Why The Willamette MBA Program Was Right For Me

Willamette Fall
After making the decision to attend graduate school, I did the usual research of soliciting advice from other professionals, my own catalog list of local universities and of course went to the fall back of any question, Google.  Given the auto populate, you can see others have sought Google’s advice as well.
There are 12 different MBA programs available in the Portland area so it was hard to narrow it down to Willamette. Here are some of the criteria that I used:
  1. Cohort style – Building a two-year long relationship with other professionals creates support and life long bonds.
  2. Executive Program – Being able to attend classes at night was a requirement to keep with my work schedule. This program is designed for working professionals. The ability to apply concepts immediately is key in retaining and understanding the material.
  3. Structure – The schedule is set for you for the whole two year program (including books), which eliminates figuring out registration and the complications of which class to take next.
  4. Reputation- Willamette University has continued to be recognized by several organizations, including Forbes for being an outstanding MBA program.
  5. In 2015, Forbes ranked Willamette’s MBA Program number 60 on their bi-annual list of the “Best Business Schools.” Willamette was the only Oregon school to make the list. Read the original article here: http://bit.ly/2avL22g
  6. Dinner – Small thing, however, not having to plan or buy dinner every school night is a good thing. After a long day of work, it’s nice to have someone else do the cooking and the dishes. Whole Foods catering anyone?

Who is the Richest Person in the World?

The Richest Person in the World is Bill Gates.


There, that was easy–simple question, simple answer. But you probably have some follow-up questions so here are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers:

How rich is Bill Gates?

His 2016 estimated net worth is $75 Billion.

Why an “estimated net worth” rather than a set, known dollar amount?

The average global investor maybe has a modest savings that can easily be found with a few clicks into their online banking or a quick accounting of cash in the shoebox buried in the backyard. Unlike them, the extremely wealthy have large portions of their wealth tied to portfolios and investments which fluctuate every day.

Bill Gates real-time wealth
Bill Gates real-time wealth

These portfolios are often private and can only be estimated based on public records of the companies they invest in. Forbes has a pretty good tool to help track and show these known public wealth sources and how they fluctuate on a real-time basis.

How did Bill Gates get so rich?

Well, this part may surprise you. Bill Gates was born in Seattle, Washington to wealthy and successful parents. He attended exclusive private schools with the intent of following in his father’s footsteps as a lawyer.

Eventually, he discovered a passion for computers and dropped out of Harvard to start a software company with some of his (now also extremely wealthy) school friends. His wealthy parents helped support Gates while he started We now know this company as Microsoft, a business with a $447 Billion market cap.

Gates is most famous for this clip of the Windows 95 launch:

Who else is in the Top 10?

  1. Amancio Ortega, Spain, $67 Billion*
  2. Warren Buffet, United States, $60.8 Billion*
  3. Carlos Slim Helu, Mexico, $50 Billion*
  4. Jeff Bezos, United States, $45.2 Billion*
  5. Mark Zuckerberg, United States, $44.6 Billion*
  6. Larry Ellison, United States, $43.6 Billion*
  7. Michael Bloomberg, United States, $40 Billion*
  8. Charles Koch, United States, $39.6 Billion*
  9. David Koch, United States, $39.6 Billion*

* 2016 estimated net worth

Who’s the most likely person to succeed Bill Gates as the richest person in the world?

Probably Ortega. Gates and Ortega have been battling it out for the top 2 spots for the last several years. At one point in 2015, Ortega was in the number 1 spot ahead of Gates since the portfolios fluctuate so frequently.

Others on the rise include Bezos and Zuckerberg due to the projected growth of their companies over the next 5-10 years.

What does Bill Gates do with $75 Billion?

After he splurged on a Seattle mansion and, presumably, a collection of fine sweaters, Gates and his wife Melinda started a charitable organization known, naturally, as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates has contributed at least $23 Billion to this organization. Fellow Top 10 Wealthiest People in the World member, Warren Buffett, also contributes $1-2 Billion per year to this organization as well.

What would you do with $75 Billion?

Thanks, that’s kind of you to ask! Wow, think of all the possibilities and good this would do for the world. I’d probably splurge and buy a professional sports team (just for the perks of good seats), buy the rights to remake the movie The Sting and then not do it (that movie is a classic), and then contribute most of the rest of the wealth to charity too.

How rich is Donald Trump in comparison?

Ranking at #324 on Forbes’ list of 2016 wealthiest people in the world, Donald Trump has an estimated net worth of $4.5 Billion. His wealth was primarily generated from television, real estate, and steaks sold at Sharper Image.

Why doesn’t Bill Gates run for President of the United States?

Well unfortunately, “being extremely wealthy” isn’t an automatic qualification for any job, let alone the most important job in the country.

How do I get $75 Billion?

As with everything in life, in order to achieve a lofty goal, you have to start somewhere. If your goal is to get $75 Billion, you should probably start with a job. So, here’s our 3-part series on getting a job:

Russia and Doping


epa05017959 (FILE) A file picture dated 21 February 2014 of the Doping Control Station in the Laura Biathlon Center during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. On 09 November 2015 an independent commission set up by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will publish a report on its findings of an investigation into allegations of widespread doping in elite Russian athletes.  EPA/HENDRIK SCHMIDT

A controversial topic these days is Russia and their use of doping. With the Summer Olympics just around the corner, athletes are under a microscope. Unfortunately for Russia, the microscope has been a rather harsh view into the expectations of Russian athletes. Looking at the 2014 results of doping violations, Russia led the way with the majority of doping violations (110). India was close behind with 91 violations in 2014. With that level of violations, is it considered unfair to review the majority of Russian athletes as it appears to be a countrywide accepted process?

Russia has barely kept any athletes in the Olympics as a blanket ban had been considered. Currently over 100 athletes have tested positive for doping and are currently banned. Putin feels that his athletes are being discriminated against as no other country has had such a high count. The appeal process has already started for several athletes that felt they had been unfairly targeted, such as Yuliya Stepanova, who had been a whistle-blower. Currently, any Russian athlete that has been associated with doping and Russia has been banned, which may seem unfair and unjust. For those athletes that have been unfairly banned, one can only hope their appeals are reviewed in a timely manner and get them back on their way to Rio.

File photo dated 23-02-2014 of The Olympic flag flies next to the Russian flag during the Closing Ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday November 9, 2015. The London 2012 Olympics were "sabotaged" by the "widespread inaction" against Russian athletes with suspicious doping profiles by the IAAF and the Russian federation, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commission has found. See PA story ATHLETICS Doping. Photo credit should read David Davies/PA Wire.
Photo credit David Davies/PA Wire.

As stated above, India had 91 doping violations in 2014. Are their Olympic qualifying athletes under the same scrutiny as Russia? Belgium had 71 violations, which is still no laughing matter. It will be interesting to see the total count of banned athletes for doping and their home countries.

To dope or not to dope? That shouldn’t even be a question. It’s the Olympics. Take pride in  yourself and your skills.






Portland Trail Blazers Cap Update and Predictions for 2016/2017 Season

google search blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers have been very busy this off-season, retaining almost their entire second-round 2015/2016 team including Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Meyers Leonard among others.


Branding the team isn’t the only way to keep butts-in-seats,  having a good team is the most sure fire way to all but guarantee a sell-out audience in Portland. 



The Blazers Biggest Moves This Off-Season


  • Allen Crabbe $74.8 million guaranteed
  • Evan Turner $   70 million guaranteed
  • Meyers Leonard $   41 million guaranteed
  • CJ McCollum $ 106 million guaranteed
  • Festus Ezeli $   15 million guaranteed


What does this mean for the salary cap?  The NBA cap is expected to rise to over $90 million next year thanks to the multi-billion dollar television deal signed in 2014. Mid-level players are set to earn what used to be max deals.  In 2017, the Blazers will have $104,709,320  in salaries, including over a million in non-active player salary cap hits,  which is over the cap currently listed at $94,143,000. Thus, total salary, including tax, is $118.5 million in 2017 alone.


Whew. Would that I had $120 mil to throw around each year like Paul Allen.



The Blazers clearly think it is worth it. I gasped at the Evan Turner deal, I’m still not sold on it, but Olshey has proven he knows how to find and keep talent. The bigger potential issue here is whether Turner can mesh with Lillard and CJ. They’re the stars of this team.


The Blazers have gone big in a short time frame, paying out big bucks to players, and betting on immediate finals-worthy returns as soon as possible. Hard to argue with this approach, if you’re an owner that has billions of dollars to burn. Some have offered this team is the deepest the Blazers have ever enjoyed– not sure if we can argue something like that, but a potentially great team is on the verge of putting it all together.



It is hard to know if Stotts has it in him to help the current roster gel even more, but if he can build on last years’ success, and everyone *knocks on wood* stays healthy, the Blazers have a real chance of making serious moves in the Western Conference.



For kicks, ESPN has the Blazers winning two more than last season and ending at 4th in the West.  



As last season’s surprise, our panel sees further progress for a Portland team that spent serious dough this summer to keep its roster intact. The Blazers spent just north of $290 million dollars this offseason on new deals for C.J. McCollum, Allen Crabbe, Meyers Leonard and Evan Turner. And with Damian Lillard’s five-year, $139.9 million contract kicking in this season, Portland is going all-in to return to contention in the West.

Let ‘Em Juice? Performance Enhancing Drug Use In Athletics

I’ve been a sports fan my entire life and I have also been a fan of professional fighting for the past five years (MMA & Boxing). Recently, it seems like every sport has been in the spotlight for athletes failing performance enhancing drug (PED) tests. This even goes into the world of general entertainment, professional wrestlers and even movie stars are getting busted. Hell, Sly Stallone got popped for juicing when he filmed the Rocky Balboa movie. Most recently the Russian Olympic team was banned from the Rio games due to allegations of state sponsored doping programs.

Is doping really that bad for sports if “everyone’s doing it”?

So, what is the big deal if everyone is doing it? Lance Armstrong acts like he has no regrets for what he did. The most decorated American cyclist of my generation, and his simple response was, everyone else was doing it. The man made a fortune from it, and he honestly has a point. Since his confession, cyclists have been testing positive or admitting to elaborate doping regiments like crazy. Unlike combat or contact sports, is anyone getting hurt? I don’t remember Bonds, McGuire, or Sosa having hurt anyone. When McGuire and Sosa were battling for the single season homerun record, everyone was paying attention. Even me, and I am bored senseless by baseball.

Bolt was stripped of one of his 2008 Olympic Gold medals.

Yes, yes, I get it. It goes against the spirit of athletic competition. But we are actually seeing some of the most amazing feats of sports entertainment that have ever been witnessed. All the icons that people have…have been caught. Even, Usain Bolt, recently lost a Gold Medal due to retesting of old samples. But you all loved him. You all wanted to see him break every record and you wanted to see history happening. Maybe PED use is just the evolution of sport and the integration of entertainment and big business.

 Athletes within combat and contact sports know that they are going into a field of work that brings about inherent risk of harm and even possible death. But in combat sports, excessive violence is what drives the industry. This also drives the paydays that these athletes realize when popularity increases. Recently Brock Lesnar tested positive for PED use, but you know what, he sold a lot of pay per views; oh and he pocketed $2.5M for his fight. Fans were thrilled. They may feel cheated afterwards, but they still had that moment of seeing exactly what they wanted. Look at the following picture and tell me honestly that no one had the slightest clue that he may be roided out.

Brock Lesnar
Does this look au naturel to you?

I don’t know if I agree with everything that I have just said, but I can see why an athlete would risk everything they have to be the best. Even if that best is marked with an asterisk. Has modern day physical competition moved more into the realm of big business and entertainment and further away from seeing the possible accomplishments of the mind and body working as one? Major sports equal major money. I can see why big business and TV networks are ok with turning a blind eye, they are getting your money, and you the spectator are still left smiling.

Would you be tempted to take a pill or needle to be rich, do you really think you are that resolute to say you wouldn’t be tempted?

Get a Job – 5 Interview Tips

You’ve done your homework and know what you want from your career. Maybe you’ve gone on a number of informational interviews to find just the right place for you. You’ve submitted your application for the perfect position and they called you back! You have an interview! Now what? Here are some things to think about when preparing for your upcoming interview:

  1. Read the job description
  • You read it when you applied, but reread the job description and think about what questions you could be asked, based on the description.
    • Go through it line by line and come up with 1-2 examples of when you did that thing successfully. It’s okay to use the same example/job multiple times if you did a lot in a particular position.
  • Given the job description, think about what you will be doing and describe it in your own words. Then, think of some examples of when you have done the same or similar activities.

  1. Practice example interview questions
  • Resources like Glassdoor.com have example interview questions that have been submitted from real candidates applying for positions at the company where you are interviewing.
  • With the specific job in mind, think of questions you could be asked and practice answering those questions. Sample questions could be:interview questions
    • Describe a situation when a project started to go off track. How did you recover?
    • Describe a situation when you had to work with a challenging person or group of people. What did you do to resolve the situation?
    • Describe the role as you understand it? What makes you a good fit for the role?
    • What are your salary requirements? (This is a good time to talk about things that are important to you other than just salary.)
    • Why do you want to leave your current organization and work here? Remember, keep it positive and find the silver lining – the new opportunities, growth potential, etc.
  1. Do you have any questions for us? Yes! Yes, you do!
  • Bring at least 3-4 insightful questions.
  • Good questions are those that show you’ve thought about the company, the job, or the problem they are facing, and asking them to confirm your observations or provide deeper insight into the situation.
    • For example, “Here’s where I see myself in the customer value chain [explain where it is], what other details can you share regarding the value added of this position?”
  1. Other things to think about:
  • The basics – This should be old news, but just in case…ontime
    • Get there no more than 5 minutes early. If you get there too early, you risk interrupting an interview in progress or perhaps interrupting the interviewer’s time preparing for your interview, and may start things off on the wrong foot.
    • Prepare ahead of time by looking up the address and doing finding the location on Google Streetview or doing a “drive by” to make sure you know where to go and feel comfortable getting there. If you do get there too early, ask for the restroom and spend a few minutes composing yourself – perhaps a 2 minute power pose. Hey, it works!
  1. During your interview, keep these things in mind:
    • At the very least, smile the whole time. Don’t look like a clown, keep it natural, smiling will help you keep it positive and it’s a memorable thing to do.
    • And breathe. It’s a difficult thing to do in an interview, but bring a bottle of water, speak slowly, and breathe. It helps with your adrenaline and stress level during the interview.smile


  • Keep it positive.
    • Even if you haven’t done something before, like using a specific piece of software, find the positive in that. So, instead of “no, I’ve never used that software/system,” try, “I do know how to conduct research and find the answer in other people or resources, I’m not scared to ask for help, and I’m not intimidated by new technology/systems.”
  • Tell a story!
    • Instead of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, be sure to describe how your background in a particular position brought you where you are and why that makes you the best fit.

  • Ask for business cards or contact information.
  • Ask about timeline for next steps.
  • And follow up with a ‘thank you’ email within 24-48 hours.

Good luck on your next interview!

What’s an informational interview? Find out, here.

Top 10 Moments from the DNC

Missed what happened at the RNC? Get the scoop here.

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) officially kicked off activities on Monday, July 25th in Philadelphia. It has already proven to be filled with excitement, fanfare, and, of course, what would politics be without a lot of controversy. On Thursday, Hillary Clinton is expected to formally accept the Democratic Party’s nomination to be the first female candidate for President of the United States. But before that happens, there have already been many memorable moments. Here’s a count down of the Top 10 so far:

  1. The TPP
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 25: A delegate holds up signs that read "Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)" while another delegate holds a sign in support of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on the first day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 25: A delegate holds up signs that read “Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)” while another delegate holds a sign in support of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on the first day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

What is the TPP? Delegates all over the DNC floor are holding signs with a big, red slash through the letters T-P-P. But what is it? The Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP is a trade deal among 12 countries that would reduce tariffs and aims to increase trade among the parties involved. It has not been ratified, but it is on President Obama’s agenda to see that it is signed. Bernie Sanders was instrumental in making opposition to the TPP a campaign issue, which has now been accepted as part of Hillary Clinton’s platform.



  1. Tim Kaine

Who is Tim Kaine? Tim Kaine is Hillary Clinton’s choice for Vice President and running mate. He was formerly a mayor, Governor of Virginia, and is currently one of Virginia’s US Senators. In a time of scandal and email, he’s a safe choice, even describing himself in a recent interview as “boring.” He will speak on Wednesday night of the DNC.

  1. #Spicyboi

What is spicy boi? The “Spicy boi” meme has been flooding Hillary Clinton’s Instagram, so if you’re watching her posts during the DNC, you’ll see all variation of “spicy boi” flooding in. But what is it and how did it start? According to Slate.com, “@Googletrends tweeted that “What is Spicy Boi Hillary Clinton” was the top Hillary-related query for search engine on Monday.” What started out as “humorous” from 4chan, a home for the likes of hacker collective Anonymous, has quickly amplified into a spamming tactic for those who support Donald Trump and dislike Hillary Clinton.

  1. DNC email scandal
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin showing his masculine side.

Another email scandal?! Ugh. This time, it has been reported that there is evidence that two Russian spy agencies hacked into the DNC’s email, leaking these emails to WikiLeaks. In these emails, it is reported that DNC leadership clearly gave bias to Hillary Clinton, conspiring to ensure Hillary Clinton received the nomination for President, over Bernie Sanders. But why? It has been proposed that it is in Vladimir Putin’s best interests to see a Donald Trump presidency, so damaging the Clinton campaign would do them both some good. Who wouldn’t identify with this Russian stud though?

  1. Sarah Silverman

Who can forget this moment from Sarah Silverman? “Bernie or bust people…you’re being ridiculous.” Nuf said…

  1. Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton gave a touching speech about the history and evolution of his relationship with his wife, highlighting how they met, Hillary’s early days of activism, and the long struggle to get her to marry him. Very sweet.

  1. Donald Trump

In an odd move, even for @realDonaldTrump, he keeps tweeting about Elizabeth Warren, referring to her as “Pocahontas.” For help explaining why, let’s turn to vox.com, which notes, “Trump’s comments may be racist against Native Americans, but he’s using it here to sarcastically suggest that Warren really isn’t Native American [she claimed to have Cherokee ancestry]. (Which, oddly enough, proves that Trump can also be racist while trying to insult someone for being white.)”

  1. Hillary Clintonhillary

She hasn’t spoken yet, but I think it’s safe to assume she will accept the nomination to be the Democratic Party’s candidate for President of the United States. This is a historic moment for the country. What’s that sound? Oh, just the ceiling shattering…

  1. Bernie Sanders

In a magnanimous gesture to unify the Democratic Party, Bernie Sanders gave a rousing speech on Monday, wholeheartedly endorsing Hillary Clinton. Yes, much of it was his standard stump speech, but in the end he threw his full support behind Hillary Clinton, garnering boos from the ‘Bernie or Bust’ contingent. And on Tuesday, during the roll call vote from delegates, when it reached Vermont, Bernie Sanders made the official motion to stop counting delegates and make Hillary Clinton the Party nominee. I’m gonna miss Larry David…


  1. Michelle Obama

In what may end up being the #1 moment of the entire DNC, First Lady, Michelle Obama, stole the show and gave a masterful, elegant speech on why Hillary Clinton should be the next President of the United States. Mrs. Obama’s speech centered on children and the opportunities that Hillary Clinton presents for all of America’s children and their futures. She also “position[ed] herself and Hillary Clinton as mainstream, while Donald Trump is far outside it,” says The Week. Time will tell what it did for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, but it was definitely moving and worth a watch!


Missed what happened at the RNC? Get the scoop here.

The Cowboy or The Sales Rep?

Who will it be ladies?

search-1imgresLuke Pell


Chase McNary

If you’re emotionally stable or an open-book these men could be yours!

With season 21 of The Bachelor in the our near future, not only is it exciting to get to know the shafted Bachelorette participants in a new light as they contend for Bachelor Stardom but just as exciting to consider how this series is so unbelievably successful. What is it that keeps us coming back for more?


Get the inside scoop!

Delicious men and sexy females aside, looking for love is a universal experience – The Bachelor [stereotype perpetuation aside] provides a relatable experience for anyone, anywhere. Throw in the story of each contestant – we’re all suckers for someone else’s reality coupled with dreamy experiences and unfathomable vacations – The Bachelor gives us everything we want, an alternate reality but an emotion we can relate too. Perhaps it even makes you feel better about yourself, whether or not you’ve found the one, it feeds our desire of hope and who doesn’t want that feeling?

Essentially, The Bachelor is the perfect concoction that fulfills Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs for each viewer. Ok, well, it may not meet our psychological needs such as provision of water or shelter or our need for safety and security BUT it certainly fulfills our needs for belongingness and love – viewers feel a belonging to a community of other viewers. I mean, I certainly gossip about it to co-workers every Tuesday morning but it also fulfills a need for love, indirectly yes, but the emotional fulfillment is all the same as we relate to each contestants journey toward finding the ultimate prize.

Following my watching of the show, I certainly experience a self-esteem boost, I feel accomplished, prestigious even, in that I have stayed current in a important pop culture community.

Last but certainly not least, The Bachelor provides a level of self-actualization, it’s every woman’s or man’s fantasy to not only find love but to find it while experiencing amazing adventures in posh or far away places. Albeit, this level of self-actualization may an individuals own demise, setting to high of expectations for current or future relationships but hey, we all gotta dream right?

Read more on why The Bachelor is so successful!