Alf Lee, a member of the Class of 2017, moved from the East Coast to pursue the Foster Evening MBA Program. Born in Marshfield, WI and having grown up in Boxborough, MA, Alf left the familiar behind to start the Foster Evening MBA chapter of his life. Why would one move across the country to pursue a “part-time” MBA Program? He shares his experience with us in the first installment of this new Blog Series.
Why did you choose the Foster Evening MBA Program?
I was lucky enough to get into three great MBA programs: University of Washington, Babson College, and University of Texas at Austin. Ultimately, three factors separated UW from the pack. First, the quality of the faculty and students when I visited really blew me away. Every conversation I had was inspiring. Second, the immediate camaraderie with students that resulted from Evaluation Day. Even though I was competing with these individuals, there was an instant bond of taking this challenge on collectively. Third, the culture of the Pacific Northwest sealed the deal: Good nature, good food (this was actually on my checklist), good people, and- especially- the entrepreneurial spirit here.
What prompted you to move to Seattle from the East Coast to pursue a part-time program?
Well, not shoveling snow for 6 months is pretty appealing! In all seriousness, I had wanted to explore life outside New England for some time and I had reached a stage professionally where I needed to take a big leap and step out of my comfort zone. Seattle has a great economy with prospective work in every industry, so I felt there was an opportunity here to learn in both the classroom and the work force.
What is your assessment of the program so far?
A year in, I can say it’s definitely delivered. As a transplant, there are tons of challenges I wasn’t prepared for (like driving only 60 MPH on the highway), but interestingly, it’s the program that has stabilized me thus far. I come to class each week genuinely excited to learn and interact with everyone. I’m constantly humbled by the talent around me. It’s intimidating and inspiring at the same time.
What is your favorite thing about Seattle?
You mean, aside from seeing my Patriots beat the local team in the Super Bowl? It is definitely the worldly culture. People here are so well-traveled which fosters (pun intended) outside-the-box thinking. This feeds the entrepreneurial mindset and a pervasive understanding that there is always a better, more efficient way to do things. Definitely the biggest strength of the region. The food is a close second.
Any advice for prospective students?
Stay focused. There is an overwhelming amount of stimulation here, and it’s all good! But you’ve go to be selective about where you invest your time and energy. My biggest mistake in Year 1 was going after EVERYTHING. It’s just not possible. This is the time to explore in your career, but remember why you came in the first place – you had a goal so make sure you stick to it…because you can get derailed pretty easily if you don’t stay centered.
Follow FosterEveMBA on Instagram to see the program through the eyes of current students.
The Foster Evening MBA Program is more than a “work-compatible” MBA- it’s a “life-compatible” MBA. Students juggle a variety of demanding responsibilities in their personal and professional life while in the program. In the first installment of “Moms in the Evening MBA” blog series, Diane Dettling, Evening MBA Class of 2017, shares how she does it all.
Name: Diane Dettling
Graduation Year: 2017
Pre-MBA Profession: Oil/Hazmat Spill Responder with the US. Environmental Protection Agency
Post-MBA Aspirations: Undecided
How do you balance your academic, personal, and professional responsibilities? I have a very strong support system. I rely heavily on my husband, family, and close friends.
What resources have been helpful in making the Evening MBA Program manageable? It’s definitely all about the people. My 1st year study team, team mentor, and classmates were an essential resource providing constant motivation and support. Also, the professors and advising staff are always available and willing to help.
Members of Diane’s first year MBA team decided to enter the 2015 UW Business Plan Competition together and won the Best Marketplace Idea Prize. The team shares her sentiment:
“Diane is amazing! Not only is she a fantastic project manager who always kept our team on track, she also hosted other Foster moms at her house to chat classes and careers amidst a flurry of kids. She was a key member of our Business Plan Competition team, designing our PowerPoint and presenting with poise and charisma.” -Anna Nordstrom
“Diane was a model teammate during this past school year. She came prepared to every group meeting and contributed her unique perspective to every discussion while even offering up her home for group meetings and making breakfast. I couldn’t have asked for a better teammate!” -Jay Chang
“Diane could be busy with class and family, and still put in extra hours for the UW Business Plan Competition with a smile on her face.” -Daniel Johnson
“Diane is super smart and always calm, cool and collected. Working with Diane was great. Whatever the task, she did an incredible job setting the pace and- just by her example- challenging us to meet the standard she set. But the best thing about working with Diane is her sense of humor- it’s always fun to hang out with her at happy hours and team get-togethers.” -Justin Meith
“Diane has an inner kindness as well as a strong sense of responsibility towards her team members.” -Bo Gao
What do you like to do for fun? What are your hobbies/interests outside of the program? I like to cook (and eat), try new restaurants, get outdoors, run, go to Sounders games, and spend time with family and friends.
How do you make time for loved ones? I make it a priority to always spend at least one of the days on the weekend doing something fun with family or friends.
Why did you choose Foster? Why did you choose the Evening MBA Program? I chose Foster because I wanted the best MBA program in the area. I chose the Evening Program because it provides the flexibility for me to raise my daughter and work toward my future career.
A portion of commencement is dedicated to recognizing one student and one faculty/staff member with the Service Award, as voted on by the Class of 2015. This year, there was a tie between two incredible faculty/staff. Congratulations to Adam Rubens, Lloyd Tanlu, and Tim Hossain!
Chris Cunningham shares his appreciation for his fellow classmate at commencement:
Each year, the evening MBA votes on the student service award. This year, our recipient is a good friend and familiar face to so many in the program. Students describe Adam Rubens as “involved in all things foster,” ” friendly, welcoming and kind without ever exhibiting ego.” I personally can attest to his willingness to be the first to arrive and the last to leave. He takes care to make everyone feel included, contributes thoughtful, creative work in the classroom, and his contributions on the MBAA board have been recognized across campus.
Adam Rubens describes what makes Foster Evening MBA faculty & staff unique:
Top tier MBA programs are reliant on faculty and staff who make a profound impact on the educational trajectory of the students. In the Evening MBA program we measure that impact in terms of passion, connection, knowledge, and a willingness to go beyond the classroom to engage our minds in our concurrently progressing careers. A great staff or faculty member challenges us like Apple to “Think Different”, like Nike to “Just Do It”, and like Sprite to “Obey Your Thirst”…for knowledge.
The winner of this year’s faculty/staff award exemplifies all of these criteria and more. Professor Lloyd Tanlu is known for driving the Foster student experience both inside and outside the classroom. While his reputation is sometimes synonymous with a generous love of red meat and uncanny ability to remember all of his students, there are few people who can make quarterly budgeting, balanced scorecards, and corporate governance as interesting and meaningful as this professor.
This year, we had an honest to goodness tie in the voting for this award. For our second winner I think this quote from a nominating student sums it up well- “I’ve never had a faculty/staff member that cared so much about the lives, goals, and accomplishments of individual students. He really shows how much he cares daily and goes well above and beyond to support this program”. I am proud to personally call Tim Hossain a mentor and am joined by the rest of the 2015 Evening MBA class when I thank him for all the hard work he puts in on a regular basis to make this an incredible and valuable experience for all of us.
One of the highlights of the academic year at Foster is the opportunity to recognize students who represent all that Foster stands for and who consistently strive to make a difference.
2015 Evening MBA Outstanding MBA Student Award
Every year, the faculty and staff have the pleasure of nominating a graduating student who has, during her or his time in the program, exhibited a broad range of qualities which are held in high esteem by the University of Washington, including contribution to the UW Foster MBA community; contribution to the community at large; business professionalism; leadership; and class representation.
The two recipients of the Outstanding Evening MBA Student Awards made major contributions to the Foster Evening MBA Program inside and outside of the classroom. They truly embody what it means to be a Foster MBA. Foster is proud of them and has previously highlighted their experience in spotlight videos. Congratulations, Lisa Dahlby and Allison Waddell!
Lisa took it upon herself to forge strong relationships with all of her professors. She worked hard with both administration and faculty on creating a strong academic experience for her classmates. She instituted a standardized mid-quarter feedback session for all core faculty and facilitated the discussion with strong professionalism. Economics professor Ed Rice had this to say about her:
“She served her fellow students as a strong advocate for academic excellence. Lisa is as an example of how to make the most of the program by having a positive attitude, caring about fellow students and challenging yourself. ”
Outside of the classroom, Lisa served as the Evening MBA representative to the Master’s Program Committee, a superstar Ambassador and a Vice-President in the MBA Association.
Beyond her leadership, she will be remembered for her constant professionalism and dedication to the Foster School of Business.
Lisa shares why she chose Foster: “I knew this was my calling. The MBA makes you look at the world in a different way and it makes you a much better citizen of the world.”
Many in the Evening MBA Program call Allison “THE Face of Foster”. When Allison started the program she knew the MBA Program was not just a set of academic courses, but an overall experience that reached beyond the classroom. This quote from her nomination sums it up:
“She arrived at Foster and quickly became a face of the program. Her ebullient personality, willingness to roll up her sleeves and work with anyone to get the job done, and her genuine interest in learning more about people made her well-liked by her classmates. As she went through the program, she continued to shine as a leader. Whether it was finding effective ways to communicate to all Evening students or just lending a helping hand, her presence was felt by everyone during her time at Foster. She has the knack and drive to go anywhere and be extremely successful in her future endeavors – and Foster’s Evening MBA Program will be extremely lucky to count her as an alumna.”
Allison shares the most memorable aspect of her Foster experience: “I will never forget the people I met through Foster. The faculty, staff, students, and alumni are what make Foster great and it is those relationships that I will never forget.”
Meet Rita Jabbouri, the Admissions Team’s new Social Media & Blog Coordinator for the Evening MBA program. An important aspect of Rita’s position is connecting prospective students with the Foster community through social media. Rita is a “Double Dawg,” having earned her Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Foster. She is passionate about the value of a Foster MBA and is happy to give future students an inside look at Foster through the perspective of current students, faculty, and staff. Rita will assist with most Admissions events and looks forward to meeting you!
Name: Rita Jabbouri Graduation Year: 2017 Pre-MBA Profession: Branch Manager at U.S. Bank Post-MBA Aspirations: Finance or Marketing at an industry-leading organization
What is your favorite part of the Foster MBA experience?
My team! Foster places an emphasis on teamwork and collaboration because that is what employers expect upon graduation. To be successful, leaders must not only understand how to work effectively in teams, but actually live it. It has been a pleasure working with Daniel Webb, Edward Galloway, Logan Fouts, Nhi Le, and our peer mentor Mark Smedley. I learn just as much from them as I do from the classroom. They are some of the smartest, most down-to-earth people I have ever met and I know these friendships will last beyond the program.
My favorite thing about each of my teammates:
Daniel Webb: Daniel is our “big idea” person. When we get lost in the details, we can always count on Daniel to help us see how everything fits into the big picture.
Edward Galloway: We call Edward “the consultant in the room.” You’ll never see him without a smile on his face, but if we start to get sidetracked during a team meeting, Edward will jump in to keep us focused.
Logan Fouts: Logan is great at finding alternative methods to explain a concept. He will sometimes draw a picture on the whiteboard to illustrate a point that may have been difficult to grasp otherwise. Logan also has a great sense of humor- you might hear a roar of laughter if you walk past our team room.
Nhi Le: Nhi is our accounting and finance expert. We say she has “magical Excel powers” because she really is that good! She will also throw in a joke or two when we least expect it, which makes our team meetings even more engaging and fun.
Mark Smedley: Mark has been a fantastic peer mentor. As a second year student, he has already been through the challenging first year experience. Mark provides advice to help us get the most out of the program. He is also instrumental in encouraging us to explore ways we can get involved in extracurricular activities at Foster.
How did we create excellent team dynamics? We built a team culture based on respect and focused on learning. When one person on the team is stuck on a concept, the rest of the team is eager to provide different explanations that lead to a deeper understanding of the material. Our goal as a team is to help each other be successful by offering each other advice, bringing out the best in each other, and making the Foster MBA experience a fun and memorable one. When we come across a challenge on a marketing or finance case, someone will jump in with some humor and have the entire team laughing and energized to complete the rest of the case. We all know we can count on each other and we are committed to each other’s success. Meeting these unique individuals and learning from them inspired me to get involved in the MBA Association as Vice President of Community Outreach. Every single student at Foster has a story to share and expertise to offer. My goal is to discover others’ strengths, showcase what makes each student unique, and help make the Foster experience meaningful for everyone.
Meet Janice Javier, the Admissions Team’s new Ambassador Coordinator for the Evening MBA program. When prospective students want to connect with current students, Janice serves as a matchmaker; when someone wants to observe an Evening MBA class, Janice arranges the visit. She’ll be at most Admissions events and looks forward to connecting with you!
Name: Janice Javier Age: 28 Graduation Year: 2017
Pre-MBA Profession: Associate Director of Development for Year Up, a nonprofit organization that connects young adults who need opportunities with companies who need talent.
Post-MBA Aspirations: Operations or Finance at a for-profit social enterprise
What lead you to pursue an MBA?: After getting a Chemical Biology degree from UC Berkeley and working for the leadership team of a nonprofit organization, I realized I was missing some core business competencies.
Why did you choose Foster? I chose Foster because I was looking for a highly-structured MBA program that had the cohort experience. I knew I wanted a part-time program because I love my job and wasn’t ready to leave! I work for a rapidly-expanding organization that trains opportunity youth in marketable job skills, so I came to Foster to gain skills I need to be a part of that growth.
Why did you want to get involved as an MBA Ambassador?: I love connecting people! I’m organized and see this role as an opportunity to help our prospective students network with our current students. Many people come to Foster hoping to expand their network, and I definitely want to support that goal.
What has been your most valuable academic experience at Foster?: I’ve learned I love accounting! I’ve always been detail-oriented but for a science major, accounting is so foreign and intimidating. It helps that Wei Li, our first accounting professor, does such a good job of breaking it down for those of us who’ve never seen basic accounting concepts.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned at Foster so far?: I’ve learned about myself and my capacity for taking responsibilities on and learning new things. Since starting school I’ve taken on more responsibilities at work while getting involved at Foster. At first things are overwhelming but eventually things become routine and you can add on more experiences. Learning where this threshold is, and when I can push a little more, has been very valuable.
Summer Plans?: I am looking forward to taking a breather from school and re-energizing for fall quarter. But Seattle summer is so beautiful – I’m sticking around and enjoying the PNW!
Meredith Heestand just finished her first quarter of the Evening MBA Program. Below she discusses what she learned about teamwork and how she’s excited that this is only the beginning.
It’s not always easy, but the reward is worth the work.
You might think that this point is fairly obvious. Come on, it’s an MBA program! But for a molecular biologist that mostly works independently and has played individual sports her entire life, let’s just say the learning curve was rather steep.
Thankfully, my team: 7, aka “Seventh Inning Stretchers” (named for our shared love of music and sports), have been unconditionally patient and encouraging since day one. Looking back, I keep wondering how on earth I got so lucky to be chosen as a member of this group of intelligent, witty, and hard-working individuals who were even game to do awkward yoga poses in front of our entire class two days after meeting each other.
I also remember how scary the thought of relying on other people for certain projects and assignments was. What if someone didn’t pull his or her weight? What if someone just dropped the ball and didn’t show up to a team meeting? Oh, the horror!
Well, honestly, these things happen. LIFE happens. And that is why you have a team. There is an imbued sense of reciprocity that if paired with the right people happens pretty organically. Being newbies to the whole MBA thing, many of us overscheduled our lives in the beginning, thinking this program was something we would just fit into the mix. WRONG. But you have to accommodate. You have learn to be a willow that bends but does not crack in what feels at times like the biggest windstorm you’ve ever endured.
New beginnings are immense times of change and my teammates were there for each other through it all. At times when people get sick or are out of town, you have to improvise. Getting a group of five adults that work full time and have family/life obligations together can sometimes be a challenge likened to herding cats. Thankfully, with Skype and shared Google Docs (and snacks) we made it work!
But your team is not just there to catch you when life runs its crazy course. They push you to think outside the box in new ways. I surely would still be scratching my head about economics if it weren’t for outside of class discussions on approaches to homework. Even if the only reason I showed up in the first place was for the snacks. Good thing I now realize incentives change behavior…
Teamwork is also about celebrating your successes. One of the best moments of the quarter came right after finishing our Economics final where I found myself singing karaoke alongside my class of 2017 team and the one and only Professor Ed Rice. We work hard but play harder!
To sum it all up, it feels like I just finished the first quarter of the rest of my life, not just the next three years. My Team 7 comrades and the entire evening class of 2017 have showed me the enduring power that good teams hold.
And when I say the work is worth it?
Let’s just say I’m exhausted but I can’t stop smiling.
As the days shorten and we head into the holiday break, I think that now is a good time to reflect back on my first quarter as an Evening MBA student at Foster. To say that I’ve been challenged in new and interesting ways would be an understatement. I hadn’t been in a degree program in over 10 years and it took some time to adjust, but with the finish line in sight I can say without a doubt that I’ve had an incredible time.
Here are some of the things I learned this quarter.
Ambiguity is the order of the day. As with life, things are not always clear cut and tidy in business. There’s almost never one right solution or approach, and sometimes you need to make decisions without having all of the relevant information. Our first quarter classes really delivered this message – to succeed, get comfortable with not having all of the answers.
There’s no “I” in team. Most everything we do is team based – even when you’re not working on a team assignment you study as a team. Reaching consensus in a group of smart and experienced people can be a really difficult task, but my team has been amazing – Aaron, Darius, Pete’ and Bing are the best teammates I could ask for. In fact, most of my classmates love their team as much as I do. We build on each other’s strengths and are better as a team than alone.
Leading in partnership. My classmates elected me and my classmate Tyson as class representatives, and we’ve had a blast working together to make the MBA experience as amazing as it can be. Two people with different ideas but with a common goal can work together, and thrive.
Socializing – it’s what’s for dinner. Academics is only about 50% of the MBA. The other 50% is socializing with classmates, alumni, and business leaders. My classmates are going to be my primary professional network for my entire career, and I love getting to know everyone. Happy hours every week, class-sponsored sports, monthly TGs, random trips to the bar after a team meeting, even a scavenger hunt – all necessary if you want to maximize your experience.
You get what you give. If you’re just there for the piece of paper you get in three years, you’re going to miss out on a lot. The more effort, time, and energy you put into the experience, the more you’ll get out of the program. I made it a point to attend every career management workshop (although I’m not looking for a job), go to as many networking events as possible, join the clubs that looked the most interesting, and connect with people in other classes and programs. The more you put yourself out there, the higher the chances of having a serendipitous encounter that just may change your life.
And here is some advice I received from upperclassman and which I think helped immensely.
Be sure to make time for yourself. Between family, school, and work, you need to find time to just turn off your brain. Don’t feel guilty taking a weeknight to just veg in front of the TV or play a board game. You’ve earned it.
Don’t take it so seriously. We are all committed and want to do well, but don’t lose perspective – it’s just school. This is where you can make mistakes with minimal consequences. One low score won’t make or break you. Stop yourself once in a while and make sure you’re enjoying yourself.
Don’t be afraid to keep your options open. There are so many opportunities in the program, if you close yourself off to new experiences you are selling yourself short. I came in laser-focused on entrepreneurship and global business, and though that’s still my focus I also never thought I’d actually like accounting. I’m also looking forward to learning more about careers in consulting and marketing.
Overall, it’s been a fantastic experience. Yes, I’m exhausted and look forward to the winter break, but I’m also excited about what awaits us in winter quarter.
It’s back to school time and the Foster MBA Admissions team couldn’t be more excited to welcome 112 individuals into the Evening MBA Class of 2017. The decision to return to school differs from person to person, but the reasons for why they chose Foster all sound familiar: they are excited for the collaborative, challenging environment that Foster provides and everybody cannot wait to meet their incredible network of classmates.
Meet eight of these incoming students – all who have agreed to document their first year in the program through the Foster Evening MBA Blog. Like the rest of their class, they come from diverse backgrounds and have a myriad of interests. And, like the rest of their class, they can’t wait to meet each other!
ROSE ANTHONY: Rose is a member of the 2017 Evening MBA class and currently a systems engineer at the Boeing Company. Her background includes a BS in structural engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and a BS in mathematics from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Rose grew up in the Chicago suburbs and moved to Seattle after graduation in 2009. Rose loves the Northwest, as it fits greatly with her active lifestyle and keeping busy. In Rose’s free time she is an avid distance runner, enjoys downhill skiing, hiking, eating, traveling, and spending time with her friends and family.
MICHAELA BYRNE: Michaela is joining the incoming class of 2017 in the Foster Evening program this fall. Originally from Alaska, Michaela has spent extensive time living overseas, graduating from High School in Thailand and spending long periods of time in Europe and other parts of Asia. Since graduation, Michaela has pursued a career path that combines both her love for Business and passion for Technology, by successfully contributing to digital companies, both large and small. Currently, Michaela is the Global Operations Manager for Zooppa.com Inc., a crowdsourcing platform for online media, based out of Seattle. In her free time Michaela loves running, yoga, exploring Seattle’s music scene, and traveling. She is eager to begin her graduate school experience at Foster and looks forward to the opportunities to get involved!
ANNA CASCIARI: Anna is an avid reader of the novel variety. You’ll find her in the kitchen on Sunday nights cooking up a variety of dishes and treats to last her the week. She Crossfits most mornings at 6AM, and the other days she’s outside running the Burke Gilman trail. And although she would love to fill my days with hobbies, she also needs to work: Her current role is as a Supervisor on an implementation project to replace Costco’s HR/Payroll System. She has been on the project two years, but she’s worked at Costco for over four and have had positions in Accounting and HR, moving from entry level to analyst positions. After this current project, she will move into a role supervising a department that oversees the Organizational Management (Org Structure) portion of the new HR/Payroll System. This is a brand new department at Costco, which she imagines will make the next year interesting as her department learns what their roles require.
ANDREW CREIGHTON: Andrew joins us from the food manufacturing industry, where he has worked since getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering in 2010. His career interests include manufacturing operations and consumer marketing. Outside of work, Andrew likes to spend time in the outdoors, especially in both the mountains and the waters: he’s a scuba diver and snowboarder.
Meredith Heestand: Meredith was born and raised in Bothell, WA and after graduating with a degree in Molecular Biology from University of Denver, she returned to Seattle in 2008 where she has been a Molecular Biologist and part-time cycling instructor at Flywheel Sports. Meredith has six years of professional experience under her belt; nearly four years at Seattle BioMed spent researching the parasite causing African Sleeping Sickness, and two years and counting in biotech at Theraclone Sciences where she develops cancer therapeutics. Aside from work, fitness and volunteering are her main hobbies. Meredith loves to road cycle, run, rock climb, snowboard, and lift the occasional heavy barbell at CrossFit. She’s completed one marathon, several half marathons, 10 century bike rides, and last year finished the STP 204 mile bike ride in one day. She co-captains a Bike MS Washington fundraising team and sits on the Ambassador Board for Friends of the Children Washington, a non-profit providing full time mentors to vulnerable youth in Seattle. She also enjoys cooking, spending time with her 1-year-old niece, and indulging in good wine and bourbon.
RAY LOYOLA: Ray has been an engineer at Boeing for over 10 years. He is currently an engineer in the passenger seats group, where he is responsible for the electrical integration and certification of seats into the 747 and 777 airplanes. The organization works constantly with seat suppliers around the world, to ensure on-time delivery of their seats into Boeing’s customer’s airplanes. Prior to working with seats, he spent 7 years on the 787 Dreamliner program as it went through initial design, ground / flight testing, and the delivery to the first few customers. Outside of work, Ray enjoys playing soccer, watching the Sounders, Mariners and Gonzaga Basketball, traveling, and doing anything and everything in Seattle – he loves this city!
NICK PERNISCO: Nick has been an entrepreneur since the age of 11, when he helped his parents run their hotel in a small coastal town in Argentina, finding new ways to please guests and increase revenues. Over the years, he has had the opportunity to launch a variety of companies, particularly in the media and tech industries. His latest company is TeleBEEM, which focuses on bringing unique digital content to mobile and to the web. Nick is heavily involved in the community, volunteering as a math tutor and serving on several non-profit boards. As a person living with Parkinson’s Disease, Nick is involved in various efforts to help raise awareness and to help find a cure. Nick earned his Bachelor’s degree in Radio-Television-Film, and a Master’s degree in Mass Communications, both from California State University, Northridge. He speaks fluent Spanish, intermediate Italian, and basic Russian, and he holds dual citizenship with Italy. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, practicing yoga, playing tennis, and following international news and politics. Nick lives in Seattle with his wife Rosaline (Foster MBA 2014), and their two cats.
DANIEL WEBB: Daniel is a major gifts officer for the College of the Environment at the University of Washington. He received a BA in Business from Southwestern University, a liberal arts school near Austin, TX, and has six years of experience in higher education fundraising, getting his start in the development office with his alma mater. Daniel serves on the board of directors for the Northwest Development Officers Association. He enjoys hiking, camping, playing soccer and adventuring in the Northwest with his wife and friends.
If you are ready to start thinking about an MBA, we want to talk to you! To speak with an Admissions Counselor, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. To connect with a current student, please email email@example.com.
Name: Dan Le Age: 29 Graduation Year: 2015 Profession: Technology Consultant
What has been your most valuable academic experience at Foster?: By far, the most valuable academic experience for me has been the collaboration and learning I have done with my teams and class cohort. We all come from varying industries and professions where our views and ideas in class can greatly differ, but that’s what adds so much value. I start to think about a discussion or case differently based on the contributions and debates of my peers, that as a result, deepen my perspective as well. From our initial Evaluation Day through all the course we have taken thus far, I feel a real sense of community learning and collaboration.
How are you involved with Foster outside of the classroom?(i.e. Clubs, Groups, Programs, Activities, Committees): I’m involved outside the classroom as an Evening MBA Ambassador to prospective students, as a peer mentor for the Class of 2016, and recently elected as Representative for the Class of 2015 in our graduating year. Additionally, I’ve teamed with classmates to participate in case competitions, offered both through Foster and nationally. Lastly, I can’t forget to mention participating at C4C charity and sports weekend (while rocking an outstanding UW mustache).
What lead you to pursue an MBA?: As a senior consultant growing into a new manager role, I wanted to further develop my leadership and management skills to support my company’s developing business. I also wanted to extend my personal network by building relationships with classmates and future leaders, as well as alumni of the program.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned at Foster?: Sometimes you have to wear a lot of different hats, and sometimes, many at the same time. As working professionals, balance can be challenging, but by keeping perspective and the goals that you set forth for the program and your career, the Evening MBA program at Foster is incredibly rewarding. It also is exactly what you make of it. I’ve experienced personally and through the eyes of my peers that life events can happen, but the support of the Foster community is both amazing and accommodating. It might require you to take lead in certain projects or be a keen listener and contributor in others; however, almost all the experiences I’ve gained through the program have been valuable and applicable to my work and life.
So, what is the C4C thing?: C4C stands for Challenge for Charity. It is a non-profit organization that supports Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Club, and other local charities. The organization helps to develop business leaders that encompass a lifelong commitment to community involvement and social responsibility. Nine MBA programs on the West Coast participate and compete each year in fundraising, volunteerism, and Sports Weekend hosted at Stanford University in hopes of bringing home the Golden Briefcase.
What’s one thing that surprised you about the Foster Evening MBA Program?: In the beginning, it’s easy to get caught up sometimes with a heads down mentality of going to class, getting your work done, and repeating. However, when you talk to your peers, you will be inspired to hear all the amazing things they are doing in the program such as field studies, study tours, resume workshops, and various clubs. It just makes you want to be more involved and get the most out of the program. In the end, you’ll most likely remember all those added opportunities and the people you meet as a result.
What are your plans for summer break?: Having the time off in summer from the program certainly feels like a vacation, so being able to enjoy the perfect Seattle weather has been rewarding enough for me. I plan to spend my weekends hiking, playing outdoor sports, attending weddings, and doing some light traveling to visit friends, etc.
How do you find time to do all of your hobbies and activities? Is balance an option in the Evening MBA program? I certainly knew coming into the program, that it would be a large investment of my time for three solid years; however, I learned that if I managed my work and school commitments correctly and did not procrastinate, I still was able to commit time to friends and family, as well as my favorite hobbies. Balance is definitely achievable if you are truly committed to it. This means having clear communication with all relevant stakeholders, prioritizing, being able to say “no” when you just don’t have another inch on your plate to spare, and perhaps just a little bit less sleep.