Category Archives: Evening MBA Community

Start Up Spotlight: Third Year Student Anil Mohammad Launches Waccal

Anil Mohammed

Pre-MBA Profession: Anil Mohammed Co-FounderDesign Engineer at Boeing

Hometown: Glenview, IL (northern suburb of Chicago)

What brought you to Foster? Why did you choose the Evening MBA Program?

I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. I never knew how to help contribute because I had no business acumen. Also, knowing the foundational business principals are key to the existence of human beings. When you buy stocks there is more to it than just P/E ratios, when diversifying your investments, there is a mathematical reason on why that lowers your risk, when evaluating a purchase of a condo, they give financial statements, what do these mean and how do I read them? I felt like there was this void that I wanted to help fill. I chose Foster because of the emphasis on collaboration. As an engineer, we can get silo-ed and I loved how much weight the Foster School of Business puts on collaboration. I chose the Evening MBA program so that I can work full time and apply the skills I learned the night before at work.

What is your favorite part of the program so far?

The students and professors. The students come from all sorts of industries that I had no idea even existed in Seattle. I love hearing about what other students do and learning from their experiences. Students have also supported me by teaching me concepts, making me get out of my comfort zone, and pushing me to new heights. The professors are genuinely here to help. They want to make sure that you not only learn the concept but that you also know how to apply the knowledge. I keep in touch with past professors and they help me when I have question about day to day items related to pricing a bond and valuation of startups.

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You and your brother started your own company, “Waccal,” recently. Can you tell us about that?

We built Waccal due to the fragmented and chaotic workflows associated with private equity fundraising and investor relations. Waccal integrates the entire lifecycle together to efficiently raise capital and manage stakeholders for startups. The idea first came when my brother and I were trying to invest in startups and could not efficiently make a decision. Why is it so easy for us to buy shares in a public company, but horrendously difficult to buy shares from a private company? One platform says a startup has $1 million in funding and the other platform says that same startup has $5 trillion (yeah, that’s right) in funding. Yes, there are information asymmetries and risk factors involved, but we couldn’t even get access to accurate data to make decisions. When we dug into this deeper, from the startup point of view, they spend months pitching to hundreds of investors, a lot of whom are not a good fit. When they do get funding, especially in the early seed rounds, the individual investors don’t necessarily talk to each other so the founder is constantly reporting out. Shouldn’t the founder team be instead focused on building their startup? That’s where we knew something had to change and we went from looking for a startup to starting our own.waccal_logo

What are the biggest challenges you have faced in launching Waccal?

Everything has been tough. We had to learn how to build software, manage a team of programmers, negotiate contracts, manage financials, figure out what marketing avenue to use, manage client relations, define what a minimum viable product looks like, etc. While this is the business side, we also must focus on our loved ones, and decide how to balance our time with them. There are also things we have had to give up, like going out with friends as often or enjoy the beautiful Seattle summers as much as we have in the past. But this challenge is the fun part: knowing how to make the best of every moment and celebrating the small wins.

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How has the Foster Evening MBA Program helped you in your entrepreneurial endeavors?

Foster has helped lay the foundation for a lot of concepts that I have applied at Waccal, we just dive deeper in practice. There are also a lot of electives at Foster that focus on entrepreneurship from both the startup and investor side, which has been beneficial to us because we have both entrepreneurs and investors utilizing our site.

What advice do you have for those considering the Foster Evening MBA program?

Don’t consider it, just do it. There will never be the right time and you will always be busy. We are all busy. Dive into the deep end and enjoy all the success and failures that will come along the way. Those are both learning opportunities.

TechCrunch Disrupt

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.

Parent Spotlight: Doing it All as Evening MBA Students and Parents – Part One

In this Parent Spotlight, four third-year evening MBA students share with us what it is like to be a parent in the program. Part One highlights our first two students, Kerry and Paul. Their stories, outlook, and work ethic is inspiring, and their support systems strong! It’s been a special experience learning more about each of their families and lives… enjoy!

Thank you so much for agreeing to open your lives a bit, and share with us what it’s like for you to be a parent and an Evening MBA student at Foster. To start, can you tell us a bit about yourself, and your family?

Kerry (2)

Kerry: My family is my 6-year-old daughter, Fiona, and me! Some days are hard – being a single mom means that on the days I have my daughter I’m doing it alone, with no back-up support for the days when I don’t feel well or woke up on the wrong side of the bed. But most days are pretty great – her and I have formed a bond and relationship that would look different if our lives were different. She is the best human, and I’m so grateful she’s mine.

Paul: My wife, Shavonne, and I have two beautiful daughters named Siena (age 2) and Kathryn (age four weeks). Both of them were born during the MBA program. Our first was born just a couple of days before our very first Accounting midterm and our second was recently born over the summer. The topic of 1) when was the right time to have a family and 2) when was the right time to get my MBA came up many times over the years. We ultimately decided that neither could fully be planned around and, rather, we would just roll with the challenges and do our best to balance both.

paul

You’re going into the third year of the program. How have you made it through it thus far? What can you share about your support system?

Kerry: I am very lucky in that my daughter is with her dad at the Kerry 4beginning of the week, which aligns perfectly to when classes are offered for the Evening MBA at Foster. The tricky part with scheduling comes into play with group meetings/assignments/projects. It takes a lot of planning ahead of time for me to arrange who will watch my daughter on a weekend day. I am very lucky to have a fantastic support system in my parents and one of my best friends, Jenny, who committed to being there for Fiona and me prior to me ever being admitted to the program. The others in my support network are there for me when I’m exhausted, emotional, and feel like giving up. It takes an army to go back to school.

Paul: I consider myself extremely fortunate to have a partner who is willing to deal with an (at times) absentee father and husband and bear most of the day-to-day parenting duties. I will also give a shout out to my two cohort teams in the first and second year of the program. Both were more than accommodating and understanding of the demands of having a young family. I am very thankful to those groups.

Siena and Mom

Kerry, your daughter is six years old, and will remember this time in her life. What have been your goals as a parent through this experience?

 KerryKerry: As a parent, you’re constantly looking to use situations to teach a lesson to your child. Going back to school is the ultimate lesson for my daughter. I’m trying to teach her that she can do anything – there are no limits to her dreams. She just needs to set attainable goals, focus on the task at hand, and be herself. That’s how I got into UW! She sees how hard I work for school when I have to take off for school meetings on the weekends, or when I put her down for bed and she asks me what I’m going to do and I say homework. She sees how tired I am, but I tell her it’s all worth it because I really want this. She doesn’t necessarily understand that I’m doing this for us, that I want better opportunities and to be able to provide for her more, but she will eventually.

 Paul, you have had two kids during the program! What has that been like for you? How do you prioritize?

Paul: Getting an MBA at Foster while being a parent really adds a unique dynamic to the experience. We made a conscience decision to have our kids at an age where they wouldn’t remember me being in school and busy every weekend. We hope that by the time I graduate my older daughter will just be ready to form those core memories with Dad around! Summers are especially important and I have intentionally not taken classes during this time so that I can devote my non-work time to family and friends.

SienaKathryn

As a new parent, I feel more driven than I have ever felt. That drive carries over to my day job as well as the classroom. On the other hand, I often feel a tug-a-war for the limited amount of time I have—which has been the most difficult part of it all. I’d love to get to know my peers on a deeper level and fully immerse myself in all that Foster has to offer, but finding balance is a day-to-day challenge.

I am sure you have learned so much about being a parent through this process. What is your advice to other parents who go back to school?

 Kerry: One thing I’ve learned is to try not to get lost in being in school mode 24/7. It is important to take a night or two to not do homework, and to be with friends or family. Halfway through my Kerry3second year, I felt like I wasn’t connecting with my daughter enough, so I established “Fancy Dinner Fridays.” This is a designated time where we sit at our table over a “nicer than usual” dinner, sparkling water in our wine glasses, and toast to the week we just finished. Setting aside this time has brought us closer together, and allows us to slow down this crazy fast life we’re in to focus on us and reconnect!

Paul: I think one of the things that has been transformational for me personally is weekly planning. Devoting an hour every week to planning and introspecting has helped me to live with more intent and direction. I think our classes in behavior science and leadership have been the most important in being a better parent and balancing everything. Having a toddler is like have a tough employee at times. How do you motivate them? How do you make sure they feel you value them? The leadership classes also helped me identify my core values. I find weekly planning centers myself around those core values and guides time allocation.

Siena 2

Huge thank you to Kerry and Paul for their thoughtful responses!

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.

 

 

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.

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.