Foster Futures: Abiel Zewolday

Abiel Zewolday

It would be tempting to declare—as many have—Abiel Zewolday (BA 2018) a “natural” leader, though the assertion diminishes the enormous work he has put in to make it look so easy.

The Edmonds-born son of Eritrean immigrants has engaged in the Foster School from A to Z. He is a mentor to Young Executives of Color (the high school pipeline program that first acquainted him with Foster), former president of the Association of Black Business Students and the undergraduate representative on the Foster Diversity Committee. He’s active in the Lavin Entrepreneurial Action Program. And working with the Consulting and Business Development Center, his student consulting team advised Seattle Credit Union on how to more effectively reach and serve Seattle’s low-income populations.

He’s also interned at Microsoft, Concur, EY and, most recently, Apple. He’ll return to Cupertino after graduating in May to begin his career in finance.

Zewolday has given as good as he’s got from Foster, though he doesn’t see it that way. “Foster has prepared me to take on business challenges and has equipped me with the necessary tools to conquer them,” he says.

As for his own challenges to conquer? “I want to start my own company and lead it as CEO.”

You’d be wise not to bet against him.

More about Abiel:

What has been your most impactful experience at Foster?

My experience with YEOC has by far been my most impactful experience at Foster. It gave me a community that I look at like family, and also gave me the opportunity to help develop the next generation of business leaders.

What aspect of Foster’s culture do you believe will prove particularly valuable in your career?

I think Foster has started taking the right steps towards fighting its shortfalls in diversity, and by putting me in a position to help solve this has helped me better understand life from the perspective of others. I think this will be very valuable in my career both as I work with individuals from different backgrounds, and fight for diversity in the workplace.

Abiel Zewolday plays the “Koboro” drum at the Eritrean Holy Trinity Orthodox Tewahdo Church of Seattle.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I’m very involved in my church and help develop our Youth Programs. I’m also very passionate about cars.

What is a “fun fact” about you?

I’m an early adopter to new technology and usually spend any extra money I have on new tech gadgets.

Foster Futures is a series highlighting some of the students who are leading the Foster School into its second century—and themselves into promising careers. The series began in the winter issue of Foster Business magazine.