Name: Dan Le
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.