Ian Baker, Perren Baker and Mitchell Barrington each has a position at Nike.

Nike receives nearly 6,000 employment applications every day, which means that to earn a job offer a candidate needs to distinguish himself.

A fantastic way to set yourself apart, three 2015 graduates learned, is the Oregon State MBA program.

Mitchell Barrington, Ian Baker and Perren Baker all saw the program as a multifaceted tool for advancing their career aspirations, and the results speak for themselves; prior to graduation, each had lined up a position with Nike.

Barrington and Ian Baker pursued their MBAs via the global operations track, which focuses on supply chain management. Meanwhile, Perren Baker (no relation), was the first student to sign up for the business analytics track.

All three will work out of Nike’s world headquarters in Beaverton. Barrington will be a global procurement associate focusing on sourcing projects. Ian Baker will work as an analyst in the department that plans procurement and logistics for apparel in emerging markets, aiming to ensure that products arrive at the right time and in the right quantity. Perren Baker will be an analytics manager in Nike’s direct procurement department – direct procurement referring to all of the various materials that end up in a finished product.

On the eve of graduation, Barrington, Baker and Baker – each of whom has an undergraduate degree from OSU as well  took a few minutes to talk about the Oregon State MBA program, why they chose to enter it and how it benefited them.

Perren Baker, a Marine Corps veteran who graduated in management information systems in 2002, said that as he surveyed potential future positions, “everything preferred or required an MBA.”

“I also wanted to get a refresher, a clearer understanding of the business world, a master’s level understanding of how everything ties in,” said Baker, who had been working for Target in Albany. “I love Oregon State. The program has great tracks and great options.”

Ian Baker was a location manager for Hertz in Tigard after completing his business administration degree in 2012. He liked the work, but feeling his next promotion was five years away, he decided to accelerate his career by earning the MBA he’d had his eye on since his undergraduate days.

“I looked at OSU and PSU,” he said. “I decided I’d love to go back to Corvallis and be in the new building (Austin Hall), and I chose global ops because I have an interest in international trade – how does a company in one country distribute around the world?”

Barrington had a brief stint in law school after picking up an economics degree in 2012 but decided returning to his alma mater’s MBA program was a better way of attaining his career goal: helping companies make decisions to better themselves. He started on the accounting track before deciding to “harken back to my economic roots and go toward the track where I could learn about managing supply and demand.”

Barrington worked full-time at OSU as an accounting technician during his two years of MBA study. Ian Baker needed a year to complete his degree, and Perren Baker took a year and a half. Now they’re all employed at their first-choice company.

“You will be set up for success,” Perren Baker said of the MBA program. “Take advantage of the networking opportunities that are provided. And try to get some experience in the field you want to head into, even if it’s volunteer work or extra side projects for the professors.”

“I had a job that was fine,” Ian Baker added. “I made enough money to live, but I wasn’t totally satisfied. In one year, I got the education I was really interested in and a job offer before I graduated, at a company I’m proud to work for and been a fan of forever, and I’ll be paid well over what I was paid before. You learn a lot and you gain a lot of perspective about different ways of going out and solving problems.”