November, 2011

Net Impact Conference in Portland

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Net ImpactOn October 27, 2011, Foster Net Impact sent 55 students (including 1st & 2nd year full-time and evening) to the 19th National Net Impact Conference at the Oregon convention center in Portland. Net Impact is focused on helping to create a new generation of leaders who use their careers to tackle the world’s toughest problems. Net Impact members put their business skills to work for good throughout every sector. By doing so, they show the world that it’s possible to make a net impact that benefits not just the bottom line, but people and planet too. The conference is held over three days and brings students and professional together to tackle tough CSR and sustainability challenges, build their careers and professional networks, and participate in sessions that pushed boundaries and limits. This year the conference was focused on:
• Where creative problem solving and playful approaches can lead to serious solutions
• Where sustainable innovations were championed by those you least expect
• Where unlikely partnerships accelerate change

This was my second time attending the Net Impact Conference and each year I have left feeling inspired and refreshed to continue to pursue my personal belief that business is about mission and margin. As my idol Sally Jewel constantly reminds us, “you can’t have mission without margin and you can’t have margin without mission.” I am not specifically seeking a career in CSR or environmental sustainability, but someday CSR and environmental sustainability will not be silos within companies, but instead will be part of every employee’s job. To know and to understand the intricacies of the triple bottom line, in my opinion, is a competitive advantage and a valuable tool to have within any organization. My favorite panel that I attended was the “Connecting Consumers with Action… and your Brand.” With an increasing number of companies wanting to use their corporate citizenship work as a marketing tool, it’s no longer enough to just shout your message to the masses and hope someone hears you. In this session, they featured three companies (Nike, Levi Strauss and Recycle Bank) who have figured out how to successfully grab socially conscious consumers’ attention, engage them, and elicit a desired behavior that has a positive impact on the world—and on perceptions of their brands. For any marketing professional, this was both an inspiring and educational panel.

The Net Impact conference is such an amazing experience and beyond the conference itself it is a wonderful opportunity to spend some time and bond with your classmates who attend. While in Portland, many of us got to share amazing memories together including an awesome Peruvian dinner in order to celebrate the birthday of one our classmates, getting dressed up for Halloween and enjoying the local Portland bar scene, and traveling together by car and train. These are the moments I will remember years after I have finished the MBA.

If you would like to learn more about the Foster Net Impact chapter please visit here.

If you would like to learn more about what Net Impact is doing, including more about the 2012 Conference, please visit here.

~ Guest Blogger, Allison Takeuchi, Full-Time Class of 2012

Video: MBA Strategy Fair

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

MBA students apply strategies learned in class to real-world situations during the 2011 Blue Ocean Strategy Fair, a competition held at the UW Foster School of Business and sponsored by Seattle-based Slalom Consulting.

“These kinds of projects really force you to think outside the box,” says MBA student Christian Booth, who enjoyed the event’s hands-on nature. “There’s no right or wrong answer. I think that’s where the learning really comes in. It’s taking the frameworks that we’ve learned in class, the tools that we’ve learned, and this is where the rubber meets the road and we apply them.”

MBA Jackie Logan gained experience directly relevant to her career goals. She says, “Personally, I’m very interested in strategy and that was one of the reasons that I came back to business school was to try to understand the high-level operations of a company and to understand how companies develop a strategic plan.”

Click on the below image to play video.

We’re #10! We’re #10!

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

Foster MBA

So proud to be a part of Foster!

Business Week just published their rankings for the top part-time MBA programs in the country and Foster is number 10! This is a jump of 30 spots since the last published rankings in 2009. This ranks Foster above other prestigious business schools such as Chicago – Booth, NYU – Stern, Indiana – Kelley and USC – Marshall!

As a current evening student, the data points that jump out at me the most are the valuations of Teaching Quality, Caliber of Classmates, and Curriculum. Each of these categories was evaluated based on student surveys. Foster achieved an A+ for each of these categories! And, I can’t argue with this at all.

– Our professors are industry experts who not only have a wealth of practical and academic knowledge but also care about their students.
– My classmates are a trusted and diverse set of professionals representing a wide array of companies and industries. They are my cohorts in the classrooms and have become great friends outside.
– The curriculum in varied and challenging. The standards are high and we are driven to excel. This is exactly what I would expect from a top business school.
– The program offers a wide assortment of career services, mentoring programs, networking opportunities, clubs, global study programs and social activities to extend the value of my education beyond the classroom.

Business Week’s rankings only confirmed what I have known since I started in the program; that Foster is one of the top business programs in the country and delivers a world class education to their students. I can’t wait until the 2013 rankings when Foster climbs to Number 1!

Proud to be at Foster!
~Guest Blogger, Mark Ninomiya, Evening Class of 2013

Foster from an International Perspective

Monday, November 21st, 2011

As an international student from India, I did not have number of channels to get firsthand information about Foster school of Business. In my experience, the very first thing international students look at is the ranking of school on different websites. I had the mindset that the better the ranking the better the school. This is true only to certain extent, but once the school is in top 30 or 40, the rank does not matter that much. What matters most is what suits you the best.

When I did my research about Foster School of Business, my only source of information was the official website. But if you take efforts to dig deep in it and read through all available content, you get most of the information you need. The striking feature of Foster is in its different outlook towards the career after MBA. Instead of telling you where you should go, you get help to understand where you WANT to go. Along with the excellence in regular topics like finance, marketing, accounting, Career Services also consider the sports/athletic industry as appealing as finance or investment banking. If you are a person who is into sustainability, Non Profit or cleantech, there are different clubs and supporting events that would help you to get a jump start into that field.

The detailed information on the site about the MBA clubs, activities, and alums helps to understand the school to greater extent. In addition, the student blogs officially published throughout the web help a lot; most often those are international students writing about their experiences in the program. This gives a personal touch and good insight as they were in the same position one/two years back. These resources, though, give only a 40% idea about the school. When you arrive here after admittance you get to know the real value of this school. School is challenging because there is so much to offer, but it’s up to you how much you can take.

~Guest Blogger Sushant Wad, Full-Time Class of 2013

Foster’s Secret Weapon to Invading New York

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Here’s a little known fact: the Michael G. Foster Finance Society has been connecting UW Foster MBA students with investment bankers in New York City though an annual Finance Road Show.

UW is not your typical Finance school; we are not one of the few “core schools” that investment banks pick and choose from. But our school has no less hardworking and determined MBA students who are interested in pursuing a career in Finance.

We demonstrated our desire to go the extra 2,852 miles by going to New York City for 2 solid days of firm visits. We met with various representatives from different departments of several banks and with Husky alumni in New York. It was a tremendous opportunity to make connection on the East Coast, and learn insights about individual company culture and organizational structure, as well as what it would take to make a successful transition from one coast to the other.

The New York Road Show was a very well-organized trip, and I’m looking forward to our San Francisco visit in November. I would recommend those who are seriously looking to go into investment banking or relocation after graduation to take advantage of these opportunities.

Read more about the Finance Society here.

~Guest Blogger Kim Chan, Full-Time Class of 2013

Who Needs Sleep? Fall Marketing Case Competition

Friday, November 4th, 2011

You know how as kids you play cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians? Well, in b-school you have the opportunity to play consultants. That’s what a case competition is, and as a first year, this was my first opportunity to participate in one.

It might not sound fun, but it is. At least it is to me. I’m weird. I know.

Typically you’re presented with a real life company and real life problem. Your job is to presentation recommendations addressing those issues. In this particular case competition the Foster Marketing Association and the Strategy Club partnered with Callison, an architecture firm based out of Seattle, on a challenge they’re facing in their Dallas office. The prize money was $3,000 to split amongst your team of four.

We had a week to analyze, research and formulate recommendations for the case. Unfortunately, for first year full-time students, this case competition coincided with a mid-term in Statistics and another case deliverable for Marketing – both counting as 20% of our overall grade in the respective classes. When do you sleep? Well, the answer was: “you don’t.”

The sleep deprivation is not as big of a problem when you enjoy working with your team. We came from a diverse background in finance, technology, non-profit and me in sales and marketing. For many of us this is our first encounter with case competition. Although we didn’t win, we received valuable lessons on how to present complicated issues in a simple and actionable manner. These are skills to take forward anywhere we go.

~Guest Blogger, Jason Hsiao, Full-Time Class of 2013