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Carson College of Business Fall 2017 - Dividend

Meet Members of the National Board of Advisors

LISA BLISS

’90 Hotel Administration

Procurement Agent, Hotel Program, The Boeing Company

Hospitality Business Management Board Member

WHY DO YOU VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME TO BE A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL BOARD OF ADVISORS?

The opportunity to stay connected to WSU in a way that supports the students in the School of Hospitality Business Management is inspirational. Helping a student to gain an internship was especially rewarding, as she [the student] excelled with that learning experience. I have also enjoyed collaborating with fellow advisory board members and the faculty as we consider ways to optimize the student experience.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO STUDENTS?

Explore, engage, lead! There is no better opportunity to explore and examine your area of interest than while enrolled in the Carson College of Business. Seek out student clubs or organizations that are on your field of study. Participate in the activities of the organization and develop your leadership skills. Working on a team, researching a project, and planning an event are all excellent ways to build your personal résumé. Above all, you will make connections and friendships that last a lifetime.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY?

May 18, 1980, was a historic day, as it was the day Mount St. Helens erupted. It was also the day of the Sigma Iota senior picnic at Boyer Park! This picnic was planned to celebrate the seniors graduating in hotel administration. When we arrived at the park, the park ranger informed us that we had to return to campus due to the pending arrival of a massive cloud of ash. By the time we returned to campus, the sky was dark, ash was falling, and it was only mid-afternoon. The entire picnic was relocated to one of the homes of the students, and the party rolled into the early morning hours! Being hospitality students, we were creative and continued the celebration despite the challenges presented on such a unique day in Washington state history.

CHERYL CEJKA

’80 Business Administration, ’85 MBA, University of Washington

Chief Executive Officer, CLC Ventures

Entrepreneurship Board, Immediate Past Chair

WHY DO YOU VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME TO BE A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL BOARD OF ADVISORS?

I spent my first three years at WSU majoring in business, so I am definitely a Cougar at heart. I volunteer my time with the NBoA to give something back to a school that had a tremendous impact on me. I also enjoy interacting with other board members, students, and faculty, and participating in the annual Business Plan Competition.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO STUDENTS?

I have a list of principles that I have always strived to achieve, and I think they still make sense for today’s student. Set goals for yourself. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Follow through on your commitments. Get to know yourself as well as you can. Follow your passion. Take care of yourself. Build networks everywhere.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY?

My favorite memory, in addition to meeting my husband Mark at WSU, is all of the lifelong friends that I met there. We still see many of them on a regular basis and enjoy being Coug fans!

BALAJI SUBRAMANIAN

’80 Business Administration, Finance, ’84 M.A. Economics

Global Head, Channel Strategy & Programs, Informatica

International Business Board, Vice Chair

WHY DO YOU VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME TO BE A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL BOARD OF ADVISORS?

I love WSU and want to give back in any way that I can. Being able to provide input and counsel on the direction of the Carson College and help shape and influence how our students learn is meaningful. And of course, being able to directly help students is icing on the cake.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO STUDENTS?

Your employers will teach you any technical skills that you might need. But you need to be able to communicate well—both written and verbally—as well as be comfortable in collaborating with teammates and stakeholders across the company. Invest in these skills. Also, our world has become much smaller in the last few decades. To be successful in business, it’s important to get an education and be global in your outlook.

Don’t be afraid to take a semester or year abroad. Get international experience early in your career if possible.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY?

I grew up in Pullman (my dad was a WSU professor), through elementary, middle, high school, and of course WSU. I have many favorite memories: a fifth grade field trip to Ferdinand’s when it was still in Troy Hall; as a kid going to WSU games at Bohler Gym with my dad and brother; walking past Butch the Cougar’s cage when WSU had a live cougar for a number of years; summer palace shows at Daggy Hall; enjoying the Bryan Tower organ at 5 p.m. on snowy days; and of course the warmth and spirit of WSU, my teachers, and many friends. Pullman was a great place to grow up and great place to go to school!

COLIN WHITE

’03 Business Administration, MIS, and Electronic Communication

Account Manager and Consultant, Matisia Consultants

Information Systems Board, Chair

WHY DO YOU VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME TO BE A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL BOARD OF ADVISORS?

I see the positive influence alumni can have on helping students to see a big picture beyond the classroom. As board members, we provide a significant and imperative voice on how programs at our University and college can mature. Years ago, I decided not to wait on only others to guide this college and institution, but to become part of those leading the charge.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO STUDENTS?

Appreciate the alumni who assist you and your fellow students, no matter if the assistance presents as an internship opportunity, panel sessions, or donations. Those efforts and qualities deserve a sense of gratitude—and it is that same gratitude that will inspire you to support and mentor Coug students of the future.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY?

Back in December 2001, the Cougar football team and fans traveled to the Sun Bowl facing the Purdue Boilermakers in El Paso, Texas. My father gave me a late Christmas present: a flight to El Paso to watch the Cougs. The plan was for me to call my friends after I landed in El Paso, and they would inform me at which motel they decided to stay. Note these are the years before cell phones were common. Long story, short—none of my friends answered my phone calls that evening. As luck would have it, I chatted with four Coug alumni during the flight down. After landing, they realized I had nowhere to stay and offered me dinner, drinks, and a spot on their hotel floor for the evening. The next day, they fed me breakfast and drove me to the game, where I finally found my friends. I asked the alumni why they would be so gracious to a random Coug student. They replied, “It’s a Coug thing.

Someday you will understand and do the same.” I never saw them again until a random, friendly run-in 12 years later. Go Cougs!

Washington State University