Tag Archives: Career Management

Molly Moore is Powered by Foster

Have you seen all the Powered by Foster billboards around town? Check-out Molly Moore, Business Development Manager, Cambia Health Solutions, Evening MBA 2012

Molly Moore, Evening MBA '12, appears on the billboard for Foster's campaign "Powered by Foster."
Molly Moore, Evening MBA ’12, appears on the billboard for Foster’s campaign “Powered by Foster.”

Investing in healthcare start-ups isn’t what you’d expect as a function of the parent company of Regence BlueShield. But that’s just what Molly Moore does, and she’d be the first to tell you that her Evening MBA helped get her there.

“When I entered the MBA program, I worked for Regence BlueShield negotiating provider contracts and managing specialty provider networks,” says Moore. “I had been in similar roles for Aetna and United Healthcare dating back to 2002.”
Moore moved forward with two things in mind: 1) She had acquired a deep knowledge of the healthcare industry over 17 years and wanted to stay in the field, 2) She wanted options for pursuing a different role than what lay ahead.

Her success in meeting both goals is evident in her role at Cambia Health Solutions, the parent company of Regence BlueShield in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Utah. As part of a special division called Direct Health Solutions (DHS), Moore has a key role on a health care investment team.

DHS invests in (and builds) healthcare companies that create a more economically sustainable and person-focused health system. Her role within DHS is to work with invested companies, building the value of the portfolio. “I help our companies explore business opportunities with the Regence health plans, other Blue plan partners, consumers and employers within our four-state footprint,” says Moore.

Promising healthcare start-ups attract a lot of potential investors, but one of Cambia’s differentiators is taking the long-term investment view. DHS needs its business development people to be versed in everything from sales and channel development to acquisitions and partnerships. Moore’s years in the business play a big part in getting it right. What she learned as an MBA student has paid dividends as well.

Molly Moore, Evening MBA '12, is Powered by Foster.
Molly Moore, Evening MBA ’12, is Powered by Foster.

“The two aspects of the Evening MBA Program that most prepared me for my current role were my participation in the UW Business Plan Competition and Lance Young’s entrepreneurial finance class,” says Moore. “When my job opportunity came along, I was fluent with the financial discussions as well as the healthcare context. I felt confident in tackling all the other aspects of the role such as interacting with the C-suite of my company, presenting to large rooms of people, strategic planning and project management.”

Now, Moore’s work powers innovations in healthcare, builds returns for investors and creates opportunities for new businesses.

The Three Things That Stand Out

Daniel rooting on the Seattle Sounder's at CenturyLink Field.
Daniel rooting on the Seattle Sounder’s at CenturyLink Field.

Daniel Webb recounts the three things that stood out to him upon completing his first quarter as an Evening MBA Student.

Looking back at the first quarter of business school, three things stand out: 1) I really like going to class, 2) I love my study team and 3) the resources Foster provides from academic, to career management, to extracurricular activities are outstanding.

Looking forward to class…

During undergrad, I enjoyed classes to some degree but really focused my energy on activities outside of class. Since starting the Foster Evening MBA, I have been massively impressed with the quality of each and every class. Because we are all working during the day, our time is obviously very limited. This makes time in class super important. Even when we’ve had a long day and are beat by the time class starts, everyone is engaged in the class discussion. The faculty are fantastic. People ask good questions and its clear that everyone really wants to understand the content. Not to mention, each student brings a different perspective and work experience to the course content. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next quarter brings.

My team rocks…

During the recruitment process, staff and students shared that study teams and group assignments were an important part of the learning process at Foster. I enjoy working with groups so was happy to hear this but I couldn’t have imagined how great my team would be! We come from very different backgrounds with different skillsets and have meshed perfectly over the last few months. My team is a study resource. It’s a close-knit support network for getting through the tough parts of the quarter and it now includes some of my closest friends! 

Daniel Webb and his team run in the Foster Fun Run.
Daniel Webb (right) and his 1st year team run in the Foster Fun Run.

Sign me up… 

As many of us were looking into to attending Foster, we also heard that there were plenty of extracurricular opportunities to take part in. It turns out, this aspect of the program is way above and beyond what I envisioned and I haven’t yet begun to tap into this set of resources. I’m very excited about taking part in the mentor program next quarter. The incredible quality of the list of Foster alumni and friends who signed up to mentor us highlights the huge upside this program brings. I’m also looking forward to getting more involved with clubs and other non-class activities like lectures, career management sessions, etc.

One down, eight to go!  

Student Reflections: Aim High and keep an open mind!

Lavanya Venkateswar is a rising third year Evening MBA Student and scheduled to graduate this upcoming spring. Beginning her career as a product developer in the food industry, she’s using Foster’s Evening MBA Program to transitioning into a marketing role. Here she reflects upon her experience in Foster’s Evening MBA program.

Lavanya Venkateswar and her family.
Lavanya Venkateswar and her family.

I started off the Foster MBA program with a very conservative and achievable goal – get a Masters of Business Administration to move ahead in my current career path. I started my career off as a food scientist and after seven years of product development, I found myself wanting more: I wanted to work with consumers, making business decisions on what products to launch and how to make them profitable. I knew that marketing was the right spot for me to do what I wanted. But when I applied for the MBA I only gave myself permission to want to move into management in R&D in the food industry. I didn’t even want to say in my application essay that truly I wanted to move into marketing at the risk of sounding pretentious.

Once I started the Evening MBA program at Foster and started talking to other students in the 2nd and 3rd year of the program, I found out that it was quite common for folks with many years of experience in a particular function to move into other functions within the same industry or other industries. I felt more confident in voicing my desire to move into marketing. I also found that knowing other people had similarly wanted to move into new roles and were successful in their roles gave me confidence that I would do well in a marketing role. Within 9 months of starting the Foster program, I moved into a product manager role in marketing at the current company for which I was working – Continental Mills. During the first 6 months, I learned by leaps and bounds the various skills I needed to be successful in my new position. I also found that the learning experience at school and learning experience at work went hand in hand. There were times when I did a class at school before I had to experience it at work and there were times that I did something at work that made more sense after I learned why it was done a particular way at school.

My classmates were one of the greatest resources in helping me make the decision to move into marketing, as well as after I moved into my new role. Talking to classmates who were in marketing roles helped me understand the different kinds of marketing roles in different industries,  the day to day activities of these roles as well as the skills required to be successful in the roles . These conversations helped me determine the skills and knowledge I would need to supplement what I already had, ultimately leading to a plan for what classes and electives I needed to take.

Going to the coffee breaks and weekly happy hours gave me the greatest opportunity to talk to my fellow classmates and bounce ideas off of them. The word “networking” always gave me the jitters. What am I supposed to say? What do I ask? What could I possibly have common with random people? After a year of weekly happy hours, I got it – networking just means talking to people and listening to them…that is something I could do! It got me comfortable with talking to new people about what they did, how they did it, what is common and different between the skills they needed to do what they did and what I did. Also, I got to learn this in the safest environment to practice the skills needed for networking – with friends trying to learn about you and practice their skills as well.

The next step in this discovery process was to engage with the Career Management team. One “ah-ha! moment” for me was when I realized I had access to the entire Foster Alumni in the Seattle area. It was truly humbling to see how the Foster alumni are so helpful and ready to talk to you. Every alumna and alumnus I have reached out to, whether through the Linkedin Alumni group or through introductions from the MBA office and Career Management office, has made time to meet with me or at the very least have a phone conversation. This is a great way to discover and understand different company cultures, different roles and how the Foster MBA helps you be successful in these roles, ultimately determining your interest in it and fit for you. The best way to make the right decision is to have all the facts and the easiest way to get these facts are through people who have done it.

You don’t know what you don’t know – that is something I found to be true time and again in this program. As I have talked to people in different industries and business functions I began discovering roles and opportunities that I had never known existed before. This has intrigued me and has made me think about possible future opportunities. I have given myself permission to not limit myself to a particular role or industry. What I ultimately want is to have transferrable business skills that would be applicable to multiple industries. I hope to continue this discovery process as I get into the final year of the evening MBA program and see where this exciting road takes me!
-Lavanya Venkateswar Evening MBA, Class of 2015

Lavanya and her first year study team
Lavanya (center) and her Evening MBA first year study team