All posts by Sarah Eytinge

Rita Jabbouri: “It’s all about the team”

Meet Rita Jabbouri, the Admissions Team’s new Social Media & Blog Coordinator for the Evening MBA program. An important aspect of Rita’s position is connecting prospective students with the Foster community through social media. Rita is a “Double Dawg,” having earned her Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Foster. She is passionate about the value of a Foster MBA and is happy to give future students an inside look at Foster through the perspective of current students, faculty, and staff. Rita will assist with most Admissions events and looks forward to meeting you!

Rita Jabbouri, Evening MBA Class of 2017
Rita Jabbouri, Evening MBA Class of 2017

Name: Rita Jabbouri
Graduation Year: 2017
Pre-MBA Profession: Branch Manager at U.S. Bank
Post-MBA Aspirations: Finance or Marketing at an industry-leading organization

What is your favorite part of the Foster MBA experience?

My team! Foster places an emphasis on teamwork and collaboration because that is what employers expect upon graduation. To be successful, leaders must not only understand how to work effectively in teams, but actually live it. It has been a pleasure working with Daniel Webb, Edward Galloway, Logan Fouts, Nhi Le, and our peer mentor Mark Smedley. I learn just as much from them as I do from the classroom. They are some of the smartest, most down-to-earth people I have ever met and I know these friendships will last beyond the program.

My favorite thing about each of my teammates:

Daniel Webb: Daniel is our “big idea” person. When we get lost in the details, we can always count on Daniel to help us see how everything fits into the big picture.

Edward Galloway: We call Edward “the consultant in the room.” You’ll never see him without a smile on his face, but if we start to get sidetracked during a team meeting, Edward will jump in to keep us focused.

Rita and her team at the Frosters, the annual winter ball for the Evening Program
Rita and her team at the Frosters, the annual winter ball for the Evening Program

Logan Fouts: Logan is great at finding alternative methods to explain a concept. He will sometimes draw a picture on the whiteboard to illustrate a point that may have been difficult to grasp otherwise. Logan also has a great sense of humor- you might hear a roar of laughter if you walk past our team room.

Nhi Le: Nhi is our accounting and finance expert. We say she has “magical Excel powers” because she really is that good! She will also throw in a joke or two when we least expect it, which makes our team meetings even more engaging and fun.

Mark Smedley: Mark has been a fantastic peer mentor. As a second year student, he has already been through the challenging first year experience. Mark provides advice to help us get the most out of the program. He is also instrumental in encouraging us to explore ways we can get involved in extracurricular activities at Foster.

How did we create excellent team dynamics? We built a team culture based on respect and focused on learning. When one person on the team is stuck on a concept, the rest of the team is eager to provide different explanations that lead to a deeper understanding of the material. Our goal as a team is to help each other be successful by offering each other advice, bringing out the best in each other, and making the Foster MBA experience a fun and memorable one. When we come across a challenge on a marketing or finance case, someone will jump in with some humor and have the entire team laughing and energized to complete the rest of the case. We all know we can count on each other and we are committed to each other’s success. Meeting these unique individuals and learning from them inspired me to get involved in the MBA Association as Vice President of Community Outreach. Every single student at Foster has a story to share and expertise to offer. My goal is to discover others’ strengths, showcase what makes each student unique, and help make the Foster experience meaningful for everyone.

Rita, her team and their Peer Mentor Mark, get ready for the Foster Fun Run
Rita, her team and their Peer Mentor Mark, get ready for the Foster Fun Run
Rita's team meets to go over a marketing case
Rita’s team meets to go over a marketing case

What is your favorite elective and why?

One of the benefits of Foster’s Evening MBA program is the ability to take electives in areas that are most interesting to you. From advanced accounting to a class about finding your authentic voice, electives offer the opportunity to dig deeper and grow further.

We asked current student and alumni what their favorite electives were and why (and note, names like Koski, Forehand and Stearns are fan favorites):

Jana Morrelli, Evening MBA 2014
Jana Morrelli, Evening MBA 2014

Jana Morelli
Class of 2014

Lance Young’s Entrepreneurial Finance! Hard but gave me a confidence I never would have believed.


Eric Seeb, Class of 2012
Eric Seeb, Class of 2012

Eric Seeb
Class of 2012

I second Jana’s choice but would also include Stearns’s Advertising class!  Excellence is demanded (similar to Lance), worked on a real world problem, fascinating subject matter, cases, and speakers!  We had a VP from Charles Schwab come and critique our solutions to the HBR business case written about Schwab.  Class would regularly continue past 9:30 at the students discretion because of the great discussions.

Julie Olden, Class of 2013
Julie Olden, Class of 2013

Julie Olden
Class of 2013

Jennifer Koski’s Problems in Corporate Finance. Koski’s interactive teaching style keeps students engaged (and dare I say excited) about corporate finance. Course content centers around cases that depict business issues that actually occurred, making the class takeaways applicable in the real world.

Sarah Eytinge, Class of 2014
Sarah Eytinge, Class of 2014

Sarah Eytinge
Class of 2014

Two classes come to mind: I loved Entrepreneurial Marketing with Andy Boyer. While I didn’t plan on pursuing my own entrepreneurial venture, I love how the class gave us the opportunity to develop an idea from infancy into a full fledged business plan and create a marketing plan for it. Throughout the quarter, we heard from dozens of individuals who have successfully, and unsuccessfully, started their own companies. At the end of the quarter,  teams presented their ideas to a panel of potential investors. It was great hands on learning and I was surprised at how I learned so much that could be attributed to my own career. I also loved Women at the Top with Cate Goethals. Cate brings in awesome speakers who are not only extremely successful, but who are also incredibly open to sharing their stories with the class. I took this elective in my first year and found it to be incredibly inspiring and a great way to frame my next three years in business school.

Graham Mills, Class of 2015
Graham Mills, Class of 2015

Graham Mills
Class of 2015

Direct Marketing has been my favorite elective so far for two reasons:

  1. Elizabeth Stearns is one of the most knowledgeable, dynamic, passionate, and tough teachers the school has. She will make you work for it, but you are going to learn a lot.
  2. Direct marketing is pretty much what marketing is all about. It combines the strategy, creative, and execution elements of marketing, and focuses on how you get people to actually make the purchase. The guest speakers are fantastic, and Stearns makes sure you are prepared for real world expectations.
Tim Hossain, Class of 2012
Tim Hossain, Class of 2012

Tim Hossain
Class of 2012

My favorite elective was MGMT 545: Leading and Managing High-Performance Organizations.  This course addresses leadership as a topic separate from management.  Effective leadership involves setting a tone, a focus, and a direction for an organization, its members, and other stakeholders. In contrast, effective management involves executing against the direction and tone set by the leadership. Individuals are not either leaders or managers, but a mixture of leadership and management, and the exact mix depends upon the situation, the role, and the person.   In this course you learn about your own leadership style and how you best relate to members of your organization.  It’s a must take!

Allison Waddell, Class of 2015
Allison Waddell, Class of 2015

Allison Waddell
Class of 2015

I would say Brand Management (Marketing 512) with Mark Forehand. The class was interesting, thought provoking, and challenging. Mark’s lecture style is informative and entertaining, making a 3.5 hour class fly by! The course was also full of practical/experiential learning that allowed us to apply the lecture learning to live cases throughout the quarter. The cases were then judged by marketing professionals who are working in the industry and who gave incredibly insightful feedback. Overall, this was one of the best courses I have taken at Foster and was surprised when I did not want the quarter to end.

Ben Flajole, Evening MBAA President 2013-14
Ben Flajole, Evening MBAA President 2013-14

Ben Flajole
Class of 2014

My favorite elective was Jennifer Koski’s Problems in Corporate Planning and Financing. Going into the MBA program, I wanted to strengthen my understanding of finance. In taking two of Professor Koski’s electives, I graduated having accomplished my goal. The case method required a high level of preparation for each session, which pushed my comfort zones and enhanced my learning. She is so skilled at making advanced ideas immediately accessible and teaches topics in a clear and logical progression. At times I was in over my head, but that was exactly what I wanted!

Lisa Dahlby, Class of 2015
Lisa Dahlby, Class of 2015

Lisa Dahlby
Class of 2015

Brand Management with Mark Forehand. Great lectures, reading that made sense, projects that actually advanced the learning and a really enjoyable weekly 3 hours. Also a great class for better understanding your company brand and integration even if you never want to work in marketing.

Terence Yeung, Class of 2015
Terence Yeung, Class of 2015

Terence Yeung
Class of 2015

Professor Jennifer Koski brings enthusiasm and energy to her Finance classes (e.g. FIN 552) every single night that is unmatched by any other faculty at Foster. The class and Koski gave me invaluable finance knowledge and much improved business acumen.

Explore the Evening MBA curriculum by visiting the Evening MBA webpage.

Meet the new Ambassador Coordinator

Meet Janice Javier, the Admissions Team’s new Ambassador Coordinator for the Evening MBA program. When prospective students want to connect with current students, Janice serves as a matchmaker; when someone wants to observe an Evening MBA class, Janice arranges the visit. She’ll be at most Admissions events and looks forward to connecting with you!

Janice Javier, Evening MBA 2017, is the Ambassador Coordinator
Janice Javier, Evening MBA 2017, is the Ambassador Coordinator for the Evening MBA Program

Name: Janice Javier
Age: 28
Graduation Year: 2017

Pre-MBA Profession: Associate Director of Development for Year Up, a nonprofit organization that connects young adults who need opportunities with companies who need talent.

Post-MBA Aspirations: Operations or Finance at a for-profit social enterprise


What lead you to pursue an MBA?: After getting a Chemical Biology degree from UC Berkeley and working for the leadership team of a nonprofit organization, I realized I was missing some core business competencies.

Why did you choose Foster? 
I chose Foster because I was looking for a highly-structured MBA program that had the cohort experience. I knew I wanted a part-time program because I love my job and wasn’t ready to leave! I work for a rapidly-expanding organization that trains opportunity youth in marketable job skills, so I came to Foster to gain skills I need to be a part of that growth.

Why did you want to get involved as an MBA Ambassador?: I love connecting people! I’m organized and see this role as an opportunity to help our prospective students network with our current students. Many people come to Foster hoping to expand their network, and I definitely want to support that goal.

What has been your most valuable academic experience at Foster?: I’ve learned I love accounting! I’ve always been detail-oriented but for a science major, accounting is so foreign and intimidating. It helps that Wei Li, our first accounting professor, does such a good job of breaking it down for those of us who’ve never seen basic accounting concepts.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned at Foster so far?: I’ve learned about myself and my capacity for taking responsibilities on and learning new things. Since starting school I’ve taken on more responsibilities at work while getting involved at Foster. At first things are overwhelming but eventually things become routine and you can add on more experiences. Learning where this threshold is, and when I can push a little more, has been very valuable.

Summer Plans?: I am looking forward to taking a breather from school and re-energizing for fall quarter. But Seattle summer is so beautiful – I’m sticking around and enjoying the PNW!

Evening MBA Application Tips

The April 20th application deadline for the Evening MBA Program is approaching. Have questions about putting the finishing pieces on your application? Check out our application tip videos from members of the Admissions Team.

Resume and Work Experience
As an MBA applicant, you’ll need to submit a résumé describing your work experience and other relevant background. Erin Town, Director of MBA Admissions, describes what the admissions staff wants to see on your résumé.​

Academic Record
Your undergraduate academic track record, including your grade point average, is a useful indicator of your ability to succeed in a graduate program. If you weren’t a straight-A student and think there are some weaknesses in your record, there are ways to boost your chances of admission, advises Tim Hossain, Director of Evening MBA Student Affairs.​

Letters of Recommendation
As part of the application process for the Evening MBA Program, you’ll need to submit two letters of recommendation. Who should you ask to write the letters? How do you ensure that recommendations reflect your capabilities and motive for pursuing an MBA? Sarah Eytinge, Associate Director of MBA Admissions, has some tips for applicants.

GMAT and Standardized Tests
If you haven’t taken a lot of tests lately, admissions exams may cause some anxiety. Erin Town, Director of MBA Admissions, notes that many applicants take the test more than once and offers tips for preparing for the test so you can submit your best score.

The essays you write as part of your application to the Evening MBA Program help the admissions staff learn about who you are and why you want to earn an MBA. How should you approach writing the essays application to the Evening MBA Program? Tim Hossain, Director of Evening MBA Student Affairs, offers some suggestions.​

Evaluation Day
On Evaluation Day, applicants who are being considered for admission to the Evening MBA Program are invited to participate in group interviews. These interviews help the admissions staff assess your ability to present, to work on a team, and to lead. Tim Hossain, Director of Evening MBA Student Affairs, gives an overview.

Foster MBAs do Bollywood

The monthly TG* usually draws a big crowd but none larger than the annual “Indian TG.” Hosted by current students, this TG is popular because it is always filled with delicious food, fun music and, of course, a Bollywood dance! Check out this year’s student dance, performed during the Indian TG on April 10th.

* The origin of the “TG” event name has been explained differently over the years, but it is most commonly explained as a shortening of T.G.I.F. (Thank goodness it’s Friday). These events happen monthly throughout the year and each one always has a theme associated with it.

2014-15 MBAA Board President passes the torch to next year’s MBAA Board

Adam Rubens, always representing Foster and c4c, is bottling wine at a winery in Leavenworth.
Adam Rubens, always representing Foster and c4c, is bottling wine at a winery in Leavenworth.

Each year, the outgoing MBAA President offers a “State of the Program” at the conclusion of his or her tenure. This year’s president, Adam Rubens, gave his concluding remarks at the transition meeting on April 4th. Read what he shared below!

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” ― Lewis CarrollAlice in Wonderland

At the beginning of anything, it’s critical to have a direction, a plan of action, and a great team of people to work with.  On April 5th of last year, the 2014-2015 MBAA Board met for the first time to try work on developing those three elements and add new events and value to our members and the Evening MBA Program in general.    It was a privilege to have had the opportunity to work with that team.  I am proud of the way we embraced the challenges presented and set an example for future students by stretching the boundaries of what a volunteer board can accomplish.  Going from where we were to where we are had a lot to do with incremental growth, willingness to take some risks, and openness to ideas from all areas of student life.

Two years ago, the board was able to accomplish some significant inroads into evening student participation in social events and community building.  There were some herculean efforts from many board members, but it was challenging because we didn’t have the level of collaboration that kept the board cohesive, team-oriented, and accountable to each other.  We did a lot of good things on that board, but there was room for improvement.

Last year, we wanted to put more of a focus on building a support structure within the board so that we could function more as a team and hold each position to a higher standard while providing the tools to help get it done.  We wanted to improve the level of transparency, the quality of events, and impact on the Foster community and the community at large.  We sought to increase the value of the Foster experience and the participation of each student in the available academic and social events by following what we dubbed “the 4 Ps” – Planning, Promoting, Producing, & Pushing the Envelope.

Some of those initiatives were wildly successful, others provided good building blocks, and others were a struggle.  In hindsight, three things stand out as areas we could have improved on.  First, it was challenging to keep to the consistent organized structures that we created for ourselves.  Finding consistent and effective communication mediums also continues to be one of the greatest difficulties facing the MBAA.  Lastly, finding a better way to measure and track progress through various metrics would have been very helpful.

That said, we saw great progress in the last year:

  • We made changes to the EC titles that better reflect corporate board positions
  • We added further transparency and communication on what it means to be an MBAA Member
  • We had on Campus Happy Hours Galore!
  • We created fun, revenue generating events
  • We saw the largest number of evening students to C4C sports weekend ever
  • We won Fundraising at C4C – a big win for the evening program
  • We kicked off #OneFoster + the Scavenger Hunt and had some sweet swag
  • We had a huge evening turnout that was critical to the success of the C4C Auction this year
  • We launched a beautiful new website
  • We had a super-efficient election process
  • We had more evening club reps than ever before
  • We had another successful St. Jude’s Service Day
  • We created a new Alumni event in Wine Tasting with Alumni
  • We received extremely useful feedback for faculty from the mid-quarter reviews
  • We planned really fun and well attended on-campus BBQ for the new students & a great M’s Game
  • We had the biggest Foster Fun Run to date (double last year’s size and funds raised)
  • We saw MBAA membership grow to nearly 70% of the student population
  • We threw two parties that were probably a little “too good” in Frosters and Fosters with some amazing turnout
  • We planned a stand-up comedy act based on economics (don’t miss it on April 9th)
  • We had an evening driven effort to ratify The Out in Business Club that was the catalyst for a whole new VP Diversity position on the board and Diversity Council within Foster
  • We laid a foundation for future boards to continue to push the limits for an evening MBA program.

There is still room for improvement.

That said, you do have a solid foundation on which to grow and add your own flavor to the MBAA Board.  I have had a chance to meet and talk with all of you and I am truly excited to see what you can accomplish.

I will leave you with this advice based on two+ years of perspective:

  1. There is a delicate balance between giving people the benefit of the doubt, and holding them accountable. Everyone has a lot going on and everyone deserves to be cut a little slack sometimes.
  2. There are going to be moments where you have to say no to something you really want to do so that you can put the finishing touches on an event, come in for a Saturday meeting, or help out a board members with something they need you for. Make sure to make your position a priority more often than not.
  3. You are responsible for your position, but you are also responsible for your function as a team member on the board – its encouraged to ask questions, be an extra set of hands, and provide constructive feedback.
  4. Have fun! All work and no play makes for a tough year. Learn quickly from any struggles and move on. Celebrate your accomplishments. You will have lots of them. Keep pushing the envelope.


Going Full Circle

Going Full Circle
by Nick Pernisco

The day was Evaluation Day in early 2014. I was nervous about the group activities we’d be participating in. Lots of questions rushed through my mind. What kind of things will they have us work on? Will I work well with the group? What will the evaluators think of me? All of these anxieties were put to rest when I stepped into the room and met the people who would be evaluating us. All three evaluators, a program director and two students, seemed genuinely interested in learning about each prospective student, and paid attention to our ideas during the exercises.  A particularly friendly face that day was Connor Kilpatric, a second-year evening student who I’d later learn was very involved in school activities. After being accepted into the program, I’d see Connor at the various admitted students happy hours and we would say hello to each other. He introduced me to others on the student board over the summer and made me feel at home around the upperclassman in the program.

Before I go on, I should say that I can’t remember a time in my adult life when I didn’t have some involvement in my community, and I knew the MBA would be no different. As soon as I entered the program, I sought out information about leadership opportunities, and I learned that I could make an early impact on my class by becoming class representative, so I ran in the fall election and was elected by my classmates.

Being class rep meant I had a seat at the table with the student board – one of the best places to be if you really want to make a profound difference in the program. I had the opportunity to meet more great student leaders along the way, like Adam Rubens (President), Chris Cunningham (VP of Academic Affairs), and Briana Rubens (VP of Community Outreach), just to name a few.

When board elections came around this March, I knew that I wanted to stay involved after my class rep term was up, so I learned about the various board positions and decided to run for VP of Program Relations. Coincidentally, this was Connor’s position the year before, so I met with him to learn more about it. He gave me some ideas of what had worked for him and what still needed to be improved upon. I communicated these ideas to my classmates and I was fortunate enough to get elected, and this spring I’ll be taking over for the same person who evaluated me, and who had a say as to whether I would even join the program.

It’s interesting to reflect on the changing dynamics of relationships in the program. One day you find yourself being evaluated by someone, then they become your peer and friend, then they become your mentor. There are many stories just like this one at every turn at Foster. We’re a tight-knit community where everyone gets to know everyone else. Recently, I had the opportunity to meet some new prospective students at the latest evaluation day, and perhaps, as often seems the case, we’ll end up going full circle once again.

Connor and Nick
3rd Year Connor with 1st Year Nick

Briana Rubens takes helm as President of the Evening MBAA

On April 1st, rising third-year student Briana Rubens will be assuming the role of President of the Evening MBA Association (MBAA).

Briana Rubens, Evening MBA Class of 2016, is President of the Evening MBAA for 2015-16
Briana Rubens, Evening MBA Class of 2016, is President of the Evening MBAA for 2015-16

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA, especially a part-time program at Foster?

There were many driving factors in my decision to pursue a Foster MBA.  My desire to learn from those around me and share my enthusiasm for what I do was one of the primary reasons I decided to pursue a MBA with Foster’s Evening program.  When I was initially contemplating applying to Foster, I had a few opportunities to meet current students in the Foster program and was extremely impressed, not only with their professionalism, but with their enthusiasm for their peers and their stories about the collaborative environment in the program.  I made the decision to pursue a part-time program instead of a full time program because I wanted to tackle the challenge of learning useful skills in a classroom environment, and then immediately apply and practice these skills in my job.  Also, I found it very appealing that the Foster Business School emphasizes a connection with the broader Seattle/Washington business community, because maintaining that connection with the community during and after my time in the program is extremely important to me.  Foster is also a leader in business and is an organization that values international input and a diverse student body.  All of these key characteristics significantly align with my career aspirations and personal values.

What motivated you to be involved in MBA student leadership?

I distinctly recall showing up at a welcome BBQ before the program had officially started, and meeting members of the student leadership team, the MBA Association (MBAA). I remember having a conversation with one of the MBAA board members, who said she joined the leadership team because while she wanted to have a valuable experience in the program, she also wanted to end the program knowing that her fellow classmates also felt the value of the MBA experience. This memory has stuck with me, and I’m motivated to keep the tradition of creating value for students alive with this year’s MBAA and carry this over to future years of the leadership team.

What goals do you have for the MBAA this next year?

My primary goal for the MBAA this year is to advocate on behalf of evening students, so that we all have the opportunity to leave this program having accomplished what we set out to do during our three years with Foster.  My goal is to continue to grow the broad mix of new experiences and leadership this past year’s MBAA team has provided.  I believe it’s important to make sure that the offered experiences and resources continue to expand, and in a way that is explicitly tailored for us evening students.

What has been your experience with being in the Evening MBA Program?

My favorite experiences in the Evening MBA Program have been meeting, and sharing academic and social moments with the women and men in the program with me. I am constantly impressed with my classmates, and while learning from the professors is exceedingly valuable, participating in discussions with my peers in the classroom has made the experience extremely worthwhile. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that there have been challenging moments as well, especially with adapting to the lifestyle change that comes with pursuing an MBA while also working. Having a core student team where we’ve helped each other through the challenges and being able to share this experience with my peers has alleviated quite a bit of the stress.

What advice would you give someone looking at pursuing an MBA?

My advice would be to carve out a healthy amount of time to consider both why you want to pursue your MBA and what you hope to get out of your MBA experience.  Three years flies by quickly, and I believe it’s important to know what you plan to do during those three years, and what you want your MBA to do for you when you’ve graduated from the program.  I also would highly encourage connecting with either current or former students from Foster, scheduling a classroom visit and attending the MBA application workshops to get a better sense of what makes Foster unique and what the MBA experience will be like.



China Study Tour: Evening MBA Students explore business in China

A group of Evening MBA students stop to have drinks above Shanghai's famous Bund.
A group of Evening MBA students stop to have drinks above Shanghai’s famous Bund.

In December, a group of MBA students took part in the Global Study Tour to China. Accompanied by staff and faculty, they visited Shanghai and Beijing and visited 12 companies while exploring the cultural and economic landscape of China. Below is a recap written by current student Ryan Osher (Eve MBA ’16)

Growth. Scale. Partnership.

These were common themes noticed by 8 Foster MBA’s as they traveled across China last December. Their visit included 12 companies and 3 days worth of free time to enjoy all the best Beijing and Shanghai had to offer. Students were eager to dive in to China’s culture and present themselves on behalf of Foster. What they didn’t expect, however, was just how meaningful the company visits would be and the lasting friendships that were made.

Sampling local cuisine on the China Study Tour
Sampling local cuisine on the China Study Tour

The two week trip included visits to Microsoft, Amazon, and Nike, to name a few. Students learned Boeing’s strategy to maintain growth in China, directly from the President of Boeing China. They met with the CFO of Starbucks China to better understand how the world’s largest coffee company was able to successfully enter and thrive in a tea drinking country. In addition, Directors at Apple explained their strategy to navigate around counterfeit products and maintain their growth rate. Students also met with foreign service agents from the United States Embassy to better understand trade relations and diplomatic efforts between the US and China.

The two week trip provided rich experiences and a lifetime of insight. More than anything, the company visits left each traveler with a greater understanding and appreciation for China as the country continues to drive the world’s economic growth. It is incredible that Foster provides students with the opportunity to experience culture and business first-hand as they develop into the global business leaders of the future.

Ryan and Michaela visit Beijing's Forbidden City
Ryan Osher, Evening MBA 2016, poses with his fiancé, Michaela Byrne, Evening MBA 2017, outside the Forbidden City

Molly Moore is Powered by Foster

Have you seen all the Powered by Foster billboards around town? Check-out Molly Moore, Business Development Manager, Cambia Health Solutions, Evening MBA 2012

Molly Moore, Evening MBA '12, appears on the billboard for Foster's campaign "Powered by Foster."
Molly Moore, Evening MBA ’12, appears on the billboard for Foster’s campaign “Powered by Foster.”

Investing in healthcare start-ups isn’t what you’d expect as a function of the parent company of Regence BlueShield. But that’s just what Molly Moore does, and she’d be the first to tell you that her Evening MBA helped get her there.

“When I entered the MBA program, I worked for Regence BlueShield negotiating provider contracts and managing specialty provider networks,” says Moore. “I had been in similar roles for Aetna and United Healthcare dating back to 2002.”
Moore moved forward with two things in mind: 1) She had acquired a deep knowledge of the healthcare industry over 17 years and wanted to stay in the field, 2) She wanted options for pursuing a different role than what lay ahead.

Her success in meeting both goals is evident in her role at Cambia Health Solutions, the parent company of Regence BlueShield in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Utah. As part of a special division called Direct Health Solutions (DHS), Moore has a key role on a health care investment team.

DHS invests in (and builds) healthcare companies that create a more economically sustainable and person-focused health system. Her role within DHS is to work with invested companies, building the value of the portfolio. “I help our companies explore business opportunities with the Regence health plans, other Blue plan partners, consumers and employers within our four-state footprint,” says Moore.

Promising healthcare start-ups attract a lot of potential investors, but one of Cambia’s differentiators is taking the long-term investment view. DHS needs its business development people to be versed in everything from sales and channel development to acquisitions and partnerships. Moore’s years in the business play a big part in getting it right. What she learned as an MBA student has paid dividends as well.

Molly Moore, Evening MBA '12, is Powered by Foster.
Molly Moore, Evening MBA ’12, is Powered by Foster.

“The two aspects of the Evening MBA Program that most prepared me for my current role were my participation in the UW Business Plan Competition and Lance Young’s entrepreneurial finance class,” says Moore. “When my job opportunity came along, I was fluent with the financial discussions as well as the healthcare context. I felt confident in tackling all the other aspects of the role such as interacting with the C-suite of my company, presenting to large rooms of people, strategic planning and project management.”

Now, Moore’s work powers innovations in healthcare, builds returns for investors and creates opportunities for new businesses.