What is a Virtual MBA Trek?

A virtual MBA trek provides students with a holistic understanding of a business ecosystem in the given locale from the convenience of their workplace or home, without having to travel to the trek destination. MBA Treks are one of many wonderful offerings from the Hybrid MBA Career Management team.

The Hybrid MBA’s first virtual trek was focused on Seattle’s neighboring city, Portland, OR. Hybrid MBA students have the flexibility to live in many different places, and the career management team is sure to provide them with networking opportunities in cities around the country. 

I think of Portland as a city of incredible creativity and it was wonderful to see how that local spirit has been woven into so many different and diverse industries. It was easy to draw a common thread between firms regarding ingenuity, expression, and passion. – Dave Reid, Hybrid MBA Student

The Virtual Portland Trek was unique, as it was open to all Foster MBA students across different programs and was held online spanning an entire day. Students were welcome to attend all of the events that they desired, with a wide array of speakers and businesses represented. Treks are also intended to encourage networking and socializing across MBA programs. Events like the Portland Trivia and MBA Mingle allowed students to interact with each other and create connections throughout the day. 

Our previous article “What is an MBA Trek?” defines an MBA Trek as “a curated trip to a key metropolitan area wherein students visit local companies and engage directly with senior leadership about company culture, operations, career opportunities, among other things, with the aim for students to experience a diverse set of industries, from tech to manufacturing to consulting.” 

This virtual trek was no different in its provided opportunities for students. Although we were unable to visit these companies in person, the online nature of the trek allowed students to join from around the country and participate in programming as their schedule allowed.

The unique opportunity the trek provided is the high quality time in small group with the superstars from the local business community. I met probably 30 new amazing folks! Anton Fedoseev, Hybrid MBA Student

Portland MBA Trek Highlights

  • Opening remarks from Mike Rogoway, Senior Business Writer, The Oregonian. Mike remarked on the history of Portland’s economy as well as its crafts-centric business culture.
  • Hearing from the keynote speaker, Vikhas Mehta, CFO of Nike Direct, a Foster MBA alum.
  • Nike Foster MBA alumni panel, students had the opportunity to ask questions and receive advice from current Nike employees who had also attended Foster programs.
  • The MBA Mingle, allowing all participants to socialize across different Foster MBA programs.
  • Exclusive virtual tour of the Smith Teamaker tea lab and manufacturing facility, as well as a meeting with CEO Darren Marshall.
  • Learning from a panel of Propeller employees, a team of “Consultants, fixers, and change makers”. 
  • Hearing from eLearning company, OpenSesame’s Co-Founder Tom Turnbull. Tom presented his company and his personal background and included interactive polls to engage with the audience.
  • Rick Turoczy Co-Founder and General Manager of PIE (Portland Incubator Experiment) “an ongoing experiment designed to explore how established organizations — corporations, government, and educational institutions — can effectively collaborate with startup communities for mutual benefit.”
  • Meeting in breakout rooms with Fresh Consulting team members to connect and learn.
  • Participating in Portland trivia– prizes awarded were gift cards to Portland-based companies: Salt & Straw, Nike, Stumptown Coffee, Blue Star Donuts and Smith Tea
    • Sample trivia question: A Student from which Portland university designed the Nike logo? Answer: Portland State University!

Portland Virtual Trek Itinerary

Morning:

Opening Remarks from Mike Rogoway, The Oregonian

Smith Tea

Nike

Lunch:

Portland Trivia 

Listening Session to Local Portland Music

Afternoon:

Foster MBA Mingle

OpenSesame

Rick Turoczy, PIE (Portland Incubator Experiment)

Fresh Consulting

OpenSesame’s Co-Founder Tom Turnbul gave opportunities for audience involvement and discussion such as this Zoom poll

Presenters from the Propeller Team speaking on a Panel

Listening and learning from a large range of industry professionals, from entrepreneurs and start-up gurus to top corporate leaders, provided a wide breadth of insight into the landscape and opportunities present in Portland. As a Denver local, it was a wonderful opportunity for me to have a deep dive into a new city on a single day without needing to hop on a plane.
– Dave Reid, Hybrid MBA Student

Thank you to the Foster staff, students, alumni, and corporate partners who helped make this virtual Trek to Portland a huge success.