Dynamic faculty and teams: Q&A with Mustafa Mudheher, MBA 2019

Mustafa MudheherWhy Foster?

Besides the fact that UW is one of the oldest and highest ranked schools in the nation, it is well known for its solid partnerships with some of the best companies in the region that MBA graduates want to work for. Those factors made it easier for me to choose UW Foster School of Business for my MBA among other schools I was accepted at, such as Haas and Jones schools of business (UC Berkley and Rice Universities).

Student experience

What has been the highlight of your Foster MBA experience so far?

Getting to meet Foster students, professors, and staff members is by far the highlight of my MBA journey, so far. While being admitted in such highly-ranked school has already raised my learning prospects, being part of such diverse, caring, and intellectual family was beyond my expectations. The fun times I shared with Foster Huskies will last forever.

What are the most impactful experiences you’ve had?

Out of the uncountable fruitful experiences I’ve had in Foster, learning Finance and Microeconomics principles from the best tutors in the nation has opened my way of thinking and influenced many of my daily decisions. The expertise I acquired in my MBA journey has exceeded the business applications and enhanced various aspects in my life.

Curriculum

Describe your experience with the team aspect of the MBA program

The background diversity in my team and unique expertise of each member exposed me to many cultures and industries that without them I would have spent years and huge efforts to learn. Having been there for each other as a backbone allowed us not only to maximize the outcomes of this journey, but build a diverse network of the elites in the Pacific Northwest.

Have you participated in any experiential learning opportunities?

Representing Foster in Harvard Business School Case Competition and presenting in Harvard as one of the top 10 finalists in front of companies board members is certainly one of the experiences that took my learning to a higher level and prepared me to excel among executives in business environments.

Faculty

Is there a particular faculty member who stands out in your mind?

After taking two classes with Professor Edward Rice, I can confidently say that he is the person I have learned from the most, after my parents. His teaching style of initiating each course with abstract theories and ending it with real-life cases and lessons learned have engraved microeconomics principles, as micro as deciding between buying a banana and an apple, and the best practices for corporate financial decisions, as critical as accepting an acquisition offer or not. The knowledge he shared with us is simply priceless.

Career impact

How has the MBA program prepared you for major changes happening in your industry?

In 2016, when the oil and gas market collapsed, the sector I had built my entire professional expertise in, I became certain that I needed to shift my career into more sustainable and reliable industries. Without the statistical methods of data analysis and the accounting tools for managerial decisions I learned at Foster and without the interviewing techniques and connections the Career Management Center shared with me, I probably wouldn’t have been offered a senior managerial role at one of largest technology companies.

Work / Life balance

What is the most fun aspect of the program?

Spending 15 – 25 hours a week with the type A personality, diverse, and intellectual people of Foster studying, working on a project or volunteering (or drinking!) is the most fun part of the program. The happy hours we shared and trips we traveled together will be some of my joyful memories to look back at.

Final advice

Challenge yourself from the beginning of the program, get out of your comfort zone, and do what professors and staff members advise you to do, it works! Prioritize your MBA life across all others, it is a very fast couple of years that few want it to end and so many people wish to get such an opportunity.