October, 2011

Kicking off the Evening MBA program with ePRIME and eLEAD

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Remember your first day of school? Excitement with a little bit of nervousness? That’s how I felt when I got to Foster where you get an intense first few days filled with new faces, new friends and a whole lot of learning. You meet your new team and talk about all of the readings and homework assignments that you have due even before your first day of class. Your initial thoughts are: Will I like my new team? Will we be able to work together? Will I be able to get through all of this?

You start to relax as ePRIME begins with opening presentations from Dean Jiambalvo who talks about our state-of-the-art building, Assistant Dean Poston who entertains you with the hustle and Associate Dean Turner who makes you laugh. You sit through more presentations and introductions, have lunch with your team, take pictures as a full class and end your day with drinks, appetizers and networking with current students and alumni.

So you survived the first day and now it’s time to meet your new professors for eLEAD, Morela Hernandez and Greg Bigley. You are immediately impressed with their backgrounds and style of teaching. You stay completely engaged throughout class because the discussions are actually interesting. You find that the readings on building teams and leadership development are not that difficult and you actually start enjoying them. You quickly learn how to work with your new teammates and apply your learnings to everyday work life. eLEAD classes make you feel empowered and even more excited to begin your education at Foster. It’s a great way to kick start your MBA experience at Foster!

~Guest Blogger, Rose Tucker, Evening Class of 2014

Leadership Fellows: First Quarter Core, Round 2

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

I vaguely remember the first quarter of my MBA career. It went by so quickly, yet seemed to take such a long time. Former Alumni Association President Eddie Pasatiempo put that first quarter in perspective for me, “It’s like spending three minutes…under water.” Starting an MBA program happens only once, and it’s the kind of experience you don’t fully grasp while it is happening. This is part of the reason I was so intrigued by the opportunity to be a Leadership Fellow, a second year student who works with a core group in the first year class as they deal with the complexities and challenges of the first quarter of business school.

Over the course of my first year at the Foster School of Business my fellow second year students proved themselves to be an indispensible part of my learning experience. Though some of them were younger than me, they were full of information about how the program worked, life in Seattle, the dynamics of a team in stressful situations and the dangers that lurked ahead in the first quarter of business school. An important question for the Class of ‘13 is how to tap into the resources of the Class of ‘12. When I first showed up at school, it was my Leadership Fellow that provided the initial window into the class of second years and the Fellows continued to provide great support throughout the school year.
– This year the Leadership Fellows program is different from past years. Previously, the Leadership Fellow was responsible for guiding a team through the quarter and a Leadership Coach was responsible for guiding its individual members through personal development plans. This year the fellows must mentor first year students on their personal development plans and the Leadership Coaches offer the Fellows advice on how to take on that role. This means not only watching team dynamics, but sitting with students individually and helping them not only outline their goals for business school, but also come up with a plan to achieve those goals.

There are two distinct aspects of the Fellows program this year and in both – watching team dynamics and assisting in a personal development plan – the Fellows get an insider’s perspective without actually being inside. It is an opportunity to mentor, to coach, to teach and to learn about what it means to be a leader. Foster is a small community and the Fellows program is an important step in students reaching their goals and becoming great leaders and ambassadors for the Foster brand.

~Guest Blogger, Lee Sherman, Full-Time Class of 2012, and Leadership Fellow

More information about the Leadership Fellow program can be found here

What is Jump Start?

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

JUMP START – as the name suggests, this event was a kick on the d’arrière and a friendly reminder to get moving. In more ways than one, it was a preview of things to follow. Jump start ran from Sep 19 through Sep 23 and covered topics in Statistics, Accounting and Finance with the aim of giving a quick brush up of the basic concepts and an overview of the course content for the Fall quarter. Throughout the build up to the beginning of the session, second years kept driving the point home- come fall hit the ground running; those of us who didn’t take the advice seriously were surely rocked off their feet a bit. The five full days of intense instructions, covering a depth and breadth of the topics, were not for the faint of heart- especially when most of us were returning to school after a gap of five to seven years. Having said that, jump start gave a good perspective on the academic requirements in the course and where one stood with respect to those requirements. It was also a good time to bond with fellow students before the going got busier and tougher. This perhaps is the last time when the entire batch is together before it is split into sections and you see less and less of each other. The Happy Hours, sponsored by various clubs with an open tab (which I missed most of the time), were a good release and also a reminder of work-life balance in the busy schedule that lay ahead.
One has an option to skip either one or all Jump Start sessions by passing a qualifying exam with a 90% score. However, Jump Start delivers beyond academics and even if one can clear all the qualifying exams, it would be a good idea to attend at least couple of session to get in the groove.

Special thanks to Professors Gilbert and Kennedy for bringing order to the chaos and making Jump Start a fruitful experience.

~Guest blogger, Piyush Jain, Full-Time Class of 2013

The “Makes-You-Proud” Kind of Busy

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

I told someone the other day that the MBA program at Foster really begins on the first day of Prime and LEAD. The two weeks of orientation and teambuilding are a whirlwind of nametags, handshakes, happy hours, and workshops, but they are an invaluable introduction to the Foster experience. While it may be difficult for anyone to fully prepare for an MBA program (I would love to know what that looks like!), the program orientation goes a long way towards jump starting a sense of community and purpose in our class.

Prime and LEAD seem to be designed to communicate a simple fact: we will be busy this year. But not to worry – I can vouch that this is a good busy, a worthwhile busy, the makes-you-proud kind of busy. I also glean from the program that we will be depending on others, perhaps more than we ever have. Those “others” are our classmates, our instructors, and the tireless Foster staff dedicated to our success. The MBA program directors really put on a great show; it is comforting to know we are in capable hands!

~ Guest Blogger Aaron Shepherd, Full-Time Class of 2013