Clubs @ Foster : Healthcare and Biotechnology Association

For students interested in the healthcare field, Foster’s Healthcare and Biotechnology Association (HCBA) strives to “educate students about the healthcare and biotechnology industries, create valuable connections and experiences for students, and help its members gain internship and job opportunities.”Logo HCBA

For the 2016-17 school year, HCBA is being headed up by Class of 2017’s Dina A. Fomina Yadlin. Before coming to Foster, Fomina Yadlin received her PhD. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Harvard, where she focused her research on innovative diabetes treatments. She then worked at Amgen, the global pharmaceutical giant, focusing on improving biological drug production. It was here that she realized she wanted to be a part of the strategic business decisions being made that impacted the research outcomes of the field and the therapeutic options delivered to patients.

With her background in science, Fomina Yadlin is pursuing her MBA at Foster in order to bridge that gap between science and the business of science, and we recently sat down with her to hear about healthcare/biotech opportunities at Foster and what HCBA is planning for the upcoming year.

Why should a student interested in the healthcare/biotech field choose Foster? Foster is at the pulse of innovation within the healthcare/biotech/global health space. As a research powerhouse, the University of Washington is a catalyst for technological disruption in these fields, and as such, there is a dynamic start-up scene for students to get plugged into. We have access to world-class hospitals and groundbreaking research institutions, and as Foster MBAs, we are able to connect with and learn from the experts leading these organizations. In addition, Seattle is home to both the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and PATH and every year, Foster MBAs intern and research with these important global health players.

These are exciting industries, developing constantly, yet with huge challenges still remaining to be solved. There’s also huge opportunity for collaboration with the technology field as Satya Nadella (the CEO of Microsoft) just recently acknowledged by joining the board of Fred Hutch (the groundbreaking cancer research center based in Seattle). Students interested in working in the tech space because of its scale and impact should explore the intersection between healthcare and technology as well. This space is booming in Seattle.

What type of opportunities exist for MBAs interested in the healthcare/biotech space? Just like other industries, this field needs typical MBA functions, such as business development, finance, marketing, strategy, and operations. There are local, nationwide and global opportunities for Foster MBAs to serve in those functions within the fields of biotechnology, hospital administration, healthcare consulting, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and global health.FominaYadlin_Dina_edited

In addition to receiving competitive compensation for your talents, you have an opportunity to work on impactful projects aimed at improving human health. It is an incredibly rewarding field to be in because you have opportunities, not only to do well for yourself, but to do work that impacts the community for the better.

Tell us about HCBA HCBA’s mission is to develop and channel MBA talent into businesses working to improve human health and well-being. Students rated us as one of the best clubs at Foster this past year, and we aim to continue that tradition by providing even more opportunities to learn about and connect with these dynamic industries. We host skill-building workshops, numerous networking opportunities with alums and industry professionals, tours to local companies and organizations, and a CEO speaker series. And of course, while doing all of this, we also aim to have fun. Business school allows students to have experiences that otherwise wouldn’t be possible, and we hope to leverage that by providing unique opportunities to explore the field while also connecting with classmates and professionals who share the same passions. The HCBA board is composed of talented individuals with professional backgrounds in various sectors covered by our association, and we are eager to see more of our peers get excited about this space. We encourage students to reach out to any of the HCBA board members, and we are very open about coaching them through transition into the field and sharing contacts.

What career prep/networking is available from HBCA? Every year we host skill-building workshops with local companies in the space. This upcoming year we will be hosting a finance strategy workshop with Providence/Swedish, a healthcare marketing workshop with Seattle Genetics, and a healthcare consulting case prep workshop with the Foster Consulting Society. We also hold an internship panel of the 2nd year students who spent the summer interning within the field, and we plan to put on a Resume/Coverletter workshop for those interested to tailor their stories to the healthcare/biotech/global health space. In addition, we are planning to release the first edition of the HCBA Resource book to all of our club members this Fall, which will have an abundance of valuable career prep information. Networking happens at a lot of our events, including workshops and site visits. We hold an annual HCBA social with the local professional community specifically dedicated to networking and we will also have alums come to the club happy hour info session during PRIME (the orientation week for incoming students). We also co-sponsor several Meet The Firm events throughout the academic year. The networking really starts at the very beginning of the program!

Any site visits/treks planned for this year? Right now, we are planning a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Tour and Alumni Panel for the Fall. In the spring, we will go on a Philips Ultrasound Manufacturing Tour which is always great because it aligns with our core Operations class. Students get to see lean process in practice and see what we are learning in the classroom implemented in a real way! We also are planning to host an ECG management consulting visit and a Frazier Healthcare venture capital visit to further explore opportunities in those two fields.

Outside of HCBA, what other opportunities exist at Foster within the field? Foster has several classes focused on healthcare. There is the Global Health Business Models course, taught by Emer Dooley, and a healthcare innovation practicum which allows you to satisfy one of your required practical experiences within the sector. Every winter-quarter, there are usually healthcare-focused applied strategy projects first-year students. For my applied-strategy project, I worked on a project with GroupHealth Hospitals, and there was also a group working with Providence. The ever-popular Global Business Forum has a global health focus for the Fall 2016 quarter.

Outside of classes, Foster’s Burke Center for Entrepreneurship annually hosts the Healthcare Innovation Competition. Furthermore, there’s CoMotion Innovation Fellowships available after completion of your first year. CoMotion is UW’s center for technology commercialization, and fellows help UW based startups take off. Many of these startups have been in the healthcare space in the past. We also have several mentors from these fields in the Foster Mentorship program.

Students at Foster are also encouraged to take classes across the University of Washington, including classes at the School for Public Health. We have relationships with other healthcare organizations on campus including the Science and Engineering Business Association (SEBA) and the Student Public Health Association (SPHA) to further connect our members.

You can learn more about HCBA and their upcoming events at https://depts.washington.edu/mbaclub/mba-clubs/healthcare-biotech-association/


Posted by Molly B. Forte - July 22nd, 2016 - 0 comments - Permalink



Foster Spotlight: Josh Anderson

Meet Josh! Born and raised in Las Vegas, Josh Anderson is what we affectionately refer to as a “Double Dawg,” having attended UW for both undergraduate and graduate school. Before Foster, he worked in quality assurance as a test engineer for Emulex Corporation and Fluke Corporation. Josh is the 2016-17 Foster MBAA president, and when he’s not busy with those duties or class, you can find him walking the streets of Ballard with his dog, Bowler.
Slide2
Why did you decide to go to business school? Working in factories made me really curious about how much we charge for products, how much it costs to build products, and how complex the manufacturing process has become because of globalization, outsourcing, etc. I realized that I loved talking about the companies and their strategies more than about the products that they were making. I enjoyed being an engineer, but I enjoyed it more as a hobby than a day-to-day job. That’s when I realized I should get an MBA.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Seattle? Originally it was the local music scene, but now it’s more than that. The laid-back yet really intelligent atmosphere vibes well with me, and it’s grown to be home over the past 12 years. I actually had to move away for two years because of a job, and it killed me. On a whim, I just quit my job and moved back here because I just missed the town so much.

Why did you choose Foster? I have a friend who is a year above me, and I learned about the program from her. Foster seemed to be a “roll up your sleeves” and “get to work” program with really great people which is what I wanted. And, I’m happy to say, I have found that all to be true. The people in our class are amazing: friendly, happy to help out, and eager to work hard. I’m just thrilled with the school and will be sad the day I graduate.

What’s the MBAA? The Foster MBA Association manages and monitors the issues that matter most to our student body –diversity, international student affairs, career services, academic affairs, etc.—as well as coordinates large scale social events such as graduation. We have 12 vice presidents who focus on a specific interest, and 3 senior VPs, with myself, who manage and coordinate the 22 clubs, the budget, etc.

Why did you decide to get involved? When I joined the program, I knew that I wanted to throw myself into it and get really involved. I decided to run for a first year representative position, which is a voting member of the MBAA. This exposed me to a bit of everything and was a great opportunity to be a spokesperson for the class. I loved this experience, so I decided to run for president to continue working for the class in this capacity.

Favorite class at Foster? Finance. Professor Gilbert is a very serious guy who takes his work very seriously, but at the same time, he has no qualms about having a great time while doing it. I really appreciate that. He holds people to a high standard.

Favorite activity so far? The Whistler trip! (Every year after Fall Quarter finals, students take a group trip to Whistler, B.C. to celebrate the end of the quarter and kick off the winter break.) I spearheaded a trip to a Scandinavian bathhouse while there, and I found myself at this amazing spa, sitting in the middle of the woods, snow falling all around, in complete silence. They actually made you sign a no-talking agreement! It was an amazing way to decompress from the Quarter, and the whole trip was a great experience with my classmates.

If Foster had a school song, what would it be? “Walkabout” by Atlas Sound. The opening lyrics of “What did you want to see? What did you want to be when you grew up?” really speak to the opportunities at Foster, and that the door is wide open for you to do something totally different. You just need to work for it. The rest of the lyrics talk of taking a leap and not looking back, “To go ahead and change your life without regard to what is said”. When you walk into Foster you are making a decision to change your life and dedicate yourself to becoming a better leader.


Posted by Molly B. Forte - July 11th, 2016 - 0 comments - Permalink



2016 Foster MBA Commencement

On Saturday, June 11, the 2016 Commencement for the Foster School of Business took place underneath characteristically cloudy and drizzly Seattle skies. But inside Meany Hall, the sun was shining brightly as over 200 Full-time MBA, Evening MBA, and PhD students were joined by faculty, staff, friends, and family to celebrate the successful completion of their degrees.

Becky See, Class of 2016 MBA Graduate

Becky See, Class of 2016 MBA Graduate

Delivering the student speech, Full-time MBA student Becky See focused on the opportunities that exist for her and her fellow classmates to make an impact on their communities. “I am not asking for Bill & Melinda Gates-level impact necessarily,” said See. “Sure, that would be amazing. But, I am also thinking about day to day impact, like making sure everyone at the conference table gets a voice, sitting on a nonprofit board, or investing more time in your family and community than in your bank account. You can make your own definition of “world,” but do not let that world pass you by.”

In his keynote address, Howard Behar, the former CEO of Starbucks, continued this theme of impact and service as he challenged the graduates to always put the people of the business first, no matter their rank within the company. “I believe what you have just been given is an obligation to serve others. It doesn’t make any difference what job you have or what industry you work in,” said Behar. “I hope that you will always remember why you are here and what you stand for: to serve people.”

Howard Behar delivering the keynote address

Howard Behar delivering the keynote address


Posted by Molly B. Forte - June 28th, 2016 - 0 comments - Permalink



Foster Venture Fellows Co-Founder Hartley Riedner on Networking and Building A Sustainable Program

I wrote earlier about the founding of the Foster Venture Fellows, which was started in 2015 as a professional student organization providing practical venture capital industry experience for Foster MBAs and valuable project work for venture capital firms. The previous article on August 2015 was erroneously titled – it should have been titled ‘How three MBA students are connecting Foster MBAs and the Seattle VC community’ because there was a third co-founder: Hartley Riedner, Class of 2016, and a member of the Foster MBA team that won second place at the 2015 Global Venture Capital and Investment Competition. I apologize for this error and got a chance to talk to Hartley last week to hear more about her experience and how the Venture Fellows went. Read on below! – Nelson Tang, Class of 2016

The MBA team who took second at the 2015 VCIC Global Finals in Chapel Hill, NC: Jake Wallack MBA ‘15, Matt Gryll MBA ’15, Hartley Riedner MBA ’16, Esther Perman MBA ’15, Travis Vaughan MBA ’16. Hartley (3rd from left) and the rest of the team with their prize for taking second at the 2015 VCIC Global Finals in Chapel Hill, NC …(Full Post >)


Posted by Nelson Tang - May 25th, 2016 - 0 comments - Permalink



Foster holds 2nd Annual MBA Microsoft Excel Tournament

excel tournament 3“Well…I’m, like…really good at Excel.”

“Well, do you know VLOOKUP?”

“Yes. That grade-school formula? Can you make macros?”

“Taught myself off Youtube. How’s your nested-IF game?”

This is not a scene from Kung Fu Panda 3. This discussion happens every Fall quarter at Foster, as new MBA students get to know their teammates and the skills they bring.

Most of us arrive here with some experience in Microsoft Office – and plenty of us crunched our way through big Excel spreadsheets for a good chunk of our 20s. And we definitely use it during the MBA as well as after. So Foster’s MBA Strategy Club got together and started an Excel tournament to settle “who the best” was. This year, during the 2nd Annual Foster MBA MSFT Excel Tournament, we even got a $350 sponsorship from Microsoft for our efforts.

For the second year in a row, our Excel-savvy MBA students competed against one another in a multi-event skills challenge. Like a (very nerdy) decathlon, participants took on a series of timed events, focused around specific MBA-relevant skill areas.

excel tournament 2“Build a chart to these specs, from this dataset!”

“Transform these fields, alphabetize and remove records here, and here!”

“There’s an error somewhere in this spreadsheet. You have 15 min before a big meeting to find it.”

When the dust cleared, Yuvika Kedia of the MBA Class of 2016 stood triumphant! As a certified Chartered Accountant, with stamps like Ernst & Young India and Amazon on her resume, and as an all-around expert – she won one round handily and came close in the remaining two.

“Definitely challenging, but fun. A lot of real world situations like we’d face in the office,” our champion said. ”It felt pretty good to win, too.”

The Foster MBA Strategy Club exists to give its members the problem-solving skills they’ll need, out there in the business world. We appreciate Microsoft’s sponsorship – and look forward to next year’s event!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

peter kazarian Prior to Foster, Peter Kazarian was a lifelong Californian and veteran of the LA/SF digital/ad agency scene. As a digital strategist, he focused on web strategy, e-commerce and database-driven marketing for major nonprofits like the American Red Cross and the City of Hope cancer treatment center. After winning a few industry-specific awards, he came to Foster to move fully into consumer marketing on behalf of for-profits.

He really enjoys his UW education and bonding with classmates and alums, and he’s going back to Starbucks HQ doing Brand and Channel marketing after graduation. When not networking or studying, he spends his time cooking, hiking, and going deep in the blogosphere. And trying to adjust to the PNW’s weather and lack of Mexican food.


Posted by Molly B. Forte - May 21st, 2016 - 0 comments - Permalink



The Second Year of the MBA

The Class of 2016 has only 4 weeks left, and our days as full-time MBAs are quickly coming to a close. Today, I’d like to share what the second year of the Foster MBA was like for me, and hopefully this helps some future Foster MBAs who are wondering what to expect in the second half of the program. This will also be one of my last blog posts as the student Inside the MBA Blog Coordinator, but I’m excited to announce that that we have a new coordinator, Molly B. Forte (Class of 2017)! Thanks for reading this blog, and good luck! – Nelson Tang, Class of 2016

Second Year comes to a close

…(Full Post >)


Posted by Nelson Tang - May 7th, 2016 - 0 comments - Permalink



From Service to School: Resources for Veterans interested in the Foster MBA Programs

If you’re a veteran interested in pursuing a full-time MBA, here’s a great guest post from Joe Dennis (Class of 2016), a former Army Captain and the 2015-2016 President of the Foster Veterans Association, with advice on how to make the transition from service to school. The military veteran community here at Foster is pretty tight, and we were in your shoes 1-2 years ago. I had some reservations about choosing the right school, but I met with other veterans at Foster and I knew that I had to come here. I hope this helps with your transition! – Nelson Tang, USAF 2006-2014

Image Credit: UW Buerk Center of Entrepreneurship

Image Credit: UW Buerk Center of Entrepreneurship

…(Full Post >)


Posted by Nelson Tang - February 11th, 2016 - 0 comments - Permalink



Predicting Coffee Demand with a Crystal Ball: My summer internship at Starbucks

This week we have a great post by Peter Kazarian (Class of 2016)! You might remember him from his writeup on the Japan study tour and the 2015 Silicon Valley Tech Trek. Just last summer, Peter had a great opportunity to intern at Starbucks in their channel development department. Read on for more about his experience at one of the most exciting brands in the world!

Peter and other 2015 Starbucks Interns, Day 1. Learning what it means #ToBeAnIntern

Peter and other 2015 Starbucks Interns, Day 1. Learning what it means #ToBeAnIntern

…(Full Post >)


Posted by Nelson Tang - January 28th, 2016 - 0 comments - Permalink



Former Entrepreneur Meets Brand Management

Today we have a guest post from Emily Palmer (Class of 2016), a former entrepreneur and talented artist who really transformed her career over the summer thanks to an amazing Brand Management internship at Talking Rain. She came back to Foster in the Fall with a much deeper level of insight into the consumer and I just had to find out how she was able to grow so much in such a short amount of time. Hear more about her story and her internship experience below!

Emily Palmer at Talking Rain

…(Full Post >)


Posted by Nelson Tang - January 18th, 2016 - 0 comments - Permalink



Managing the Career Change: Peter Woodward’s path to Goldman Sachs

Today we have a great interview with Peter Woodward (Class of 2016) about his experience as a career changer and his internship at Goldman Sachs. Peter comes from a non-traditional pre-MBA background, but he’s successfully parlayed that into a new career and is a great example of someone who was able to simultaneously change industries, geographies, and job function. Read more about his experience and his advice below!

…(Full Post >)


Posted by Nelson Tang - January 5th, 2016 - 0 comments - Permalink