actually passionate about. After about six months of living in Panama, I found myself working at a small financial consulting company as an executive assistant.

Panama%20City%20PanamaWhile we handled some of the biggest clients in the country, I didn’t have the skills I needed take the next step in my career and take on the projects that interested me. I discovered that I didn’t want to simply be present for my 9-5 schedule, but rather that I needed to be more emotionally invested in the work I was doing. Although I loved living abroad, I decided that it was time to leave Panama after about a year and a half, and I chose to seek a graduate program that would help push past the barriers I had previously experienced.

Fast forward to my acceptance to the Oregon MBA Program and orientation week. I was anxious and excited about meeting my cohort, starting classes, and acquiring all the skills I had lacked in my previous positions. While orientation week was exhausting, it was also one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in a group setting. I was particularly impressed by the improv group “On Your Feet”, whose presentation focused on how to be successful both in the program—and in life. One of the points most strongly emphasized was the concept of showing up “fit and well” and how that simple shift can change the outlook, mood, and outcome of a situation.

Since learning that lesson, I have been able to identify moments where I strategically changed my attitude so that I Lillis Business Complexcould show up ready to share positivity with my cohort. Now, as we approach midterms and stress levels rise, I try to remind myself to be grounded in the “fit and well” concept so that I can continue to get the most out of the program, while helping my classmates be successful as well.

Written by Kathryn Butera

Kathryn is originally from the Bay Area and is currently a first year MBA student in the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship.

MBA Trip to Mt. Pisgah

The MBA trip to the arboretum at Mt. Pisgah was the best part of Prologue.  It was my first time at an arboretum, and it was completely different from what I expected. Rather than the sprawling tree farm that I envisioned, Mt. Pisgah was a natural sanctuary with more than 150 varieties of trees. It was simply stunning.

We arrived midday, got a briefing from the staff,  and went straight to work.  My classmates and I spent the afternoon digging post holes and trenches, laying gravel trails, and removing man-made debris like concrete and fencing. In just a few hours we transformed a small section of the park for the local community to enjoy and get hands-on with nature. It’s amazing what a large group of people with a common purpose can accomplish in such a short amount of time.

Seeing immediate, tangible results and giving back to the community were great rewards, but the best part of the afternoon was getting to know my classmates and career advisers. Through it all, I didn’t hear a single complaint.  The sweat and laughter brought us closer together, and I am thrilled to have such a wonderful group of people in my cohort.

Written by Andrew Green

Andrew comes to the University of Oregon from Orlando, Florida where he completed his undergraduate studies in finance and sports management at the University of Central Florida. He is a graduate student in the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center in the Lundquist College of Business.

A Day of Service in the Rain

We, the incoming MBA class, went to Mount Pisgah Arboretum to perform community service.

It was a rainy day but the wet weather could not stop the MBA class’s enthusiasm.

After several days spent only in the classroom, it was fantastic for us to go out to the mountain to do some hands-on work.

We formed into different groups and went for tasks including paving the path, building the bridge, and maintaining the facilities. The staff at the mountain were very helpful and compassionate.

We shared tons of inspiring stories during the buffet dinner. More importantly, my classmates and I got to know each other better during the process.

Laughter  and fun were with us all along the way back home.

Written by jiakangj

From Orlando to Eugene–a Journey to the Oregon MBA

Waking up in Eugene for the first time was surreal.   Not long ago, attending the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the Oregon MBA seemed impossible.  After a three-year stint in culinary arts, I returned to school and completed an undergraduate degree in finance and sports management.  My experiences in the DeVos program at the University of Central Florida taught me how rewarding working in sport could be, but I needed more education to differentiate myself from the hoard of eager candidates in the industry. After extensive research on sport business programs, the Warsaw Center was at the top of my list.  When I received my GMAT results, I realized there was a possibility that I could get in.  I submitted an application and booked a flight to Eugene to meet the faculty and administration.  I returned to Florida both anxious and hopeful, and on a sunny afternoon in March, I received some of the most exciting news of my life: accepted.
Despite my joy and confidence in the program, my family was skeptical.  Why would you go to a small town in Oregon to study sport business?  Why not go to New York? LA? Or just about ANYWHERE other than Eugene??  It took a fifteen-page report and some major persuasion, but after a few weeks they gave me their blessing, and it was official: in just a few months, I would be a Duck!
Time flew by, and two weeks ago I sold everything that wouldn’t fit in the car, put my dogs in the back seat, and began a trip westward from my home in Orlando.  Yes, I drove to Eugene from Florida–each of the 3,049 miles in a thirteen-year-old car with the help of two furry friends and several gallons of coffee.
The journey was simply incredible: driving from the swamps of Florida into the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee; through the fields of Nebraska where Jesus is Lord and corn is king; across dusty Wyoming highways; around the Rocky Mountains; and into the Great Basin deserts.  Finally, on the fifth day, I reached the Cascades and was greeted by a breathtaking sunset.  It felt like coming home.
I can only imagine what the next two years will bring.  Something tells me it will be a lot like my cross-country trip with mountains, valleys, and all sorts of new sights and experiences.  I still haven’t quite accepted that this dream come true is my reality, but I’m ready to begin!
.  Orlando, FL
 Chattanooga, TN
  Laramie, WY
 Bend, OR

Written by Andrew Green

Andrew comes to the University of Oregon from Orlando, Florida where he completed his undergraduate studies in finance and sports management at the University of Central Florida. He is a graduate student in the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center in the Lundquist College of Business.

Mid-Week Deep Breath

I live in the Graduate Village apartments behind Matt Knight Arena. I look out my window and have the a view of one of the most stunning buildings on campus and the premier basketball arena in all of Oregon. And yes, that’s ALL of Oregon. I wake up early and run on Pre’s trail, a bark-chipped path through Alton Baker park, and then start my fifteen-minute walk to the Lillis complex on the other side of campus. This is how I start my day.

On my walk to day three of the MBA prologue, I couldn’t help but smile. After all, it was a beautiful morning, I was walking through a campus that is only just starting to buzz with energy, and I was relatively awake, albeit laced with caffeine, after a twelve-plus hour day yesterday. That’s right. Day TWO was twelve-plus hours. Having not been in school since 2009, day one felt like I was trying to start a rusty lawn mower and day two felt like I was trying to run a marathon with the rusty lawn mower dragging behind me. I suppose working on case studies for hours in groups and surprise fifty-five-page reading assignments will make you feel a bit out of sorts. Feeling battered and bruised heading into day three one would think a smile would be hard to summon. This was certainly not the case–it was actually quite the opposite.

Day three was a time to stop and appreciate what we had just gone through. Day three reminded me why prologue is so valuable and why I am here. It’s about the process, the journey, and the experience of doing. There are no grades in the prologue, it will not determine whether I land that dream job or not, but it will prepare me for what it will be like on the way to the destination, or the culmination of this program. For me, I am not here seeking any one destination, but instead I am here to experience what it’s like to to move in that direction, to be challenged by the great minds that lead us students in this program, and I am here because I know I will enjoy the journey. I have no set expectations of this program. My dad has always said, “expect nothing, and inspect everything” and I believe this holds true here. The value is the inspection along the way without holding expectations of a single outcome. Don’t look ahead with worry, but instead look at what’s around and enjoy the sights.

For those reading this looking at this program wondering what it might be like, I can say with certainty that it will not be easy. However, it will be an amazing opportunity for personal growth. It is an opportunity to meet people from all over the world and with varying backgrounds. It is a chance to learn from the best but also with the best. The people I have met and gotten to know only briefly have blown me away so far with their intelligence. I’m only three days through and I am excited by the fact that I only have about two years left! What will day four have in store for us? Well, according to the Aussie in the group, we are all required to go to Karaoke…. Karaoke it is then 🙂


Brad Pankey

Written by Brad Pankey

I am a native Oregonian who has spent time in the Bay Area teaching PE and South Korea teaching English. Pursuing an MBA in Sports Marketing is a dream come true as I grew up enamored with the University of Oregon culture. As runner growing up idolizing Steve Prefontaine and living and breathing running, I think I have found the perfect place for me to call home for few years.

What Does Your "O" Stand For?

What does your “O” stand for?

It’s a familiar story. Graduate from high school, go to college, get a degree, land your dream job. Pretty simple, right?

What they don’t tell you is how hard you have to work, outside the classroom, to promote your brand and ultimately put yourself in a position where you’re being considered for your dream job. At eighteen, I wasn’t ready for that and very few of my peers were, either. Unless you’re extremely lucky, it’s all on you. Even then, having done all the necessary steps, having made all the right moves, you were forced to settle with a less than desirable position. Corporate America won handily in round one.

Left in the wake of the 2008 market collapse and impending recession, many of us graduated our undergrad programs on top of the world–only to find that there was no demand for our services. The skills we spent so carefully cultivating went to waste during the endless job hunt or were left for dead while we accepted low-level positions.

Enter the University of Oregon’s MBA program, where my “O” stands for opportunity.

This is our fresh start; a rebirth of sorts. Gone are the days of counting down the minutes until the workday is over. Goodbye to simply showing up to work in order to collect a paycheck. Enter the new–and eventually improved–me.

We’ve got two years to take advantage of everything that the city of Eugene (and the Pacific Northwest), the University of Oregon and specifically the MBA program have to offer. Having tasted what it’s like to be less than enthused at work while still believing in ourselves, we’ve earned this unbelievable opportunity.

Our paths are not clear; we’re nowhere close to being handed a cookie cutter blueprint of how to succeed. What we do have, however, is a university that is ready and willing to help us take advantage of every opportunity available and use it to transform us into the best candidates possible.

And so, we’ll enter back into the ring for round two. Hopefully stronger candidates, more refined, and with a new sense of direction and skill set.

Watch out world, my “O” stands for Opportunity, and I don’t plan on wasting it.

Written by Collin Hoyer

Collin is a second year student in the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center (Class of 2015). He is looking to use his experiences working abroad in the NIKE business for the Ching Luh Group, Stanford University, DBI Beverage, and The Ronnie Lott IMPACT Foundation to begin a marketing career specializing in sports products. Collin did his undergraduate work at Chapman University and originates from Pleasanton, CA.

Welcome and Pre-Prologue Thoughts

Welcome! For the next two weeks I will be among a handful of new MBA students who will blog about our experiences as we officially, and finally, start the two-year journey in the Oregon MBA program with the MBA Prologue.  It seems as though it has taken forever for this day to arrive, but here I sit less than one day before we kick things off. Having already spent some time with a few students in my cohort, and if this last Saturday was an indicator of times to come, I am certain that this will be two of the best years of my life. Each person brings a unique perspective and skill that I can’t wait to learn from. Needless to say, I am excited to be a part of the best Sports Marketing program in the country!

Admittedly, I was nervous in the months, weeks, and days leading up to the start of Prologue and the first classes. What if I am not cut out for this? What if others are way ahead of me? All of my fears and questions were put to rest after spending the day with some amazing people–and all while the Ducks put an epic beat-down on the Tennessee Volunteers. I realized pretty quickly that we, the students, are mostly all in the same boat. We are all nervous, we all have questions, but now I see that we are all in this together. Thank you to those of you whom I spent the day with. You helped me relax and made me excited for what is to come.

I will wrap up my first entry by introducing myself. I am a native Oregonian who has lived all over the state. I grew up on the coast, studied and worked in Central Oregon, and obtained my undergraduate degree at Western Oregon in Monmouth. In between my stops in Oregon, I have also lived in the Bay Area and spent four months teaching English in South Korea. I have worked in restaurants, retail stores, and most recently in education where I taught PE and coached sports. Motivated by my father, my hero, I now find myself fulfilling a lifelong dream of attending the University of Oregon. I am seeking my MBA through the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center, and doing so in Track Town, USA. Running in the footsteps of Pre and walking the same paths that Bill Bowerman once did is almost surreal. I couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity.

Now, the only left to do is figure out how to tie a tie….


Brad Pankey


Written by Brad Pankey

I am a native Oregonian who has spent time in the Bay Area teaching PE and South Korea teaching English. Pursuing an MBA in Sports Marketing is a dream come true as I grew up enamored with the University of Oregon culture. As runner growing up idolizing Steve Prefontaine and living and breathing running, I think I have found the perfect place for me to call home for few years.

Prologue Gratitude

Looking at the hordes of students wandering around campus serves as a reminder that Prologue (and all delicious food it came with) is over. Thanks to an intensive, jam-packed and rewarding two weeks, the newest cohort at the OMBA program could not be more ready to begin the newest chapter of our lives. In addition to equipping us with the knowledge to transition properly into an MBA program, Prologue gave this years’ first years an incredible opportunity to get to know each other well before tackling this transition. To Rebecca Monro, Lori Abrams, Perri McGee, Holly Coble, James Chang, Jessica Best, our other professors, staff and volunteers: thank you for taking the time to make our lives THAT much easier. Refresher courses in accounting and statistics were probably not on everyone’s wish list, but they are currently invaluable as each and everyone of us continues our re-adjustment to thinking like a student. Thank you for conducting resume and professionalism workshops with us, so that we don’t have to learn MBA conduct by making a mistake first. Thanks for introducing us to our peers and alumni well before class, for teaching us how to work in a team and most importantly, for teaching us proper water fight etiquette on the perilous (a.k.a frigid) waters of the McKenzie River.

As a result, we are that much better prepared for the rigors of a graduate business program. Not only educationally or professionally, but with the comfort and relationships between our newfound peers made possible through two weeks of Prologue. If the frequency of questions concerning our two weeks (from 2nd years, faculty & staff) is any indicator, it is that Prologue means a lot to LCB and that its significance will continue to grow. Reflecting on these two jam-packed weeks reveals that it served a tremendous purpose in bringing our class (and our future network) together. Even though the individual goals of this network vary, our desire for success is collective and Prologue allowed for us to attack this objective as a cohort from the get-go. The logistics and stress behind moving to a new city and enrolling in post-graduate education are tough enough on their own – I’d hate to have had to add 36 awkward introductions on day 1 to that list. Once again, a big thanks to everyone who made this year’s Prologue possible, we look forward to witnessing bigger and better ones in the future!

Go Ducks!

-Ron Li, Warsaw Sports Marketing 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.

The Prologue Experience

Prologue — it was a complete mystery to me before starting this program unique to the University of Oregon. What did these two weeks have in store for me?

Well, before I can elaborate on that, I should introduce myself. My name is Paul. I was born and raised in Northern California and lived most recently in San Francisco, where I was working as a Software Engineer at a Y Combinator startup called Heyzap. My undergraduate degree was in Mathematics, and I got that degree from Purdue University in Indiana. While both my trade and my academic history helped me develop strong analytical abilities, I felt a burning desire to be an innovator. Before I could achieve my goal of becoming a successful innovator, I knew that I had to develop myself as a business person.

As I’ve always had a secret love for the Pacific Northwest and also because there are many exciting things going on here at the moment, I knew that an Oregon MBA would provide me not only with the knowledge I needed to innovate, but also with the network and credibility necessary to establish myself quickly in this beautiful part of the country.

The first step to building myself in this program was prologue. Whew! What a whirlwind the first week was. I totally botched an improv activity by misunderstanding the directions, and while I was embarrassed, I knew that the lesson learned (namely, that I need to become a better audial learner) was valuable. And this was just the first day! The rest of the week saw us do multiple presentations, and also form teams for a group presentation, which was a bit choppy but straightforward.

However, the second week was mostly devoted to a big presentation that was to be done in front of many important people in the department. The teams that I talked about earlier were selected on the basis of diversity, and by the time this presentation was being created, I understood the ways in which we were diverse: our personalities! Group work became rough as we realized how different our personalities were (aside from the common “stubborn” trait), but our storming somehow resulted in norming. Reviews of our presentation marked us as having great synergy and seeming like good friends, and we ended up advancing to the finals of the presentation competition. So to recap, you go from not knowing anyone to arguing while developing a competitive presentation to giving as convincing a presentation you can to a large audience within a week and a half… and I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

The program ended with a day in Portland. As I am part of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship track, I was both honored and thrilled about the opportunity to go to the Portland Incubator Experiment’s headquarters, where many budding startups were writing code. While I didn’t see anyone using the best text editor in the world (emacs) I saw a lot of awesome entrepreneurs and coders working hard in developing Portland as a technological hub. Oregon is quite synonymous with innovation, and seeing great coders in Portland makes me very optimistic about what the future holds here in the tech world.

Paul Chun, MBA ’13


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.

Prologue: Time to Present

Just when I was hoping for a “Prologue taper,” things ramped up.

The end of Prologue seemed to be a never-ending mountain climb. Anticipation began to build on Tuesday as we spent the day preparing for our first major presentation. My group chose not to break for lunch or dinner and instead ordered a pizza for delivery and worked straight through until 9:00 PM. By the end of the day we were completely drained, and I think we determined that a break of any kind might be a wiser practice in the future.

On Wednesday we got to see how nicely we all clean up. We all arrived in our “presentation best” and practiced until the bell tolled for our respective turns to present. The presentations themselves were fabulous. It was evident that every single group poured a lot of time and effort into every word that came out of their mouths. When all was said and done and we had consumed our fair share of Qdoba Mexican food, the winning teams of F (Mike, Mavis, Gary, and Pam), L (Alexandra, Matthijs, and Jeff), and G (myself, Shannon, Paul and Tim) were announced.

The chance to give the presentation a second time was a somewhat welcome opportunity. Welcome because it gave us a chance to fix any mistakes we had made in our first go-around but a bit unwelcome because our brains were completely fried at that point. It was fun, though, to be in a big lecture hall with so many people, pretending we were making a $10 million presentation. When all was said and done, Team L took first prize, Team F followed in second, and Team G rounded out the top three. All of the teams were jubilant and should be proud and excited for the two years that lie ahead of us.

The mountain climb, it seemed, was finally over. Before we strode out of Lillis to enjoy a pizza party along the river, we were reminded that Thursday was the Portland professional day. Each of the centers would be visiting with various companies in Portland in order to glimpse the connections the Lundquist College of Business has, but also more importantly to showcase the alumni success and network in the Portland area. The 7:00 AM departure from Eugene was going to be rough, and so, the climb wasn’t over yet.

Jess Zutz Hilbert
MBA ’13

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.