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

Run Foster Run

Friday, May 14th, 2010
The Foster team getting ready to head to the starting line

The Foster team getting ready to head to the starting line

It was a sunny cold day at the end of fall quarter in December.  I was overwhelmed classes and felt that I had no time to do anything but school.  I decided that I needed a goal.  A big goal.  I thought about something really hard for me, but something that I could accomplish if I put my mind to it. Something that involved a personal victory as opposed to a standard distribution curve in a class.  So it dawned on me – it was running.  So I threw a shout out to my MBA colleagues – “Does anyone want to train for the half marathon in Vancouver in May with me?”

The response I got was overwhelming.  Two other classmates quickly became co-leaders with me on this effort.  We set up a Facebook group (Run Foster Run) and started putting together weekly runs.  Our first run was the week before finals around Greenlake.  It was 20 degrees outside and slippery. From that Saturday and until first weekend of May, Run Foster Run had 13 organized runs.  We took a picture every week and recorded the number of miles we ran to demonstrate to ourselves and our classmates our progress.  We ran all over Seattle – from classical runs like Greenlake and Lake Union to Burke Gilman trail runs, to Discover Park, Arboretum and many others.  Our turnout was always fabulous – people came rain or shine.  In the process, we got to know significant others, second years, evening students and each other.

To make the team more official, we decided to print up shirts for the big race.  Given that we had a decent group signed up to go to Vancouver, we were also able to get support from the Program Office, the MBAA, and Part II which the club is now a part of, to help pay for the shirts.  It was totally worth it, too.  They were quite visible throughout the whole race with their Husky purple and Foster logos. We wore the shirts proudly and I’m happy to report we all beat our goal times.

As for me, I finished my first ever 13.1 mile race and felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment considering the fact that in December, I could not run 2 continuous miles.

  • Helen Seliverstov (Class of 2011)

Foster Does Fundraising

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
2009 Foster Grads

2009 Foster Grads

Foster MBAs are not just thinking about that next case competition or how to get a great internship. We’re also racking up some serious volunteer hours chaperoning dances for the Boys & Girls Club and coaching basketball with Special Olympics athletes.

In an effort to generate funds for those great organizations, last weekend the Foster MBA Program hosted an amazingly successful auction. The event raised over $100,000! It was planned and staffed in its entirety by busy MBA students and was attended by hundreds of alumni, staff and faculty.

Some highlights of the night’s live auction:

  • flying fish being thrown across the room by the famous fish mongers from Pike’s Place Market

  • the heated bidding over poker night with several popular marketing professors and the Associate Dean

  • hearing first hand from those who have benefited from the Boys & Girls Club and the Special Olympics

Getting all dressed up and drinking wine with our financial accounting professor wasn’t so bad either.

Raise the Paddle

Raise the Paddle

Dessert Dash

Dessert Dash

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!

Club Leaders & National Conferences

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

IthacaAs a 2nd Year MBA student, multiple new responsibilities have found their way on to my plate… and have wedged their time commitments into my crowded Google calendar! One of the major differences between a year ago and now is that I’ve gone from being a passive attendee at MBA Club events – speakers, company visits, panels – to being part of the leadership of those clubs. The 2nd Year students are in the driver’s seat of all MBA clubs – setting agendas, holding meetings for the general membership, planning events. Today I spent the morning meeting with my fellow Net Impact leaders to discuss the year ahead and update them on my coordination of our attendance at the 2009 National Net Impact Conference in Ithaca, New York in November. We’re hoping to have a strong turnout out in Ithaca – not only to represent Foster well, but to experience what’s touted as one of the best conferences many students have ever attended. Having been an undergraduate in Ithaca, I’m particularly looking forward to it!