We asked current Foster students to tell us why they chose Foster, what they like to do for fun, and to share advice with potential applicants. Meet Master of Science in Entrepreneurship student Gisella.
1) Where are you from?
I grew up here in Seattle, WA.
2) What did you do before entering this program?
I am a freelance filmmaker- I graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Film/TV. Afterwards, I worked at an ad agency in branded entertainment in New York for a short time. Eventually, I realized that I wasn’t interested in climbing the corporate ladder so I quit my job moved back to Seattle and started freelancing as an independent filmmaker. I wanted to follow a dream I’ve had since college of directing feature length films.
3) Did you have any entrepreneurship experience before entering this program?
Yes, as a freelancer, I have learned a lot about starting and running a solo business. However, my very first entrepreneurial experience was when I was in middle school. I made Valentine’s Day cards and sold them to my teachers and classmates!
4) Tell us why you are excited to be a part of the second cohort for the MS ENTRE degree program?
Before I started the program, I knew that in order to run a company successfully, I had to know the numbers. I used to dread about taking finance, but now I’m really looking forward to those classes. During the first two quarters we’ve learned the basics of accounting and finance and now I’m excited to use those numbers to help me valuate and forecast the right opportunities for my company.
5) What are your thoughts on the entrepreneurship scene in Seattle?
I think Seattle is pretty well known for its tech entrepreneurship scene. The MS Entrepreneurship program has been great for introducing us to people not only in the tech community, but others as well: from the food and beverage industry, retail, real estate, media and much more. Everyone that I’ve met so far has been really helpful, kind, and inspirational.
6) What connections are you hoping to make while in the program?
I’m hoping to find other creatives who are equally passionate about their work, meet entrepreneurs working in the media space, and find mentors that will be there not just throughout the program, but for the long run. I’m also hoping to make connections people in the film community in UW and people with experience in marketing distribution and promotion.
So far, my cohort has been such a valuable connection for me. Working with others who are also following their passion and dreams is inspirational, and they have been such an amazing support system. They all came to the Seattle premiere of my documentary, A Brief History of Time Travel!
7) Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Right now I’m currently working on Archiviste, a platform that minimizes the time and stress that it takes to organize files by cataloguing and organizing those files intelligently, so you don’t have to. As a filmmaker who has worked a number of years in the creative industry, I’ve wasted so much time sorting through hundreds of hours of video content and it’s frustrating when all you want to do is focus on the actual editing.
In the next 5 years I envision Archiviste running successfully, and I still have time to spare to make films that I love.
8) What skills and/or knowledge are you looking to develop?
Coming from a film background, I feel confident in my creative skills, but I’m looking to develop my business skills. I never felt comfortable working with numbers, so sharpening my finance skills and thinking strategically about my company is important to me.
9) What do you like to do for fun?
I like going to classical music concerts, or checking out art galleries, of course watching movies! I also enjoy bouldering, and exploring new neighborhoods around Seattle.
10) What’s been your favorite part of the program so far?
Definitely the classes. While I’ve learned a lot as a freelancer, the coursework has taught me so much more.
I also appreciate the value of having a solid support system from teachers, mentors, alumni and fellow classmates. If there is anything that you need help on or any questions you have, there’s a wealth of opportunities and people willing to help. All you have to do is ask.
11) What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about applying to the MS ENTRE degree program?
There are so many opportunities not only within the program, but outside of it as well. Go the extra mile and attend networking events, workshops, and meet people outside of the program. You never know where you’ll meet your future co-founder!
Learn more about the Master of Science in Entrepreneurship program
- Sign up for the MS in Entrepreneurship email list
- Attend an MS in Entrepreneurship admissions event
- Visit the MS in Entrepreneurship website
This post is part of a series where we ask current students to answer 11 questions about their experience at Foster. Explore the 11 questions tag for more interviews.