Category Archives: Admissions

Tips on the Admissions process

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.

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.

GMAT Prep: Advice from Current Students and MBA Admissions

If you are considering an MBA, the GMAT is one of the first hurdles in the application process. How should you prepare and set yourself up for success on exam day? Here are some tips from those who have been there.

What is your #1 piece of advice for prospective students regarding GMAT prep?

Emily Sherry, Senior Business Analyst at Starbucks

Emily Sherry, Evening MBA Class of 2016
Emily Sherry, Evening MBA Class of 2016

I would recommend planning on taking at least a couple of practice tests, beginning with one early on in the studying process. I had been stressing out about how little time I would have to do each question, but when I took my first practice test, I actually had more time than I imagined I would. That took the pressure off a little bit and helped me pace better. Taking one early on can also help guide your preparation strategy by showing you which areas and types of questions you need to spend the most time studying. I would also recommend opting to spread the practice tests out, and not save them until immediately before taking the actual exam; it’s easy to get burnt out doing them and you don’t want to feel that way when it comes time to sit for the real thing.

Logan Fouts, Design Engineer at Boeing Commercial Airplanes

Logan Fouts, Evening MBA Class of 2017
Logan Fouts, Evening MBA Class of 2017

The GMAT isn’t hard; it’s just material you probably haven’t reviewed in a long time.  Take the time to refresh yourself on the skills needed for the GMAT, which you likely learned in high school.

I studied for about six weeks.  I used a guidebook and just worked my way through it.  I went with the strategy of doing a lot of practice problems and I believe that helped me.

Mike Mulligan, Account Executive- Advertising at Amazon

Mike Mulligan, Evening MBA Class of 2017
Mike Mulligan, Evening MBA Class of 2017

My #1 piece of advice for taking the GMAT is DO IT!  I’ve found that the single largest barrier to getting an MBA is deciding you’re serious enough to invest time/money in studying and taking the GMAT.  I talk to countless peers who are thinking about getting an MBA but never get around to the GMAT.  I was fortunate to have access to an online GMAT prep class which, while not critical to success, gave me deadlines to be accountable to studying and practice tests.  Really, the accountability to move forward is the most important part whether it is a class, test date, study buddy, or something else.  You need to set yourself up for success with a positive and motivating environment.  I probably gave myself three months to prepare, study, and practice before I took the GMAT, and that felt like a good amount of time.  The most valuable element of studying was taking practice tests in the actual allotted time that they were designed for and going through the areas of opportunity identified in those tests.  The GMAT is like a video game and each answer is like a level that you beat or lose, taking you up or down a level.  Just like a video game, the more you practice the levels, the more likely you are to get the high score.  Have fun and go get the high score!

Sarah Eytinge, Associate Director of MBA Admissions

Sarah Eytinge, Associate Director of MBA Admissions
Sarah Eytinge, Associate Director of MBA Admissions

The best thing you can do to perform well on the GMAT or GRE is to practice. There is a direct correlation between amount of prep time and standardized test scores so make sure you put the time and energy into preparing to take the test. I think understanding the format of the test is one of the first steps all candidates should know – how long does it take, how is it broken down, how many questions in each section. Being comfortable in the exam room can be simply accomplished by knowing what will be coming over the course of the four hour exam – and that, in return, can easily help your score. As for specific study tips:

  • Figure out when you are going apply and work backwards to schedule your test prep: I always tell candidates that they should figure out to which admissions deadline they plan to apply and then at least take the GMAT one month before that deadline. Since you can only take the GMAT or GRE once every 30 days, planning  to take the test at least a month in advance gives you the security in knowing that if you aren’t happy with your first score, you can still take it again before the admissions deadline. Also, if you are happy with your score, then you can spend the last month fine tuning your essays, resume and other application requirements.
  • Come up with a study plan: Once you decide the deadline to which you will apply and you have a good sense of what is on the test, come up with a study plan:  when will you study, what will you study how will you measure your progress. This is where you have to figure out what will keep you motivated the most: some people benefit from signing up for a prep course, where a study schedule will be created for you.  Others can work independently through a test prep book. Make sure you take into account personal or work commitments when devising your study plan: if you know that a personal commitment is going to take up a lot of time or will keep you away from studying, accommodate for that.
  • Think outside the traditional test-prep options: I’ve heard from a lot of students that they’ve found benefit in taking a class in a related subject, like calculus, economics or statistics. While these courses may not directly feed into a study curriculum for a specific standardized test, they do help in becoming more comfortable with quantitative problem solving.
  • Practice, practice practice: Whatever your study plan may be, make sure that you periodically check in with how you are doing. There are a lot of free resources that you can use to test yourself and many resources will break it down in to the specific types of questions in each section. Thus, if you are having a difficult time with the geometry questions on the Quantitative sections, you know you probably should spend more time reviewing concepts that will help you in that area.
  • Foster will take your best score – so don’t be afraid to sit for it more than once:The question I get most often regarding the GMAT or GRE is if it looks bad if candidates have to take the GMAT more than once. The answer is an NO! In fact, we respect that you are making efforts to improve your scores: Foster will take your best overall score when evaluating your candidacy and we want you to apply with a score which you feel best reflects your abilities and strengths. If you’ve taken the test multiple times and are still not satisfied with your score, schedule a one-on-one appointment with an Admissions Team member. We are happy to answer your questions and discuss your preparation strategy so you can demonstrate your academic proficiency on the GMAT and throughout the application process.
  • And Remember: the GMAT or GRE is not an indicator of your self-worth nor does it determine your fate: The Foster Admissions team considers many different factors when we evaluate candidates so your future does not rest on the results of a four hour test. If you have concerns about your score and how it will be evaluated, schedule a one-on-one appointment with an Admissions Team member so you can learn how to accentuate other areas of your application.

Every candidate is different. Whether your GMAT prep plan is six weeks, three months, or longer, make sure to take into consideration your learning style and your schedule, and follow the strategy that works best for you.

For questions regarding GMAT prep and the application process, make an appointment with the Foster MBA Programs Office. Give us a call at 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.

Building a Community: Admitted Student Events

The Foster Evening MBA Program offers several summer events to welcome new students and engage them in building a strong community long before classes commence.

The Evening MBA Program welcomes the Class of 2018 at the Admitted Student  Happy Hour.
The Evening MBA Program welcomes the Class of 2018 at the Admitted Student Happy Hour.

Erin Town, Director of MBA Admissions, describes the value of the Admitted Student Events.

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

The goal of Admitted Student Events is to bring recently admitted students together in a more informal setting. For those who are still deciding whether Foster is the right choice for them, this is a great way to get a feel for who they would be spending the next three years with. In a program as rigorous as Foster, it’s essential that you feel inspired, supported and encouraged by your classmates. And for those who have already decided to join us in the fall, these events offer a great opportunity to begin building lasting relationships with their future classmates. Many students say that they look back on the admitted student events as the start of their Foster MBA journey.

These events have been very popular with the admitted students – we’ve had great turnout this year! Many of the attendees have already accepted their offers of admission, but some like to attend the events first in order to get a better feel for the student body before making a decision. It’s so important that you engage with the program and with the community as much as possible prior to joining a program. For some, these events can be incredibly influential in their decision to join Foster. Also, over the last few years we’ve noticed an increase in student involvement outside of class, and we believe these events have played a role in this, since students begin getting to know each other “beyond the classroom” well before they even set foot in the classroom!

Members of the Evening MBA Class of 2018 meet their classmates, current students, and the Admissions Team at the second Admitted Student Happy Hour.
Members of the Evening MBA Class of 2018 meet their classmates, current students, and the Admissions Team at the second Admitted Student Happy Hour.

The most common feedback that I hear is, first and foremost, how impressed everyone is with their future classmates. Many of our students are surprised by how incredibly diverse the student population is here at Foster, and these events increase their excitement about joining the program. Also, the admitted students enjoy being able to relax and get to know each other in a casual setting, without the pressure of still being “under review”. (Plus this gives everyone an opportunity reminisce on Evaluation Day!)

The Foster Evening MBA program is very unique in that it is a program designed to fit around a busy work/life schedule, but at the same time it is an incredibly engaging experience, and the students develop close relationships with one another that last well beyond graduation. Similarly, the admissions team seeks to get to know our candidates and students well beyond the application, and these events are just another way for us all to become better acquainted with one another. Your will make lifelong friends in this program – guaranteed! These events are just the beginning of what will be an unforgettable and transformational experience.

Sarah Eytinge, Associate Director of MBA Admissions, shares how these events allows students to build meaningful connections with their classmates.

Sarah Eytinge, Associate Director of MBA Admissions
Sarah Eytinge, Associate Director of MBA Admissions

We began organizing summer events because we discovered that they are a catalyst to get students more excited about the journey they are about to embark on – and get them connected with other admitted students, many of whom they met during Evaluation Day. Admitted students love the chance to start interacting with other admits as soon as they can – after all, these will be their fellow students for the next three years! When September rolls around and ePRIME starts, students quickly shift into school-mode so the summer events also allow for a bit more laid-back environment for people to get to know each other.

The Evening MBA Program hosts social events outside of academics– whether it is events prior to school starting, weekly happy hours, winter formals and end of the year parties or sporting activities.  This sets Foster apart from other part-time programs. To my knowledge, no other part-time program promotes a wide range of activities like Foster does. All of these events lend themselves to creating a strong sense of community and, even better, a more solidified network. These are major benefits of business school that the Evening MBA Program is proud to offer its students.

Mike Bersos and Zach Hokett Members of the Evening MBA Association welcome the Class of 2018 at the MBAA Admitted Student BBQ.
Mike Bersos and Zach Hokett, members of the Evening MBA Association, welcome the Class of 2018 at the MBAA Admitted Student BBQ.

 

The Class of 2018 mingling at the Evening MBA Association Admitted Student BBQ
The Class of 2018 mingling at the Evening MBA Association Admitted Student BBQ

To stay up to date on everything Foster Evening MBA, follow FosterEveMBA on Instagram.

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.

Essays
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.

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