January, 2010

Don’t Miss Admit Weekend

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

The third deadline for applications has just passed so the number of students who have been admitted to the program and chosen to be part of the Class of 2012 is growing each month. Hopefully some of you admitted students are reading this right now because I’m going to tell you how to get a sneak peak into the program… how to truly experience Foster before making your final decision… how to meet the actual people who will be sitting across from you in class in 8 short months.

classmatesThe Foster MBA Admissions team hosts two Admit Weekends each Spring and they are truly invaluable experiences, especially if you are not sure if Foster is the best fit for you. Or perhaps you’re trying to decide between Foster and another program. Or maybe you know Foster is the perfect school, but you’re anxious to meet the people who will make up the most important network you’ll ever be part of. Admit Weekend is that opportunity!

After being admitted to Foster I was still on the fence about pursuing an MBA. After attending the Admit Weekend I had my answer. I met current students who answered all of my questions, I met professors and staff who were inquisitive and supportive, and best of all, I began forming friendships with my future classmates immediately. They were interesting and humble and brilliant and I left Admit Weekend knowing firsthand that I was going to enjoy my two years at Foster.

You’ve read all about the Foster culture on the website and heard about it from current students and alumni. I highly recommend experiencing it for yourself at an Admit Weekend.

Applied Strategies

Friday, January 15th, 2010

After a much needed break over the holidays, I came back to Foster excited for a fresh course load. I learned a lot last quarter, and loved my professors. But I was ready for new topics!

I think most people (myself included) were especially excited for one class in particular – Applied Strategies. In this class, each team is assigned to a consulting project with a local company. The format of the class is fairly open ended… It’s all about delivering results to our clients.

My team’s project is with a company selling medical devices. The scope includes some operations and some marketing. While I’m familiar with marketing and a bit of operations, I know nothing about the medical industry. I’m excited to get out of my comfort zone a bit!

We spent the first couple weeks of class talking about consulting best practices – scope, client communications, and project management skills. The classes included panels of students who did projects last year, and professionals who currently work in consulting.

On Wednesday we finally met our clients in person! My team is fortunate to be working directly with the President of the company. She was very excited to have us, and came to our meeting with a lot of information to share.

Now that we’ve kicked that project off, the real work begins, starting with an on-site visit next week!

Guest Blogger: Allison Bilas, Foster MBA Class of 2011

The Balanced Life You Can’t Accomplish

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

After living through it last year, I’m watching a whole new group of first year MBA’s struggle with the ongoing challenge of time management. There are simply not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything on the to do list. It seems that the cycle looks something like this: intense pressure subsides as you begin to get used to the workload and reacclimated to the academic environment. This easing of stress leads you to begin to take more ownership and get more deeply involved to the program. You agree to do a project with Microsoft or enter a case competition. Or perhaps you take a new leadership role with an MBA club. This quickly fills up all of the free time in your calendar and leads you back to feeling over scheduled and overwhelmed. Repeat every few months for two years.

It’s the MBA vortex.

Bittersweet Look Ahead

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Tomorrow we begin winter quarter. The first year students are likely breathing a sigh of relief that the first quarter of their MBA career is over and looking forward to a less quantitative quarter. During the upcoming quarter they’ll be consulting with a company from the Seattle business community in their Applied Strategies class, as well as taking a step back from the numbers to spend more time thinking about leadership and strategic thinking in a team setting. Their internship searches will heat up as they interview for highly sought after positions at Amazon, Microsoft and AT&T.

The second year students are likely feeling quite differently, the exact opposite of a sigh of relief actually. I know I’m feeling a hightened level of stress as I face the fact that we only have two quarters left before the MBA experience comes to an end. Many of us have accepted employment offers and know where we’ll be heading after graduation. Our placement numbers are quite impressive even in the challenging economic climate and by talking with fellow classmates, the general outlook seems very optimistic. The stress has more to do with the simple fact that we’re almost done. It’s flown by and although I know I will always be able to pick up the phone and call any one of my classmates, soon our little tight knit group of 104 will be scattered all over the globe.

Perhaps a three year MBA program wouldn’t be so bad.