Amanda Langston, now an international go-to-market project manager for Columbia Sportswear, moved to Portland to finish her undergraduate degree in fine art photography from Pacific Northwest College of Art. She stayed as here interests broadened and she found new avenues for her career, leading her to the MBA for Professionals program.
After graduation, Langston worked in a few positions before landing as a digital asset manager for a commercial photography studio operated by major communications firm RR Donnelley. It was through this position that Langston’s inclination toward project management began to blossom.
“I ended up taking on a lot of project management roles and responsibilities, especially in terms of defining process,” says Langston. “I really enjoyed it. I found that, on some level, thinking about process kind of came naturally to me.”
From RR Donnelley, Langston went on to work for Nike, and she soon thought about pursuing an MBA in an attempt to get out of “the weeds” of project management and expand her skills to a larger operational scale. While she’d been responsible for tracking budgets as a project manager, things like making far-reaching financial decisions based around a business’ budget intrigued her.
“When I thought about what types of positions get to do that, I felt like I needed a more holistic view of business versus just what I know about project management,” says Langston.
The MBA for Professionals program appealed to Langston in several ways. Among them, the small cohort model and range of unique perspectives represented among her classmates. The connections she made in the program soon started to pay off. She learned about her current position at Columbia Sportswear from one of her fellow cohort members at Willamette.