FOSTERing MBA Access Introduces Diverse Candidates to the MBA Experience

FOSTERing MBA Access participants on a Corporate Trek to Microsoft.

In mid-November, Foster launched its first two-day FOSTERing MBA Access prospective student visit event, including the first corporate trek to several companies in the Seattle-area. 24 MBA candidates from 7 states participated in the visit which aimed to introduce members of underrepresented groups to the Foster MBA experience.

Over the course of 2 days, the candidates participated in an MBA class simulation, received customized advising from MBA Career Management, attended a professional development workshop, networked at a reception with current students and alumni, and visited  Alvarez & Marsal, Microsoft, Bunker Labs and CoMotion.

The original FOSTERing MBA Access event was started in the spring of 2014 by two full-time MBA student leaders who wanted to do something about the lack of underrepresented groups in the classroom.  The initial bi-annual events featured an evening of honest and open discussion with Foster MBA students and alumni, business leaders and Foster MBA staff/faculty.  This Fall, the event was expanded to become a 2-day visit for prospective Foster MBA students.

Class of ’18 MBA student, Houston Gossett, helped lead the planning of the event.  As the President of the Diversity in Business (DiBs) club, he is passionate about promoting the life-changing impact of an MBA degree.

“The opportunities for MBA graduates are often within management, and upon being hired the notion is that you will be an asset for the organization and will grow into more prominent positions within the company. Essentially, MBA graduates become high-value draft picks that companies believe will drive future growth. It’s possible to climb the corporate ladder as an underrepresented minority without an MBA.  But from my own personal experience, I have seen that it is difficult to navigate the corporate system and diverse candidates get promoted less frequently than their non-minority counterparts.”

Participants got the chance to interact with current students, alumni and staff in multiple formats during the 2 days, giving them a solid feel for what makes a Foster MBA a truly unique experience.

“This was by far the most valuable and informative experience I have participated in!” commented one participant.

“I learned so much about the UW Foster School of Business through numerous points of views, which helped shape and break down barriers in pursuing an MBA. The energy from participants and staff created a sense of camaraderie and a glimpse of what a potential MBA cohort would look/feel like. With this approach, it allowed participants to really get the full experience of what the day and the life of a graduate student is like, and what opportunities lie ahead post-MBA through the alumni experience.”

Current students and alumni were featured panelists during the evening reception.