OSU Alumnus, Curt Willener, Thrives in Harvard MBA Program

September 10th, 2008

When I’m on the road working with parents and students I get lots of questions about where OSU students work and attend grad school after leaving OSU. We’ve documented many career success stories of OSU graduates. I just got a link to a profile from the Harvard Business School’s website of OSU Alumnus, Curt Willener, who is working towards an MBA.

After graduating from Oregon State, Curt Willener found himself prepared for roles within either finance or administration. “I leaned more to management,” Curt says, “but I faced a Catch-22: I wanted management experience – yet companies were looking for experienced managers.” Fortunately, Weyerhauser had a management program eager for new talent. Within a few weeks, Curt was managing a crew of more than twenty-five people. In another couple of months, he became the only supervisor on the night shift – managing people who were all older and more experienced.

As a former Division I wrestler and experienced outdoorsman, Curt was able to build common ground with his crew. “I gained respect by treating them with respect and giving them a fair shake,” says Curt. “You build trust by approaching situations with humility and common sense.”

From a section entitled: “24 hours with Curt” I was proud to see that he is hanging on to his GPNW (Great Pacific Northwest) roots:

6:30 pm I head back to my apartment to start dinner preparations for a small group dinner being hosted by me and another member of my section. Tonight’s menu: wild spring Chinook salmon and spaghetti with sauce made with elk hamburger. “The Wilderness Retreat,” as it’s been coined by my section mates, gives other HBS students the chance to enjoy food from the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, I enjoy cooking and benefit greatly by being able to do so for friends.

Keep up the great work, Curt!


One response to “OSU Alumnus, Curt Willener, Thrives in Harvard MBA Program”

  1. Edmund says:

    Great to see the Alumnus in action.

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