The Foster Evening MBA is known for its collaborative culture, thanks to its students who enjoy helping others succeed. In true Foster form, recent graduates from the Class of 2015 share their takeaways from the Evening MBA Program.
Top Foster Evening MBA takeaway: “I found that the best way to enhance your experience at Foster is to trust your classmates and get out of your comfort zone with them – both in and outside of the classroom.”
Advice for incoming students: “Time stops for no one; if you have time and interest in a Foster event – do it now! A future unforeseen event may occur and you may never be able to attend later.”
Top Foster Evening MBA takeaway: “Stay curious. Always be helpful to your friends, classmates, and people around you. Relationship is the key. Like Dan Poston & Tim Hossain mentioned at orientation, focus on mastering the 3Cs (Competency, Connection, Confidence) and live the Foster values.”
Advice for incoming students: “Be resourceful, take interesting risks, make amazing mistakes, and don’t let people’s opinions drown out your inner voice.”
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.”
Saloni Sonpal is a 2014 graduate from Foster’s Evening MBA Program. She has her B.E. in Information Technology from the University of Mumbai and an M.S. in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She has been a Software Development Engineer at Microsoft for the past 7 years. Below is a post that she shared with her social network on graduation day.
Some things that will stick with me after the nine quarters of Foster’s Evening MBA program:
Debits and Credits
Incentives change behavior
Positive NPV projects
4Ps and 3Cs
Bottlenecks, Kanban and Kaizen Bursts
GDP and volatility
Conjoint and bundles
Listen to your customer
What’s your BATNA?
Segregate gains, aggregate losses
Be Lean and Agile!
Less is more.
Oh wait, did I mention the awesome people, life-changing experiences and the endless fun?! That stuck more than anything else!
As the old MBAA board transitions to the new, the outgoing President presents a “State of the Union” to the old and new boards. The following was written by Ben Flajole, President of the MBAA during 2013-14, and presented to the boards at the beginning of April.
I wanted to start at the beginning. I found out about my acceptance to the Evening Program at the Foster School on March 18th, 2011. I remember because I was at my friend’s bachelor party in Las Vegas. I was standing in the lobby of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and I’ll say this much: there are fewer prouder moments of my live. Along with the other members of the Class of 2014, I am now preparing for the next milestone in my journey: June 14th- graduation.
I mention these specific dates and events because they are some of the most important moments of my Foster experience. I submit another date: March 31, 2014, the first day of Spring Quarter, and the official commencement of your term. As I’ve come to realize after sitting in your shoes last year, you all now sit on the precipice of one of the most valuable and memorable experiences of your time here at Foster.
Our board hosted the biggest Evening MBAA end-of-the-year function to date, with nearly 250 people in attendance. We chilled at the “Frosters”, our winter function, which marked an early performance of Adam’s brother as DJ, or “the next Skrillex” as I like to think of him. We hosted professional events and ordered the business cards that were exchanged there. We awarded Students of the Month, to show Foster how important community-builders are to us. We even created an Evening MBAA gear order, which generated a $600 donation to our C4C efforts. Our board realized that students didn’t always know how much the MBAA was responsible for doing, so I charge you all with always thinking about MBAA branding.
There are few things that people love more than me “monologue-ing.” So I’ll be as brief as possible as I share some of the key learnings from my time on the board. You are all here because you see Foster as something greater than the sum of its parts. You see an opportunity to grow a community that is rich, vibrant, and dynamic. And for all the times that this experience will be about others, be sure to also make it about you.
You will be called upon to run errands, to arrange tables, and stack chairs. You’ll wake up too early, stay up too late, check names off of lists, and perhaps most importantly, you’ll obtain banquet permits. The buck stops with you. The MBAA is a volunteer, student-led organization that depends on you all to function to its greatest capability. Be accountable for yourself. If you cannot fulfill your commitments, reach out to your colleagues. You will all have moments of feeling challenged by all of your non-academic responsibilities. If you need assistance, let someone know.
Some of you joined the board for specific reasons. You already have a vision, and see the possibilities of implementing your initiatives. If you don’t, you will- Adam and Tim will see to it. Be mindful of creating timelines and sticking to them. Deliverables matter. Twelve months goes by very quickly, so I urge you to take advantage of the summer and get a jumpstart. The summer is crucial for hitting the ground running in the fall. Being behind in the fall means you’re struggling to catch up for the winter and spring quarters. Commit to organization. Use the existing structures and build on them where needed.
Finally, have fun. Enjoy this experience- you will make some great friends, grow existing connections, and expand your network. You will learn about leadership, working with others, and the importance of vision. You will accomplish great things. Refer to the transition documents for notes on your specific positions, but feel free to reach out to your predecessor if you haven’t already. If there is anything that I can do to help you, I’m always a phone call or email away. I wish you all the best in this journey. And here’s a little nugget to file away: March 30th, 2015, the start of spring quarter next year and the beginning of YOUR successors’ MBAA board. So do your best to make the next 12 months count.