An Engineer in Business Land

I hadn’t always planned to go to business school. In high school I had always done my best in numbers, calculations, cold logic. Everything else was an abstraction. It made no sense to me that there could be more than one answer, or that responses to questions could run a spectrum of right and wrong. In undergrad I studied aeronautical and astronautical engineering and thrived. We used to say that we were really just glorified math majors and we’d joke to each other that “this isn’t liberal arts; we should all get the same answer.” I had always been most comfortable when there was one – and only one – right answer; when it was black and white, yes or no, true or false. It seemed incomprehensible to me to want it any other way, when there was a world of concrete, verifiable absolutism that just made sense.

Fast forward a few years to a few weeks before making the big move to the West Coast. Up until this time, there were two sides to the world that I knew: there was engineering – that marvelous straight-forward world where, if you got your numbers right and all your decimals and arithmetic signs aligned, it was guaranteed to work – and there was everything else. “Everything else” was a big, grey, fuzzy ether on the other side of the wall that separated my small corner of the world from them. I knew there were business people at my old job – financial analysts and planners, human resource managers, accountants, auditors, market analysts and salespeople – but I never saw them. Nor did I really have any clue what it was that they did, or how they did it, or even how it affected the company.

And yet, with each new person that I spoke to, I became increasingly convinced that an MBA would be the wisest course of action. It would open up more doors than a focused engineering degree. It would open up a plethora of new career paths and options to me. It would diversify my skill set. It would bring clarity to that amorphous, hazy something that I called “the rest of the world.”

Now I was poised to hurl myself over that wall and into that foggy, non-specific void to find out what lay beyond. In addition to the usual anxieties and what-if’s that everyone faces when going through a major life change, I was preoccupied with another set of trepidations. Would I be the only engineer in a class full of business majors? Would I be struggling to grasp concepts while everyone around me enjoyed a leisurely review of fundamentals? How could I survive in an environment where there was no single correct answer to any question? To what had I so blindly committed myself, my savings, and the next two years of my life?

I’ve found from prior experience that it never does well to dwell on anxieties, as they have a way of blowing themselves out of proportion. In the weeks leading up to my relocation and subsequent plunge into the frigid, icy unknown, I embarked on an 8,000-mile solo road trip, half conceived by wanderlust and half escapism. I spent three weeks alone, avoiding civilization, and going places I had no business going to with a rear-wheel drive coupe.

If you’ve ever spent any considerable amount of time in solitude, you know that your mind tends to drift towards subjects you’d rather not think about. Anxieties become amplified; insecurities you thought were safely in the closet come marching back out. More than once I thought (if only fleetingly) of turning around, canceling my enrollment and heading back to the comfort of my known universe.

Three things kept me steadfast in my commitment to attend business school. Firstly, I knew that I needed a change in my life and this was to be it. I get restless and bored if I stay in one place for too long, and five years on the East Coast was my limit. Secondly, I focused on what the workload might be. In undergrad, a 20 hour day was not atypical for me. If that’s what it took to succeed in business school, then I could do it. Thirdly, and most importantly, I knew that if I turned away from a defining personal challenge such as this, it would be a long time before I earned back my own self-respect.

So, now here I am, at the end of my first quarter as an engineer-turned-MBA student. At this stage, I can only say one thing for certain: I made the right choice, and in the words of a certain 16th century English playwright, I had made much ado about nothing.

For one, my apprehensions about sleepless nights have thus far proved baseless. I have finals coming up, but I’ve still managed to find the time to write this saga.

It also turned out I’m not the only engineer in the class, and as I got to know some of my classmates I found that regardless of our backgrounds many of them had the same or similar reservations about coming to school. We all came to this place with different strengths and weaknesses. Whether someone’s background was in engineering or computer science, finance or marketing, music theory or underwater basket-weaving, we were all in the same boat, on a more or less even playing field.

The career management center and professional development team work tirelessly to analyze your skill set, drill down to your fundamental essence and help you discover your transferable skills; the skills needed to succeed in business that you didn’t know you already possessed.

Even with this new-found self-discovery, the classes are still challenging; the workload burdensome at times. But the shared drudgery becomes the commonality that knits the class together. And the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts.

The future still remains murky and unclear. I don’t know where I’ll end up when I graduate, in both a career sense and a geographic sense. In a previous life, when I was dependent on the need to have a clearly defined sense of the right and wrong directions to take, that might have given me insomnia. But now I know that I can learn how to pick the right answer within the context of the situation. That erstwhile shapeless and formless “other-world” becomes tangible and I can define my own path without the need for the crutch of absolutism.

~ Guest post by Kevin Cotter, Class of 2015 MBA Candidate


Posted by admin - December 12th, 2013 - 0 comments - Permalink



Reflections on Group Work At Foster

I’ll admit to approaching my first quarter at Foster with some nervousness. I had heard a lot about the core teams and knew a lot was riding on how well my team functioned. In the first quarter at Foster each student is assigned to a core team of five or six students. This team you are assigned for every class during your first quarter. To understate it somewhat, you spend a lot of time with your team. The idea of being assigned a team of people from different professional backgrounds, with different skill sets, and different goals for their MBA experience made me a little nervous.

Now I am nearly at the end of my first quarter, and am pleased to report back on my experiences with Team 4. I have quickly become friends with each team member and would heartily recommend them for any sort of project. Each member of the team is incredibly hard working, sharp, and genuinely nice. We meet an unusually high amount – every weekday for at least two hours. We’re even meeting up to play tennis this weekend. We don’t do it because we have to. We could meet less and we would still get our work done. However, I think there are several reasons we choose to meet so often. The first is that we genuinely enjoy being around each other. The second is that we are much more productive when we are together than we are individually. My experience working in a core team has truly facilitated my learning and (I believe) the learning of those around me. I also would not have been able to attain nearly as high of levels of productivity on my own as I could when surrounded with such a great team. I can wholeheartedly endorse the core teams as one of the best parts of my MBA experience so far and I know the same will be true of next year’s incoming students!

~ Guest post by Dave Stecher, Class of 2015 MBA Candidate


Posted by admin - November 21st, 2013 - 0 comments - Permalink



Making the Most of Your First Year as a Blue Dot

For some of us, it may have been a little while since our last “First Day of School.” Beyond that, many of us may have never experienced a First Day where it wasn’t even us going to school! My student had a month to get ready for Foster classes to begin, and it still seemed like the first day came very quickly, and his calendar filled up so fast that I barely knew what hit us.

What exactly is a Blue Dot? We are the spouses and significant others of students in the program (legend has it the name was born from the blue dots that used to adorn our name tags at welcome events). Even though we may not actually be taking classes, the Blue Dots are a big part of the Foster experience for our Students. Whether it’s preparing dinners for them to fuel long nights of studying, or listening to them use a ton of acronyms that never seem to make sense (worst offender is NPV or Net Present Value), being a Blue Dot is an important job to have. Here are a couple tips as your Student and you start your first year as MBA and hMBA (honorary MBA) students:

  • Share a calendar – Club meetings, due dates, happy hours and late night happy hours creep up quickly, so the best thing to do is share visibility into each other’s lives as early as possible!
  • Dress yo’ self – Your student might be getting some new UW gear to show off their Husky pride, so don’t forget to get some yourself (insert shameless plug for the Foster Huddle/official tailgate club here).
  • Reaching out – Whether you’ve been in Seattle for ages or you just moved here, the Blue Dots know what you’re going through (frustrations and joys!) so don’t forget to say hello. Excusing yourself from a Student conversation after 3 aforementioned acronyms is a perfect time to scan the room for a Blue Dot to chat up!
  • Lunch planning – We’ve been trying to eat healthier and cheaper in our house, and the temptation to eat on the Ave is strong. A bento box has been a time/money/lifesaver and it’s super easy to fill with leftovers from the night before (and carrots or almonds in our case). Our favorite is Zojirushi brand.
  • It’s never too late – as a non-native Seattleite, I feel like fall is one of the craziest and busiest times. It can be easy to realize that it’s December and you still haven’t socialized with your Student’s classmates or their Blue Dots as much as you wanted to the first quarter. But don’t worry, you’re always a part of the clan and we’ll welcome you with open arms in January… or May :)

Shameless plug #2 – if you haven’t yet joined the Foster MBA Blue Dot group, please do! We’re at https://www.facebook.com/groups/FosterMBABlueDots/ and we hope to see you soon. Good luck this year!

~ Guest post by Christina Green, 2014 Blue Dot


Posted by admin - October 1st, 2013 - 0 comments - Permalink



Helpful Advice for Incoming MBA Students

If you are an incoming first year student, we may have already met. I’m looking forward to seeing you again in September! Here are some helpful tips for success as you transition into the program:

Get to know your classmates

This may seem like common sense, but I am going to say it anyway. Now, I know some of you may be married and/or have kids, and this makes it very hard to do this outside of class studies, but get to know your classmates. Some of them are going to be friends for life. They will be great connections as you advance your career. And most of all, they are amazing people. How do I know this? The Foster admissions staff does a pretty good job of selecting great people. The first person I met shares my love for music, particularly hip-hop, and we have been best friends since. This amazed me, and it is only one example of the great people you will come to know. This also includes second years! I was a little timid in getting to know the second year students when school first started. They don’t bite. At least, I didn’t get bit, I didn’t see anybody get bit, and I have no urges coming on to bite people as I get ready to start my second year. Before you know it, we’ll be gone and you’ll be giving this advice to a new set of students, so don’t wait until it’s too late.

Utilize MBA Career Management during Fall Quarter

Winter quarter gets here quick. Internship recruiting starts basically the day winter quarter is here. Don’t wait until that time to get to know MBA Career Management and what they can offer because internship recruiting can be very overwhelming if you don’t feel prepared. I don’t care how busy you think you are, get in there fall quarter. Set time for this. Talk about your goals. Do mock interviews. You will thank me later and I can say I told you so. MBA Career Management is great, but you have to get in there and leverage them. They’ll be expecting you.

Get Involved

Volunteer. Do the C4C Weekend in California. Go to Whistler after fall quarter ends. You don’t have to do them all, but make sure you do some of the extra activities that the school and the students organize. They are great ways to get to know your fellow classmates and they also happen to be a lot of fun. It’s a short two years here; don’t look back and wish you would have done more of the activities, because I guarantee you people will be talking about how fun they are after they’re over.

You Will Survive

I’m not going to elaborate on this too much. You will have multiple times fall quarter where you think you aren’t going to make it. You will. I promise. In addition to your family, friends, and spouses, you have a great support system at Foster. You’ll learn more about this when school starts. Lean on them. They will help you get through it.

These are just a few takeaways from one student who has completed the first year of this great journey. Many others will no doubt have great advice for you. In closing I would just like to say, it’s going to get a little crazy at times, it will feel overwhelming, but make sure you remember to have fun. See you this fall.

~ Dennis Grubbs – Full Time Class of 2014


Posted by admin - August 28th, 2013 - 0 comments - Permalink



Vamos, Vamos Argentina!

I always wanted to visit South America and get a taste of the culture. When the opportunity to go to Argentina for a study tour presented itself, I couldn’t help but sign-up for it. I had a fantastic experience in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and I’m sure the ten other students and two faculty members that I traveled with are nodding their head yes in agreement.

Foster tried a different model this time for study tours. Instead of being student-led like in the past, they were school-led. While this restricted student leadership opportunities, it was very well organized and we got a chance to learn and soak-in everything around us. Before leaving Seattle, each student owned researching of 1-2 companies and presented a background of the company to set the stage for visits when we reached Argentina. In Argentina, we met with executives from various companies that spanned across various industries. Big firms like KPMG, Microsoft and US Commercial Services to start-ups like Remolino (a graphic design and creative studio), Natural Deli (a proponent of natural and organic products) and GoodPeople (a global platform that connects all aspects of the sports community).  Other companies of interest included Bimbo (a baking company), Zanella (motorcycle manufacturer), Medix (medical devices), LAC-CORE (renewable energy) and Nieto Senetiner (A wine pioneer in Argentina). We even visited the well-known Football club River Plate. Upon our return we presented our insights from the trip and how we thought we could use this knowledge in our own businesses in the future.

All throughout our trip and company visits it was evident that Argentine culture is rich – the people, language, food, mate (tea), wine, art, tango, architecture, et. al. personify it. This is also reflected in their style of doing business.

Argentinians take pride in their traditions and the wealth of the past. They still haven’t forgotten their roots. Despite the fact that the economy is not doing so good, inflation is through the roof, currency is extremely volatile, the government vetoes every decision, and corruption is prominent; they have faith that the country will prevail and become a prominent global player.

Everyone we met was really hospitable and just really nice. They were honest and poured their heart out, whether it was about their companies, work styles, government, inflation issues, or even their personal lives. Relationships really meant a lot to them, and it was evident in their interaction and communication. In most cases, relationships formed the pillars of their businesses. It also meant that if you wanted to start a company in Argentina, you’d have to have a connection/ contact in Argentina.

Desert Steak

 

The people were super warm and generous. We were fed really well by everyone, be it at the steakhouses or at the companies we visited. Every meeting started with a spread of yummy treats, pastries filled with Dulce de leche, tea, coffee, wine, etc. Argentinians take pride in sharing their Yerba Mate (tea) and was a way for them to bond. It was the same homely feeling I got, every place we visited.

Dancing Game

Tango is a dance that originated in Argentina – passionate, complex and authentic. Football (Soccer) is another thing that Argentinians are very passionate about. (We were fortunate enough to witness both these live J) I soon realized that this passion was an integral part of their personality. We met young entrepreneurs that had established respectable positions in the industry because of this zeal. We also met leaders of big firms who were determined enough to maintain their stand while navigating the red oceans of the competitive market. They were smart, intelligent, and ready to take on the world.

Zanella Medix

It was such a wonderful trip, will go back in a heartbeat to the country and to the beautiful people we met. “Una mas, por favor!”

~ Guest blog post by Saloni Sonpol – Evening Class of 2014


Posted by admin - July 5th, 2013 - 0 comments - Permalink



Foster MBA Students Go Back to Prom

Back in the middle of May, the Foster MBA program held their annual program dubbed “The Fosters.”  The theme this year was Foster Prom and many people had fun re-living their high school prom.  Some may have worn their prom outfits! The Fosters is an opportunity for both classes to honor shining stars of the program in fun categories such as Excel King & Queen and Under the Radar Leader.  There was even an award for cutest baby in the program, which really wasn’t a surprise to many.  Check out the pictures below and see some of the fun that was had!

A8Pw0mZy7mSfbem21EBzIWUeKL-nX3hD5WaV8KdnSRc 4NOfIgxSmQ9d17yH2Of-Sx4oQ9M-3jnjhJ6T14m0cI8 sreOHPlwa6Dv_NKfg7a89bjB_gch9TfrWFBUFLaX5HM mc8Bg1tZ0WkU6S4Xy2lfCwSuVKwxYOK5cK7-CHMe-ek,Im9q3Xcc-skePLfubxRtPuRUvl6Ar4YnXCFiCMElNRc LgedbO3FqnbHGGXQzkJVKK5e-5bOkQpmPjxmBBhrpSU,bLO-ncXWP9beKg3irJ0iwmI0GlrTihlf38K38B2nZsQ jRqn-dtasmPpMztLNnPK_93vw2LjQYMoCHPFjdhaMiU qhkGPAW_auRxXpaTH1YOs8mkxlTAWxzNyYhBvZW4lYE ZvB38YaSkkGjPi_vwxcquvT3cmlK4o1HiplZGV3TmUI 6Sk8qxlI1WPrPmdZRGuuXumMqTjJCi6juyFLRpu1a7U OUvw2FTJvlAUjRCd2JUWnvxnUfy33BIecAsJ0w5Gnpw

 

~ Dennis Grubbs – Full Time Class of 2014


Posted by admin - June 3rd, 2013 - 0 comments - Permalink



On Foster Welcome Weekend: An Incoming Student’s Observations

I’m buying a grande coffee to get going, I’m driving to Seattle, I’m zoning out to Arcade Fire and chewing up highway, I’m getting off at 45th and taking a left, I’m parking in the garage and walking to Paccar Hall, here we are. This all feels so weird, I’m 30 years old, it’s 4pm on a Friday, I should be at work, what am I doing back on a college campus?? Suddenly everything starts to settle in and make sense: oh, right, it’s April Welcome Weekend at Foster, and in 5 months I’ll be well on my way to endless study sessions where I’ll attempt to learn the basics of impossibly qualitative subjects like Marketing and burying myself in an unholy amount of student debt. Wait…are we sure about this? Oh well, too late now, they already made me a nametag.

Checked into Hotel Deca, changed into a halfway decent getup and now headed over to the meet and greet social. Whoa, this is a lot of new faces; no way I’ll ever remember all these names. “Hi I’m Kris…oh, no I’m from Bellingham…no, but it’s not too far, about an hour and a half drive north on I-5…yeah, it was an easy drive, how about you?  Wait, you came all the way from Beijing/Mumbai/Hyderabad just for this weekend?” This conversation happens a lot, but people are starting to do the stuff that people do when they’re getting hungry, so we move to the dining room for dinner.

Wow, prime rib and an open bar? Is it cool if I just have some saltines and a glass of bubble water and we hack $25 off my tuition this fall? No, I’m kidding. But…seriously, can we do that?

“Tell me about why you chose Foster…” this question happens a lot, and I start to get really good at answering it. In return I ask current students about mentorship opportunities, coursework, life at Foster, all the good stuff. Great answers from current students and alumni, really getting a good vibe from these people, everyone seems very cool, like the type of people I could spend 9 hours locked in a breakout room with. Wait…what?

The group migrates back to the bar at Hotel Deca for a social hour. Wow, there really are a lot of very cool, interesting people here; people who love to travel, people who climb mountains, people who love sports. Relief sweeps over me, or possibly the alcohol. I’ve got my money on both. Everything winds down, some people are going home, some back to the hotel, a few over to Kate’s Pub in Wallingford for a little more social mingling. Certain sacrifices must be made, I join the herd on its way to Kate’s. Darts are thrown, PBR’s are made to disappear (we’re college students, after all), and everyone is laughing. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Head back to the hotel, stop at Dick’s for a deluxe and fries, go to bed you idiot, you have to be up at 8am

Wow, full day today, introductions with Assistant Dean Poston and a seminar about what Foster really represents, burn my tongue chugging some coffee, fascinating mock class about the Eurozone and Greek debt crisis, jam some blueberry muffins in my face, go on a tour of campus in sideways rain, this girl from Capitol Hill forgot her umbrella, share mine with her and get completely soaked, time for the Indian TG, cool let’s do it! Why wouldn’t I eat spicy Indian food on a crowded dance floor surrounded by strangers who I’ll spend the next 2 years with? I can’t think of any reasons, so I double down on the Masala. Nothing can possibly go wrong now!

Okay, at first I was making an effort to be friendly, but these people are seriously really cool. Roger Levesque pours me a beer, alright that’s fairly awesome, go Sounders. TG winds down after some rather intimidating choreographed Indian dance moves – you guys know “The Sprinkler”?? The group heads back to Kate’s for a few more drinks. Probably could have pumped the brakes on that Indian curry. And then it’s 1:30 in the morning and I’m the idiot who has to be up at 8am again. Perfect. Go to sleep.

It’s Saturday morning, which means we’re riding those ducks into Lake Union! Climb aboard the great aluminum beast and we plow through the city. Our driver, the venerable Captain Davey Quackett, points out the noteworthy sights with vigor and we blast through the open water like Bishop Sankey through (Insert your team’s defensive line). Okay, tours over, get off the duck, go to Gordon Biersch for lunch and a brewery tour. Alright people, this has been great, really enjoyed meeting everyone, but I seriously have to get some sleep.

Can’t wait for September – go Dawgs!


Posted by admin - May 17th, 2013 - 0 comments - Permalink



A Day in the Life – Mark Bonicillo

What is a day in the life of a Foster MBA like? This post chronicles a typical day of an individual Foster student  to give you a glimpse inside the life of an MBA living, learning, and working in Seattle at the Foster School of Business.

What I did Tuesday April 16:

5 am: Wake up, do 100 kettlebell swings and 18 pullups, get dressed. Take bus to school.

7:30 am: Intro to database and SQL class given by a Foster alum who now consults for Microsoft. At this uncivilized time, the classroom was 95% full with about 40 MBA students. One side fact: the alum’s undergraduate major was in theater–there is hope for humanities majors such as me (philosophy).

8:30 am: Another excellent quantitative methods class by Professor Hillier.

10:15 am: “Coffee Break” time. Free coffee, fruit, donuts, bagels, croissants–a very nice spread, with classmates from the 1st and 2nd year full time classes, professors, and faculty. Nice to see my class’s MBAA executive council leadership finally take the reigns. In the words of our class president: Crushing It.

12:00 pm: Informational interview with an account manager from DocuSign–the leading tech company in the e-signature market. Learned more about strategy, sales, management, and leadership in this half hour interview than in a whole quarter of strategy classes.

1:30 pm: Haircut at Capelli’s. It’s pricey, but one of my few vices. Plus, Martina is the best barber in Seattle.

3:00 pm: Another informational interview with DocuSign…this time with a sales developer. Again, very informative and I actually learned something about the internship that I was looking into.

4:00 pm: Read and prepared for the INRIX case for this evening’s technology commercialization class. The case was written last year in Jan 2012 and centered on the question of whether CEO Bryan Mistele should sell the company or keep it.  INRIX is a traffic data provider that is valued at $1 billion if it were to go public.

6:00 pm: INRIX CEO Bryan Mistele speaks in the entrepreneurship class about his decision a year after the case was published. One word: Fascinating.

9:00 pm: Head home, prepare for operations class, and prepare for the Buerk Entrepreneurship Center sponsored “informal chat” with one of my fitness heroes and model entrepreneur–CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman.

~ Guest blog post by Mark Bonicillo – FT Class of 2014.  


Posted by admin - May 13th, 2013 - 0 comments - Permalink



So Your Sweetheart wants an MBA… Advice from a Foster Blue Dot

Hi Future blue-dots, fellow blue dots and maybe you Foster MBA’s that read this blog!

I’m not totally sure about the term blue dot[1], but the term does speak to the commonality of the experience that I, and you reading this, might share. That experience would be the joys and hardships of dating a Foster MBA.

Well, my ‘blue dots,’ you are in luck!  I’m here to share with you some tips for survival.

Be comfortable with the idea that your partner isn’t going to be around.

Confession time: I skipped out on the first year. I was graduating from a super competitive design program in NYC and I missed my fiancé like all get out. It sucked and it is a steep learning curve, especially if you’re used to doing everything with your partner. All I could do was trust that our relationship was strong, and be able to communicate my needs adequately.

Know how to communicate with your partner. Quickly!

Speed isn’t actually key here. But being able to be a good communicator will help. If any of you figure that one out, please let me know.  I’m actually, if you haven’t noticed, terrible at relationship advice. I’m probably one bad day away from being a sad lady who cries in cat videos! But I have been told that communication is key, so I am passing this on to you.

Carve out time for the two of you.

Matt and I are notoriously bad at this.

Matt: When do you want it to be us time?
Me: I dunno. Whenever.

3 days later.

Me: WHERE ARE YOU?

Everyone always says to do this. I just always assume that all time is me time. It’s why Matt spends a lot of time at Paccar really. For those of you that aren’t emotionally three years old… maybe sit down and agree on a date night. For Matt and I date time is from 8am to 10am on Saturday mornings, except during the football playoffs when all bets are off. We usually spend date time either sound asleep or ignoring each other. I love date time.

Get to know your fellow blue dots, and your partner’s friends as well.

I moved here from NYC and I didn’t know a soul outside of the Foster circle. I was really fortunate that in the year that we had been apart my fiancé was sowing the seeds of a fun new life.  We have been so lucky to have made some great friends here! It’s made our Seattle experience worth-while, and I’ve really cherished the time I’ve spent getting to know them. Fellow Blue dots can be a life saver. They will get what you’re going through, and you can all laugh about the experience together.  Preferably over beer, wine or cocktails.

Don’t mind nights alone. Cultivate you and do what you love.

I’m outgoing and friendly, but I’m also the world’s biggest introvert. I don’t notice as much when Matt has been out for hours at a time after I get home from work. I love the chance to sit on the couch and watch YouTube videos about cats without judgment, read whatever books I want, and eat as many cookies as I can. If that is not your jam then take some to think about what makes you happy. And then do it.  The very best thing about my last year in NYC was that my partner was across the country so I got spend so much more time with my friends than I would have otherwise. And now I can look back on that difficult time and remember how lucky I was that I got to have those late night dinners with my sisters and all weekend long LoTR marathons with my friends.

Enjoy this time!

Foster is a nifty place. There are all of these opportunities to engage the community here, and two years, as I state below, is an extremely short amount of time in the grand scheme of things. So go to events, go to parties, go to bar nights! Take advantage of everything that’s available to you, because once it’s gone, it’s over. One of my regrets is not getting to participate as much during Matt’s first year.

Don’t listen to the naysayers.

This is the most important one. I spent one very long month reading all about how MBA relationships just don’t work out. I quoted the stats to myself and judged every conversation with my partner on if he was getting ready to dump me. I was completely psyching myself out! These blogs and stats are the bane of your existence. Just repeat that ad nauseum and you’ll be fine.

Just remember that two years isn’t really that long.

You might want to download a countdown widget for your iPad or PC. Then be amazed at how quickly the time passes.

Everyone is different. So my advice will probably only work for about 3 of you. You’re welcome Foster.

Also, before you drag me away kicking and screaming from this blog platform: a shout out to any of you in LDR’s[2]. They are so tough, and they can be so lonely and frustrating. But if you really love the person you are with, you can make it work! Don’t listen to all the jerks in the back row who say you can’t.

 

~Guest Blogger Amanda Lodi, fiancé to Matt Jasper, Full-time Class of 2013

 


[1] Ed. Note: Significant others of Foster MBAs are known within the program as ‘blue dots’ due to the small stickers traditionally placed on their name tags during welcome weekend to distinguish between students and their partners for logistics’ sake.

[2] Long-distance relationships


Posted by admin - April 5th, 2013 - 0 comments - Permalink



Freezin’ for a Reason

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


Posted by admin - March 14th, 2013 - 0 comments - Permalink