Posts Tagged ‘MBA Life’

One Person’s Experience: The Benefits of an MBA

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Guest post! 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 an abbreviated version of the 4th and final part of the series here. For the full version of the article and more from Brennen, be sure to check out his blog!

The Benefit of an MBA

This is my last post of a series on if an MBA was worth it, even though there is still plenty more I could say.

This isn’t going to be a ‘tooting-my-own-horn’ essay. It’s an objective list of what I got out of the Foster MBA program that I could not have received through my own self-directed learning from books or online tutorials. 

Let’s also be real and acknowledge that a formal upper-tier MBA program gets you access to some things that self-directed study just can’t…such as (brace yourself for buzz-words) access to networks of people, certain hands-on experience, job-placement systems, friendships, and a unique way to learn about yourself.

I have 4 main topics, and if you read any of them, I hope you read the last section.


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.


Foster C4C Sports Weekend 2015 Recap: Go Dawgs!

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

Challenge for Charity (C4C) is a MBA student-led non-profit organization that brings together nine West Coast Business Schools to support the Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Clubs, and local charities. Their signature event is the annual C4C Sports Weekend in Palo Alto. It’s an awesome time and one of the most cherished memories for many Foster MBA students. It’s my pleasure to introduce Erin Poulter, one the outgoing Challenge For Charity (C4C) co-presidents, who provides some great insight on what it was like to be at the C4C Sports Weekend this year!


The summit is only the halfway point: thoughts on the first year of the MBA

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

mount st helens summit A few short weeks ago, the MBA class of 2016 breathed a collective sigh of relief as the last final was turned in, we had our end of year celebrations, and said our farewells to the graduating class of 2015. The class of 2015 is now transitioning into their post-MBA careers, and the class of 2016 is already starting their summer internships. We are now officially “second-years.”

For anyone looking to embark on their own MBA journey, here are my thoughts on the first year:


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.


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

Friday, April 5th, 2013

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.


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