February, 2010

Public Transit + MBAs = Good Times

Sunday, February 28th, 2010
MBAs on the light rail

MBAs on the light rail

Yesterday a group of Foster MBA students celebrated Seattle’s new public transit system by participating in the first annual Light Rail Pub Crawl. The event was sponsored and planned with the help of three MBA powerhouses… the fabulous TG planners of the MBAA + Part II club + Foster’s Net Impact chapter.

The crawl started with pitchers of local beer and lunch in Columbia City after taking the light rail from Westlake Center. We then traveled to Beacon Hill for some tall boys and pizza, followed by24907_333840779205_798684205_3343109_3097520_n karaoke in the International District. The last stop of the crawl was Pioneer Square for some more pitchers and a vast array of fried foods.

Everyone had rave reviews for the light rail – clean! fast! reliable! According to the Facebook status updates I read this morning, the crawl continued for many more hours after I called it a night. Clearly, Foster MBAs are not only collaborative and ambitious – they know how to have a good time while taking public transportation!

Foster Goes to Omaha

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

A group of 27 Foster MBA students headed to Nebraska last week to spend the day with the Oracle of Omaha, Mr. Warren Buffett. It was supposed to be a quick trip consisting of only 24 hours in Omaha, but a mechanically faulty airplane provided us an extra night in the midwestern city and time for one more famous steak which several people took full advantage of.

Our very own guest blogger, Allison Bilas with Mr. Buffett

Our very own guest blogger, Allison Bilas with Mr. Buffett

Mr. Buffett graciously answered questions for two and a half hours ranging from his approach to maintaining an ethical culture at Berkshire Hathaway to explaining how he would invest $10,000 if he was a graduate student with a limited bank account balance. He was completely honest, open and consistently showed his down-to-earth sense of humor. Our favorite quote came during his answer to a question regarding the government’s intervention in the economy:

“You can’t make a baby in 1 month by getting 9 women pregnant.”

No arguments from us on that one.

It was a fabulous trip and completely stress free which we owe entirely to our amazing classmate, Meghann. She was asked by the Dean to be the lead coordinator for the trip and he clearly chose a great woman for the job. She handled all of the frustrating logistics involved in the rebooking of 27 people on a new flight back to Seattle, as well as making sure we had somewhere to sleep for our extra night in Omaha. We thank her profusely. (You can read her take on the trip over at Foster Unplugged.)

Here’s to Foster being invited back to Omaha for a third year in a row in 2011. If we are, I strongly suggest those attending think of a good pose for their few moments with Mr. Buffett. He likes role playing, clearly.

Our fearless leader, Meghann | Mr. Buffett | Yours Truly

Our fearless leader, Meghann | Mr. Buffett | Yours Truly

Applied Strategies: Project Update

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

We are about half way into the quarter…

Wow! I can’t believe I just said that.

Anyway. My team’s Applied Strategy consulting project is going strong! I wanted to send an update to my previous post to let you know how it’s going.

We’ve had three significant events so far. First of all, we met with our faculty advisor. Every team was matched with a faculty member that could bring their experience to our projects. Our advisor, John Castle, knows the company we are working with and was really helpful in putting our project into perspective.

The second major event was a visit to our client’s offices in Kent. The President of the company gave us a tour of their building and warehouse. Most importantly we were able to see how their product was packaged and delivered to their distributors. Seeing the client’s operations in action showed us the importance of the work we would be doing. The visit was very clarifying for our team!

Our last major event for the first half of the quarter was an information sharing session with our classmates. For this, we prepared and gave a quick Powerpoint presentation about our project. We then solicited feedback from our professors and classmates. We walked away from the session with a lot of practical advice and some contacts with expertise in the industry we are analyzing. We’re in the information gathering stage of our project right now. I will report back as we begin to wrap things up!

Guest Blogger: Allison Bilas, Foster MBA Class of 2011

Plunge for Charity

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Polar(2)It’s hard to believe, but five Foster MBAs dove into the freezing cold waters just off of Alki Beach on January 24th. As you can imagine, the waters of the Puget Sound in the heart of winter are more than refreshing. The five students (the “Freezing Fosters”) joined several hundred other plungers who all rallied to help support the Special Olympics of Washington. The one day event raised over $33,000 for Special Olympics athletes. To put that in perspective, it takes about $680 dollars a year to sponsor an athlete – the money raised will go a long way in helping an amazing cause. A special thanks goes out to the event volunteers, composed of the dedicated Special Olympics of Washington staff and over 30 Foster MBAs.

Guest Blogger: Kurt Lervick, MBA Class of 2010