Clubs

Freezin’ for a Reason

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Just a typical misty grey Saturday morning in Seattle, what should an MBA do? Catch up on finance reading? Nah…instead I dug through the box in my basement and found what I was looking for. My swim trunks! Its time to go for a swim!

For the past three years, Foster MBAs and Challenge for Charity (C4C) have teamed with the Special Olympics of King County to participate in the Seattle Polar Plunge. This is a citywide event that raises over $100,000 annually with 100s of participants braving the waters. An exhilarating 45 seconds where those who aren’t faint of heat take an icy dip in South Lake Union to raise money and awareness for the Special Olympics. Is it cold? Depends on your definition of cold. At 46.4 degrees, the water was actually warmer than being outside! Its all relative I guess.

The Polar Plunge has become a tradition at Foster and is one of many opportunities that MBA students show their support for local community organizations. In this event alone, we have raised over $15,000 in three years.  The Foster C4C team had over 40 volunteers and 15 plungers participate in this year’s event. We helped out by volunteering with setup, check-in, passing out flyers and cleanup. Although this may seem like work, we always find a way to have a good time. With crazy costumes (one individual went swimming in a three piece suit complete with a bow tie) and goofy hats, and even someone dressed as a Polar Bear dancing in the crowd to “Gangnam Style,” Foster students and C4C are proving that we are leaders in Seattle.

CANNNOOOONN BAAAALLL!

~Guest Blogger Jay Winzler, Full-time Class of 2013; President, Challenge 4 Charity

Taking a Pause

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Being a 2nd year MBA is amazing. You no longer have 8:30 classes assigned to you, you get to take the classes you want, and you’ve got the confidence of an internship behind you! So fear not, young 1st year Padawans, there’s a bright future if you just stick it out.

What I really appreciate about being a 2nd year is the whole new level of confidence I have in my personal goals. I’m taking a small load (only  13 credits!) this quarter because I want to take some time to really focus on my career search, my classes, and the people in my life. My first year I was still coping from the shock of being back in school after five years in the work world and trying to re-learn how to write memos and reports longer than two paragraphs. I was stressed about doing well academically and on scoring a summer internship early. I didn’t really have as much time to sit back and think about what I wanted to do once I had my MBA. This quarter I’m blocking out time on my calendar to do just that: taking personal assessments and time to reflect on the person I want to be and the type of career that follows from those goals.

I also enjoy having more time for the classes I do want to take. I learned my lesson from Spring Quarter – taking a 2 credit class does not mean half the work, it just means an entire quarter’s work consolidated in half the time! So this quarter I’ve got more time to do all the readings, think about the course content, and actually learn. The key to success is preparation, especially in my Negotiations class. In this course, you’re given the details of a case and have about an hour in class to come to an agreement with your partner on how to carve and share that mythical pie. I highly recommend this class, it will change your world.

Finally, I am prioritizing making time for people. This includes being involved in clubs to a greater capacity than I was last year, and also keeping in touch with friends. Serving on the boards of clubs really helps cement the relationship with fellow Fosterites and enables you to build additional channels of access to companies for networking purposes. Just about the only drawback about 2nd year is that everyone is on a different schedule, so some people I’m lucky if I see only twice a week, which makes coffee breaks that much more important.

~Guest Blogger Bin Ma, Full-time Class of 2013

Foster Supports Women’s Business

Friday, September 28th, 2012

As my second year at Foster begins ramping up, one of my most exciting responsibilities is being the president of the Women in Business club. I am proud to run a club that includes so many amazing women.

What does WiB do?

We are a group of Foster MBA students that support the personal and professional development of women at the Foster School of Business, especially focusing on growing women into leadership roles. We have themes for each quarter that rounds out this mission: connecting (fall), confidence (winter), and competence (spring).

Why did I want to be involved with WiB?

Coming from an all-women’s undergraduate college, representing women in spaces where we are largely underrepresented is important to me (in fact, this was the topic of my essay for Foster!) From discussions on negotiating salaries to golf lessons, I think it’s important that women have a space to reflect on being a minority in business.

Who runs WiB?

I am proud to be the president, but I would get nothing done without my trusty board of eight amazing women. They head up everything from our mentoring program with the Undergrad Women in Business club, Alumnae networking events, golf lessons and events for the evening students at Foster.

As a board, we meet two times a month—each meeting covers upcoming speakers, event planning, ideas for getting involved in the community and more.

Each spring, WiB runs a spring retreat. Last May, we rented a house out in Hood Canal (in Eastern Washington) right on the water. We shucked and ate oysters right on the beach, ate steamed clams for dinner, played a golf scramble and we held our first official board meeting for the upcoming year. It was an amazing way to reflect on the year that had past and prepare for all the great events we have planned for 2012-2103.

~Guest Blogger Kara Gibson, Full-time Class of 2013 and WiB President

Operations Club Roast: Dillanos Coffee Roasters

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Seattle is known for its coffee; maybe it’s the weather or maybe it’s because there is a coffee shop on every corner.  Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure- Seattleites love their coffee and so do MBA students.  As a Foster student, a delicious cup of coffee is never more than an arm’s reach away.

Dillanos Coffee Roasters was voted 2011 Roaster of Year by Roast Magazine and was featured in CNN’s “The Coffee Addiction.”

One Friday in May, the Foster Operations Club visited Dillanos Coffee Roasters. Our visit started out with a tour of the roasting operations; from the bean delivery to the distribution of packages. On the tour we saw machines that could roast up to 400 gallons of coffee beans an hour! We also so where Dillanos makes their flavored coffees. Did you know that coffee is like baking soda in that it absorbs any of the scents around it? Because of the absorbing nature of the coffee beans Dillanos makes the flavored coffee in a separate and sealed off room, away from the roasters.

After the tour we had a coffee tasting with the head roaster at Dillanos, Bjorn. Bjorn filled us on what he looks for when trying coffee samples provided by potential suppliers. Our group got to taste two coffees brewed in different ways to experience how different brewing methods alter the taste of the coffee. My favorite brewing technique is the pour over method although, once brewed, I do not turn down coffee no matter how it’s brewed.

Fueled by caffeine we spent the next hour or so listening to and speaking with Dillanos’ operations executives. We spoke about operating with limited inventory, the implementation of the balanced score card approach, and how cross training employees could lower costs. Between the tour, tasting, and conversation with executives the Operations Club’s appreciation of all things coffee got stronger and richer – just like, well, a nice cup of coffee!

~ Guest Blogger Jennifer Yanni, Full-time Class of 2013, 2012-2013 Operations Club President

Foraging for Fun

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

I am from Cape Cod, Massachusetts. This probably conjures up thoughts of pristine sandy beaches, sailing on the blue seas, and Dawson’s Creek. Although I grew up in a place famous for the seafood, I must admit I have never actually procured the seafood on my own, whether on the Cape or elsewhere. This all changed at the annual Women in Business retreat.

Each year, the Women in Business Club hosts a weekend-long retreat. Members and non-members alike travel to a “remote” location and get away from the mayhem of everyday business program life. This year’s house on Hood Canal literally sat on the water, and our first order of business was to forage for snacks. Armed with rakes and a big bucket, we started digging for clams. I dug up my first clam (see picture for proof)! On the short walk home, we walked through the oyster fields and easily plucked them from their beds. I did not participate in the subsequent shucking, but I definitely enjoyed the results the next night when we feasted on steamed clams and fried oysters.

Aside from clamming for the first time, it was a weekend filled with other adventuresincluding:

  • A riveting and competitive card game
  • A scramble golf “tournament”
  • Midnight kayaking through the phosphorescence algae
  • S’mores and more s’mores
  • Scary stories around the campfire

Of course, there was much more, but the rule “what happens at the retreat stays at the retreat” has my lips sealed. When you join Foster, though, let me recommend you join WiB. And definitely attend the retreat – you won’t regret it!

~Guest Blogger Carly Massey, Full-time Class of 2012, former WiB President

New Foster Club Supports Veterans

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Military veterans typically constitute a small but unique subset of MBA students at the Foster School of Business. In recent years, however, this number has risen significantly. We expect there to be over 20 veteran students enrolled at Foster spanning the day and evening programs by the start of the 2012-2013 academic year – and this phenomenon isn’t just limited to the Foster MBA Program. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal indicates that veteran enrollment is on the rise at top tier business schools all across the country. As major overseas operations wrap up and militaries begin to drawdown their numbers, service members are increasingly looking towards pursuing an MBA to complement their leadership and combat experience with fundamental business skills that will ultimately help them make the transition into the private sector; a two year business “boot camp,” if you will.

So what does this have to do with my experience as a Foster MBA student? Well, if you haven’t guessed by now, I’m a military veteran; so naturally I made it a point to seek out schools that had a club or networking group for former military members. When I couldn’t find any information on the Foster website about a veterans club, I made the assumption that it still existed – but perhaps it just wasn’t widely publicized. It wasn’t until after the start of first year pre-term activities (Prime/LEAD/JumpStart) that I realized I was mistaken.

Foster Veterans with Dave Chonowski, Co-founder of MBA Veterans

While there is a sizeable contingent of us here, we don’t have the support structure offered by other top business schools. Many of my prior-service classmates came to the same realization either during the application process, or soon after starting the program. In fact, most of my non-veteran classmates were also surprised to learn that Foster did not have a club for current and former military members. Of course, it wasn’t long before I started hearing the same repeated comment: “Someone should start a veterans club.”

Fast forward nine months.

I’m proud to announce that, as of last week, the Foster School of Business now offers a club specifically geared towards supporting military veterans enrolled at Foster, as well as applicants considering a Foster MBA. The Foster Veterans Association was cofounded by myself and another vet from the Class of 2013, Gene Ahn, with the support of the Assistant Dean, Dan Poston, Foster MBA Admissions Office, MBA Career Services, MBAA leadership, and of course, our classmates, both military and non-military. It’s my personal hope that this club provides veterans with a strong platform for professional, academic, and personal support, not only during their
two or three years here at Foster, but well into their post-MBA careers.

Check out the Foster Veterans Association webpage for more information.

~Guest Blogger Edward Hwang, Full-time Class of 2013, 2012-2013 Foster Veterans Association President

Operations and Opportunities with the Ops Club

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Question: Which one of these things doesn’t belong?

  • Steel Mill
  • Chocolate Company
  • Hospital
  • Fulfillment Center
  • Distillery

Answer: Trick Question – they all belong, at least to the Operations Club.

This is just a sample of the tours and events that the Operations Club has held over my first year at Foster. It was exciting to be a member of a club that purposely went into the community to secure tours and speakers is such a wide variety of industries. The events provided the best opportunity to learn about companies & industries as well as to network with industry leaders. Interestingly enough, some of the people we met on the tours were the same people that interviewed students for internships and full-time jobs. It was an added benefit to not just already know the interviewer but also to have in-depth knowledge of a company.

I made a conscious decision to purposely join clubs and attend events that offered an introduction into a variety of industries. After attending club fairs and informational happy hours I settled on a conservative 3 clubs with one of them being Operations Club. I felt that the club was highly motivated to organize tours and speakers from a multitude of industries to help the members see that 1) operations exist in every industry and 2) help open doors in whatever industry members were interested in. I am extremely happy with my decision to join the Operations Club and I’ve heard a number of my classmates confirm my belief that the Operations Club is the best club at Foster.

~ Guest Blogger Jennifer Yanni, Full-time Class of 2013, 2012-2013 Operations Club President

Women in Business Take Control

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Spring is a time of transition at Foster.  The second years are getting ready to graduate, and the first years are getting ready to become the new second years.  This means MBAA leadership and club leadership is transitioning too, so that we can make plans for the year to come while we still have some wisdom around.  Women in Business (WiB) took the beginning of Spring Quarter head on, and as the new VP of Speakers, I got to take the reins on our first event of the quarter: the WiB Negotiations Seminar.  After meeting with my predecessor to go over protocol and get the details, it was my turn to order lunch, be in touch with the speaker, and track RSVPs to the event.  Professor Christina Fong led the discussion about being a woman in negotiations – common stereotypes, pitfalls, and strengths that women bring to the table.  About 20 club members ate some Jimmy John’s sandwiches as they got a head start on learning how to negotiate.  The board’s first event was a great success.  With our first event under our belts, we were ready to tackle the next one: the WiB Spring Retreat, a weekend away on the Hood Canal which featured fresh oysters plucked up off the beach, red wine, and planning for the events next year.

~Guest Blogger Cate van Oppen, Full-time Class of 2013

Starting your own MBA club

Monday, November 15th, 2010

I just got back to my home in Green Lake after attending Portfolio, Inc.’s inaugural event honoring the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40.  The 40 Under 40, in a nutshell, is a group of honorees named by the journal to be the 40 most influential business people in the Puget Sound area under 40 years of age.  The event, held in the Douglas Forum in the Bank of America Center for Executive Education, turned out to be a resounding success, allowing current students to network with current and past honorees, listen to a panel discussion (moderated by Eddie Pasatiempo, immediate past UW Alumni Association President and current MBA Mentor) and eat good food and drink wine.  Portfolio, Inc. was also privileged to partner with the UW Business and Economic Development Center and Northwest Next in the event.

Creating a new club was no easy endeavor.  I entered the full time MBA program knowing that there was a dearth of a diversity-focused club in the program.  As a GLBT student, I felt it necessary for the program to have a club devoted to both including and appreciating the differences of students representing under-represented groups, whether they be based on race, sexual orientation or otherwise.  During my first quarter, I networked among my fellow students to find comrades who shared in my passion for developing such a club, and thus the idea for Portfolio, Inc. was born.

The process for starting a new club, while rigorous, was incredibly rewarding.  It helped to identify and solidify the mission and values both my colleagues in the endeavor and I sought to express in the new club.  Over the course of countless meetings in the windowless Foster Business Library meeting rooms (now practically obsolete due to the open, light-filled breakout rooms in Paccar Hall) we were able to develop the purpose and mission of our club.  Finally, at the end of the year, while the MBAA’s (MBA Association) budgets and plans were being finalized for the 2010-2011 academic year, we pitched our club to our newly elected MBAA officials and classmates.  Our club was approved for inclusion under the umbrella organization that is the MBAA, and we were on our way!

Our first major event, focusing on networking with a diverse (both industry and otherwise) cross-section of local business professionals not only brought both greater numbers of student attendees than expected, but also allowed club leadership to form lasting relationships with said business leaders who will likely maintain a presence in future Portfolio, Inc. endeavors.  Creating and molding our club to what it is at this moment is, without a doubt, the most concrete proof of one of the Foster MBA’s core values: a person with a single profound idea can mobilize similar thinking people, and make an active change.  It is this idea that makes me proud to be a Foster MBA.

— Guest blogger, Nick Myers, FT

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!