Clubs @ Foster : Healthcare and Biotechnology Association

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

For students interested in the healthcare field, Foster’s Healthcare and Biotechnology Association (HCBA) strives to “educate students about the healthcare and biotechnology industries, create valuable connections and experiences for students, and help its members gain internship and job opportunities.”Logo HCBA

For the 2016-17 school year, HCBA is being headed up by Class of 2017’s Dina A. Fomina Yadlin. Before coming to Foster, Fomina Yadlin received her PhD. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Harvard, where she focused her research on innovative diabetes treatments. She then worked at Amgen, the global pharmaceutical giant, focusing on improving biological drug production. It was here that she realized she wanted to be a part of the strategic business decisions being made that impacted the research outcomes of the field and the therapeutic options delivered to patients.

With her background in science, Fomina Yadlin is pursuing her MBA at Foster in order to bridge that gap between science and the business of science, and we recently sat down with her to hear about healthcare/biotech opportunities at Foster and what HCBA is planning for the upcoming year.

Why should a student interested in the healthcare/biotech field choose Foster? Foster is at the pulse of innovation within the healthcare/biotech/global health space. As a research powerhouse, the University of Washington is a catalyst for technological disruption in these fields, and as such, there is a dynamic start-up scene for students to get plugged into. We have access to world-class hospitals and groundbreaking research institutions, and as Foster MBAs, we are able to connect with and learn from the experts leading these organizations. In addition, Seattle is home to both the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and PATH and every year, Foster MBAs intern and research with these important global health players.

These are exciting industries, developing constantly, yet with huge challenges still remaining to be solved. There’s also huge opportunity for collaboration with the technology field as Satya Nadella (the CEO of Microsoft) just recently acknowledged by joining the board of Fred Hutch (the groundbreaking cancer research center based in Seattle). Students interested in working in the tech space because of its scale and impact should explore the intersection between healthcare and technology as well. This space is booming in Seattle.

What type of opportunities exist for MBAs interested in the healthcare/biotech space? Just like other industries, this field needs typical MBA functions, such as business development, finance, marketing, strategy, and operations. There are local, nationwide and global opportunities for Foster MBAs to serve in those functions within the fields of biotechnology, hospital administration, healthcare consulting, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and global health.FominaYadlin_Dina_edited

In addition to receiving competitive compensation for your talents, you have an opportunity to work on impactful projects aimed at improving human health. It is an incredibly rewarding field to be in because you have opportunities, not only to do well for yourself, but to do work that impacts the community for the better.

Tell us about HCBA HCBA’s mission is to develop and channel MBA talent into businesses working to improve human health and well-being. Students rated us as one of the best clubs at Foster this past year, and we aim to continue that tradition by providing even more opportunities to learn about and connect with these dynamic industries. We host skill-building workshops, numerous networking opportunities with alums and industry professionals, tours to local companies and organizations, and a CEO speaker series. And of course, while doing all of this, we also aim to have fun. Business school allows students to have experiences that otherwise wouldn’t be possible, and we hope to leverage that by providing unique opportunities to explore the field while also connecting with classmates and professionals who share the same passions. The HCBA board is composed of talented individuals with professional backgrounds in various sectors covered by our association, and we are eager to see more of our peers get excited about this space. We encourage students to reach out to any of the HCBA board members, and we are very open about coaching them through transition into the field and sharing contacts.

What career prep/networking is available from HBCA? Every year we host skill-building workshops with local companies in the space. This upcoming year we will be hosting a finance strategy workshop with Providence/Swedish, a healthcare marketing workshop with Seattle Genetics, and a healthcare consulting case prep workshop with the Foster Consulting Society. We also hold an internship panel of the 2nd year students who spent the summer interning within the field, and we plan to put on a Resume/Coverletter workshop for those interested to tailor their stories to the healthcare/biotech/global health space. In addition, we are planning to release the first edition of the HCBA Resource book to all of our club members this Fall, which will have an abundance of valuable career prep information. Networking happens at a lot of our events, including workshops and site visits. We hold an annual HCBA social with the local professional community specifically dedicated to networking and we will also have alums come to the club happy hour info session during PRIME (the orientation week for incoming students). We also co-sponsor several Meet The Firm events throughout the academic year. The networking really starts at the very beginning of the program!

Any site visits/treks planned for this year? Right now, we are planning a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Tour and Alumni Panel for the Fall. In the spring, we will go on a Philips Ultrasound Manufacturing Tour which is always great because it aligns with our core Operations class. Students get to see lean process in practice and see what we are learning in the classroom implemented in a real way! We also are planning to host an ECG management consulting visit and a Frazier Healthcare venture capital visit to further explore opportunities in those two fields.

Outside of HCBA, what other opportunities exist at Foster within the field? Foster has several classes focused on healthcare. There is the Global Health Business Models course, taught by Emer Dooley, and a healthcare innovation practicum which allows you to satisfy one of your required practical experiences within the sector. Every winter-quarter, there are usually healthcare-focused applied strategy projects first-year students. For my applied-strategy project, I worked on a project with GroupHealth Hospitals, and there was also a group working with Providence. The ever-popular Global Business Forum has a global health focus for the Fall 2016 quarter.

Outside of classes, Foster’s Burke Center for Entrepreneurship annually hosts the Healthcare Innovation Competition. Furthermore, there’s CoMotion Innovation Fellowships available after completion of your first year. CoMotion is UW’s center for technology commercialization, and fellows help UW based startups take off. Many of these startups have been in the healthcare space in the past. We also have several mentors from these fields in the Foster Mentorship program.

Students at Foster are also encouraged to take classes across the University of Washington, including classes at the School for Public Health. We have relationships with other healthcare organizations on campus including the Science and Engineering Business Association (SEBA) and the Student Public Health Association (SPHA) to further connect our members.

You can learn more about HCBA and their upcoming events at

The Second Year of the MBA

Saturday, May 7th, 2016

The Class of 2016 has only 4 weeks left, and our days as full-time MBAs are quickly coming to a close. Today, I’d like to share what the second year of the Foster MBA was like for me, and hopefully this helps some future Foster MBAs who are wondering what to expect in the second half of the program. This will also be one of my last blog posts as the student Inside the MBA Blog Coordinator, but I’m excited to announce that that we have a new coordinator, Molly B. Forte (Class of 2017)! Thanks for reading this blog, and good luck! – Nelson Tang, Class of 2016

Second Year comes to a close


From Service to School: Resources for Veterans interested in the Foster MBA Programs

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

If you’re a veteran interested in pursuing a full-time MBA, here’s a great guest post from Joe Dennis (Class of 2016), a former Army Captain and the 2015-2016 President of the Foster Veterans Association, with advice on how to make the transition from service to school. The military veteran community here at Foster is pretty tight, and we were in your shoes 1-2 years ago. I had some reservations about choosing the right school, but I met with other veterans at Foster and I knew that I had to come here. I hope this helps with your transition! – Nelson Tang, USAF 2006-2014

Image Credit: UW Buerk Center of Entrepreneurship

Image Credit: UW Buerk Center of Entrepreneurship


Advice to First Years from the Class of 2016

Friday, September 25th, 2015

We’re officially second-years!

Flashback to June 2015: We had just finished final exams and final projects for Spring Quarter…which meant that we were done with the first year of our MBA program. We were officially second years! A couple of students from the Class of 2016 were asked to talk about what the first year of our MBA program was like, and if we had any advice for the Class of 2017.


One Person’s Experience: Was an MBA worth it Financially?

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

We have a great guest post today! Brennen Ricks (Class of 2015) wrote a 4-part series on his blog,, to answer the question: “Was the MBA worth it?” We’re featuring one of his articles here on the Costs vs Benefit of the full time MBA. Read his answers below, and be sure to check out more from Brennen on his blog!

Was an MBA worth it financially? What about all those costs you have to make up?

Tomorrow is the deadline for my very last payment in the MBA program: my graduation robe & hat. It makes me think about the total cost of doing this.

Going back to school was the financially riskiest thing Christine and I have done together so far, because the costs are relatively certain but the reward can be influenced by a lot of things outside of our control… a classic Cost & Benefit, or Risk & Reward story. I want to define what the costs and benefits were for Christine and me, and tell how those costs and benefits played out.


Introducing: Marcus Dover, our new Diversity Initiatives Coordinator!

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

It’s my pleasure to introduce Marcus Dover (Class of 2016), our new Diversity Initiatives Coordinator for 2015-2016! Prior to the MBA, Marcus was in Accounting and Finance, and hopes to go into Marketing or Strategy. He’s also a huge 49ers fan and is active in the Foster Marketing Association, Diversity in Business, and many other clubs!

Marcus Dover, Class of 2016

Marcus Dover, Class of 2016

What led you to pursue an MBA?

I decided to pursue an MBA because I wanted to switch gears and do something completely different with my career. I was no longer interested in accounting, but also wasn’t quite sure what type of career I was interested in pursuing. I knew an MBA would allow me to explore new career possibilities while gaining a new skill set that would allow me to successfully make the switch.


Introducing the New 2015-2016 Social Media Coordinator!

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

It’s my pleasure to introduce the new Social Media Coordinator for the Foster Full Time MBA Program, Roberto Molina! He’s a first-year MBA (Class of 2016) and originally hails from Mexico City. We had a great time on the same study team in Winter Quarter together. Read on for more about Roberto!
roberto molina portrait

Blue Dot Perspective: Mattie

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

blue dot perspective - mattie

Guest post by Mattie Winistorfer, a wonderful 2016 Blue Dot! Mattie’s fiance is a current student here at Foster, and she is a member of the ‘Blue Dots’ – the network of spouses and significant others whose loved ones are in the Foster MBA program. The name comes from the blue dot stickers that were put on their name tags during Admitted Student Welcome Weekends, to indicate that they were the spouse/significant other of an admitted student.


The New Inside the MBA Blog Coordinator appears!

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Nelson Tang, Class of 2016

]1 Nelson Tang, Class of 2016 – Your New Blog Coordinator!

Hi, my name is Nelson Tang, a first-year MBA from the Class of 2016 and I’m excited to announce that I’ll be taking over the Inside the MBA Blog for the next year! We also have several new Admissions Coordinators on the team, and in the next week or two you’ll hear from them here. But first, here’s a little about me:

What did you do before the MBA?

Prior to the MBA I was an Air Force Acquisitions Manager (aka Product Manager), but my background is in Mechanical Engineering. I supported cool stuff like satellite launches and advanced weapons research, but after 8 years I was ready for a life of peace, and for an opportunity to recharge. So I chose to get an MBA and devote two years of my life entirely to personal development, and Foster had just jumped up in the rankings. After the MBA, I hope to work in marketing or product management, working with cool people and tackling new challenges!


Stuart Childress begins tenure as President of the MBA Association

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Stuart Childress, MBA Class of 2016, is President of the MBAA for 2015-16

On April 1st, rising second-year student Stuart Childress will be assuming the role of President of the MBA Association (MBAA) for the 2015-16 school year.

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA, especially the full-time program at Foster?

Like many people at Foster or considering Foster, I am a career changer. I spent 5 years working at a non-profit doing program operations. As someone motivated by challenges and opportunities, I reached a point that I was no longer experiencing either of those and wanted to pivot to the for-profit sector. While I felt like I had leadership and project management experience in spades, I was lacking the quantitative skills like finance, statistics and accounting. I was already living in Seattle and wanted to eventually work here. I figured Foster would be a great entry into companies native to or with a Seattle presence. I ultimately chose Foster because it was a great fit for me culturally.

What motivated you to be involved in MBA student leadership?

Leadership has always been an area I’ve pursued. In fact, one of the really appealing aspects of Foster was the variety of available leadership opportunities, even as a first year. There is an inherent opportunity cost when you choose to do the full-time MBA program. I really believe that as students, we have the power to shape our Foster experience and extract the value from it that we want and expect. But, we have to take the initiative as leaders to make it happen.

What goals do you have for the MBAA this next year?

  • Streamline communication between various aspects of Foster Program, including Program, Academics, Career Management and Student Clubs.
  • Increase collaboration between first and second years
  • Continue to improve processes between Career Management and students

What has been your experience with being in the full-time MBA Program?

My experience has been really positive. To be honest, I was intimidated about coming to the MBA program. I didn’t quite know what to expect. But, I got over that fear really quickly. My classmates are smart, interesting, and incredibly helpful. The professors, career management, etc. really want you to get the most out of this program. And, we really do have a lot of fun. Of course, as with anything, there are some improvements I would like to see. As a class, we are already pushing for changes that hopefully will make your experience even better.

What advice would you give someone looking at pursuing an MBA?

My primary advice is, as I mentioned, you give up a lot to pursue an MBA–salary, time, possibly location. Make sure pursuing an MBA actually fits in with you career goals (even if they are not entirely nailed down) and is not just an exit strategy from your current position. I’ll have more advice for you once you’ve decided to attend!

Stuart and 1st year classmates at the annual Polar Plunge, benefiting Foster's C4C and the Special Olympics of Washintgton

Stuart and 1st year classmates at the annual Polar Plunge, benefiting Foster’s C4C and the Special Olympics of Washintgton

Stuart, third from left, and her Study Team from Winter Quarter

Stuart, third from left, and her Study Team from Winter Quarter

Stuart and friends, decked out in 80s and 90s gear, are having a blast at the Neon TG.

Stuart and friends, decked out in 80s and 90s gear, are having a blast at the Neon TG.