The Golden Briefcase: A Legacy of Social Responsibility

Dan Stone, MBA VP of Challenge for Charity, accepts the Golden Briefcase at Stanford
Dan Stone, Foster MBAA VP of Challenge for Charity, accepts the Golden Briefcase at Stanford

If you are friends with a Foster Evening or Full-time MBA student, you may have noticed a golden briefcase floating around social media recently, and posts teeming with Husky pride. What is this all about and why are Foster students and alumni SO excited? Short answer: a worthy cause. Long answer:

Every year, MBA students from Foster and eight other top West Coast business schools convene in Palo Alto at Stanford for the Challenge for Charity  (C4C) Sports Weekend. A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Challenge for Charity benefits Special Olympics and Boys and Girls Clubs through the efforts of MBA students who are passionate about giving back while building lasting relationships with their peers. Evening and Full-time Students at Foster fundraise and volunteer throughout the year as they look forward to celebrating the culmination of their efforts in the athletic and social competitions at Sports Weekend, including basketball, soccer, swim, tennis, trivia, challenge races, cheer, dance, musical performances, a 5K, and many more (pool time not scored). The overall winner across the volunteering, fundraising, and sports/social categories takes home the Golden Briefcase which has engraved on it all the winners from prior C4C years.

Foster basketball team! Photo credit: Jenny Nowierski
Foster basketball team- no shortage of school spirit here! Photo credit: Jenny Nowierski
Dance team!
Dance flashback to the 90s! Photo credit: Rene Tate

It was 2006 the last time UW won the C4C competition. The Class of 2017 nears graduation ecstatic about the legacy of bringing the Golden Briefcase back to Seattle. School bragging rights are of course fun, but the win is about so much more. The impact, the memories made with new friends, and collaboration with other schools in the name of social responsibility makes this event one of the most meaningful for Foster students.

Foster Evening and Full-time MBAs encouraging each other at Sports Weekend
Evening & Full-time MBAs encouraging each other at Sports Weekend. Photo credit: Rene Tate
Poolside fun in between the sports competitions! Photo credit: Ann Hiers
Poolside fun in between the sports competitions! Photo credit: Ann Hiers

Foster’s performance was impressive, fundraising $153.9K (over $656 per capita!!), and volunteering over 3600 hours. Even more impressive was the collective effort of the nine schools combined: more than $460K fundraised and over 28K hours volunteered. The best part: the camaraderie forged amongst students from all the different schools, knowing they are united in a common, noble, and ongoing cause.

Pull!!!
Pull!!! Photo credit: Rene Tate
Emily Garrett, Evening MBAA VP of Community Outreach celebrates with fellow Fosterites
Emily Garrett, Evening MBAA VP of Community Outreach, celebrates with fellow Fosterites

Emily Garrett, Evening MBA Association Vice President of Community Outreach was beyond thrilled for the win and thankful for the Foster community: “HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who supported us all year – students, the MBAA Board, alumni, Kara Fichthorn (Director of Evening MBA Student Affairs) and the whole Program Office. The #OneFoster love was so strong at Sports Weekend.”

When asked what it was like the moment he went up on stage to accept the Golden Briefcase, Dan Stone, Full-time MBA Vice President of Challenge for Charity said, “It was one of the most incredible feelings to be up on stage and see how excited so many people were to finally bring the Golden Briefcase back to Washington. After a year of a lot of work from an incredible team, it was so rewarding to see it pay off with a victory. People tend to come to Foster because of the close relationships we form as a community. I think C4C is a reflection of how important our community is and why it was such a momentous occasion to win.”

Photo credit: Rene Tate
Photo credit: Rene Tate
Past and present Foster MBAA Presidents and VPs of Community Outreach huddle around the Golden Briefcase
Past and present Foster Evening MBA Association Presidents and VPs of Community Outreach huddle around the Golden Briefcase

Follow FosterEveMBA on Instagram & Twitter, and like us on Facebook to stay up to date on all things Foster Evening MBA.

Wondering if the Foster Evening MBA Program is the right fit for you? To make an appointment with the Foster MBA Programs Office, call 206-543-4661 or toll free at 1-866-778-9622, or email us at mba@uw.edu.

Get to know us!  Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Admissions Team and check out our upcoming Evening MBA Admissions Events.

A Week in the Life: Ellyce Shulman

One of the most frequently asked questions from prospective students is how current students successfully balance academic, professional, and personal life during the three-year Evening MBA program. What’s a week in the life of an Evening MBA student really like? We asked one of our third year students who is a master at the work hard/play hard philosophy to share with us highlights from a typical week.

Ellyce Shulman, Evening MBA Class of 2017
Ellyce Shulman, Evening MBA Class of 2017

Ellyce Shulman is currently a member of the Foster Evening MBA Class of 2017 and a Senior Consultant at Lenati, a marketing strategy consultancy. Her studies have emphasized marketing, finance, and entrepreneurship, and she has participated and won awards in many activities outside of class including the Business Plan Competition, the Health Innovation Challenge, and the Venture Capital Investment Competition. She has also built community by serving as the Honor Council Representative for her class and organizing everything from study groups to brunches with current students and alums. In her spare time, Ellyce enjoys training for triathlons, biking the backroads of Washington with her husband, and exploring the world through travel.

Working with Microsoft

MSFT2

My client is Microsoft, so I spend a lot of time out there. Many folks who work on Xbox are in the same building. Minecraft is a popular title for Xbox and PC gaming.

Working with Foster Alums

Foster Alums

This is Eric Shuai, Foster MBA ’12. We worked together to launch Microsoft Rewards, a new loyalty program that allows you to get free movies, apps, games and more when you search and shop with Microsoft. Foster’s alumni network is exceptional, and it’s always a treat to work with fellow Fosterites (yes that’s a word).

Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset

We learned about the importance of the growth mindset in Crystal Farh‘s Management and Leadership core class. These frameworks are in use today at companies like Microsoft.

Jazzed about Entrepreneurial Finance

Edward

One of my favorite classmates, Edward Galloway, and I are taking Entrepreneurial Finance (ENTRE 557) this quarter with Lance Young. I’ve gotten so much out of my classes through study sessions with classmates like Edward.

Student Life

Student Life

Typical class setup: name tag, water bottle, printouts of slides, and lots of colorful pens to take notes. Not pictured: dinner from PCC Deli. Yes, everyone is usually eating during lecture- our professors know we just finished a full day at work when we walk into class, and they are supportive and understanding.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Students pictured: Rita Jabbouri, Chris Edelbrock, Phil Christy, and Logan Fouts
Students pictured: Rita Jabbouri, Ellyce Shulman, Chris Edelbrock, Phil Christy, and Logan Fouts

We do a ton of group projects at Foster. These provide an opportunity to get to know your classmates, as well as bring diverse perspectives to the work. This is my team for Consumer Marketing and Brand Management with Professor Mark Forehand (MKTG 512). The best part about courses at Foster is that we are encouraged to apply what we learn in the classroom in real-time. In Professor Forehand’s class, we did several “live cases” that challenged us to solve branding problems for real companies. Working well as a team is essential to not only delivering high quality work, but also learning as much as possible and having fun along the way. We got to present to judges with extensive agency backgrounds and gleaned valuable insights.

An Athlete’s Life

Athlete

For the past 4 years, I’ve trained for and competed in triathlons. After a busy week of work and school, one of my favorite things is the 90-minute Masters swim workout at my gym on Saturday mornings. I love the challenge of pushing myself athletically and the social nature of swimming with pool and tri friends. No matter how busy you are, it’s so important to carve out time for the activities that energize you. Being an athlete has made me more resilient in my academic and professional life.

Leadership All Around

Coach

This is Coach Bob. He is one of the most inspirational leaders I’ve ever met. He has this amazing ability to see your potential – far beyond what you may even see – and unlock this potential while he’s pushing you and cheering you on – literally. I’ve PR’d in the 100 and 200 as the direct result of swimming with Coach Bob. Foster has allowed me to grow and develop my leadership skills, as well as recognize great leadership when I see it.

Always Smiling

Entre Fin

Students like Ellyce don’t just survive the program, they thrive. Why? She has a relentless positive attitude and is willing to push herself to learn and grow every day to meet the challenges ahead, stopping along the way to “smell the roses” with classmates, professors, friends, family, and mentors.

Wondering if the Foster Evening MBA Program is the right fit for you? To make an appointment with the Foster MBA Programs Office, call 206-543-4661 or toll free at 1-866-778-9622, or email us at mba@uw.edu.

Get to know us!  Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Admissions Team and check out our upcoming Evening MBA Admissions Events.

Follow FosterEveMBA on Instagram & Twitter, and like us on Facebook to stay up to date on all things Foster Evening MBA.

 

Staff Spotlight: Matthew Unruh & Nathan Bright

The Foster community doesn’t just consist of students and faculty, but also the staff that support the MBA program. These individuals are working hard behind the scenes to ensure events and systems are in order so that students have the resources they need to be successful. When you visit the MBA Program Office, it’s likely you’ll be greeted by MBA Student Affairs Program Assistant Matthew Unruh, or MBA Admissions Program Assistant Nathan Bright.

IMG_3255
Matthew Unruh and Nathan Bright keep everything running smoothly in the MBA Programs Office and are the first point of contact for current and prospective students

 What brought you to Foster? What are your responsibilities as a member of Foster’s MBA Program Office team?

Matthew: I came to Foster initially as a temporary worker through the UTemp Program. I had just returned to the Pacific Northwest and was looking for new opportunities to keep up with the rapidly changing Seattle environment. A friend recommended me to the UTemp Program, which had an almost immediate opening for part-time work at the front desk for the MBA Program Office.

My responsibilities at Foster vary. I work for the MBA Program Student Affairs department. As a Program Assistant it is my job to support all other members of the Student Affairs team, as well as Admissions as needed, in any role where they need support. This means that on a day-to-day basis my position responsibilities vary widely. This includes planning, advising, and coordinating students in the development of certain events, working with the student MBA Association, answering student inquiries, directing students towards available resources, and maintaining office operations.

Usually for any student inquiring, I say: “I might not be able to solve your issue, but I am certainly willing to help, and am likely to know who to ask.”

Nathan: I was an undergrad in Foster and really love the community here. It’s a great place to start my career in higher education. What sets Evening MBA students apart is their relentless commitment to the Foster community and to their personal and professional development. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to complete this program and they have ambitious dreams. My job is to make sure that students have everything they need right when they need it.

Fill in the blank: Foster is ________.

Matthew: Foster is People. What would Foster be without the people who make it?

Nathan: Home! I’ve lived in Seattle for most of my life and want to keep calling this beautiful place my home.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Matthew: The most rewarding part of my job is getting to be even a small part of an academic institution that meant so much to me in my early twenties and that I still hold in high regard.

Nathan: Working with students.

What is Foster’s competitive advantage?

Matthew: From my experience Foster’s competitive advantage is loyalty. The community at Foster breeds alumni who are eager to give back and remain part of Foster long after they have finished classes. Furthermore they seem very eager to develop and support the efforts of new students whenever they can.

Nathan: Definitely the network that we have with local business and industry. We have strong connections with the Seattle business community.

What do you appreciate the most about the Foster community?

Matthew: What I appreciate the most about the Foster community is how welcoming it is to other disciplines, backgrounds, and communities. Despite not having any background in Business to speak of, I’ve felt that everyone, have been exceptionally welcoming and supportive. It’s really a great atmosphere to be surrounded with at work every day.

Nathan: I love how the Foster community is diverse, supportive, and active throughout the region.

What is one interesting fact most people don’t know about you that you would like to share?

Matthew: One of the things that I do to relieve stress is read non-fiction books, particularly on the topics of history, politics, and mythology, and prepare lectures or presentations on what I’m reading. I especially find it a good way to keep my mind busy while driving long distances.

Nathan: My biggest passion is rock climbing and pursuing outdoor adventures. Ask me anything about getting outdoors around WA and the PNW and I’ll have some great ideas and destinations to share!

Wondering if the Foster Evening MBA Program is the right fit for you? To make an appointment with the Foster MBA Programs Office, call 206-543-4661 or toll free at 1-866-778-9622, or email us at mba@uw.edu.

Get to know us!  Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Admissions Team and check out our upcoming Evening MBA Admissions Events.

Follow FosterEveMBA on Instagram & Twitter, and like us on Facebook to stay up to date on all things Foster Evening MBA.

Foster’s International Opportunities

Lacey Lowber, Evening MBA Class of 2017
Lacey Lowber, Evening MBA Class of 2017

Lacey Lowber is a member and Class Representative of the Evening MBA Class of 2017. She currently works at Starbucks in Category and Marketing Finance, supporting the Espresso and Brewed businesses in US Retail. When not at work or at school, she enjoys traveling, hiking, yoga, and spending time with her fiancee, friends and family. In this blog post, she shares with us her international experiences through the Foster Evening MBA Program.

Why did you decide to go on the India Consulting Trip?

When I first learned about the India Consulting Trip during Women at the Top (Foster MBA elective course), it sounded like an opportunity too good to pass up. I also owe it to my friend and classmate Stacy Hanks for encouraging me so strongly to consider the trip! I hadn’t had a chance to do any sort of a field study with a local organization through Foster, and was excited at the prospect of doing consulting work on site for such an incredible organization as SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association). The timing worked out well right before the Christmas holiday and was a very compelling way to earn four credits. I had never previously traveled to India but had always been interested in the culture and people – this trip was the perfect opportunity to gain valuable work experience, earn class credit, give back to a worthy organization, and experience a country I’d always wanted to visit.

SEWA Trade Facilitation Center (STFC) team with Master Artisans in Radhanpur, India
SEWA Trade Facilitation Center (STFC) team with Master Artisans in Radhanpur, India

What was your favorite part of the trip? What did you bring back with you?

My favorite part of the trip was undoubtedly the people we met and interacted with, from our fabulous guide, Sanjay Mishra, to the inspiring women who are members and leaders of SEWA. I brought back with me a true sense of appreciation for the opportunities I’ve had as a woman born and raised in the United States. The women of SEWA have faced incredible challenges and succeeded in spite of them – they helped me realize how truly fortunate I’ve been!

Artisan showing Foster MBA students how pieces of mirror are incorporated into hand sewn garments
Artisan showing Foster MBA students how pieces of mirror are incorporated into hand sewn garments

As far as physical items, I brought back a lot of tea, incense, and handmade clothing items purchased from my group’s SEWA client, the SEWA Trade Facilitation Center (STFC). You can see some of these beautiful garments in the group photo of my teammates with some of the master artisans we visited with in Radhanpur village.

Some of the beautiful products made under the Hansiba brand
Some of the colorful products made under the Hansiba brand

How do you think this experience will impact you (personally, professionally, academically) moving forward?

Lacey and her teammate Elizabeth Adams with the CEO of SEWA, Savitabel Patel
Lacey and her teammate Elizabeth Adams with the CEO of SEWA, Savitabel Patel

This experience was certainly once in a lifetime and one that I know will continue to have an impact on me.  Personally and professionally, it’s given me a true appreciation for how challenging it can be to do business in a culture completely foreign to your own. It also reinforced my belief that a positive outlook, an open mind, and a kind, caring heart are some of the most important things you can bring to any situation. Even though many of the folks we interacted with spoke little to no English and we spoke no Hindi, our smiles and caring affect were perfectly understood.

Jess Rush
Jessica Rush, Assistant Director of MBA Global Programs at Foster’s Global Business Center, led the group of students on the India trip

Academically, this experience challenged me to keep learning and to stay curious! When our client clarified for us that their ultimate goal was to fully employ its artisan members, not to maximize profitability, it was a great reminder that our business school paradigms may not apply to every situation.

What did you think of the client, SEWA? How are Foster MBA students making an impact?

SEWA is a first class organization of talented, hardworking and brilliant women. Formally organized as a trade union, SEWA empowers its members to first and foremost be self-sufficient and earn an income, and additionally gives members access to banking services, education, childcare, and a host of other opportunities that would be nearly impossible to come by otherwise.

Lacey and classmate Mary Dennis
Lacey and classmate Mary Dennis
Lacey and her fiancé Tyson Hunter, both members of the Foster Evening MBA Class of 2017, at the Taj Mahal
Lacey and fiancé Tyson Hunter, both members of the Foster Evening MBA Class of 2017, at the Taj Mahal

Foster MBA students are making a lasting impact on this organization by continuing to contribute each year to various SEWA initiatives ranging from sanitation and hygiene to website development to branding strategy. By remaining flexible and working hard on SEWA’s behalf, Foster MBA students are providing valuable insights and work product that the organization would not have sufficient resources to complete otherwise.

 

You also went on last year’s study tour. How did that experience differ from this one? Which one would you recommend?

I went on the study tour in Cuba as a second year evening student, and while the experience was amazing, it was also completely different than the consulting trip in India. The purpose of each trip was quite different – Cuba was more experiential and aimed at education and immersion in Cuban culture and industry, while India was focused on serving our client.

Car
Vintage car and the beautiful sky in Varadero, Cuba

We were fortunate to visit Cuba at a historic time – the country’s borders had just been re-opened to tourism and relations with the United States were somewhat normalized. President Obama was visiting the same time as our group, and though we weren’t able to get a meeting (ha) we did hear overwhelming positivity from many Cuban citizens who dreamed to experience life outside of the island. It was fun to practice speaking Spanish and to leave small gifts for our taxi drivers, maids, and waiters as many items that we take for granted are not widely available.

Team 3 touring the sugar cane mill in the countryside!
Team 3 touring the sugar cane mill in the countryside!

We had the opportunity to visit the Havana Club distillery, hear from the president and directors of the Cuban baseball federation, learn about the architecture and history of Havana, tour a sugar cane mill and even cut some ourselves, visit an art exhibition in Havana, share a hand prepared meal with a Cuban family that we befriended during our trip that invited us to their home, and smoke many a fine cigar. I will never forget sitting in a sports bar in Cienfuegos watching the Tampa Bay Ray’s play the Cuban national team with members of our group as well as some locals.

A home cooked family feast!
A home cooked family feast!
Cuban hospitality
Members of the Evening MBA Class of 2017 experience Cuban hospitality

In summary – I would recommend both study tours! They were both fantastic experiences that I would not have been able to take advantage of if not for Foster.

Streets of Havana
Streets of Havana

Overall, what do you think of the Evening MBA Program’s study abroad opportunities? How do they set Foster apart?

I definitely consider myself an advocate for the Evening MBA’s international opportunities!  I sought out chances to study abroad while completing my undergraduate education and was happy to have the opportunity to continue to do so as a graduate student. Seeing and experiencing other parts of the world truly make you appreciate what you have, and Foster does a great job of organizing meaningful international programs that allow for great exposure and learning.

Beautiful Cuban music
Beautiful Cuban music

Anything else you’d like to share?

Go Dawgs!

Wondering if the Foster Evening MBA Program is the right fit for you? To make an appointment with the Foster MBA Programs Office, call 206-543-4661 or toll free at 1-866-778-9622, or email us at mba@uw.edu.

Get to know us!  Learn more about our short-term programs abroad through the Global Business Center and check out our upcoming Evening MBA Admissions Events.

Follow FosterEveMBA on Instagram and like us on Facebook to stay up to date on all things Foster Evening MBA.

MBA Strategic Consulting Program: Experiential Learning at Foster

Foster offers students numerous opportunities to apply concepts learned in the classroom in the real world. One example is the MBA Strategic Consulting Program, which allows students to analyze challenges facing leading companies and provide them with insightful, innovative recommendations. Just last year, Foster MBA students completed the following projects:

  • Market research and positioning for Nissan in the PNW market.
  • Carbon offset strategies to stabilize emissions with carbon-neutral growth for Alaska Airlines.
  • Customer journey mapping and marketing recommendations for Office 365.
  • Marketing strategies to drive small business refresh of Microsoft/Dell products.
  • Expansion strategy and framework to evaluate new market opportunities for a lunch delivery start-up.
Jennifer Bauermeister, Director of the MBA Strategic Consulting Program
Jennifer Bauermeister, Director of the MBA Strategic Consulting Program

Jennifer Bauermeister leads the MBA Strategic Consulting Program. A Foster graduate herself, she is uniquely positioned to connect students with companies to strategically address business challenges while enriching the MBA academic experience.

What brought you to Foster? What are your responsibilities as the Director of the MBA Strategic Consulting Program?

One reason I came to Foster is I was interested in pursuing an advanced degree myself and thought that it might be easier if I worked on campus. I started at Foster in 2011 working with the Consulting & Business Development Center managing several programs including Board Fellows and undergraduate consulting internships. I started the Foster Executive MBA program in 2013, but while finishing my MBA had the opportunity to transition to work for the Strategic Consulting Program. As the Director of that Program I am responsible for sourcing, managing, and evaluation of consulting projects for MBA students.

 Why did you choose Foster as a professional?

I chose Foster because I felt drawn to working at an educational institution. I stayed at Foster because I truly enjoy working with students and because Foster has continually provided me opportunities to grow in my own career.

What sets Foster Evening MBA students apart?

Foster evening students are some of the hardest working students I meet. They are willing to take on numerous challenges and somehow balance it all.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is when I get to watch students present their final recommendations to companies, and the companies are incredibly impressed with how well our students have performed. It is especially wonderful when our students outperform paid consultants who have worked on the same issue, often for years! (Yes- this does happen.)

Second and third-year Evening MBA students presented a joint marketing strategy for Dell and Microsoft in the spring of 2016
Second and third-year Evening MBA students presented a joint marketing strategy for Dell and Microsoft in the spring of 2016

What is the most challenging part of your job?

Many companies reach out to me looking for students to help them with their businesses. Sometimes MBA students are a great fit for the challenges they face. Other times, the companies are not quite ready for the type of work MBAs can perform. I am always working to find other resources for these companies, whether it is inside or outside the Foster and UW community.

What is Foster’s competitive advantage?

Our students. We attract a diverse, intelligent and thoughtful group of students who are consistently willing to help each other, their school, and the community.

What do you appreciate the most about the Foster community?

The Foster community does a great job of nurturing a collaborative and supportive learning environment.

What is one interesting fact most people don’t know about you that you would like to share?

I am a top level reviewer on Trip Advisor.

Wondering if the Foster Evening MBA Program is the right fit for you? To make an appointment with the Foster MBA Programs Office, call 206-543-4661 or toll free at 1-866-778-9622, or email us at mba@uw.edu.

Follow FosterEveMBA on Instagram and like us on Facebook to stay up to date on all things Foster Evening MBA.

Evening MBA Admissions Staff Spotlight: Megan Lewis

Ever wanted a behind-the-scenes look at Foster’s MBA Admissions team? Why do they do what they do? What drives them? What do they appreciate about Foster? Meet Mēgan Lewis, Senior Associate Director of MBA Admissions.

What brought you to Foster? What are your responsibilities as a member of Foster’s Admissions team?

Mēgan Lewis, Senior Associate Director, MBA Admissions
Mēgan Lewis, Senior Associate Director, MBA Admissions

In late 2012, I transitioned back to Seattle to be near my family. I had lived abroad in Mexico City for five years, where I led a small EducationUSA advising center funded by the U.S. Department of State that facilitates international student exchange. Through EducationUSA, among a wide range of responsibilities, I supported recruitment for MBA Admissions staff from various MBA programs across the U.S. I became very familiar with the world of MBA Admissions and knew that it would provide an exciting new professional adventure. After a stint in public K-12 education and experience with education in both the non-profit and public sectors, I was eager to learn more about the world of business. I was also seeking an opportunity to creatively solve problems and implement new programs while connecting with students and traveling.

I’m primarily responsible for marketing and recruitment strategy for the Full-time and Evening MBA Program, which includes working with our marketing and communications team on print and digital media, overseeing our recruitment event calendar, and managing use of our customer relationship management technology. I also lead work on diversity recruitment and recruitment in Latin America. I share responsibilities in recruitment travel, reading applications, interviewing applicants, and event planning.

Megan at Amazon China
Mēgan at Amazon China

Why did you choose Foster as a professional?

I wanted to work for a highly reputed public higher education institution that would challenge me to learn new knowledge and skills in a supportive environment. I don’t have a business background and I was hoping to gain a business mindset by joining a community of powerful business leaders. Once I dug into the depth and breadth of the Foster MBA program offerings, met the staff in the MBA Program Office, and learned about the Foster culture, I was certain I would love working here. I also wanted to work on a beautiful campus in Seattle proper. It was the obvious choice!

Fill in the blank: Foster is ________.

Fluid. It’s a balance of independent individuals engaged in a strong community with amazing access to resources. Students define their goals, form their own program of study, and choose how to best take advantage of the plentiful opportunities available at Foster. The program is constantly adjusting to the needs of students as our business climate grows and changes, following industry trends and keeping abreast of the latest research informing business practices.

Diversity and Inclusion leaders at corporations like Nordstrom, Microsoft, and T-Mobile have spoken at our FOSTERing MBA Access events.
Diversity and Inclusion leaders at corporations like Nordstrom, Microsoft, and T-Mobile have spoken at our FOSTERing MBA Access events.

What sets Foster Evening MBA students apart?

Foster Evening MBA students are walking miracles. I still can’t wrap my mind around how they are able to juggle family, work, school, participation in clubs, volunteering, giving back to the Foster program as Student Ambassadors, gifting the MBA Program staff Christmas cards and treats, etc., etc., etc. The most amazing part is that when I run into them they are usually smiling.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Education and business are both incredibly powerful forces for socioeconomic mobility, the passion that drives me. At my core, I’m motivated by playing a part in others’ success and I’m happiest when I am connecting with people who are pursuing their aspirations, especially in cases where I can provide information resources or advising to first-generation college students or under-resourced applicants.

What is Foster’s competitive advantage?

There are many, but the highly capable tight-knit community is our best asset. This community is made up of students and faculty, but also alumni and the local business community. They genuinely care about supporting one another and generously spend time building each other up in tangible ways: taking care of each other’s’ children, taking on the larger burden of a team project when necessary, tutoring each other, forming small student support groups, and the list goes on. Our students achieve because they share their knowledge, connections, ideas, time, energy and resources. They are sharp and hardworking, so the sum of these parts results in each student achieving far beyond what they could accomplish on their own.

What do you appreciate the most about the Foster community?

Our entrepreneurial mindset. While relatively few students are setting out to own their own business, there is a Wild West influence on the culture of the program. Our students are optimistic while focusing on what matters and paying careful attention to the bottom line. They demonstrate high tolerance for risk and ambiguity, and welcome change. They are resourceful in listening for and testing new ideas. They love a challenge and they take action. If it’s not working, they recover quickly, collect information and feedback and throw themselves into the next solution. Many of our students feel a bit non-traditional as business students. They are quirky, unique, and confident in what they bring to the table. This creates a rich and open learning environment and results in bigger and better business ideas.

What is one interesting fact most people don’t know about you that you would like to share?

I love dancing Cumbia with my husband!

Megan dancing Cumbia at her wedding
Megan dancing Cumbia at her wedding

Wondering if the Foster Evening MBA Program is the right fit for you? To make an appointment with the Foster MBA Programs Office, call 206-543-4661 or toll free at 1-866-778-9622, or email us at mba@uw.edu.

Follow FosterEveMBA on Instagram and like us on Facebook to stay up to date on all things Foster Evening MBA.

Peer Mentors Welcome Incoming Class of 2019

Evening MBA Class of 2018 Peer Mentors
Evening MBA Class of 2018 Peer Mentors already having a blast developing into leaders for the incoming Class of 2019

Fall Quarter is around the corner, but the incoming Class of 2019 is not the only one attending orientation events and prepping for the academic year. Selected members of the Class of 2018 are preparing for the arrival of the new class via the Evening MBA Peer Mentor Program. A recent Saturday workshop armed Peer Mentors with the tools and resources that will empower them to guide the incoming class throughout their first year.

Sharing and learning from each other at the Peer Mentor Workshop
Sharing and learning from each other at the Peer Mentor Workshop

The Peer Mentor Program develops in students the confidence to lead their peers and organically facilitates authentic connections even before the academic year begins. Mentors attend orientation events such as ePRIME and continue to be part of the first year experience as they coach their peers to help them get the most out of their time in the Evening MBA Program. They are each assigned a first-year team of 5-6 students and meet regularly with their mentees, as a team and one-on-one. Having just finished their first year, the Class of 2018 Peer Mentors are in a prime position to provide advice to their peers who are about to embark on the same challenge.

Third-year evening students who served as Peer Mentors the prior academic year share about their experience. Collaboration is intertwined in everything we do at Foster.
Third-year evening students who served as Peer Mentors the prior academic year share about their experience. Collaboration is ingrained in everything we do at Foster.

A strong sense of community drives the now second-year students to give back just as they benefited from the guidance and support of their peer mentors. Upperclassmen gain leadership experience, new students receive the guidance and coaching they need to be successful as they transition back into the academic world, and the Foster Evening MBA network continues to expand and prosper.

Evening MBA Class of 2018 Peer Mentors
Evening MBA Class of 2018 Peer Mentors

Looking to develop your leadership skills? Wondering if the Foster Evening MBA Program is the right fit for you? To make an appointment with the Foster MBA Programs Office, call 206-543-4661 or toll free at 1-866-778-9622, or email us at mba@uw.edu.

Follow FosterEveMBA on Instagram and like us on Facebook to stay up to date on all things Foster Evening MBA.

Foster MBA Program Earns Forté Foundation Membership, Expands Opportunities for Women MBA Students

FullSizeRender
Foster Evening and Full-time MBA students, alumni, and the MBA Admissions team at the June 2016 Forté MBA Women’s Conference

As a Forté Foundation partner school, Foster’s prestigious program offers its female students access to an expanded network, impactful leadership development opportunities, and accelerated career trajectory. According to Forté, only 17% of Fortune 500 Board members are women. Women make up 14% of Senior Executives and only 4% of CEOs. A Catalyst and University of Michigan research study, Women and the MBA: Gateway to Opportunity, highlights opportunities for improvement in making the business corporate and academic environment more inclusive for women. This sparked the founding of the Forté Foundation, which began in 2002, when female enrollment in MBA programs was only 28%. Since then, that number has increased to 36%, as Forté membership has climbed to 70,000 women with a cross-section of career stages, and 53,000 participants attended Forté Forums.

Forté aims to increase the representation of women in business, and an alliance with the Foster MBA Program promotes that mission in Seattle and wherever Foster’s graduates choose to pursue their post-MBA careers. Foster’s work-compatible MBAs, such as the Evening MBA Program, provide a flexible curriculum that can be tailored to each student’s demanding schedule. Together, Foster and Forté are firmly focused on providing women access to the tools and resources to pursue their passions and thrive in business.

Erin Town, MBA Admissions Director, and Anna Nordstrom, Evening MBA Class of 2017, reflect on their experience at the June 2016 Forté MBA Women’s Leadership Conference and what a Forté partner school designation means for Foster students.

Erin Town

Erin Town, Director of MBA Admissions
Erin Town, Director of MBA Admissions

We are absolutely thrilled to announce our alliance with the Forté Foundation, a leading non-profit organization that is focused on increasing the number of women who hold significant roles in business. Forté is dedicated to directing women toward leadership roles in business and industry, and to enabling corporations to more effectively attract and retain female talent. As a sponsor school, the Foster community can now take advantage of the Forté Foundation’s series of professional development and networking events, scholarship opportunities, and online career planning resources.

For many years, the Foster MBA program’s small size and personalized, hands-on approach to learning has offered students from a wide variety of backgrounds the chance to make a real impact, transform their careers, and to make lifelong connections and friendships. This welcoming and empowering culture is one of the reasons we have generally seen higher percentages of women in our programs than the typical MBA program. Now, as a Forté partner school, women at Foster will have even more opportunities for professional development and, most importantly, access to a powerful network of female business leaders from around the globe.

IMG_8572
Mēgan Lewis, Senior Associate Director, and Erin Town, Director, MBA Admissions

In June, my colleague Megan Lewis and I attended our first Forté Foundation Women’s Leadership Conference along with a group of incoming and current Foster MBA students. The conference was filled with inspiring moments and learning opportunities, but what struck me most was the fact that every session, every keynote, every discussion, was led by a woman. The presenters were incredibly honest and uninhibited. At the end of every session there was a line of women waiting at the microphone to ask questions and to present their thoughts. While the conference offered incredible opportunities for professional development, being surrounded by so many ambitious women was what really left me feeling inspired. I can’t wait to bring a new group of students to the conference next year!

Anna Nordstrom

Anna Nordstrom, Evening MBA Class of 2017
Anna Nordstrom, Evening MBA Class of 2017

I was so inspired by my time at the Forté Conference!  The women in attendance were all so impressive, and the organization brought in speakers who were accomplished and eloquent and shared their own experiences and practical advice to help prepare the women in attendance for greater success in the business world. It truly energized me and got me excited about heading into my final year of the program!

Anna
Photo credit: Anna Nordstrom

I had three major takeaways from the conference. One was how rigorous the process was for Foster to be accepted into Forté, and what that means about Foster’s commitment to support women in business.  Another was that it is important to think about what you are excited to do for work, and to pursue that field – it shows when you are passionate about your work versus when you just show up each day and put in your hours.  Finally, I came away from the conference with a sense of responsibility – to pay things forward for future women, and to not undervalue the impact each one of us can have on others.

View highlights of the 2016 Forté MBA Women’s Conference:

Want to learn more about the Foster advantage? Connect with us at the Seattle Forté Forum on August 22. We will also be in San Francisco on Tuesday, August 23; Los Angeles on Wednesday, August 24; and Houston on Thursday, August 25.

IMG_8569

Wondering if the Foster Evening MBA Program is the right fit for you? To make an appointment with the Foster MBA Programs Office, call 206-543-4661 or toll free at 1-866-778-9622, or email us at mba@uw.edu.

Follow FosterEveMBA on Instagram and like us on Facebook to stay up to date on all things Foster Evening MBA.

Sheena Seibert-Nelson: Post-Graduation Advice

Sheena Nelson, Evening MBA Class of 2016, gave an inspiring, lighthearted speech to her fellow graduates at Commencement. Read on to learn the advice Sheena shared with classmates as they begin an exciting new chapter post-graduation.

Sheena Nelson, Evening MBA Class of 2016
Sheena Seibert-Nelson, Evening MBA Class of 2016

Hello everyone!  I’m Sheena Nelson, and am beyond proud to speak to you today and represent the evening Class of 2016.  Our class is filled with amazingly intelligent, fun, and caring men and women, and mothers and fathers, and not a week went by where I wasn’t genuinely impressed by what you all do.

Before I go any further, I want to take a minute and explain for those who might not be aware what the difference is between the Daytime and Evening MBA programs at the Foster School of Business.  As many of you may have guessed, we go to class AT NIGHT!  Shocking, I know! But the largest difference between our two programs are that evening students are inherently insane, or extremely efficient, depending on how you look at it.  (It’s a very thin line between the two.)  Rather than quit our jobs and take two years for our MBA studies, WE all decided to keep our full-time and professional jobs and take THREE years for the same amount of coursework! Two years with no job pressures, or three years with job pressures…makes TOTAL sense!  Ok, somehow the math seems off, but I promise, we feel like it was the better of the two options for us.

What we lacked in sleep and personal lives during those three years we made up in amazingly rich life experiences.  We pursued areas of study in fields we weren’t as well versed in, we wrote papers and sat exams, some of us traveled abroad together, and most importantly – we shared jello shots with Ed Rice (Core Faculty, Economics Professor) at Dantes.

When I think back at how we started this three-year journey, I remember our first weekends of ePrime and eLead.  I don’t know if you guys remember, but during eLead we were at a conference building at Anthony’s waterfront.  It was a beautiful Friday and Saturday, so what better time to sit inside for full-days in a conference room…in our suits. On our second day, we arrived to see a Norwegian Cruise ship was docked right outside our room.  We were even happier when about an hour into our work the ship started blaring “CELEBRATE good times…COME ON!” for the remaining 6-hours, nonstop, while passengers laughed, had cocktails, and sang along….right outside of our balcony.  It was a great indication of the types of compromise we’d experience during the program – the dilemma of “I really need to study” against the pull of “I want to not be in class right now”.

But, here we are!  We survived! And as we move forward with the next stages of our lives, I’d like to introduce my Foster School of Business, Evening MBA exit program — eLeave.  Yes, extremely creative name…that’s what an MBA will bring to the table!  Dan Poston, feel free to use this if you like, by the way.  eLeave is this – what to do with ourselves now that school is over.  Well, after becoming reacquainted with friends, spouses, maybe children who didn’t see you as much during these three years…I recommend the following three steps.

IMG_3719
Sheena is all smiles as she celebrates this significant accomplishment.

First, remain a learner.  So many of us commented the best part of being in school again was learning outside of our jobs and companies.  So don’t let that stop!  It doesn’t mean you have to sign up for coursework in the fall, but continue to read, question, analyze in whatever way you like.  Maybe Mark Westerfield (Core Faculty, Finance Professor) will let you do his taxes!  Mark??  No??  Ok, maybe something else then.

Secondly, one of the greatest strengths of this program is its cohort model, and while you might not be helping a teammate with homework, you could help volunteer or serve on the board of a non-profit.  Being a leader doesn’t just mean having all the business answers, it also means having compassion for others around you.  We can give back in so many ways, and as we look for things to fill our newly found free time, let’s keep in mind ways we can continue to help pay it forward….outside of C4C Weekend.

And third, let’s not be strangers! An MBA is so much more important than the paper, it’s us! Facebook, GroupMe, Instagram, LinkedIn, oh yeah, and actually meeting IN PERSON, it’s on us to make that happen.  And I hope we will.

So that’s it!  We’re done!!  Thank you all again for letting me laugh and learn with you during this amazing experience, and letting me speak to you all today.  And Congratulations!! With that, there’s really only one more thing I need to remind you all – with our futures so bright, always wear your shades.

Sheena looks to the bright future that awaits her and her fellow Foster Evening MBA classmates
Sheena looks to the bright future that awaits her and fellow Foster Evening MBA classmates.

Sheena is employed at Microsoft where she works as a World-Wide Product Marketing Manager for Surface, creating strategies to sell Surface products through online partners globally.  She lives in Ballard with her husband and Shih Tzu and can be found most mornings with an espresso in her hand.

Wondering if the Foster Evening MBA Program is the right fit for you? To make an appointment with the Foster MBA Programs Office, call 206-543-4661 or toll free at 1-866-778-9622, or email us at mba@uw.edu.

Follow FosterEveMBA on Instagram to stay up to date on all things Foster Evening MBA.

Evening MBA Program Staff Spotlight: Jenny Forbes

Ever wonder how Foster does it all? Dedicated staff members are committed to this prestigious program and its students’ success, working hard behind the scenes to ensure an exceptional experience for every applicant. Meet Jenny Forbes, Foster MBA Admissions Program Coordinator.

Jenny Forbes, Program Coordinator, MBA Admissions
Jenny Forbes, Program Coordinator, MBA Admissions

What brought you to Foster? What are your responsibilities as a member of Foster’s Admissions team?

I began my Foster career working as the Student Affairs Assistant, which was a great way to learn about the program from the ground up.  I appreciated all aspects of working with the current students, from welcoming the new students to the program in the fall to celebrating the graduating classes as they walked across the stage to collect their diploma.

The opportunity to work at Foster was particularly special because of my familial connection with the business school.  Not only did my sister, Emily Warren, work at Foster, but my grandfather, John Wheatley, was a marketing professor at UW for over thirty-five years.  My Papa once said that he enjoyed almost every day of his career, and it means a lot to me to be able to continue his legacy here at UW.

I was excited to take on a new challenge and join Foster’s Admissions team this winter as the Event Coordinator.  In this role I work with members of the A-Team on recruiting, and admission events including Evaluation Day, Campus Night, the Insider Series and other admissions related events.  I support the Student Affairs team with their big events in September and with Graduation.

Jenny and her sister Emily
Jenny and her sister Emily Warren

Why did you choose Foster as a professional?

I had been a stay-at-home-mom for eleven years but my children were in college and high school and I was looking to return to work.  While staying at home with them I volunteered heavily with the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at the local, district, region, and state level, so I knew that I would like to do something to support learning and education.  Since beginning here I have been thoroughly impressed with the caliber of the students, staff, and faculty.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Without a doubt the people I get to work with.  The students and MBA Program staff are the absolute best and they make coming to work each day a pleasure.  I’m happy to do whatever I can to help make a student’s experience at Foster the best that it can be and help them reach their full potential.

The MBA Admissions Team
The MBA Admissions Team

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging part is having to say goodbye to amazing students every year after they graduate.  It’s hard to say goodbye to people I enjoy working with.  The silver lining is that because Foster is like a family, students return often to visit and support the school.

What do you appreciate the most about the Foster community?

I love the engaged and supportive community that we have here at Foster.  Everyone is so willing to lend a hand or support the program in so many ways. Vince Lombardi said, “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work,” and that really describes life at Foster.

What is one interesting fact most people don’t know about you that you would like to share?

I mentioned that I was heavily involved in volunteering with the PTA.  I began my service with this amazing organization while my kids were in elementary school (over a decade ago!), and I still enjoy supporting it whenever I can.  Each year I return to the elementary school to help the PTA with Science Day.  I am affectionately known as the “Squid Lady” because I teach squid dissection with third graders.  Around 130 third graders rotate through my classroom and get the chance to dissect a small squid.  We discuss habitat, movement, defenses, and diet of squid, and then we learn about some of their basic anatomy.  The highlight of the day is removing the cuttlebone and using it to write their name using squid ink.  It’s so much fun, and the students and teachers really enjoy it.

The Admissions Team
The MBA Admissions Team

Foster is ________.

Family.  Not only because of my family connection, but because of the impressive close-knit culture at Foster.  Everyone associated with the program is so supportive and willing to collaborate that it truly feels like a family.

 

 

 

 

Wondering if the Foster Evening MBA Program is the right fit for you? To make an appointment with the Foster MBA Programs Office, call 206-543-4661 or toll free at 1-866-778-9622, or email us at mba@uw.edu.

Follow FosterEveMBA on Instagram to stay up to date on all things Foster Evening MBA.

Everything Foster Evening MBA