Category Archives: Student Life

#OneFoster Event Recap

On September 28th, I participated in the #OneFoster Scavenger Hunt, an event organized by the Evening MBAA to bring together students from every year under the theme of unity. I was teamed up with fellow 2017, Michael, two 2016s, Cara and Taka, and 2015s, Lisa and Aaron. We called ourselves the OneFosterSix, and together we ran around campus collecting photos of ourselves in front of UW landmarks.

OneFosterSix team flexes their muscles at the IMA
OneFosterSix team flexes their muscles at the IMA

In just over an hour and a half, we went from Paccar Hall to the IMA and Husky Stadium, then strolled through U District before finally heading back to campus. Between picking up items, we chatted about our backgrounds, studies, and goals for the future. We also laughed a lot! By the end, we were exhausted (at least I was!), so we turned in our scavenger list and ate delicious tacos while the scores were being tallied.

In the end, we didn’t win the scavenger hunt – that honor went to the awesome team dressed as inmates, with best dressed going to the Foster Ninjas – but I wouldn’t say we lost either. I got to know my classmate a little better, and I made four new friends along the way. The MBAA did a great job of organizing such an intricate event, and I’m so happy they did. Between getting accustomed to being back in school and juggling work, I haven’t had many opportunities to meet students in other classes. This event helped start the process, and it made me even prouder to be a part of Foster!

These six teammates made up the OneFosterSix
OneFosterSix makes a human pyramid on the Quad

– by Nick Pernisco

Evening MBAA: Take me out to the ballgame

On Tuesday, August 26th, current and Evening MBA students met up to watch the Mariners take on the Texas Rangers. This annual, MBAA organized event has been a great way to welcome in the new class of students, allowing the upperclass men and women to reconnect with one another and the newbies. And to add to the awesome-ness of the night, the Mariners won 5-0! Below are some photos from the event.

Evening students at the Mariners game
An Evening selfie by attendees of the Mariners Game
Evening students at the Mariners game
More selfie action
Evening students at the Mariners game
Evening students at the Mariners game

Summer BBQ

On Sunday, July 27, over 100 admitted and current students attended the annual Summer BBQ, sponsored by the MBAA. On top of beautiful summer weather, delicious food and a fantastic on-campus location, the BBQ was a great way for incoming students to get a better sense of the Foster community. Below are some photos from the event.

Summer BBQ 2014
Diane and Larry, VPs of Membership, (wo)man the grill to keep the brats hot
Summer BBQ 2014
MBAA President Adam Rubens making announcements.
Summer BBQ 2014
Incoming and current students hanging out at the summer BBQ
Summer BBQ 2014
Summer BBQ 2014
Summer BBQ 2014
Summer BBQ 2014
Summer BBQ 2014
Tents provide protection from the summer heat
Summer BBQ 2014
Announcements during the MBAA Summer BBQ
Summer BBQ 2014
Graham and Naila taking time for a selfie at the Summer BBQ

Winetasting for Professionals

Smitt Rojanasthien, Class of 2014, explains the art and science of wine tasting
Smitt Rojanasthien, Class of 2014, explains the art and science of wine tasting

On May 29th, over 50 current students, faculty, staff and alumni joined Foster’s in-house Sommelier, Smitt Rojanasthien, Evening MBA ’14, for an evening of fine wine education and food pairings. The event was sponsored by the Evening MBAA, with support from the Evening MBA Excellence Fund.

Throughout the evening, guests sipped on five different wines with four different food pairings hand selected by Smitt to provide the perfect balance. This included:

  • Solletico Prosecco for reception and toast
  • New Harbor Sauvignon Blanc, paired with Citrus Lime Shrimp
  • Sagelands Riesling, paired with Spicy Coconut Curry with Naan
  • Primarius Pinot Noir, paired with Hardwood Smoked King Salmon
  • Sterling Vintner’s Cabernet Sauvignon, paired with Sirloin Steak Strips
Students and staff at the Winetasting for Professionals event
Students and staff at the Winetasting for Professionals event

Smitt reminded the crowd that it pairing wines with food is not only about determining between a red or white wine, but selecting the right foods to match the tannins, acidity levels, and sweetness of the wine. Common knowledge suggests that red meats are best paired with red wines because the tannins help break down the fat and balance out the flavor. On the other end of the spectrum, white wines pair well with lighter foods, like salad and fish dishes because of higher acidity levels. One interesting fact that Smitt offered: “The old adage is that red goes with meat and white goes with fish.  However, there are multiple things to consider when pairing wine with food.  You have to consider different aspects of the dish… fat, acid, saltiness, sweetness, bitterness, and texture.  Each element will affect the flavor of the wine, and in turn, the flavor of the food.  Feel free to do white wine with meat and red wine with fish… the trick is to find the right wine”

“While there is no technically wrong or right pairing, some matches work better than others.  The idea is to have each enhance and complement the other to increase the overall dining and drinking experience.  But, at the end of the day, drink what you enjoy.”

Finally, understanding the audience of young business professionals and acknowledging that selecting wine can be a difficult and daunting task, Smitt laid out some tried and true rules for choosing wines during a business dinner.

2013 Evening Alumni at the Winetasting for Professionals event
2013 Evening Alumni at the Winetasting for Professionals event
  1. When in doubt, go with a sparkling wine, especially Champagne. The effervescence and acidity make it great for pairing and cleansing the palate.
  2. A Riesling is great for ethnic food… particularly anything spicy.
  3. The sauce or seasoning of a dish impacts the pairing more than the main ingredient. Keep that in mind. Big flavored sauce? Big flavored wine.
Smitt Rojanasthien, Sommelier and Evening MBA Class of 2014
Smitt Rojanasthien, Sommelier and Evening MBA Class of 2014

 

 

A little about Smitt: Growing up in Wenatchee, Washington, Smitt attended the University of Washington as an undergrad, earning a degree in German Cultural Studies.  After college, he focused on the Hospitality Industry and studied wine through The Court of Master Sommeliers, earning his certification as a sommelier.  He then decided to go “Double Husky” and entered the Foster School of Business for his MBA.  Smitt currently works for Southern Wine & Spirits as the Moët Hennessy Portfolio Manager, partnering with Seattle’s top wine and spirits accounts, focusing on consumer and event marketing, as well as education.  Smitt loves to travel, but when he’s in Seattle, he can be found spending time with family and friends, enjoying a glass of champagne.

MORE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT

Selfie of attendees at the Winetasting for Professionals event
Selfie of attendees at the Winetasting for Professionals event
Smitt Rojanasthien (left) with two attendees at the Winetasting for Professionals event
Attendees at the Winetasting for Professionals event
Attendees at the Winetasting for Professionals event
Attendees at the Winetasting for Professionals event

Graduation 2014: a short summary of 3 years

Saloni Sonpal, Evening MBA Class of 2014
Saloni Sonpal, Evening MBA Class of 2014

Saloni Sonpal is a 2014 graduate from Foster’s Evening MBA Program. She has her B.E. in Information Technology from the University of Mumbai and an M.S. in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She has been a Software Development Engineer at Microsoft for the past 7 years. Below is a post that she shared with her social network on graduation day.

 

Some things that will stick with me after the nine quarters of Foster’s Evening MBA program:

  • Debits and Credits
  • Incentives change behavior
  • Positive NPV projects
  • Statistical significance
  • Sunk Costs
  • 4Ps and 3Cs
  • Leadership
  • Bottlenecks, Kanban and Kaizen Bursts
  • Decision Trees
  • Value Prop
  • Corporate Responsibility
  • GDP and volatility
  • Conjoint and bundles
  • Listen to your customer
  • What’s your BATNA?
  • It depends…
  • Segregate gains, aggregate losses
  • Be Lean and Agile!
  • Less is more.

Oh wait, did I mention the awesome people, life-changing experiences and the endless fun?! That stuck more than anything else!

#Graduation2014 #EveningMBA2014 #UWFoster

MBA Graduation Collage Saloni

Summer Reading List

Some students are just psyched to be on summer vacation – a break from school, a chance to reconnect with friends, three full months of NOT thinking about NPV equations and supply/demand curve illustrations. But for those students who are eager to keep their brain stimulated, we’ve queried the core faculty on which books they’d suggest for summer reading.

Note that this list contains no textbooks – the readings are meant to provide background to the world of business.  Additionally, the content will not be referred to in any classes so this is a completely elective pursuit. So, if you would like to do a little summer reading, we suggest selecting one or two from the list below:

  • Rocket Boys (Hickam)
  • Talent is Overrated (Colvin)
  • Brain Rules (Medina)
  • The Boys in the Boat (Brown)
  • A Random Walk Down Wall Street (Malkiel)
  • The Big Short (Lewis)
  • Converge: Transforming Business at the Intersection of Marketing and Technology(Lord & Velez)
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Dweck)
  • Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (Sandberg)
  • The Power of Habit(Duhigg)
  • Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths And Total Nonsense: Profiting From Evidence-Based Management(Pfeffer & Sutton)
  • Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success (Grant )
  • Quick and Nimble: Lessons from Leading CEOs on How to Create a Culture of Innovation (Bryant)

PERFECT IS THE ENEMY OF GOOD

This post was originally posted on October 18, 2013 on the Foster Blog. The next Evening MBA Case Competition for the Class of 2016 will be on Saturday, September 20, 2014.

The Evening MBA Program recently hosted its first ever case competition for the second-year Evening MBA students. The competition served as an opportunity for students to apply what they learned in their first-year core classes toward a simulated business case. This year’s case was developed by Sadie Raney, a third-year Evening MBA student. The winning team, comprised of Garin Wedeking, Abhi Thinesh Rathinavelu, Michael Pamphlet, Brad Waidelich and Derek Zahajko, has shared what helped them succeed.Case Competition Winners

What did you learn from the competition? This felt like a round of “speed-dating” with our new group. It gave us an opportunity in a week’s time to identify team members’ strengths and quickly discover how to best work together. The best trait we share is that none of us needs to be in charge for any reason other than to get the project done. We have quickly learned how to let each other take the reins, as well as to give each other space and time at one’s discretion with the understanding that everyone is overbooked. It’s a fact of grad school.

What made your team successful? We set early expectations of what we were going to do, and then each executed on our commitments. Those expectations were not equal in work load, but that didn’t matter. When you start keeping score you make room for excuses. To quote a teammate “All (five) of us should be pulling 25%.” The trick is actually doing that.

How could you apply what you learned in the competition to your job? Since the case intentionally provided little detail, it forced our team to quickly and rationally make assumptions and move forward. We could have chosen to jump down rabbit holes in order to make real-world parallels, but we didn’t think that would create a better product in the end. This parallels the real-world in that sometimes time-sensitive situations or opportunities arise where rapid action is required and time is not available to acquire more data or more data may simply not exist.

Did it teach you to think about business issues in a different way? Often times we have the inclination to think there is only one right answer. In this case, all three options could have been viable options for the company. It came down to the rationality behind the option and ultimately the ability to execute on the idea within the time frame. Parfait est l’ennemi du bon.

 

School’s out for summer

The following is a message sent out to the student body by Adam Rubens, President of the Evening MBAA. Adam has just finished his second year in the program; his wife, Briana, has just finished her first.

Adam Rubens '15 (right) with his wife Briana Rubens '16 (left).
Adam Rubens, EveMBA’15 (right) with his wife Briana Rubens, EveMBA ’16 (left). This picture is from the annual C4C Auction which is organized by Foster MBA students to benefit the Boys & Girls Club and Special Olympics.

A Message from the Evening MBAA President:

Few things benchmark the magnitude of the change that we go through during the school year like Summer Break.  It never ceases to amaze me how “just working” can feel like a vacation from all the sprints during the school year.  It’s critical that you enjoy the time off from school – spend time with friends you haven’t seen in what seems like forever, take a trip somewhere, read a good book, hit the gym, binge watch all those episodes of Game of Thrones that you missed because you had assignments to turn on Sunday nights.

I think that part of that summer enjoyment comes from re-balancing life a bit and redirecting the newly available academic energy into some of the things that fall to the bottom of the priority list.

Still thinking about switching jobs but haven’t been “Green-Lit” yet?  Career Services is offering workshops all summer long to help you (check the newsletter for the schedule).  Want to get a head start on next year’s Business Plan Competition?  Take some time to think about that brilliant idea that you haven’t had the bandwidth to explore.

Whatever activities you decide to pursue in the next 3 months, know that the MBAA board will be planning some fun things for you this summer and some new events to help you reengage in being a student when you get back to school in the Fall.

Until we meet again,
Adam Rubens
EveMBAA President

Bronze Never Looked So Good

-By Garin Wedeking

A little about the NSCC:

This was the first year of the international case competition in Vancouver, BC hosted by NSCC. It has and MBA and an undergraduate component. The conference is also held in tandem with the competition over the weekend. The grand prize for first place was a cash purse and first round interviews with Deloitte. The conference is full over networking opportunities, dinners and luncheons, and happy hours.

Our team, Osprey Consulting consisted of Dan Le, Connor Kilpatric, Jason Roberts and myself. We submitted a slide deck for the first round regarding a turnaround strategy for Blackberry, and subsequently were invited to the main event in Vancouver.

It’s a pretty big deal to get accepted to the second round of an international case competition! We had some time to get coaching from Dan Poston and others about what it would be like to go through with this experience. We had all completed the Foster case competition at the beginning of the year, but this was different. This was outside our walls, and we were representing Foster and the UW at large. We had to bring it, and bring it we did. The four of us headed up to the great snowy north on Thursday night. The competition started early on Friday, so we got our beauty sleep and got started right.

The first round was a five-hour case revolving around a BC based healthcare company with several locations and how they should approach the future of their business. We knocked it out of the park!… or at least we think we did. One way or another, we advanced.

The next round was a 20-hour case, revolving around the BC chapter of Habitat for Humanity, which went over night and into the next day. Some teams stayed up, probably mostly the undergraduates. A strategic play on our part was to shut the laptops at midnight, share a round of gin and tonics, and head to bed. We woke up the next morning refreshed and ready to bring home the gold. We submitted our slide deck and presented with aplomb.

We thought that this was the last round and felt good about our performance. We all gathered into a room toward the end of the day expecting to hear who won, but it turns out that the top two teams would be competing in a lightning-round death-match and be presenting to the main judges (who were also the representatives from consulting companies including Deloitte) as well as the rest of all the competitors and delegates for the weekend.

This was it. The end. Victory was within sight.

We went first. We did well, faltering on only a few details when we were put to intense scrutiny by the judges during the question round. We sat down, very happy with our performance.

As we sat ourselves, it hit us one by one. If we didn’t get first place, then we actually got last. No steak dinner. No cocktail hour. No networking or workshops or seminars. And no purse, no interviews – Nothing.

We had whittled our time in Vancouver at this year’s NSCC down to nub and the payoff all rested on this.

The next team came on stage, they presented, upon which I will recuse myself from commenting, they sat as well. Some “good lucks” and “good jobs” were exchanged between the two with meaning, but with trepidation. No one knew what to expect.

The judges left the room… they came back… they said things like “razor thin difference,” “everyone did great,” and other such pleasantries, but the four of us and the four of them had no breath to breathe.

Say, it. Say it out loud. Osprey consulting. Say it. Say University of Washington.

“Northern Consulting from University of Manitoba Asper School of Business!”

– Second.

Last…

…and I would do it again in a heart beat.

Welcome to the Foster Evening MBA Blog

stevens way

Welcome to the Foster Evening MBA Blog!  We hope that you stop by frequently to get an updated look at our students, our program and our opportunities.

The Evening program enrolls over 300 students and each week we hope to highlight some of them.  From our highlights and insiders perspectives, we hope to provide to provide a unique glimpse into life of a Foster Evening MBA student.

Foster is a place of truly enriching diversity and we are very proud of our students and their accomplishments.  Read and enjoy!