There is a tradition at Foster in which classmates volunteer to host a dinner for a core professor and several other classmates during the summer months. This past Saturday, Stacie did the honors of cooking for Professor Mark Hillier (quantitative methods) and company in her 15th floor downtown apartment with a view. It was a gorgeous day, so the balcony was well-used by the party as we all enjoyed the Seattle summer sun. For dinner, her fiancé grilled a whole salmon, and served it with salad and sweet potatoes. The entire main course presentation was amazing and tasted delicious! Conversation was easy as we discussed academics, summer plans, enormous spiders, and food, seamlessly moving from topic to topic. Dessert was individual cheesecakes from The Confectional. Judging by the radiating smiles and grunts of food happiness they were exceptionally tasty. All in all it was a delightful evening of good food and good company. I am glad Foster has this tradition as it enables interaction with professors outside of the world of academia. I look forward to attending more of these dinners!
2011 marked the beginning of a new tradition at Foster. The MBA Association, in conjunction with the Sports Business Club and Women in Business, was proud to present the Inaugural Hogan Brothers UW Foster MBAA Golf Classic. On April 30, after months of preparation, the event brought together alumni, friends of Foster and current MBA students for a day of networking and golf at the Golf Club at Newcastle.
Last year, student leadership of the Full-time MBA Program decided to strengthen ties between current MBA students, alumni and friends of Foster. After looking at all the options for engagement, the MBA Association decided on a couple of key events, one of which was a golf tournament. The Foster School of Business has a successful history with golf tournaments—the Evening MBA Program hosts an informal event and the Technology Management MBA Program holds an annual Bettin Cup. Therefore, the planning committee, composed of myself and other MBA students, were hopeful that the Full-time MBA Program could start and maintain a new tradition. For more reading, please refer to Foster Unplugged, the Blog for the entire business school. http://depts.washington.edu/foster/inaugural-golf-classic-connects-mba-students-and-alumni/
~Guest Blogger Matt Eliseo, Full-Time class of 2011
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)
Every year 9 of the top business schools located up and down the West Coast meet up at Stanford to compete on volunteer hours, fundraising and both serious and absurd sporting events in the Challenge for Charity. It’s an organization that “draws on the talents, energy and resources of MBAs to support Special Olympics and Boys & Girls Clubs to develop business leaders with a lifelong commitment to community involvement and social responsibility.” It also tends to be one of the events that truly solidifies the lifelong commitment we have to each other, our Foster community.
Many of us are still recovering from the lack of sleep and some tough athletic losses, yet basking in what was a weekend full of overwhelming school spirit. We’re a small MBA program compared to many of our fellow participants – UCLA, USC, Stanford – but we brought it unlike any of the other schools. It was obvious that we had the most pride in our school and our classmates. Whether it was cheering on first year, Cate, as she competed in the spelling bee or raging with our band as it kicked off the closing event, Battle of the Bands.
As the Challenge for Charity efforts wrap up for this academic year, Foster has raised $102,000 and volunteered nearly 1,800 hours in our community. An amazing feat and a great weekend of celebrating it, and each other.
Twenty five students made up of Foster MBAs as well as other UW grad programs arrived in Nairobi, Kenya on March 14th. Over the course of two weeks we explored Kenyan business, culture and life. With the guidance of three knowledgeable and enthusiastic student trip leaders, we visited a variety of companies – from start ups to giants like Winafrique (renewable energy) and KenCall to Unilever, Safaricom, Barclays, Kenya Airways, and many others. We had a chance to meet amazing business leaders with degrees from Stanford Business School and from all other parts of the world.
We drove all over Nairobi to see what life was truly like in the developing world. This included a company and site visit with Jamii Bora, Kenya’s largest microfinance firm. The leaders of the organizations afterwards took us to Kibera (one of the two largest slums in Kenya) where we got to see microfinance funding at work and lifting people from the streets into sheltered living. We also saw a school and an orphanage in a village outside of Nairobi which gave us a good perspective on the value that education has in Kenya, considering it has a 70% literacy rate.
In addition to businesses that we visited in Kenya, we also had plenty of cultural
experiences. For example, we visited Karen Blixen’s house (the subject of Out of Africa), saw the Bomas of Kenya (where traditional Kenyan tribal dances including Barack Obama’s were performed), learned and visited an elephant orphanage, fed giraffes at the giraffe center and of course we went on a three day safari. A part of the group also spent one morning on a hot air balloon ride over the African savanna seeing the sunrise and wild life early in the morning. Many of us also got to try our hand at bargaining at city markets where we gifts like masks, sculptures, paintings and jewelry.
Overall, this was a once in a lifetime experience. The feeling from the trip was that most of us could have gone on a safari on our own, but we could not have gotten an inside glimpse into a very hopeful and young economy in the developing world. This is definitely the best part of business school for me – getting to take advantage of opportunities like this one.
Guest Blogger: Helen Seliverstov, Foster MBA Class of 2011
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.
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 by 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!
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.
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.