Life Before and After the Karl Miller Center

Author: Caitie John
Posted: November 23, 2017

“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” — Aristotle

I remember my life before the Karl Miller Center. Waking up at 6:30 a.m. in order to be able to claim a window seat in the library. Awkwardly assuring passersby that I really did have a group coming and that I wasn’t “that person”, hogging an entire table with outlets. I remember having four classes in four different buildings, surrounded by flocks of scientists or artists or engineers as if I, with my finance calculator and Harvard Review case studies, was the unwanted house guest. I remember my shoes, all my beautiful shoes, worn down in the impossible commutes across campus between classes. I remember the darkness of that time.

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MBA students at standing workstations in the KMC. From left: Caitie John, Patrick McGill and KT Poirier.

In all honesty, I quite liked the Millar Library and mean no disrespect to my pseudo-home for a number of months last year, and the darkness, I have learned, is a common element of Portland’s rainy season. However, there is nothing like the home that the KMC access has allowed. Over this last term, I have had the pleasure of working in the overtly bright quarters of PSU’s new School of Business building most days of the week. At any point in the day, I am able to easily walk up a few floors to discuss my burgeoning career with business school advisors. I can reserve a comfortable study room with ample outlets for group meetings. And I can sit with my academic peers on the stadium steps and discuss Ted Talks and my personal opinion of which Macro issue is most pertinent to the global economy.

Okay, okay. Maybe we just talk about which sushi burrito we want for lunch, or which Netflix show we binged while cramming for an exam. Maybe I don’t care about the type of desk I’m sitting at, as long as I have the opportunity to learn from experienced and caring professors. And maybe I’ve always been at home at PSU, no matter what building my class is in, since my family is my wonderful cohort, and that is the true light of my time at this university.

While the KMC has not changed my immense pride in PSU or my program, sharing this beautiful space with my business peers has offered many conveniences to me during my last year in graduate school, and I am thankful to be able to enjoy such great resources.

My shoes are thankful too…


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Caitie John’s background is in English and creative writing. She is currently pursuing her passion to inflect greater social justice and environmental sustainability through the MBA program and Global Supply Chain Management certification at Portland State. Caitie is the acting Vice President of Women Inspiring Leadership (WIL), and Project Coordinator of Outreach with ChickTech.