Multiple Bottom Lines: Ethics in Business

I think one of the things Foster does very well is keeping us all grounded.  For a long time (long before me or any of my classmates were here) Foster has tried to uphold a reputation as being the MBA program with a heart. MBA curricula are jam-packed with cases that make you think about ROI, value ad, and all sorts of business mumbo-jumbo that increases the bottom line.

But there are human factors that don’t show up on financial statements, and we’re reminded of those everyday at Foster.  And that’s the part of the Foster DNA I think we’re all most proud of.

For several years now, Foster has taken part in the Case Competition for Ethical Leadership hosted by Baylor University, which brings 12 MBA programs from around the country to tackle an issue in business that presents an ethical dilemma.  Like other national case competitions Foster is chosen to take part in, the Foster Administration covered all costs for us to go participate.   I was fortunate enough to take part with my classmates Ed, Alan and Cate  in representing Foster.

This year’s case explored the dynamics of a Maquiladora near the America/Mexico border, and some of the very sensitive issues that are considered in such relationships with American companies.  Like most case competitions, you’re given a five-to-ten page business case simultaneously with the other teams, and each team has 24 hours to come up with a plan and presentation on your findings, which you present to a panel of judges.  It’s a recipe for very little sleep, but they’re 24 of the most memorable hours I’ll take away from my two years at Foster.  (When you’re sitting on the floor of an airport terminal playing rock-paper-scissors for the last McNugget Sauce, you’ve bonded in a way that nothing else quite compares to.)

And on that note, aside from the experience of the process at the competition, what happens in around the process is equally valuable.  We were dreading the 4-hour layover that loomed on our trip back to Seattle at Dallas/Fort-Worth Airport all week, but we ended up spending it inside an airport bar eating Texas BBQ with MBA students from Pepperdine, Iowa and Minnesota (some of which we’ll see at Stanford this Spring for C4C Sports Weekend.)

The bottom line?  When you decide to enroll (and seriously, why haven’t you yet?) make sure you take part in events like these.  They’re moments you won’t want to miss.

~Guest Blogger Brandon Scheller, Full-time Class of 2013


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



Foster Photo Blog: Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What does a day in the life of a Foster MBA look like? The Foster Photo Blogging project follows individual Foster students through their daily routines to give you a glimpse inside the life of an MBA living, learning, and working in Seattle at the Foster School of Business.

Dennis is a first year student at the Foster School of Business. He previously worked in digital marketing and wholesale mortgage lending before that. He is interested in product management, finance, and consulting upon graduating. He currently is a member of the Marketing Club, Consulting Society, and the Strategy Club.

~Photo Blogger Dennis Grubbs, Full-time Class of 2014

1.

Start of my day; I overslept a little.

2.

Sun is out in Greenlake where I live. That will change!

3.

I never leave home without this.

4.

Parking at school is expensive if you don’t carpool. King County Metro is my limo.

5.

First class of the day is Marketing. Very “interesting” topics we covered today.

6.

In-between classes, took a quick look for a table to hang out at and it looks like they are already all taken.

7.

Found a chair and a table to do some reading. Weather has turned a bit.

8.

15 minutes later.

9.

Reading spot got a little loud so I hit the Business Library. I find I move spots a lot during the day.

10.

One of the group meeting rooms in Paccar Hall. I was the first of my group to get there.

11.

The results of our brainstorm session for a Marketing deliverable.

12.

Quick break so I grabbed a chair to get some more reading in.

13.

Despite the days getting shorter, I managed to leave campus with a little daylight left.

14.

Working into the late night on a Finance case. These are challenging but fun.


Posted by admin - November 27th, 2012 - 0 comments - Permalink



Foster Photo Blog: Thursday, November 8, 2012

What does a day in the life of a Foster MBA look like? The Foster Photo Blogging project follows individual Foster students through their daily routines to give you a glimpse inside the life of an MBA living, learning, and working in Seattle at the Foster School of Business.

I am a first year Full-time MBA student and just moved to Seattle 3 months ago for school.  I spent some time in the Army and then later teaching soldiers computer technology as a consultant. I came back to school to switch careers in my area of passion, sustainability. I’m involved with Net Impact, Women in Business, Consulting, Operations, Diversity in Business and Part ii.

~Photo Blogger Jessica Cameron, Full-time Class of 2014

1.

How I start everyday….

2.

My morning commute.

3.

Entering the sweet, sweet Halls of Paccar where I spend most of my days.

4.

Professional Development Class on Professional Writing.

5.

Net Impact Speaker Series: Jobs in the Nonprofit Sector. Free Pizza!

6.

Have to go pick up my bike at the Hub.

7.

Look at those awesome fenders! Now the water won’t splash up on me as I tear through those puddles.

8.

And I’m working on the John Deere Memo till 2am again.

9.

Oh I should have unpacked from that conference, maybe tomorrow.

10.

And a little light reading before bed…


Posted by admin - November 15th, 2012 - 0 comments - Permalink



Foster Photo Blog: Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What does a day in the life of a Foster MBA look like? The Foster Photo Blogging project follows individual Foster students through their daily routines to give you a glimpse inside the life of an MBA living, learning, and working in Seattle at the Foster School of Business.

I am a second-year Full-time MBA student. I have been living in Seattle for nine years, all except for 4 months on Capitol Hill. Before the MBA, I was in biotech and I was also an entrepreneur. The focus of my MBA is Finance and Strategy, and I am involved with the Finance Society, Strategy Club, and Foster Foodies. 

~Photo Blogger Zaher Hulays, Full-time Class of 2013

1.

Coffee, New York Times, and Ethics paper.

It was going to be a long day of tracking election news and homework.

2.

The Eastlake Stairs on Howe Street.

Working out regularly is a great way to keep focus and sanity in the MBA program.

Plus, the Howe St stairs are a great exercise for the Mt. Rainier C4C climb.

3.

Catching the bus from Capitol Hill to the U district.

4.

Seattle Skyline on Election Night from my balcony.

I was trying to do anything to make the time pass quickly.

5.

Election night grilling with friends.

6.

Obama Wins!

7.

The party on Capitol Hill after President Obama won reelection and it became clear that R-74 (gay marriage) passed.

The party went on for a while.

8.

The only way to end the night on Capitol Hill, a trip to Dick’s for some late night burgers and milk shakes.


Posted by admin - November 8th, 2012 - 0 comments - Permalink



Thank Goodness

Thank Goodness. After a long day, they might be the only words you can say (especially after finishing off another midterm). But sometimes, it’s as much about being thankful for the week being over as it is being thankful for your friends, your family/significant other, and even the occasional professor who have been around you every step so far on this journey.

Just because we’re business students, doesn’t mean we don’t have time to enjoy life every once in a while. Throughout the quarter, we have what are known as a “TG’s”, which literally stands for “Thank Goodness”. Over the course of the quarter, having a moment to take a step back from the stress of cases, team meetings, and exams and to just enjoy the company of your new “family” in Paccar is a welcome break. TG’s are just one of many chances students have here at Foster to grab a drink, share a few laughs, and just reset before the cycle begins again.

Our last TG happened to coincide with both Halloween and MBA Preview Weekend, and gave students a chance to go beyond their quantitative abilities to showcase their creativity. So whether you were a first year or an evening student, prospective or a “blue dot” (significant other), it was a fun night of getting to know new people as well as catching up with some familiar faces.

~Guest Blogger Jimmy Wong, Full-time Class of 2014

     

      

      

… and beware of Fruit Ninjas (especially if you’re dressed as a fruit)!

 


Posted by admin - November 7th, 2012 - 0 comments - Permalink



Networking, Networking, Networking…

As any MBA student will tell you, networking is a must do, but finding the time between school and networking is tough. Meeting the right people, connecting with the right organizations, all are factors in where to spend your “extra” time.

For me, the business roundtable event held by the Japan-America Society and the Foster Global Business Center called, “Social Media: For Your Business?” was a no brainer; I had to go. Having spent nearly seven years living and working in Japan, as well as interning over the summer at one of the world’s largest PR and ad agencies (that also has a big social media team), I knew this would be a good opportunity to network and meet industry leaders that work internationally, have a connection to Japan, and are involved in social media.

Companies that were represented in the panel discussion were Starbucks, Microsoft, Ivyworldwide, pspinc.com, Nikkei Concerns, and NicoNico, Inc. Each company representative also gave a 10 – 15 minute presentation on their social media strategy and some of the impacts that social media has had on their organizations.

I learned that effective social media strategy is about leverage, or as Nick White (Partner and General Manger of Ivy Worldwide, Inc., a word-of-mouth social media marketing consultancy firm) called it, “Social Media Judo”. He said if your firm is going to have an effective strategy you need to:

  • Listen;
  • Contribute on other sites;
  • Publish your own content and make sure to link back, cite, and propagate;
  • Don’t sell, rather soft sell [your product or service]; and
  • Listen even more.
Seems simple, but in the ever changing social media world, it is anything but simple. The buying process has changed, the customers are changing, and the frameworks that we have grown to love/hate in our MBA studies are changing. Thankfully, events like these allow real-time perspective from industry leaders in organizations that many of us will end up working for one day. The opportunity to meet, mingle, exchange business cards, and practice your elevator pitch with the panel and other attendees is a great way to go that extra mile and make genuine connections, because you never know how when you might come across the same people when searching for an internship, or in my case, a job.

~Guest Blogger Ryan Loren, Full-time Class of 2013 and President of the Global Business Association

Posted by admin - October 29th, 2012 - 0 comments - Permalink



Preview Weekend

Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27 marked the first Preview Weekend of the year.  Foster Preview Weekends provide prospective applicants with a glimpse into the Foster MBA program.  The organized events provided a range of experience and sources of information for prospective students, including a mock class taught by one of Foster’s world-class faculty members, student and alumni panels, a Halloween-themed TG (Thank Goodness it’s Friday) party, a program overview presented by Assistant Dean Dan Poston, a tour of the Paccar Hall facilities, and a discussion of Foster’s career services.  The weekend was also peppered with multiple opportunities for visitors to mix and mingle with each other as well as as current first and second year full-time MBA students.

The next Preview Weekend is scheduled for January 11-12, 2013.

     

     

 


Posted by admin - October 27th, 2012 - 0 comments - Permalink



Networking My Way to an Internship

Last year as I began my internship search I found myself at an event that would require me to confront a situation I had worked hard to avoid in the past, networking at a job fair. I had always found the idea of shaking hands with recruiters and company reps to be almost alien. To me, these types of events always felt very forced and I really don’t like being forced to do anything. I have had coworkers and friends who seem to excel in these types of situations, who could network naturally, almost instinctively. They could walk into a room of strangers and leave with a room full of friends and contacts. When I entered a room, I was met with a paralyzing social anxiety. Oh, I’m affable enough, love telling jokes, sharing stories and the like and when I tell my friends about my anxiety, they refuse to believe that someone who seems so outgoing would be so internally anxious.

Regardless, there I was, a fresh faced first year MBA candidate on the hunt for an internship. I watched classmates converse with the various company representatives, shake hands, exchange business cards and resumes and leave with a solid prospect for an internship at a company that I would have loved to work at. Seattle is home to some of the top companies in the world, across a range of industries ranging from aerospace to software developers. Yet there I was, standing in the middle of a room with the people who could help me get a foot in the door and I couldn’t put one foot in front of the other to go talk to them.

That’s when my career coach, whom I had had previous conversations with in which we talked about my fear of such situations. She could sense my level of discomfort and encouraged me to head home for the day and come by her office the next day to talk about an alternative strategy in regards to finding an internship. So that’s what I did. I grabbed my jacket, headed home to work on my marketing case for the next day and made plans to come by the career center the next day.

After my morning class the following day, I headed over to meet with my coach to start laying out my alternatives, of which I was hoping there were many because I was getting worried that I would never land an internship. During our meeting we talked about how vast the Foster alumni network is and how eager they are to help fellow Foster-ites in the internship search. Knowing my distaste for large recruiting events, we talked about the possibility of setting up informational interviews, which were more personal and far less stressful for me. My coach showed me the catalog of former student resumes that career services keeps on file and encouraged me to look through them to see if any of the alumni were currently working in an industry I was interested in. She also encouraged me to use LinkedIn to reach out to Foster alumni as well as my personal network to see if there was anyone I could schedule an informational interview with. She even went so far as to reach out to her personal network to help me schedule informational interviews. Over the coming month, when I wasn’t powering through a case with my team, I set up a number of interviews with alumni, people within my personal network, second year students who had interned at companies last summer. At these interviews I would ask about their experience at the company, how they applied what they had learned as an MBA candidate and closed each conversation by asking if they new anyone else that they felt I should talk to.

After a number of these interviews, I met a former Foster student who worked at one of the larger advertising agencies in Seattle. We bonded over not just over having both having experienced the gauntlet that is the workload of first-year but non-academic interests as well. We closed our conversation with him letting me know that he would go by human resources in the morning to share my resume and to find out what the situation was with the agency’s internship program. One week later I received a call from the HR director inviting me in for an interview. I couldn’t believe it! My weeks of informational interviews had paid off! I went in that Friday for my interview and on Monday I had an email in my inbox with an offer.

If there was to be a moral from this story, it’s that there are many alternative paths to finding a summer internship, not just the job fairs. Find what works for you, work with your career coach and exercise your network. The perfect internship is out there, the trick is finding it.

~Guest Blogger Ben Reid, Full-time Class of 2013


Posted by admin - October 19th, 2012 - 0 comments - Permalink



Taking a Pause

Being a 2nd year MBA is amazing. You no longer have 8:30 classes assigned to you, you get to take the classes you want, and you’ve got the confidence of an internship behind you! So fear not, young 1st year Padawans, there’s a bright future if you just stick it out.

What I really appreciate about being a 2nd year is the whole new level of confidence I have in my personal goals. I’m taking a small load (only  13 credits!) this quarter because I want to take some time to really focus on my career search, my classes, and the people in my life. My first year I was still coping from the shock of being back in school after five years in the work world and trying to re-learn how to write memos and reports longer than two paragraphs. I was stressed about doing well academically and on scoring a summer internship early. I didn’t really have as much time to sit back and think about what I wanted to do once I had my MBA. This quarter I’m blocking out time on my calendar to do just that: taking personal assessments and time to reflect on the person I want to be and the type of career that follows from those goals.

I also enjoy having more time for the classes I do want to take. I learned my lesson from Spring Quarter – taking a 2 credit class does not mean half the work, it just means an entire quarter’s work consolidated in half the time! So this quarter I’ve got more time to do all the readings, think about the course content, and actually learn. The key to success is preparation, especially in my Negotiations class. In this course, you’re given the details of a case and have about an hour in class to come to an agreement with your partner on how to carve and share that mythical pie. I highly recommend this class, it will change your world.

Finally, I am prioritizing making time for people. This includes being involved in clubs to a greater capacity than I was last year, and also keeping in touch with friends. Serving on the boards of clubs really helps cement the relationship with fellow Fosterites and enables you to build additional channels of access to companies for networking purposes. Just about the only drawback about 2nd year is that everyone is on a different schedule, so some people I’m lucky if I see only twice a week, which makes coffee breaks that much more important.

~Guest Blogger Bin Ma, Full-time Class of 2013


Posted by admin - October 12th, 2012 - 0 comments - Permalink



Welcome to the MBA Experience

It’s now nearly two whole weeks into fall quarter!  How are Foster MBA students feeling so far?

First year students are hitting the ground running!

I am exhausted, overwhelmed, excited, and hungry to learn. About what I expected coming into the program, just even more extreme. I am looking forward to getting involved in the clubs and interacting with great people.

~Dennis Grubbs, Full-time Class of 2014

I’m overwhelmed, but in the best way possible. Beyond tackling and mastering the coursework ahead, I am looking forward to getting involved in the Foster community and beginning my exploration of career opportunities ahead.

~Liza Green, Full-time Class of 2014

I keep remembering the words of wisdom from last year’s First Years during my campus visit: “You’ll be drinking from a fire hose from day one!” They weren’t joking. It’s been a great first week and the workload has been everything they promised and more.

~Dan Metz, Full-time Class of 2014

Have a great quarter, everybody!


Posted by admin - October 4th, 2012 - 0 comments - Permalink