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Career Track MBA News

Brian Greber will serve on the Idaho Business Review’s 2017 Forum on the Future

Portrait of Brian Greber.

Brian Greber

Brian Greber will serve on the Idaho Business Review’s 2017 Forum on the Future from 8-10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the Boise Centre East. The forum will focus on how Idaho is one of the fastest-growing states in the country and that expansion shows no signs of slowing down. The  Department of Labor claims Idaho’s population will grow at three times the national rate between now and 2025.

The panel of experts will talk about what they expect to see in technology, real estate, construction, agribusiness and healthcare in  2018.

Dr. Greber is currently teaching in the Career Track MBA program. His two Career Track MBA classes are MBA 518 Markets, Prices, Economic Decisions and MBA 521 Economic Policy and Trade.

Individual tickets for the event are $40 and can be purchased online.

MBA Students Immersed in the Process of Commercializing Intellectual Property

MBA program participants

A new program known as Tech2Market, developed for Idaho universities by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), is being piloted at Boise State University this fall with support from the Idaho Technology Council.

As part of the program, teams of students draw from Boise State’s large bank of intellectual property created by students and faculty from the College of Engineering. Four teams were selected for the pilot and are made up of MBA candidates from Boise State’s College of Business and Economics and students who are researching the intellectual property from the College of Engineering.

Paul Cooperrider, technology commercialization program director for the Idaho SBDC, said it’s estimated that the impact from commercialized technology to the U.S. GDP over the past two decades from universities and public research institutions, like Boise State, is close to $600 billion.

“We believe this collaborative and multidisciplinary approach can open the door to a greater student experience while contributing to the state’s tax base and economic vitality,” said Cooperrider.

Sydney Axtell, an MBA candidate in the program, said she’s excited to be a part of it.

“Once you learn the process of starting a business, it’s addictive. I’ll jump on any potential project I can get my hands on just to experience that process in different industries and applications.”

MBA candidate Jessica Streib works with Axtell on a team.

“My experience with Tech2Market is related to customer discovery for a unique hydration sensor being developed by PhD Materials Science candidate, Twinkle Pandhi,” said Steib. “Sydney Axtell and I are working as entrepreneurial leads to uncover the best customer segments and/or industries for the sensor. Each week the results vary but we are moving closer to best use situations, which is very exciting. Our results come from hypothesizing, interviewing, and having Ed Zimmer from the Venture College and Paul Cooperrider from SBDC, guide the process.”

Eldar Sakebaev, MBA candidate, is working with fellow MBA student Sierra Morris (both are entrepreneur leads) and material science graduate student Andreas Savva is a principal investigator for the team.

“My job in the process is to figure out where the technology can be applied, find the customers’ pain points and narrow down the options,” explains Sakebaev. “We are working on improved chemistry of energy storage technology and potential commercialization of batteries. Tesla, Panasonic and other large corporations are pushing the boundaries in this arena and it is exciting to see what is happening in the battery field.”

Another students team is working on possible commercial uses for a smart antenna that allows for faster data rates, more secure connections and reuse of frequency spectrum. Team members are Billy Bateman and Ali Sharifi Shalmani are MBA candidates and entrepreneurial leads for the team; and Ahmed Kausar is an engineering PhD student and a principal investigator for the team.

If the Tech Push program is successful, the overarching Tech2Market program will be implemented at other state universities. The program is hosted and run by the Boise State Venture College through Tech Push.

COBE and Career Track MBA Student Recognized at United Nations-Supported Global Forum

Taylor Reed at U. N. meeting in New York, accepting COBE award for excellent sustainability reporting The College of Business and Economics at Boise State University was recognized Tuesday, July 18, at the 2017 Global Forum for Responsible Management Education, held at the United Nations (U.N.) in New York City by the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME).

The college’s first sustainability report was recognized by PRME, an initiative of the U.N. Global Compact, for excellence in implementing their six principles for responsible business education. The College of Business and Economics was one of only three colleges and universities globally to receive an award for an inaugural report during the reception. Boise State received recognition alongside the Stockholm School of Economics and BI Norwegian Business School in Oslo.

The 2015 sustainability report was compiled by a team of 15 undergraduate and graduate students who researched the college’s material economic, social, and environmental risks and opportunities in order to transparently communicate its impacts on key stakeholders, including students, faculty and the business community. Taylor Reed, the founding MBA graduate assistant for the college’s Responsible Business Initiative and a 2016 Career Track MBA graduate, conceptualized the college’s first report and led the student team that produced it. Reed accepted the award on behalf of the College of Business and Economics.

In reporting, the college seeks to role model a leading corporate practice to inspire business and academic peers to follow suit. The college has since launched its second sustainability report in the fall of 2016, and will issue its third report in September. This work is led and funded by the Responsible Business Initiative, a partnership between the College of Business and Economics and Wells Fargo.

Taylor Reed with PRME official

PRME official with Taylor Reed

“We create our annual sustainability report with students at the heart, both because they take the lead in researching, analyzing, and reporting on everything you read, and also because educating and inspiring our future leaders on responsibility and sustainability is why we exist and why the faculty and staff come to work every day,” said Ken Petersen, dean of the College of Business and Economics. “This report is also one way that we hold ourselves accountable for our actions and how we demonstrate our leadership in higher education.”

Launched at the 2007 U.N. Global Compact Leaders Summit in Geneva and celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the PRME initiative is the largest organized relationship between the U.N. and business schools with the mission to transform management education, research and thought leadership globally by providing a framework, developing learning communities and promoting awareness about the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

See COBE’s participation record here and learn more about PRME.

Sean Luster Named Outstanding Graduate

Outstanding Graduates are selected by the faculty and staff of our departments and degree programs and selection is based on academic achievement and outstanding leadership. The Outstanding Graduate award is the highest honor given to students by the College of Business and Economics.

Sean Luster, Outstanding Graduate, College of Business and Economics at Boise StateSean Luster, Career Track MBA

Pursuing an MBA has been an unforgettable experience, and I am honored to be recognized as an outstanding graduate. Over the past two years, I have been privileged to work with an awesome group of students from around the world and the engaging COBE faculty. I’ll be doing marketing with Toumetis, a Boise-based tech company, as well as continuing my pursuits in music with my brother in our band, Red Light Challenge. I have to thank my family for their loving support, and I cannot wait to see what comes next. As we say back home in Hawaii, ALOHA!

Career Track MBA Students Help Treefort Re-Certify as a B-Corp

image of Treefort Music Fest main stage signTreefort Music Festival, held each March in downtown Boise, brings bands, fans and businesses from across the country to the City of Trees. But the five-day festival also focuses on helping the community as a certified B-Corp.

B-Corps are for-profit companies that seek to “use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.” Companies are certified as a B-Corp by an external organization, called B Lab, and must meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

Emily Erickson, manager of the Responsible Business Initiative in the College of Business and Economics, said there are 14 students that volunteer their time to work with companies either certifying for the first time or re-certifying as a B-Corp. Four of those students are working with the Treefort leadership team to re-certify.

“B-Corps have to re-certify every two years,” said Erickson. “And every time it gets tougher and those businesses have to focus even more on their community, accountability and the environment.”

Alex Suggs,

Alex Suggs, graduate assistant for the Responsible Business Initiative

Alex Suggs, Career Track MBA student and graduate assistant working with the students, said they’re learning real-world skills that’ll help immensely after graduation.

“They serve as student consultants, helping real businesses make real plans,” Suggs said.

In summer 2014, the Treefort leadership team decided to form Treefort LLC and began seeking B-Corp certification, which was officially granted in 2015. According to the B Lab website, there are 2064 certified B Corps from 43 countries and over 120 industries, including eight right here in the Gem State.

This year, Treefort Music Fest will consume much of downtown Boise March 22-26.

Career Track MBA Team Presents at HP Before Trip to Shanghai for World-Wide Competition

Alex Allen, Becky Davis, Cody Huckvale and Austin Legg

Alex Allen, Becky Davis, Cody Huckvale and Austin Legg

On Friday, February 10 a Career Track MBA team made up of Alex Allen, Becky Davis, Austin Legg, and Cody Huckvale had the opportunity to present their business proposal for Project Recover to a group of employees within the JetAdvantage Solutions team at HP Inc. Alex is currently an intern for Mark Prinz who helped coordinate the opportunity. They were able to practice their pitch in front of a knowledgeable audience, receiving constructive feedback and suggestions to help finalize their presentation before leaving for Shanghai. “With their wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, it gave us a different perspective that we plan to utilize in the coming weeks before we depart. The team was gracious and helpful and they are rooting for us to win the $1 million in seed money,” explained Alex.

Information about their upcoming trip can be found here:

Career Track MBA student team presenting at HP

Two CareerTrack MBA Teams Will Compete in Hult Prize Regional Final

Eight Boise State Career Track MBA students received notification early last week that they have been selected to participate in the 8th Annual Hult Prize Regional Final in London and Shanghai. These teams were selected from a record breaking pool of 50,000+ applications received from over 100 countries. The Hult Prize is the world’s largest student competition to solve the world’s toughest challenges. The Hult Prize platform allows entrepreneurs to present business ideas that create social change. The 2017 theme is “RefugeesReawakening Human Potential,” and the challenge is to create a business that will restore basic human rights to the more than 10 million refugees worldwide.

Dream Team Hult Prize Boise State

Dream Team: Steven Gabrielsen, Ethan Lopez, Ashleigh Anderson, Jessica Bottelberghe

Ashleigh Anderson, Jessica Bottelberghe, Steven Gabrielsen and Ethan Lopez make up Dream Team. Their business idea is an online platform called “A Story to Be Told.”

Anderson shared her team’s vision.

“Our mission is to allow refugees to share their stories in order to connect them with the rest of the world. Through our research, we learned that a large majority of refugees have a mobile phone and access to the internet, no matter what stage of the refugee life cycle they are in. This inspired us to give them an opportunity to escape isolation and let their voice be heard.”

The second phase of “A Story to Be Told” will be to publish a book and produce other merchandise and events. They plan to partner with non-profits that are currently working to better refugee camps and give them a proportion of profits so they can continue their work.

Team Project Recover comprises Alexandria Allen, Becky Davis, Cody Huckvale and Austin Legg. Their business idea aims to restore basic human rights of food, water, shelter and security by providing income to refugees.

Hult Prize Team Project Recover Boise State University

Team Project Recover: Becky Davis, Alexandria Allen, Cody Huckvale and Austin Legg

Project Recover builds on the skills and talents refugees have to create products that represent their culture. Project Recover provides the work-space, supplies and materials and buys the product from the maker and sells it via  an online store. Every product sold will come with a picture and description of the person who hand-crafted the product.

“The business model is repeatable and sustainable and can transfer anywhere in the world to help at any refugee crisis. It is important to help refugees express themselves through their native culture and use skills they already possess,” said Legg. “Our model gives people all over the world the opportunity to help.”

Team Cultivate Hult Prize Boise State

Team Cultivate: Luke Yeates, Brandon Sams, Janice Witherspoon and Steve Silva.

In all, three Boise State teams will compete in Hult Prize Regional Finals. Dream Team and Team Project Recover join Team Cultivate that won the @boisestate local Hult Prize competition Nov. 10. Team Cultivate business idea is the P.O.T.T (portable one-time toilet). The P.O.T.T. promotes safety and privacy for individuals using the restroom, removes build-up of sewage that pollutes water, and can even help generate food.

The teams head to Hult Prize regional finals in March 2017. Dream Team is going to London, Team Project Recover to Shanghai and Team Cultivate will compete in Dubai.

Career Track MBA Student Hannah Coad Wins DMI Student Essay Competition

Boise State MBA student, Hannah CoadHannah Coad, MBA candidate in the Career Track program, won the Design Management Institute’s (DMI) 2016 Student Essay Competition under COBE professor of design thinking, Christy Suciu.

In her essay, Coad highlighted the importance of implementing more design thinking within higher education specifically in business schools. She sited an example of the Hult Prize social enterprise competition in Shanghai, China, where Coad and her team implemented design thinking to come up with a solution to aid developing urban communities. Design thinking was a key factor in their team’s success.

“Putting creativity to work in business requires a number of skills, all of which are vital to design thinking. Having a degree in biochemistry, I liken design thinking to the scientific method, which utilizes a number of the same processes. Research, discovery, testing, collaboration, prototype building and evaluation are key to the cycle of success. Throughout idea evolution one must show openness to new systems, methods, and processes,” wrote Coad.

Also covered in her essay was the importance of design thinking in today’s markets.

“Training rising business professionals the skills of design thinking implementation is critical not only to their own well-being but to the success of our economy and the global marketplace. In an age of changing tactics, technology, and markets it is the design thinking process that will help keep our society progressing. Creatively solving the toughest business issues is intelligence at its best— intelligence having fun.”

As a winner, Coad will receive complimentary registration to the 2016 DMI Leadership Conference in Boston, Massachusetts and passes to the innovation workshop and DMI’s Innovation Walk, an award value of more than $2,000.

Coad looks forward to attending the Boston conference in late September.

“This is an incredible opportunity to be emerged in the design thinking environment with some of the top experts in the world. In my role as a graduate research assistant for the Department of Management, I have had some experience working on projects utilizing design thinking and found it advantageous to accelerating the business plan process” Coad said.


DMI President, Carole Bilson (Center)

DMI President, Carole Bilson (Center)



Student Essay Winners

Student Essay Winners

Career Track MBA Students take 3rd Place at SHRM Student Case Competition

Boise State students at SHRM case competition in April 2016

Members of the Boise State chapter of the Human Resources Association (HRA) participated in the 2016 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Student Case Competition and Career Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, in April.

Career Start students Lisa Whitwell, Anushree Khandelwal, Meghan Perkins and Jeff Dee took 3rd place in the graduate division. Including Boise State, there were 14 schools competing in that division. These four students received there master’s degrees in May.

Other Boise State participants in the SHRM competition were Amy Taylor and Jillian Lumbert.

In this “realistic job preview” competition team members leverage knowledge acquired through their studies and apply it to a realistic HR situation likely to be encountered in the work world. This competition requires integrated HR thinking, ethical decision-making, and strong communication and presentation skills.

As part of the competition’s virtual preparation, teams analyzed and solved a business case, and prepared both a written executive summary and 15-minute oral presentation. Teams competed by delivering their 15-minute oral presentation to a panel of judges and answering additional questions from the judges.

The 2016 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Student Case Competition and Career Summit is the premier student HR conference in the United States. SHRM provides world-class opportunities for students, student chapter advisors, faculty members and HR professionals to connect through events held in multiple locations across the country.

Anushree Khandelwal Named Outstanding Graduate for MBA Program

Outstanding Graduates are selected by the faculty and staff of our departments and degree programs and selection is based on academic achievement and outstanding leadership. The Outstanding Graduate award is the highest honor given to student by the College of Business and Economics.

Anushree Khandelwal, Career Track MBA

Anushree Khandelwai, Outstanding Graduate COBE Boise StateI moved to the United States in 2014 and decided to enroll in the Career Track MBA program. My educational background includes business degrees from India. I have also been a cohort member at the Venture College, where I won the runner-up position for the best business pitch and proposal at the VC Innovation Challenge. Apart from maintaining an outstanding academic record, I have worked globally in diverse fields which provided me an exposure to a mélange of cultures, teams and functional fields. Upon graduation, I will be putting this experience to use as a category manager at HP Inc. I love Boise and all that it has to offer. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, running, reading fiction, solving crosswords and DIYs related to upcycling.

For a list of all of the COBE Outstanding Graduates see