When applying for admission to the Technology Management MBA Program, you will need to upload unofficial copies of your academic transcripts and other documentation for review. Official copies will be required only if you are admitted to the program, says Ally Wewers, Admissions and Recruiting Coordinator. She describes the process, and explains how applicants whose documents are in a language other than English can get them translated.
The Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship’s Jones + Foster Accelerator is a TechStars-like program that helps student-led startups get off the ground.
This year, five teams completed the six-month accelerator program, identifying and meeting milestones with the guidance of top entrepreneurs, lawyers and investors from Seattle’s entrepreneurial community. From July 2013 to February 2014 they worked to build their teams, develop their services or technologies, get their products to market, and raise early-stage funding.
On February 4, the five teams made final presentations to a panel of judges and were awarded up to $25,000 in follow-on funding to pursue their next set of milestones.
- PolyDrop manufactures additives that transform regular coatings (think paint) into conductive coatings that dissipate static electricity and prevent interference caused by electric current flow. PolyDrop has been awarded a Commercialization Gap Fund grant of $50,000 and a National Science Foundation STTR grant of $225,000, providing the funds necessary for 2014 operations and develop a prototype proving the viability of their product.
- Pure Blue Technologies, a water treatment technology company that provides visible light photo disinfection and desalination technology, is currently finalizing a license with the UW Center for Commercialization. The company has negotiated lab space with Ondine biomedical and has a term sheet for up to $1.5 million in equity funding, which will give them 18 months of runway to cover additional research and development and get them to the pilot stage.
- Z Girls educates female athletes ages 11-14 on the mental and emotional skills important in sports and life. The company has received a $100,000 convertible note, raised $50,000 to provide scholarships for girls who demonstrate need, and hired 27 program leaders (all college or pro-level female athletes). In the last six months 182 girls have gone through Z Girls’ Seattle-based programs. (Check out Z Girls’ promotional videos on their website!)
- StudentRND runs programs aimed at educating students (middle-school through college) about programming and engineering. The nonprofit has created an advisory board, raised over $135,000 in sponsorships, and put together an operations plan that includes hosting 20 Code Days in Spring 2014.
- LuckySteps, a wellness program for companies and their employees, has raised $30,000 in the past six months. The company is working with a UW Human Centered Design and Engineering group on a usability study and has run beta tests with four prospective clients in order to prove its business model and pricing structure. Lucky Steps plans to wow the judges in this year’s UW Business Plan Competition.
As a Foster MBA student, getting a job and achieving financial independence is usually expected and the path to find a job is relatively clear. But in parts of rural India where education access may be limited and women are discouraged from working outside the home, financial independence is difficult to obtain and the jobs that are available are often insecure. The Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), a 1.5 million member trade union for poor self-employed women, is working to change that by helping to organize stable jobs and showing the benefits employment for women can provide. Every year since 2011, the MBA Global Consulting Project has sent twenty of Foster’s MBA students to the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan in India to partner with SEWA, study the group’s projects and apply their MBA business analysis to provide recommendations.
SEWA’s partners in the MBA Global Consulting Project get to see these benefits first-hand in their intense ten day visit to the region to understand the issues, meet with the grassroots entrepreneurs that make up SEWA and find projects that can improve lives. Gathering research about projects in an organization that helps local people work for themselves goes beyond recording facts. Hearing about the business means hearing the stories of women who have grown into leaders, young people who gain better education because of their parents’ new-found work, and local businesses that are truly family affairs. For the MBA students, the trip is as productive as it is inspiring.
Examples of projects include:
- Rudiben (RUDI): It’s similar to Avon, but instead of selling cosmetics, the women sell spices, sugar and grains. They can often make more than double what they would otherwise earn doing embroidery or agricultural work. Read more here and here.
- Jyoti: It provides solar electricity for schools, solar lanterns for homes, and hand pumps in remote villages with limited access to electricity and clean water. It is funded by the Coca-Cola India Foundation. The hand pumps save time and improve the health of the family by giving them reliable access to clean water. The solar electricity and lanterns improve the quality of life by powering fans during hot weather and lights during darker times of year. Read more.
- Shantipath Peace Centers: The centers are designed to help women find jobs within their community. Read more.
- Hariyali: It provides solar power or biomass gasification technology which is used to supply small rural villages with electricity. Read more.
Upon returning to Foster for winter quarter, students work with mentors, SEWA managers and the research they gathered in India to provide recommendations on important issues the union’s projects face, from Castor oil supply problems to how to measure the impact of solar lanterns in people’s lives. In a March video conference, the students present their recommendations to SEWA for feedback and implementation. Since SEWA’s most dedicated investors are the people in the communities it works with, leveraging the money the organization has is vital.
To read first-hand accounts from MBAs who traveled to India and worked on this project, check out the MBA Global Consulting Project blog. This project is led by Professor Cate Goethals.
Achieving a good score on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is a concern for applicants to the Technology Management MBA Program. Tracy Gojdics, TMMBA Program Director, stresses that the GMAT score is just one of several factors considered in admission decisions, and offers recommendations on preparing for the test.
For the experienced professionals who graduate from Foster’s Executive MBA Program, career challenges come in many shapes and sizes. For one professional, the smooth climb up a career ladder was suddenly blocked. For another, finding a suitable match for specialized background and skills proved unexpectedly difficult. A third reached the end of one career path and had to find her way to another. A fourth moved halfway around the world and had to start over in a city with an unfamiliar culture where she had few connections in the business community. Each of these four EMBA alumni faced one of these challenges. Each triumphed over adversity with new knowledge and skills, a new network of contacts and assistance from the EMBA program’s career coach. Here are their stories.
A team of Foster students recently traveled to Singapore for an MBA Strategic Consulting Project. The following is an account by Kyle Sullivan (MBA 2014) of his experiences there and observations of the city-state.
It’s cold and rainy in Seattle; typical winter conditions. It’s hard to imagine I was enjoying 85-degree weather just a few weeks ago in Singapore.
Despite having lived in Asia for an extended period, I had never visited Singapore before. My friends often described it as uneventful, that it had none of the dynamism of China or Hong Kong; “Asia lite,” they would call it. I could not disagree more.
From the moment we landed, I noticed a sense of significance about the place. Driving westward into town along Singapore’s East Coast Parkway (ECP), parallel to the waterfront, it is all but impossible to ignore the armada of container ships lingering in the Singapore Strait. A few miles down the road, the view of the ships becomes obscured by an army of quay cranes towering above the Port of Singapore, Asia’s second largest port. Adjacent to the port, gleaming skyscrapers bearing the names Standard Chartered, HSBC, and Microsoft press up against Singapore’s Marina Bay. Surrounded by so much commercial activity, it feels as if you are in the center of the world.
I traveled to Singapore with a team of three classmates—Noah, Shalini, and Lisa—to work on a project for a Washington-state manufacturing company. The company had been exploring the possibility of opening a warehouse in Singapore in order to be closer to its customers in Asia Pacific. Our task was three-fold: gather information about the local market for the company’s products, assess the local real estate market, and make connections with headhunters. The project’s intent was to inform the client company about the most appropriate way to set up an operation in Singapore.
It was a busy ten days for us, packed with meetings, dinners, and networking events. One of the key takeaways from our meetings with various business partners was that there are very clear trade-offs for conducting business in Singapore. For example, business registration is conducted online and takes a matter of hours (whereas in China it can take more than six months), laws and regulations are evenly enforced, and the corporate income tax rate is a flat 17 percent. The downside is that the average price for a warehouse is roughly triple the price in Seattle, and annual wage increases are some of the highest in Asia Pacific.
One of the most interesting meetings was with a company called Mapletree, which is one of Singapore’s largest industrial property management firms. We met with a man named James, who heads up marketing for Mapletree’s industrial property division, to hear his expertise on Singapore’s industrial property market and to understand his company’s portfolio of warehouse properties. As we were wrapping up the conversation, out of curiosity I asked James for his opinion about what country in Asia Pacific will be the next major driver of growth for industrial property sales. He paused for a moment, and grinned. Waiting in suspense, as if he was about to divulge a closely guarded secret, he simply replied, “Indonesia.”
Learn more about the MBA Strategic Consulting Program at the Foster School.
The Technology Management MBA Program is designed for working professionals, so your work experience is an important factor in evaluating your application for admission. Tracy Gojdics, TMMBA Program Director, has recommendations for preparing a résumé to submit with your application.
Executive MBA students typically think about getting an MBA for months, sometimes years, prior to applying for admission to a program. Most carefully weigh the financial investment, the time commitment, and other opportunity costs against the ROI of personal and professional growth offered by the EMBA experience. We asked three Foster EMBA students to explain how they decided to make a leap forward in their careers.
If you’re planning to apply to the Technology Management MBA Program, take advantage of opportunities to learn more about the program and the application process, advises Ally Wewers, Admissions and Recruiting Coordinator. These include one-on-one meetings with admissions staff, application workshops, the TMMBA Talk blog and talking with alumni and students.