Natalie Wilson, BBA Management Online, class of 2023
As I reflected on the many valuable lessons I’ve learned as a Bronco, I realized that Boise State has provided so many opportunities for my development and growth.”
A mid-career boost
Meet Natalie Wilson, a graduate of the College of Business and Economics, a COBE Signature Student and marketing specialist for McKee Foods. Natalie is an Idaho native, raised in a small town in the Magic Valley–and although she’s since moved across the country, Natalie always knew she wanted to be a Bronco.
After more than a decade with McKee Foods, Natalie decided to build on her successful career by turning her associate’s degree into a bachelor’s that she could use to advance her career even further. She started looking for a program that would provide her with the flexibility she needed to continue working without compromising on her education.
“I was born and raised in Idaho, and for several years I had wanted to finish my bachelor’s degree at Boise State. When I decided to continue my education, Boise State’s online BBA program was just the opportunity I had been waiting for.”
After applying and being accepted, Natalie was surprised by the opportunities and inclusivity of the COBE program.
“I thought the online BBA would be independent study and that I would just be doing my own thing. I didn’t expect to also build leadership skills, as well as friendships with students from across the state of Idaho and the nation, as I served in various leadership and team project roles.”
Natalie will graduate with her online Bachelor of Business Administration in Management in December of 2023. She also received certificates in innovation and design and project management.
Another opportunity that became available to Natalie was her selection as an inaugural fellow for Boise State University’s new Institute for Advancing American Values (IAAV). The Institute’s goal is to use dialogue, research and education to “inspire us to talk and listen to each other respectfully about the issues and values that have shaped America and Americans from all walks of life.”
In the Institute, a select group of undergraduate and graduate fellows work together to produce events and educational materials with the goal of bringing Americans together and finding common ground. To this end, IAAV fellows are hand-picked from all walks of life to represent various backgrounds and viewpoints in our society.
“I felt compelled to be involved in the Institute because of the level of polarization in our country. It seems that we have forgotten how to truly listen to one another, and that at our core we share a set of distinctly-American values. I have hope that through multiple viewpoints coming together in purposeful and respectful dialog, we can develop meaningful solutions to the challenges we face as a nation.”
Proud to be out of the Blue
When asked about her experience at Boise State, Natalie had this to say:
“Boise State has shaped the person I am today, and I’m so grateful for the many valuable lessons I’ve learned as a Boise State student. The university has taken every opportunity to teach me how to think, rather than what to think, and I’ve grown as a leader, innovator, project manager and marketer. I couldn’t be prouder to come out of the Blue.”
Class of 2023
Cody McGee, human resource management BBA
“I liked the in-person learning that gave me the opportunity to connect with fellow COBE students and being a part of the Boise State Human Resource Association where I grew my networking skills and meet a variety of professionals. I also attended several conferences. An active student association is a nice benefit of the human resource management program. I would tell potential COBE students to reach out to groups and associations that interest them — there are opportunities out there.” –Cody McGee
Marketing major from Las Vegas, Nevada
I chose to major in business at Boise State because my parents are both business people, and I grew up surrounded by the business world. I love the connections and opportunities that being a business major brings. I feel like there is a world of possibility for me. The first time I stepped into the Micron Business and Economic Building I felt like this was the place I belonged. I immediately felt a sense of welcoming and support from the professors and faculty members. Even though I am a marketing major, I take all kinds of business classes such as accounting, finance and economics. This has allowed me to learn about the other potential routes I can take as a business major and if I see myself pursuing those careers.
Ten Year of Things to Celebrate
2022 marked the 10th anniversary of the Micron Business and Economics Building. We asked students about their impressions of the building and the College of Business and Economics.
“I remember coming to Boise State and going into the business building, which was big and open, perfect for studying. When I met the advising team at COBE, they were inviting and friendly, much less intimidating than some of the other business programs I looked at. I am from Olympia, Washington, and Boise State wasn’t on my radar until I checked out College of Business and Economics. The opportunities and options felt real and practical for me. I am so glad I was introduced to the business program at Boise State while on my college search because the vibes drew me in and now I am here!” — Class of 2024, majoring in marketing, from Olympia, Washington.
“When I entered the Micron Business and Economics Building for the first time I felt as though I was entering a real company building and it has been a great environment to learn in. I have enjoyed learning about business from a real-world perspective and not just from a textbook. Professors teach from life experience and they have greatly impacted my college experience.”
“I chose a major in business at Boise State because the university is a highly rated school for business. Boise State checked all the boxes for what I was looking for in a school. The first time I was in the business building I thought it was fantastic. It is a great place to study, the physical classrooms are really nice and the access to academic help was very apparent. The vibe is professional yet chill. I have appreciated the academic advising once a semester. I am getting a bachelor’s degree, a minor, and a certificate and these advising meetings have been a huge help keeping me organized and on track.” — Class of 2024, majoring in marketing with a minor in sustainability and a certificate in sports coaching and on the water polo team, from Roseville, California.
Class of '18
“I was studying international business — a lot of that really is accounting, marketing and general things a business needs to run and be successful. So, because of that program, I was able to manage a lot of the things when I first started to build the foundation for the business, to then scale it up and move forward,” said Torres-Garcia, founder and owner of Cocoa Bombs. He has a 6,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Blackfoot, Idaho, and sells Cocoa Bombs worldwide with pending distribution through Kroger’s! This video is available with closed captions and a video transcript.
“The College of Business and Economics has played a pivotal role in my academic path and future career. From growing my interest in Asia to supporting my graduate school applications, the International Business Program truly changed my life’s projection. I could not have asked for more supportive and erudite professors. The faculty was determinative in my college career, and they still unfailingly support my post–Boise State endeavors.”
–Gregory Wischer, BBA in international business ’20, from Grand Forks, North Dakota
“I love COBE and I am so thankful for the incredible professors who taught me what it means to be a student of business. To this day, I spend every hour in the office continuing to be a student of business and I hope to grow even more in my love for education and the role it plays in creating a well-balanced worker in the years to come.” — Patrick McCuistion, BBA in business and economic analytics ’20, data and reporting analyst for Amazon.
Photo: Patrick plays piano for the Boise-based band, The Governors. Patrick is standing at right.
“There is nothing quite like walking up to the Micron Business and Economics Building. It is a second home to me. It is where I realized I am on the right path to what I want to do with my life and is the perfect atmosphere to work toward my goals.”
— Emily Castronuevo (BBA in marketing)
COBE Opened Doors to Leading Local Businesses
“I am grateful for the meaningful opportunities the College of Business and Economics provided to connect with local companies! One such opportunity was a project with Micron that I got to be a part of. A group of six students, consisting of a mix of engineering and supply chain management students, were selected, and we were tasked with providing Micron with recommendations for how to optimize some of their processes and their use of resources.
This project was a highlight of my four years at Boise State, and it felt rewarding to work with real data from a real company to provide solutions that are now actually being implemented!
We all grew immensely in both our hard and soft skills as a result of the project. This opportunity also led to a job for me at Micron after graduating and helped me to launch my career. In short, the College of Business and Economics not only provided me with relevant classroom teaching but also open doors to leading local businesses.”
— Josef Sandahl, supply chain management
I Found Community
“When I first got to Boise State University as a freshman, I immediately found community in the College of Business and Economics. The professors and administration were always willing to support me and answer all of my questions (and I had a lot). COBE became a home for me, a place of learning and growth, a place where I knew I could always go. The College of Business and Economics set me up for future opportunities and success, and I could not be more grateful for what it gave me.”
–Kaleb Smith, ’20 BBA in finance and a minor in economics from Dalton Gardens, Idaho.
George Fenton - Economics Alum
George Fenton was born in Seattle but considers Post Falls, Idaho, his home. George studied economics and math at Boise State from 2008 to 2012. He took in the Kellen Moore years of Bronco football, interned at the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C., and competed with distinction on the Boise State speech and debate team, including a 2010 national title in impromptu speaking. George was also a 2012 Top Ten Scholar and gave the 2012 commencement address.
“I’m most grateful for the lasting friendships I made with fellow students and with faculty,” said George. “The Department of Economics was a warm community where I could really get to know people, and we could explore our interests and ambitions together.”
“Another wonderful thing about Boise State is Boise – campus is a quick walk from the heart of the city and the confluence of Idaho’s business, political, culinary and artistic energies, all framed by the foothills to the Rockies.”
After graduation, George worked as a research assistant at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C.
“With my statistics training and economics degree from Boise State, I was well-prepared for the research assistant role at The Fed,” George said. The starting salary there was about $60,000, and George had the opportunity to work under top monetary policy decision makers including former Chair Janet Yellen.
George is now pursuing his economics Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and his fields of research are labor economics and public finance. George was selected by his students as a top ten graduate student instructor in economics.
“Outside of class, I’m a big music and college football fan, a podcast addict, and a grateful friend of many of my Boise State classmates and professors.”
May 2020 Graduate
Ali Likes the Friendly Vibe
Ali Almutairi (in the white gown in the photo) likes the friendly vibe at Boise State. “People are smiling while walking down the street,” he said when he was interviewed as a first-year. Ali graduated with a BBA in accounting and finances. His friend in the blue gown is Hamad Jamahir, BBA in information technology management.
Putting Knowledge to Work
We strives to create opportunities for students — and supply chain management student, Stacy Branzova took advantage. Stacy had the opportunity to work on a student-led project with Micron.
“This project was a wonderful opportunity to work with a local company and get hands-on experience in the field,” said Stacy. “The student team came together from different backgrounds and worked to solve a complex problem while allowing each individual to grow and develop professionally. We were able to utilize everything we’ve learned in classes and further advance our skill sets. In the end, this has led to a great opportunity to continue working with Micron. Overall, I am very thankful for this experience and all the relationships I have built.”
Tara Krivoshein: "Encouraging faculty have the students' best interest at heart."
Tara is a junior from Walla Walla, Washington, majoring in business administration with an economics minor. She likes to hike, snowboard and is currently studying abroad in Bilbao, Spain.
Her sophomore year, she was a teacher’s assistant in Business for a New Generation (BUS101).
“In business 101, students learn from and interact with professors and guest lecturers who are some of Boise’s most well-respected business men and women.” explains Tara. “We get a glimpse of what our future could look like once we are out in the real world of business, pursuing our own career goals and dreams. A unique and exciting aspect of BUS101 is up-to-date lectures that coincide with the week’s headline news.”
One of the reasons Tara chose to come to study at Boise State’s College of Business and Economics (COBE) is because of the reputable title and business graduates Boise State has been known for. And, a bonus was the fantastic faculty.
“The vibe in the Micron Business and Economics Building at Boise State is so impressive. As you walk through the building, class to class, you are surrounded by fellow students who are striving to make something of themselves, pushing one another
to do better, with encouraging faculty having the students’ best interest at heart. It is motivational for students to be in such an environment.
“The faculty in the COBE are incredible. They’re always seeking how they can best assist and serve the students whether it’s with an internship or changing major, they want students to use them as a resource.
“The mix of dedicated faculty and determined students within the COBE gives a vibe of innovation and endless opportunity.”
COBE Gave Me the Knowledge to Help My Business Grow
I started a handmade soap business in high school. After gaining valuable knowledge from my business courses at the College of Business and Economics (COBE) at Boise State, I put together a business plan to attract investors. I captured the attention of a CBD oil company based in Denver, Colorado, and negotiated a deal incorporating their CBD oil into my handmade soaps.
Without COBE, I wouldn’t have understood the intricacies of marketing objectives, budgets, ROI, promotions and business to business communications.
COBE provided me with a valuable understanding of how to bring a product to market, and sales are going great!
–Blake Maculley, marketing student
Gabby Loves the Vibe
Gabby Bates from Tualatin, Oregon, loves the vibe at Boise State and College of Business and Economics, “…because the Micron Business and Economics building is jaw-dropping and all of the professors were more than happy to help me and answer my questions!!”
Double major in business administration and entrepreneurship management.
“COBE truly become a second home for me and I feel so lucky to call myself a Bronco. I have thrived in the COBE vibe and have had many opportunities along the way. I work as a peer advisor with COBE Advising Services. I love going to work every day because I get to help students and make an impact on people’s lives. Plus, I get to work with incredible people who genuinely care about each other and the students that they advise. This positive environment makes me feel proud to be part of the amazing COBE advising team, proud to a COBE student and proud to be a Bronco!”
Kyle (at left in the photo) is from Waipahu, Hawaii. You may see him around Boise performing in his band Red Light Challenge with his brother Sean (a Boise State Career Track MBA graduate).
A junior from Henderson, Nevada, studying marketing.
“Walking through the campus of Boise State felt like a community and a place I would learn and grow as a person. The College of Business and Economics gave me a sense of a future and connections. I knew my first time visiting Boise State it was the place for me. There’s a certain vibe you feel when being involved and just being present on campus. Everyone is smiling, making the world a better place and always open to meeting new people.”
"College has the best of two worlds."
“I have a social life filled with sports, friends and Greek life, and I am learning the ins and outs of business. By the time I graduate I will have enjoyed myself and I will have the skills to be successful out in the real world.” –Owen Kempf, junior double majoring in supply chain management and information technology management, Eagle, Idaho.