Category Archives: Student Life

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

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 Two highlights the second two students, Natalie and Altaf. 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?

 Natalie: My husband, Evan, and I have been married for seven years and we just had our daughter, Bryn Amelia Cook. Bryn is brand new, born on June 30, 2017.  I found out I was pregnant early in fall quarter of my second year in the Evening program. Luckily, my due date (June 18) was ten days after Spring quarter ended and I didn’t need to adjust my schedules too much to accommodate. My husband is self-employed and works from home and will care for Bryn while I’m in class.

unnamed (1)

Altaf: We are a family of three. Along with me, there’s my wife Yakuta and our two-year-old son Arhaan. Arhaan was born three months before our first year at Foster began. So yes, I knew what was in store when I applied and accepted the MBA admission at Foster. Fortunately for Yakuta and I, we had a few months to prepare before I started the program and get through the initial jolt of cluelessness, sleepless nights, and constant diaper changes. I think I, and more importantly Yakuta, had mentally prepared ourselves for a hard first year of my school. I think having Arhaan as an infant during the first year of school was a little easier than if we had landed ourselves into starting a family in the middle of the program.

Tambawala 006

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

 Natalie: My husband is a saint and took wonderful care of me through my pregnancy. He constantly reminded me I could keep going without having to take time off school, made sure I was fed, and told me to rest when I needed to. Additionally, all my classmates were very understanding, especially my team. Bryn was exactly three months old when Fall quarter started and I have had no plans to take time off from school. I’m also fortunate to have excellent parental leave and I won’t be returning to work until after graduation.

unnamed (2)

Altaf: We have had a great support system. In keeping with Indian culture, we had both sides of the family visiting and helping in the house for the first six months after Arhaan was born, and with my brother living a couple miles away there was always a helping hand when needed. That level of support definitely took some of the edge off.

Natalie, you just had Bryn this summer! What resources at Foster have you taken advantage of? How have the students, the MBA office, and the professors supported you?

Natalie: When I learned I was pregnant, I made a point of talking to Kara Fichthorn (Evening MBA Director of Student Affairs) about any contingencies I may need. The evening program at Foster is very supportive of families. Taking a quarter off or taking less credits per quarter is easy and supported. I also made a point of talking to my professors early in that quarter. They were more than willing to accommodate in case of any emergency or early delivery.

I have yet to meet anyone in the program that isn’t supportive of their classmates who are parents. I’ve had a few teammates bring their children to group meeting and most people are willing to work around parent schedules to get projects done. I’ve also participated in several conversations on where to get the best prices on diapers (for anyone interested Amazon wins most of the time)!

unnamed

Altaf, you juggled a lot your first year, and you and your wife still made it a priority to attend many Foster events, even when Arhaan was an only a few months old. You are always having so much fun!

Altaf: It’s been a roller coaster! There have been times when one of us has reached a breakdown point, especially the first year when I was juggling demanding coursework and weekend team meetings, and while Yakuta was managing having a baby at home and juggling a job change.  But we have both made a conscious effort to try and do as much as possible at Foster to make sure that we don’t miss out on some of the unique experiences. There have definitely been some amazing moments through the past two years including dressing our little baby as superman for the Halloween TG (the TG’s are monthly parties for Full Time and Evening MBA students) as well as dancing through the night at the Bollywood TG with him in the baby pouch the entire time. It’s been a busy schedule for the two of us between work, school, and time at home with the little one, but we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

 P6

Huge thank you to Natalie and Altaf 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.

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.

A Week in the Life: Ellyce Shulman

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

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

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

Working with Microsoft

MSFT2

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

Working with Foster Alums

Foster Alums

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

Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset

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

Jazzed about Entrepreneurial Finance

Edward

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

Student Life

Student Life

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

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

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

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

An Athlete’s Life

Athlete

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

Leadership All Around

Coach

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

Always Smiling

Entre Fin

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

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

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

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

 

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.

Moms in the Evening MBA: Installment 2

Our second installment of the Moms in the Evening MBA Blog Series: Libby Waterbury, Evening MBA Class of 2016, talks school, work, family, fun, and how she makes it all happen!

Libby enjoying the cherry blossoms in the Quad with her daughters.
Libby enjoying the cherry blossoms in the Quad with her daughters.

Pre-MBA Profession?

Libby Waterbury, Evening MBA Class of 2015
Libby Waterbury, Evening MBA Class of 2016

My undergrad and early professional career was in structural engineering of buildings, which I enjoyed, but it never seemed like a complete fit, especially in the wake of the 2008 Recession. When I had twins, I kept doing engineering for the stability (no pun intended). I had worked at different engineering consulting groups around the Puget Sound and decided that what I enjoyed the most was working on teams and solving problems – just not necessarily the way I was doing it as an engineer.

Why did you choose Foster? Why did you choose the Evening MBA Program?

The Foster Evening MBA program was the first on my list since I went to UW as an undergrad and along the way of the application process I just kept getting more and more excited about the program and never looked anywhere else. I knew that I learned more in a classroom environment rather than online and the team setup was great! Even with a family I knew I could do two nights of class per week. My husband was supportive of me going back to school and that made it work. The opportunities for growing my Seattle network and going on a global study tour was really enticing as well. 

Libby with her first year team, the Lucky Tigers.
Libby with her first year team, the Lucky Tigers.

Post-MBA Aspirations?

Two years in and I’m still poking around for what will fit me best in my post-Foster life, but I have no doubt with my classmates and coursework that I will have fun doing it! I’m really interested in helping people – back to that “working on teams and solving problems” I mentioned before, but I’m working on crafting the niche that I will do it in long-term. I love being involved in the Diversity, Women, and Out in Business groups as they really build a community trying to grow in the business world. I’m also excited to be able to attend the Net Impact conference in November – I think that will be a great experience!

Libby's second year team secured a spot in the Case Competition Finals.
Libby’s second year team secured a spot in the Case Competition Finals.

How do you balance it all?

Right now, it’s not really about balance for me. It’s about ME!! Okay, that’s only mostly true; usually I give credit to my husband and family. With three kids all in school, I knew it was a good time to show them that Mom isn’t always going to be grumpy when she gets home from work – that it was time to demonstrate a mid-career change for them and to do it for myself. My oldest daughter is in high school and will graduate with me in the spring, so she’s got her own track going; my younger girls just started third grade and love going to Boys & Girls Club in the afternoons when I’m at work and school. The kids are as excited about me being in school as I am, so that helps a lot. I also make sure to have quality time with them and also bring them along to school events when I can. This summer we spent time backpacking, going to Sounders FC games, reading Harry Potter, and playing with Legos. I know it’s a relatively short-term period that I’m doing the school “thing”, so we’re making it work!

Libby with her family on UW day at the Sounders.
Libby with her family on UW day at the Sounders.

Balance for me is making sure my kids have good memories of this time (I’m not worried about me – Foster is FULL of great memories!!!) and that as few important things fall through the cracks as possible. I’m still making their Halloween costumes, attending PTA events, and watching their band concerts. Being organized brings me sanity! I’ve used Cozi for everything – calendar, shopping lists, to do lists; I can see everyone’s activities and stay synced with my husband. Marty and I have also been better about “date nights” since I started the program – whether it’s doing the Huddle tailgate before Husky football games, the C4C auction, or just hanging out, we make sure we keep communicating and stay on the same path.

What resources have been helpful in making the Evening MBA Program manageable?

Two words: Tim Hossain. Seriously. He’s been through the program, he knows what’s going on, and he’s supportive when I come to my senses and take that step back, breathe, and say that I can’t add on one more thing. Tim has a full support crew in the program office and they are all amazing!

The other resource that helped me in this program is my wonderful classmates! Between my teams, Japan Study Tour cohort, and the folks sitting around me in class, the students at Foster are really great and we all know we’re in it together, so we’re all super supportive of each other.

And again, my husband has been my rock through it all!

Libby with her husband, Marty, at a Husky football game.
Libby with her husband, Marty, at a Husky football game.

How do you make time for family/friends and hobbies/interests outside of the Program?

I think one of the reasons that the Foster Evening MBA program is such a good fit for me is that many of my “outside” interests can be found within Paccar Hall or on the UW campus. The Huddles support my love of Husky football, C4C and all of the fundraising during the year feed my spirit of giving and of supporting kids, the Happy Hours force my introverted self to remember how to pretend to be an extrovert, and the classroom conversations are all about my love of learning. Being in Seattle, many classmates across the daytime and evening programs share my interest of hiking, backpacking, karaoke, good food, and this summer I even started practicing yoga! The nights I’m not on campus, I make sure to eat dinner with my family and check in with my kids often.

Time flies so fast, I’ve really been making a priority of the MBA student experience. It’s one that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

Japan Study Tour in March 2015.
Japan Study Tour in March 2015.

Follow FosterEveMBA on Instagram to see more student experiences.

Fostering Friendship

Foster Evening MBA students spend a considerable amount of time together. Rigorous classes and demanding team projects keep them busy throughout the academic year. Friendships develop organically as students share experiences with each other and bond. Many students remain close friends long after earning their Foster MBA.

Meredith Heestand and Nicholas Wilton proudly point to their name tags at the Admitted Student Happy Hour.
Meredith Heestand and Nicholas Wilton proudly point to their name tags at last year’s Admitted Student Happy Hour.
Now second year Evening MBA students, Meredith Heestand and Nicholas Wilton proudly point to their official Foster name tags.
Now second-year Evening MBA students, Meredith Heestand and Nicholas Wilton proudly point to their official Foster MBA name tags.

Meredith Heestand and Nicholas Wilton, members of the Class of 2017, describe how their friendship began and evolved through the Evening MBA Program. In addition to their academic responsibilities at Foster, they both maintain several professional and extracurricular activities. Meredith is a Research Associate at Theraclone Sciences and an Instructor at Flywheel Sports. Nicholas is  the Chief Revenue Officer at WAGmob.

How did you become friends?

Meredith Heestand, Evening MBA Class of 2017
Meredith Heestand, Evening MBA Class of 2017

Meredith: Nick and I met on Evaluation Day 2014 when we were both vying for the same scone at the breakfast buffet. (Ok, maybe not the same scone.) But I was certainly nervous for Evaluation Day and thought “Hey, this guy looks friendly,” and introduced myself. It turned out that we had several mutual friends and bonded over these small-world connections. I was beyond ecstatic to see Nick again at the Admitted Student Happy Hour. From then on we kept in touch and have become good friends. Midway through the year, I even recruited Nick to join a non-profit board with me! Despite his weird taste in sports (hockey?), he’s one of the best all-around guys you’ll meet.

Nicholas Wilton, Evening MBA Class of 2017
Nicholas Wilton, Evening MBA Class of 2017

Nick: On Evaluation Day, we arrived at about the same time. We started a conversation over breakfast and found out we had several mutual friends from different circles, but had never met.

What makes Evening MBA friendships unique?

Meredith: We all share similar crazy schedules and have empathy for one another. We know what everyone is experiencing and are able to push each other, but give grace when needed. And an Evening MBA friend can potentially turn into your best friend and future business partner.

Nick: While they often start like most friendships, it’s interesting how many opportunities Foster friendships have opened up. I’ve met a lot of great people, joined volunteer organizations, tried new group fitness classes, had many helpful informational interviews, and met quite a few classmates for a coffee or a beer to share insights. There is a lot of passion, intelligence, and willingness to explore new ideas in this program and I absolutely love it.

Why do you think Evening MBA students go out of their way to plan social events together, even outside of the academic year?

Meredith: Evening MBA students need a social outlet to get to know the passions of their peers outside of the classroom. And just to have fun without the stress of school!

Nick: We’re a social bunch. We are sharing an experience that will be life-changing. This experience extends well beyond the classroom, and I think that it’s pretty well-understood that the bonds we are building now will be a huge portion of the ROI of this program.

What else would you like to share about your friendship?

Meredith: Nick joined the Friends of the Children Ambassador Board earlier this year which has been a great way to interact in a professional (and fun) setting outside the classroom. We had some board member turnover and Nick seemed like the perfect fit after expressing interest in becoming involved in education within the Seattle community.

Nick: Meredith has energy, enthusiasm, and intelligence like few people I’ve ever met. I sincerely admire how much she cheerfully has on her plate, and the amount of effort she applies to not only doing it, but DOING it! (You should try taking one of her early morning spin classes… no lack of enthusiasm!) We talked about the organization for which she is an Ambassador Board member (Friends of the Children Seattle) on Evaluation Day, and I was inspired. We continued to talk about it, and a few months later I joined her on the board. It’s been a great experience, and it’s been rewarding to contribute to a great organization and grow as a leader.

Meredith and Nicholas pose for a picture at the same place where they celebrated admission to Foster's Evening MBA Program.
Meredith and Nick pose for a picture at the same place where they celebrated admission to Foster’s Evening MBA Program.

Meredith and Nick are looking forward to their second year of the Evening MBA Program this fall.

Class of 2016 Summer BBQ

Classmates and their families pose for a group photo at the Class of 2016 Summer BBQ.
Classmates and their families pose for a group photo at the Class of 2016 Summer BBQ.

The Evening MBA Association recently hosted a family-friendly BBQ for the Class of 2016. Classmates enjoyed meeting each other’s families in the beautiful sunny weather. The Class of 2016 has had a total of 21 babies since beginning the Evening MBA Program, thirteen of whom were at the BBQ. There is a special camaraderie among these students, many of whom are first-time parents. Foster has seen these bonds last long beyond graduation.

Members of the Class of 2016 reflect on the event:

Karena Teves, Evening MBA Class of 2016
Karena Teves, Evening MBA Class of 2016

“Foster’s Evening MBA Program has welcomed parents and non-parents alike, and I couldn’t have felt more welcomed than at the family-friendly BBQ that my class hosted this summer. As a parent of young ones, I don’t get to go to all the social events that I’d like to, and it felt great to go somewhere and see my MBA classmates and know that my children were welcome as well! It was also great to see so many non-parents there supporting us! Thanks guys!”

IMG_2900

 

Cy Berryman, Evening MBA Class of 2016
Cy Berryman, Evening MBA Class of 2016

“It was great to see everyone out at the Baby-Q and all of the amazing kids in our program. With 21 babies born and counting, our class has shown that you can have kids, go to school, and develop your career simultaneously. These choices don’t have to be mutually exclusive. We have so much support from our families and the Foster community that makes the challenge possible.”

IMG_2915

 

Jarrod Job, Evening MBA Class of 2016
Jarrod Job, Evening MBA Class of 2016

“The beauty of the Evening MBA Program is that it promotes ‘whole-life’ learning.  For Evening MBA parents, learning does not end at 9:30 PM after class, leaving little time for networking with one another the way we would like.  Foster saw this opportunity and brought together the parent community for a mid-summer BBQ.  This event served my family.  Specifically, it served my wife, who was able to meet fellow candidates, especially fellow professional and MBA moms with their kids.  Meeting the other families, who are stretched across several responsibilities and still making the most of the Program, fosters a camaraderie that was definitely felt at the event.  I hope that future classes can continue this event.”

11742888_10153555698128060_2813294036632615643_n

11755848_10153555697903060_8414357990904118842_n

11752524_948941918496454_8668604762592548643_n

11745858_10153555697698060_1915238629952369476_n

11011457_10104330204951468_3859452657374697873_n

10982399_10153555698013060_9143950256280136164_n

11750694_10104330204811748_5050556874276675449_n

11742784_10153555697478060_1070574091455024854_n

11738137_10153555697533060_2834077741732571630_n

 

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.

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.