Friday, April 10, 2009

Princeton Review Names Atkinson in Top 15 for Marketing

It is with great pride and excitement that I announce that Atkinson Graduate School has been named by Princeton Review among the Top 15 B-Schools or MBA programs for Marketing.

The designation comes from nearly 19,000 student surveys that are collected and analyzed.

"This designation is especially meaningful because it comes from student satisfaction surveys," said Debra Ringold, dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise. "It speaks to the quality of our faculty, the strength of our marketing curriculum and the career opportunities available to students upon graduation."

As a student who is focused in marketing I am extremely proud of the faculty here at Atkinson that have helped make our program and marketing coursework this venerable! We are in very good company for sure. Check out the article and see who we're ranking with. You will not be disappointed!

To check out the whole article here: Business Students Speak Out

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Grad School Isn't Just About What You Learn In The Classroom

In my two years at Atkinson I’ve had taken some interesting classes from professors that have really challenged me academically and professionally. However, many of the lessons and growth opportunities have taken place outside of class.

On campus, I served on the Sustainability Council. Previously, I hadn’t had much experience focusing on environmental issues, and this was a good chance to learn from the experts! As a part of the Council, I participated in the annual Sustainability Retreat where we reviewed Willamette’s Environmental Indicator’s Report. This taught me a great deal about different environmental metrics used by organizations to measure their environmental footprint. I was also able to help with Sustainability Day and helped to get bike racks installed at the business school to promote more sustainable commuting.

Off campus, I was able to both network and teach at’s annual Impact Conference. This conference brings together non-profit organizations and undergraduate students from around the United States who are dedicated to making this world a better place. I found it an outstanding opportunity to internalize what I’ve learned at Aktinson by teaching sessions on how transferrable skills gained in an MBA program can be used for social change.

In recent informational interviews and networking I’ve been doing as a part of my job search, both of these experiences have come up a lot. Employers are excited to see that my MBA experience has gone beyond the classroom and have valued my experiences with sustainability and teaching at conferences.

In sum, my advice: Carpe Diem! Get out there and apply what you are learning in the classroom!

Debra Ringold is Orchid Award Winner

I have no doubt that the faculty members here at Atkinson are world-class!
Here is an example:

Debra J. Ringold, Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise, was named a 2009 Orchid Award Winner by the Portland Business Journal.
Debra J. Ringold, Dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise at Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management, has been named one of the most outstanding women of the year by the Portland Business Journal. The annual "Orchid Awards" will be presented during the Women in Business Expo at the Oregon Convention Center on April 23, 2009.

Having taken a class with Debra and interacted with her over my nearly two years here at Atkinson I could not agree with the Portland Business Journal's decision more. Debra has the ability to take the most complicated statistical concepts, marketing theories and business management practices, and guide understanding at a highly comprehensive level. Debra cares a great deal about the Atkinson community and is always willing to lend a hand, or a shoulder, as the case may be.

To our Dean we say Thank You and Congratulations on your award!

Friday, April 3, 2009

You Can Still Get a Job in a Down Economy

With graduation looming in the not so near distance students everywhere are making plans for what is comes next.

For some they may choose to continue their education. Others are looking for a job. For those individuals who are looking for a job, this is a scary time. Looking for a job in any economy is not exactly what most would consider "fun". In today's down economy it's even less so.

Getting a job is not impossible! Please say that out loud to yourself right now, I'll wait.
Okay? So now that you know it's not impossible you're probably hoping for a little insight. Your wish is my command!

Because everyone likes lists, I'm giving you another.

1) Do not stress: Yes this is a stressful situation, but that does not mean you need to stress-out. This is a time to dig deep, focus and find your determination. Stressing and becoming depressed about the economy will only lead you to be overwhelmed. This will show in every interaction you have. You must stay positive and keep moving forward.

Even when you get a no. Yes, I know this is far easier said than done. But you're well educated. That took hard work and determination right? Well just because you've got that snazzy cap and gown doesn't mean the hard work is over.

2) Work with what you have: I have been told, or read somewhere, that 85% of jobs that are filled are filled through word of mouth. I can only imagine that this is even more true in today's economy. You know people right? Chances are those people have jobs and know other people. Get out there and network!!!!!

Attend industry related networking events, seminars, conferences, etc. If you're nervous about networking try this: Attend networking events targeted at areas or industry's you have absolutely no desire to work in. You'll have lots of questions to ask the other people (filling up those awkward silences) and if you flub it up, you haven't ruined your rep in that circle. Even better still you're getting PRACTICE! Networking is not a skill we are born with. Check out Chris Brogan's latest blog entry on networking for some really great tips! (He gets bonus points for using the word 'pirate' in the title.)

Let everyone you know, know that you're looking for a job and in what field. You want to be in the fore front of their mind when they hear of an opening. Carry business cards with you everywhere you go! You just never know!

3) Know what you want: This seems obvious. Sure it does. If I were to ask you right now what type/kind of job you are searching for what would you say? Many people I ask this question of respond with: "Uhm, well, yeah, anything in finance I guess." Really? If I were a potential contact or employer that wouldn't impress me very much. Joanna Lord at The Online Beat (a job search board and informative blog) has a great post on goal setting. The post is called "Stop Skipping the First Step People" for a reason. Now go read that. I'll wait here.
Didn't know this was going to be so much work huh?

4) Be flexible: Don't be afraid to challenge your own status quo. Take a good look at all of your experience and skills. Rearrange them and see how you can leverage the whole to better position yourself in today's market.

So you used to sell cars, but now you've got an MBA and you're interested in getting into marketing. Well just imagine how many auto dealerships could use some marketing help right now! You have a passion for fine wine and a penchant for finance? Maybe it's time to start your own consulting biz targetted at wine makers.

The dream job you think you're after might just be the wrong one. Be willing to look outside of your bubble! You might be surprised by what you find when you're being open minded and creative.

5) Rinse and Repeat: So you're focused, networked and your goals are set. I said it before, and I'm going to say it again: You must stay positive and keep moving forward.

Because the economy is down and so many people are looking for work the competition is going to be even greater than it was a couple of years ago. This is your chance to shine! You will have to work harder, turn in more applications, and network more but it will also pay off. Do not get discouraged when you get a 'no'. Try to use these situations as learning experience's. Figure out what you can do better next time.

Your persistence and positive attitude will pay off with a paycheck soon enough and when the economy turns around you'll be perfectly positioned for exponential growth!

Experiential Learning in Action

Hello! My name is Kristy Bolsinger and I am a student at Willamette University. I'm in the second year of my MBA program currently preparing for graduation.

In my last semester I approached several faculty members and our Dean (Debra Ringold) about an independent study that I was interested in pursuing. I'm very passionate about online marketing, seo and social media and I had some great ideas!

Well, after several conversations and the development of the curriculum I wanted to pursue, it was approved.

This blog is one of the results of those many conversations!

Here we will be posting different entries from students, members of the administration and perhaps even faculty. I hope this blog is able to provide rich insight into the culture and community of Atkinson Graduate School.

Thank you for reading and please enjoy :)