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 Emileigh Thylin.
1) Where are you from?
San Jose, CA!
2) What did you do before entering this program?
Nine days before starting this program, I graduated from the UW’s Foster School of Business with my B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship.
3) Did you have any entrepreneurship experience before entering this program?
Yes! I’ve worked for a variety of startups in a variety of industries. In April, I started the coffee company that would become my focus during the MS ENTRE program: Seattle Strong.
4) Tell us why you are excited to be a part of the inaugural MS in Entrepreneurship class
Being part of the inaugural MS ENTRE class is an honor and a privilege for many reasons. This is a program that UW faculty have been working on for years, that professionals around Seattle are enthusiastic about, and that is tailored to the needs of the students. Dozens of people came together to contribute to our curriculum. Entrepreneurs joined forces with professors to create a well-rounded program that dives into the most important lessons for every entrepreneur, providing us with in depth building blocks of what it takes to start a company. Most importantly, the small cohort gives us the ability to work with faculty and staff to dive deeper into subjects and topics that interest us. Program administrators are more than happy to arrange additional events and workshops that build on the needs and desires of students. We are encouraged to ask for what we need, and they do their best to meet those needs.
5) What are your thoughts on the entrepreneurship scene in Seattle?
SO FUN! Seattle is an incredible place with incredible people. The diversity, progressiveness, and entrepreneurial spirit of the city combine to create an entrepreneurial scene unlike any other. Seattle is a proud city. People from Seattle (generally) love things from their city. Consequently, the Seattle community in general is really accepting of new businesses taking flight in their city. More established companies and organizations sponsor incredible opportunities for anybody to pursue their dreams. For instance, Seattle Startup Week allows anyone and everyone to access free events where they can learn about things that interest them.
6) What connections are you hoping to make while in the program?
I have already made a considerable amount of connections, although it has only been one quarter! I hope to continue connecting with like-minded individuals who also yearn to create change.
7) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Wherever the wind takes me! Over the next 5 years, I would love to continue working on Seattle Strong, I would love to contribute to other startups, or maybe pursue a PhD—I would love to teach one day and encourage others to start their own company!
8) What skills and/or knowledge are you looking to develop?
I’m hoping to gain a better understanding of scaling a startup from nothing to a well-known reputable brand, how to be a leader, and how to engage a community. I’m confident that by the end of the program I will have developed these skills significantly.
9) What do you like to do for fun?
I love attending events around Seattle, reading, hiking, hanging out with other entrepreneurs and friends, brainstorming ways in which the world could change, etc.
10) What’s been your favorite part of the program so far?
It’s so challenging to pick just one—but if I had to, I would say all the people who have invested so much of their time and energy to helping us. The mentors and outstanding faculty are passionate about this program and have so much to offer all of the students. The small cohort size allows for us to not only create strong relationships with each other, but with our professors and mentors. My professors know my name, they know my company, and they are able to tailor lessons and advice to things that are relevant to me and the rest of the students. The mentors come from a wide variety of industries and backgrounds and volunteer their time, energy and expertise to share their knowledge with us.
11) What advice would you give to someone who’s thinking about applying to the MS in Entrepreneurship program?
DO IT! I won’t lie, I had my hesitations at first, too. Entrepreneurs have a reputation for dropping out, right? So, going to a master program for entrepreneurship seemed rather counter-intuitive initially. After talking to some very influential people in my life, I was persuaded to do the program. They told me, “You go to college to learn. But more importantly, you go to meet people.” Since being in this program I have met so many incredible individuals. Game changers. Innovators. Experienced professionals with incredible skills. My network has expanded vastly, from MS ENTRE students to other UW master students, to professionals in the greater Seattle areas.
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. Stay tuned for more interviews in the coming weeks!