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For Meredith Sangster and a few dozen other Oregon State alumni, the College of Business was a place to prepare to thrive in another high-caliber, nurturing industry, the health care sector.
“The skill set you have coming out of the Business Information Systems program is just a really natural fit,” said Sangster, who was senior director of product services with Huron Healthcare before moving to the Phil Knight Cancer Institute in May 2016.
A graduate of Wilson High in Portland, Sangster began her college career at American University. After two years, she left school to work in a technical capacity for OregonLive.com, the fledgling online home of the Oregonian newspaper.
“I did that for a year, and it was a great experience, but I knew I wanted to go back to school,” she said. “I wanted to be more hands-on in technology, and as soon as I told my dad that, he suggested the Business Information Systems program at Oregon State.”
The program prepares students to serve as a bridge between tech people and business people, and Sangster accepted a job offer from Intel -- only to learn right before graduation that Intel had “overhired” as the dotcom boom went bust. The company gave her the option of spending two months in its 'redeployment pool,' or “we’ll just pay you for the two months and best of luck,” she said.
Sangster was poised to dive into the pool until talking things over with Coakley.
“He said, ‘business is about relationships, you don’t know anyone at Intel, you’re not going to find a job at Intel,’” Sangster recalls, and thus did she enter OSU’s MBA program, which led to being hired by Stockamp.
“I really felt like those professors were invested in me,” she said. “Oregon State gave me a detailed foundation and just built my confidence in my technical aptitude to learn what I needed to learn.”