Name: Kim Hickey
Graduation Year: 2014
Pre-MBA Profession: Human Resources
Post-MBA Profession: Sr. Specialist, Veterinary Systems at Trupanion
What lead you to pursue an MBA?: I have a bachelor’s degree in biology but my career has led me into the corporate world. In order to move forward I knew it was necessary to get a solid business education that would serve as the foundation for my professional growth and development. I appreciated that Foster balanced elective and core classes and felt that this program offered the most balanced experience. In coming to the end of the program, I can say that it has exceeded my expectations.
What did you do prior to the Evening MBA Program and what do you do now? How did the Foster Evening MBA program impact your career?
My career path has had several twists and turns, but with the support of the Foster Evening MBA program I was able to combine my past experience with my education to get the job of my dreams. After graduating with my bachelor’s degree in 2003, I managed a veterinary hospital in Phoenix, AZ for five years. Upon moving to the Northwest, I transferred those skills to work in human resources. While I enjoyed the strategic planning and business insight that came with the role, I knew I wanted to get back to my roots and return to the veterinary industry.
Throughout my time in the Evening MBA program I attended most of the workshops hosted by Career Services. During these sessions I improved my networking, interviewing, and communication skills that were critical to switching careers. I also had several one-on-one meetings with Career Services to map out my job search strategy. I started researching Trupanion, a pet health insurance company based in Seattle, in winter quarter of my last year and with the help of Career Services I was able to connect with an alumni at the company. Two months later I had my job offer and I successfully moved from a human resources position to my current role, which focuses on growing a new product that Trupanion offers to vet hospitals. My experiences in the Evening MBA program, including taking advantage of all that Career Services has to offer, definitely gave the confidence to pursue and make a career change!
What has been your most valuable academic experience at Foster?: Aside from gaining exposure to accounting and finance, my most memorable class has been Finding Your Voice. I was not comfortable with public speaking coming into Foster and it was a goal of mine to improve upon this skill. Despite being nervous before presenting in each class, I knew it was a safe environment to practice the public speaking tools we were learning. The feedback I received from the instructor and my classmates, both constructive feedback and positive recognition, helped me gain confidence in my presentation capabilities. Although I still get a little nervous, I often reflect back and pull from those experiences to help me give an impactful presentation. This class not only gave me vital business tools but also helped me grow personally as well.
How are you involved with Foster outside of the classroom?(i.e. Clubs, Groups, Programs, Activities, Committees): Student Ambassador (2nd and 3rd year) and Group Mentor (2nd year); travelled to India on the Global Consulting Trip.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned at Foster?: That it is possible to work and get an MBA! It seemed like such a daunting task at the beginning but the time has flown by. It’s amazing to look back and see what has been accomplished.