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Meet Mary Byes, Management and HR Student
Meet Mary Byes, Management and HR Student

Hometown: Astoria, WA

Previous high school or college: Clatsop Community College

Like many Portland State University (PSU) students, Mary’s road to PSU was a windy one. A ninth grade dropout, education was not a priority in her family growing up. Mary’s first experience in business was as part owner of a hair salon for eight years. Without a business plan, management skills, and financial insight, Mary ended up selling her share for $1.

Mary's story is a success story. She's now pursuing her bachelor's degree in business at PSU after finding her interest in human resources. Mary chose PSU because it came highly recommended by her contacts at Clatsop Community College who are PSU alumni. She visited the campus and fell in love, and knew it was a good fit for her.

Why did you choose to major in Management and HR for your undergraduate degree?

A former salon client offered me a job as an office clerk, where I became known as the “Girl Friday of Accounting.” I was introduced to human resource work which I really enjoyed but I needed to get a bachelor’s degree. I want to learn to be a leader and I want to be able to help others.

What would you like to achieve before you graduate?

Have a cumulative 3.6 GPA!

What is something someone wouldn’t expect about you?

I graduated with high honors from Clatsop Community College and Governor Kate Brown talked about me in her 2015 commencement speech at my graduation.

Mary is one of 120 recipients of the Ford Scholarship, a highly competitive and need-based scholarship that pays for undergraduate and graduate school.


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