Foster Spotlight: Josh Anderson

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Meet Josh! Born and raised in Las Vegas, Josh Anderson is what we affectionately refer to as a “Double Dawg,” having attended UW for both undergraduate and graduate school. Before Foster, he worked in quality assurance as a test engineer for Emulex Corporation and Fluke Corporation. Josh is the 2016-17 Foster MBAA president, and when he’s not busy with those duties or class, you can find him walking the streets of Ballard with his dog, Bowler.
Why did you decide to go to business school? Working in factories made me really curious about how much we charge for products, how much it costs to build products, and how complex the manufacturing process has become because of globalization, outsourcing, etc. I realized that I loved talking about the companies and their strategies more than about the products that they were making. I enjoyed being an engineer, but I enjoyed it more as a hobby than a day-to-day job. That’s when I realized I should get an MBA.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Seattle? Originally it was the local music scene, but now it’s more than that. The laid-back yet really intelligent atmosphere vibes well with me, and it’s grown to be home over the past 12 years. I actually had to move away for two years because of a job, and it killed me. On a whim, I just quit my job and moved back here because I just missed the town so much.

Why did you choose Foster? I have a friend who is a year above me, and I learned about the program from her. Foster seemed to be a “roll up your sleeves” and “get to work” program with really great people which is what I wanted. And, I’m happy to say, I have found that all to be true. The people in our class are amazing: friendly, happy to help out, and eager to work hard. I’m just thrilled with the school and will be sad the day I graduate.

What’s the MBAA? The Foster MBA Association manages and monitors the issues that matter most to our student body –diversity, international student affairs, career services, academic affairs, etc.—as well as coordinates large scale social events such as graduation. We have 12 vice presidents who focus on a specific interest, and 3 senior VPs, with myself, who manage and coordinate the 22 clubs, the budget, etc.

Why did you decide to get involved? When I joined the program, I knew that I wanted to throw myself into it and get really involved. I decided to run for a first year representative position, which is a voting member of the MBAA. This exposed me to a bit of everything and was a great opportunity to be a spokesperson for the class. I loved this experience, so I decided to run for president to continue working for the class in this capacity.

Favorite class at Foster? Finance. Professor Gilbert is a very serious guy who takes his work very seriously, but at the same time, he has no qualms about having a great time while doing it. I really appreciate that. He holds people to a high standard.

Favorite activity so far? The Whistler trip! (Every year after Fall Quarter finals, students take a group trip to Whistler, B.C. to celebrate the end of the quarter and kick off the winter break.) I spearheaded a trip to a Scandinavian bathhouse while there, and I found myself at this amazing spa, sitting in the middle of the woods, snow falling all around, in complete silence. They actually made you sign a no-talking agreement! It was an amazing way to decompress from the Quarter, and the whole trip was a great experience with my classmates.

If Foster had a school song, what would it be? “Walkabout” by Atlas Sound. The opening lyrics of “What did you want to see? What did you want to be when you grew up?” really speak to the opportunities at Foster, and that the door is wide open for you to do something totally different. You just need to work for it. The rest of the lyrics talk of taking a leap and not looking back, “To go ahead and change your life without regard to what is said”. When you walk into Foster you are making a decision to change your life and dedicate yourself to becoming a better leader.

2016 Foster MBA Commencement

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

On Saturday, June 11, the 2016 Commencement for the Foster School of Business took place underneath characteristically cloudy and drizzly Seattle skies. But inside Meany Hall, the sun was shining brightly as over 200 Full-time MBA, Evening MBA, and PhD students were joined by faculty, staff, friends, and family to celebrate the successful completion of their degrees.

Becky See, Class of 2016 MBA Graduate

Becky See, Class of 2016 MBA Graduate

Delivering the student speech, Full-time MBA student Becky See focused on the opportunities that exist for her and her fellow classmates to make an impact on their communities. “I am not asking for Bill & Melinda Gates-level impact necessarily,” said See. “Sure, that would be amazing. But, I am also thinking about day to day impact, like making sure everyone at the conference table gets a voice, sitting on a nonprofit board, or investing more time in your family and community than in your bank account. You can make your own definition of “world,” but do not let that world pass you by.”

In his keynote address, Howard Behar, the former CEO of Starbucks, continued this theme of impact and service as he challenged the graduates to always put the people of the business first, no matter their rank within the company. “I believe what you have just been given is an obligation to serve others. It doesn’t make any difference what job you have or what industry you work in,” said Behar. “I hope that you will always remember why you are here and what you stand for: to serve people.”

Howard Behar delivering the keynote address

Howard Behar delivering the keynote address

Foster holds 2nd Annual MBA Microsoft Excel Tournament

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

excel tournament 3“Well…I’m, like…really good at Excel.”

“Well, do you know VLOOKUP?”

“Yes. That grade-school formula? Can you make macros?”

“Taught myself off Youtube. How’s your nested-IF game?”

This is not a scene from Kung Fu Panda 3. This discussion happens every Fall quarter at Foster, as new MBA students get to know their teammates and the skills they bring.

Most of us arrive here with some experience in Microsoft Office – and plenty of us crunched our way through big Excel spreadsheets for a good chunk of our 20s. And we definitely use it during the MBA as well as after. So Foster’s MBA Strategy Club got together and started an Excel tournament to settle “who the best” was. This year, during the 2nd Annual Foster MBA MSFT Excel Tournament, we even got a $350 sponsorship from Microsoft for our efforts.

For the second year in a row, our Excel-savvy MBA students competed against one another in a multi-event skills challenge. Like a (very nerdy) decathlon, participants took on a series of timed events, focused around specific MBA-relevant skill areas.

excel tournament 2“Build a chart to these specs, from this dataset!”

“Transform these fields, alphabetize and remove records here, and here!”

“There’s an error somewhere in this spreadsheet. You have 15 min before a big meeting to find it.”

When the dust cleared, Yuvika Kedia of the MBA Class of 2016 stood triumphant! As a certified Chartered Accountant, with stamps like Ernst & Young India and Amazon on her resume, and as an all-around expert – she won one round handily and came close in the remaining two.

“Definitely challenging, but fun. A lot of real world situations like we’d face in the office,” our champion said. ”It felt pretty good to win, too.”

The Foster MBA Strategy Club exists to give its members the problem-solving skills they’ll need, out there in the business world. We appreciate Microsoft’s sponsorship – and look forward to next year’s event!


peter kazarian Prior to Foster, Peter Kazarian was a lifelong Californian and veteran of the LA/SF digital/ad agency scene. As a digital strategist, he focused on web strategy, e-commerce and database-driven marketing for major nonprofits like the American Red Cross and the City of Hope cancer treatment center. After winning a few industry-specific awards, he came to Foster to move fully into consumer marketing on behalf of for-profits.

He really enjoys his UW education and bonding with classmates and alums, and he’s going back to Starbucks HQ doing Brand and Channel marketing after graduation. When not networking or studying, he spends his time cooking, hiking, and going deep in the blogosphere. And trying to adjust to the PNW’s weather and lack of Mexican food.