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 Cara LeDuc.
1) Where are you from?
2) What did you do before entering this program?
I spent the last 10 years working in the Washington wine and cider industry, in a range of roles from sales and marketing to higher education and production work.
3) Did you have any entrepreneurship experience before entering this program?
Yes, the last 2 years I spent time working to launch a social purpose hard cider company called Good Mountain. Due to unforeseeable circumstances our construction costs ate up a larger portion than expected of startup capital pretty early and I had to close the cider facility right before starting this program. Through the program I have now pivoted Good Mountain from manufacturing beverages to creating sustainability programs to help reduce waste in beverage manufacturing.
4) Tell us why you are excited to be a part of the second cohort for the Masters of Science in Entrepreneurship program?
It is very exciting to be part of something new, especially when the leaders of the program have so much experience and knowledge in their fields, as well as a huge network to tap into. Not only am I getting to shape my future through the program, but my experiences are helping shape the future of the program for students to follow and create their own entrepreneurship journeys.
5) What are your thoughts on the entrepreneurship scene in Seattle?
It is very exciting. While I am working more in the consumer goods space versus tech which Seattle is known for, the excitement around each of the students projects from mentors is encouraging. And the network of professionals readily available to talk or work with each of us is incredible.
6) What connections are you hoping to make while in the program?
As many as I can. UW has already put me in contact with people in my work space but also who have faced the same struggles as I have with developing a business. Now I am looking forward to connecting with leaders in my space from outside of the Seattle area who can lend their expertise to my project.
7) Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I see myself operating my own social purpose or non-profit/for-profit hybrid business. My goal is whatever my business ends up selling or managing, in the end I want it to do some good for the community. Largely right now my goal with Good Mountain is to work to preserve and restore trails and landscapes in the PNW mountains.
I could also see myself living on a farm in Snohomish with a few more dogs 😉
8) What skills and/or knowledge are you looking to develop?
Some of the skills I am working really to develop in this program is finance and negotiations. Confrontation is not my strong suit, nor is developing budgets and forecasts from scrap, something that hinder my launch of Good Mountain originally. Really enjoying the classes right now because while they make me the most uncomfortable, they are pushing me to really learn new skills.
9) What do you like to do for fun?
My favorite thing to do is get out into the wilderness, away from the phone and laptop and just be in nature. Fly fishing with friends or hiking with my dog are 2 of my favorite activities when time permits. Night hiking for the 4th of July at Poo Poo Point was one of the coolest hikes I have done over the last year.
10) What’s been your favorite part of the program so far?
Getting to know the staff and my classmates. They have such diverse backgrounds, cultures, and work experience it has been so fun getting not only see how we can help each other out now, but just making lasting friendships that I know will be beneficial long-term and lifelong in some cases. We have really become kind of a family.
11) What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about applying to the MS ENTRE program?
Do it. If you are thinking about it, take the leap and just do it. The worst case scenario is you come out with a Masters Degree from one of the top business schools in the nation. Best case scenario is you create your dream job, meet amazing people and have unforgettable experiences, as well as a Masters Degree from one of the top business schools in the nation. IT. IS. WORTH. IT.
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.