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Creative, Practical, Innovative: Paige Stone Packages MBA with Design Degree

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June 6, 2022

Paige Stone ‘21, MBA ‘22 has spent wisely her four years at the College of Business. An abundance of credits from high school allowed her to earn her bachelor of science in design and innovation management, summa cum laude, in just three years. And in the fourth, she completed the accelerated MBA in marketing.

In between, she worked with groups synonymous with innovators and changemakers on campus and in the community: OSU Advantage Accelerator, Willamette Valley Capital, the OSU Impact Studio.

Now, she is waiting to start her career in intrapreneurship, expecting to hear soon from a few of her queries.

And, if after a brief intro to Paige Stone, you’re feeling like you need to quick-like google a few things (intrapreneur means acting like an entrepreneur – exploring ideas, taking risks, etc. – but inside a company) and also wonder what she’ll do with all this, you won’t be the first.

“This is one of the hardest questions that I regularly get,” Stone said. “I am looking mostly for jobs in product management. It would be a dream to work developing or improving products and services for innovative companies like IBM, HP, Nike, and other similar companies.”

Stone describes her design and innovation management studies as the integration of business functions, particularly business administration into the design process. As a student, she practiced to become literate in product and service design as well as how to utilize business concepts to better market and manage the design process.

“I’ve always enjoyed being creative and dreaming up new solutions, but I wanted the practical knowledge and skills of a business degree,” Stone said.

Taking classes like Textiles, Design Thinking and Process Innovation, Consumer Behavior, and Project Management, Stone was learning alongside apparel designers and interior designers, gaining both a creative, design education and also a business education.

“My hope is that with my education in design management, and now marketing plus my experience, I can find a job in the industry providing consumers with products and services that solve their problems in a delightful way,” she said.

Stone interned three years at the Advantage Accelerator, working with early- and late-stage startups, providing mentorship, market research, access to funding in line with the Accelerator’s mission to advance local entrepreneurship.

Part of her job there was conducting research to find insights and writing market overviews to shed light on these business advantages. “Having worked there for three years now, I feel like it becomes second nature to consider what opportunities new innovations might have in store,” Stone said. 

Stone also worked with venture capital group, Willamette Valley Capital, where she conducted due diligence and gained the investors’ perspective on innovation and entrepreneurship. 

But she identifies her time with the Impact Studio – which works to launch bold initiatives that will advance Oregon State’s strategic plan and improve the university’s financial strength – as where she received the most validation for her career aspirations to work in human-centered product/service design.

“Impact Studio is essentially what I went to school for,” Stone said. “With my work there, my passion for intrapreneurship has really flourished. Having said that, I am open to marketing positions, UX research, design research, or service design positions. I recognize the value of a broad skill set.”“Human-centered design largely inspired my decision to go straight into grad school,” Stone said. “Looking at the value of consumer behavior and marketing in product and service design made me want to learn more immediately.”

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