All posts by Mikaela Houck

Debunking the Myth: Marketing Redefined

How would you define marketing? For many people, they’d simply describe it as “it’s about cost, cost and (you guessed it …) more cost”. While TMMBA Professor, Natalie Mizik, acknowledges that spending is a factor that must be considered in marketing, the focus of her teaching and research challenges students to approach marketing in a much more integrated way.

TMMBA students embark on Mizik’s Strategic Marketing Management course in their 3rd quarter of the Program. She teaches marketing as a practical science that combines elements of other fundamental business courses – finance, statistics and economics to name a few. Students quickly learn that developing quantifiable and strategic marketing decisions is imperative for the success of a business. Watch this video to learn more about how Mizik strives to redefine how people look at marketing:


About Natalie Mizik: Natalie Mizik, Associate Professor of Marketing, has been with the Foster School of Business for two years. Prior to Foster, Mizik taught at Columbia Graduate School of Business, MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC. Her current research focuses on branding, marketing strategy, myopic management, and pharmaceutical marketing. Read more about Mizik and her road to academia here.

Mizik will kick-off her third year teaching in the TMMBA Program this Summer Quarter. In her short time with the TMMBA Program, Mizik has already received numerous teaching awards – TMMBA Faculty of the Quarter (Class 12 & 13) and TMMBA Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award (Class 12 & 13). A student favorite to say the least!

Success @ the Buerk Center Biz Plan Competition

Mikaela Houck, Assistant Director

Congrats to TMMBA students who showed off their entrepreneurial skills at yesterday’s  Buerk Center Business Plan Competition (BPC) “Sweet 16” Round – TMMBA had representation on two of the 16 teams:

IonoMetal Technologies (TMMBA Student: Pritam Das)
With its revolutionary patented technology and demonstrated tool, Ionometals will not only make the earth a better place to live by reducing landfill of semiconductor waste, but also help save approximately $0.5MM for every semiconductor testing company.

Spectral DNA (TMMBA Students: Michael Franklin, Bryan Kessler, MJ Pattanshetti and Tyler Sims)
Spectral DNA’s goal is to deliver a conformable solar fabric that can be fully integrated into a multi-use model for ubiquitous power generation. We aim to micro-design these 3D conformable fabrics into clothing, and other needed uses and applications for ubiquitous power. This can be used as a mobile power generation house without connecting to wires.

Both teams represented TMMBA well with their polished presentations and innovative business ideas. Furthermore, the IonoMetal Technologies team took home the “Best Clean Tech Idea” and $2500 prize.

Yesterday’s round  was the culmination of months of hard work and dedication for the teams. The competition formally began in early April with over 92 submissions and over time whittled down to the best of the best at yesterday’s Sweet 16 – all vying for the ultimate grand prize of $25,000.

Year after year, the Buerk Center BPC is a focal event for many of our TMMBA students. The competition allows them the great opportunity to put the skills they’ve gained in the classroom to the test – from developing business plans to honing their pitching and presentation skills. The competition also grants teams unique access to the thriving Seattle start-up community (VCs, angel investors, and more!).

Way to go teams IonoMetal Technologies and Spectral DNA! Also, a special call-out to team Zetection (with TMMBA student Anna Gall) who advanced to the earlier Investment Round of the competition.

Check out a few photos from the competition (Investment Round on April 29):

 ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????     Spectral DNA @ the Investment Round

Interested in learning more?
Read about past TMMBA successes at the BPC
Click here for full results of the 2014 BPC


TMMBA Student Prevails at Science & Technology Showcase

Congrats to TMMBA Class 13 student, Pritam Das, for excelling at the Science and Technology Showcase in early February. The annual showcase (co-hosted by the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship and SEBA) is a tradeshow type event where student pitch their ideas and innovations to a panel judges consisting of Seattle area entrepreneurs and investors.

“During the showcase, we were challenged by the judges that ranged from local venture capitalists to scientists from NASA, from every angle of a robust business model. We used the experts’ challenges as an invaluable tool to hone our business models for future commercialization of our product,” shared Pritam.  


Pritam and his teammates from the Chemical Engineering Department at UW placed 2nd overall and were also awarded Best Marketing Strategy. Their idea, Electrometal Solutions, is a unique approach of putting metals onto surfaces using advanced electrochemical techniques.  The applications of this advanced technology can range from security applications to the decorative market. Currently, their application is targeted towards the semiconductor industry.

We’re excited to see what’s in store for Pritam and his team.
Next stop – the Buerk Center Environmental Innovation Challenge. Best of luck!

Autumn quarter is just around the corner!

Mikaela Houck, Manager of Academic & Student Services

Halfway there. Over the hump. The end is in sight. The fact holds true no matter how you state it – TMMBA Class 13 is at the halfway point of their program experience. Bright eyed and bushy tailed, the group began their journey at the kick-off Program Immersion in December 2012. Nine months later, they are now enjoying a couple short (and well deserved!) weeks off from class this September. This time away from class allows the group to refresh before doing a deep dive into the second half of the schedule.

Let’s take a look at the courses in store for Autumn Quarter:

Strategic Management of Technology Innovation

Innovation is the single most important activity of an ongoing business. All progress occurs through innovation. (Peter Drucker)

Warren BoekerHow do you generate ideas and then develop these ideas into commercial products? The purpose of TMMBA’s Strategic Management of Technology Innovation is for students to master these exact questions. This 2-credit course challenges students to better understand the dynamics of industries driven by technological innovation and develop frameworks for managing tech-intensive businesses.

About the instructor:
Warren Boeker has been at the Foster School of Business since 1998. Before coming to Foster, he taught strategic management and entrepreneurship at Columbia University in New York City and global strategy development at London Business School. Professor Boeker’s recent research has examined the dynamics of strategy formulation and execution in organizations at a corporate and business level. Fun fact – Professor Boeker is also a former chemical engineer!

Operations & Supply Chain Management

In the annals of innovation, new ideas are only part of the equation. Execution is just as important. (Steve  Jobs)

Process flow analysis? Inventory management models? Queuing Concepts? No problem. TMMBA students enhance their critical thinking and quantitative prowess to examine operational issues and develop a variety of
analyMoinzadehtical approaches to manage these processes. Students also learn the role of operations management and its interactions with other functional areas within organizations.

About the instructor:
A TMMBA student favorite, Kamran Moinzadeh has taught with the TMMBA Program since its inception in 2001. Professor Moinzadeh won the TMMBA Excellence in Teaching Award in 2013 and has received numerous TMMBA Faculty of the Quarter awards. Professor Moinzadeh’s specialties include operations & supply chain management, inventory management, and quality management.

Managerial Accounting & Decision Making

Making good decisions is a crucial skill at every level. (Peter Drucker)

In the first quarter of TMMBA, students completed their Financial Reporting & Analysis course – which focused on accounting for decision makers external to the firm. This course does a reversal – information & decision making within anPatrick_edit organization.  Students will develop the tools needed to use information from the accounting system in managerial decisions and understand how the design of an accounting system influences behavior.

About the instructor:
Paige Patrick, Assistant Professor of Accounting, is teaching in the TMMBA program for the first time this fall.  Paige brings both academic and real world expertise to her classroom.  Her academic research interests include executive compensation, and prior to obtaining her PhD, she spent several years in the Enterprise Risk Services division of Deloitte & Touche.


In addition to these Autumn Quarter classes, TMMBA students will embark on a 3 1/2 day Leadership Immersion, which takes place this weekend at UW Paccar Hall. Stay tuned for a recap next week!

Summer Quarter Course Preview

Mikaela Houck, Manager of Academic & Student Services

With TMMBA Class 13 already one third of the way done with their 18-month program experience, the students are currently enjoying a short “break” between quarters. However, no rest for the weary, as they like to say. Even with some time off, the TMMBA Class 13 group has already kicked off preparations for their upcoming summer quarter classes.

Below is a sneak peek of what’s to come for the group:

Strategic Marketing Management

Strategic Marketing Management is the first of two marketing courses woven into the TMMBA curriculum. A blend of market analysis, strategy and implementation, this course is designed for students to explore the theory and applications of marketing concepts. Students will dive into the 5Cs and 4Ps and develop the skills needed to design a marketing strategy and its implementation plan.

About the Instructor: Natalie Mizik, Associate Professor of Marketing, is in her second year with the Foster School and TMMBA Program. In her short time with the program thus far, she’s already made her mark by receiving “Faculty of the Year” honors from the recent graduating class. Natalie’s specialties include branding, marketing strategy, myopic management, and pharmaceutical marketing. Read more about Natalie and her road to academia here.

Decision Modeling

Let’s do some quantitative analysis! This course teaches students to build and evaluate models and to understand the reasoning behind model-based analysis. Students delve into spreadsheet packages and master features that allow managers to perform sophisticated quantitative analysis in the comfortable and intuitive environment of the spreadsheet.

About the Instructor: A veteran to the Foster School and TMMBA, Mark Hillier, Associate Professor of Quantitative Methods, is about to embark on his 10th year of teaching with the TMMBA Program. Mark’s focuses include quantitative methods, operations management, and inventory control.  TMMBA students gain first-hand knowledge of Mark’s extensive research – he uses his own textbook “Introduction to Management Science: A Modeling and Case Studies Approach with Spreadsheets” in the classroom.

Domestic and International Economic Conditions

GDP, inflation, fiscal policies … oh my! Students are challenged to analyze global macroeconomic fluctuations on business and the challenges of macroeconomic policy-making in an interdependent world. Students come away with the tools to understand the key elements of economic growth, inflation, unemployment, business cycles, fiscal policy and monetary policy.  The global aspects are highlighted with consideration of national business systems, trade policy, the political economy of trade, and regional economic integration.

About the Instructor: Debra Glassman, Senior Lecturer in Business Economics, specializes in international finance, global macroeconomics, international trade policy and institutions, and European business. Debra has received past accolades as TMMBA Faculty of the Quarter and is currently researching home bias in international portfolio investment &  the World Trade Organization and international trade disputes.

Professional Communications: Persuasion

People become leaders because of their ability to persuade others to follow them.  In business, the art of selling your ideas is critical for personal success and for achieving the mission of any enterprise. Students will explore the elements of successfully persuading people and must deliver an in-class persuasive presentation.

About the Instructor: TMMBA Instructor, Lorraine Howell, is also a founder of Media Skills Training. As an award-winning broadcast media veteran, Lorraine has leveraged her expertise and worked with numerous TMMBA cohorts to hone students’ public speaking & presentation skills.


These courses offer a glimpse into the complete course offerings of the TMMBA Program. For a full list of the TMMBA curriculum, click here.

Conversing like a pro at a business meal

Guest Blogger: Arden Clise, Clise Etiquette

Clise_ArdenOn December 3, I had the pleasure of giving a dining etiquette presentation to the new UW TMMBA students. I covered everything from how to juggle a drink and a plate of food at a reception to how to conduct yourself at dinner at the bosses house to the difference between Continental and American styles of eating. It was a wonderful diverse group who seemed very interested in the topic and asked great questions. 

I thought I’d offer a tip related to one of the questions. The question was, “how do I bring up business topics over a meal without sounding pushy?” 

There is a flow to business meal conversation. When you sit down at the table, start by having casual, non-business related talk. Avoid talking about anything personal or controversial such as politics, your diet, your health or religion. Instead, find out what your guests are interested in. When you ask good questions and show a true interest in others you will be seen as a great conversationalist.

 If you were to host a business meal meeting this week, an obvious topic of conversation would be the Super Bowl game.  Whether you’re a football fan or not there are many areas you could take the conversation – the game itself, the commercials, how empty the shelves were at the supermarket when you went grocery shopping, the halftime show, American’s love of football.  You get the idea. Once you have placed the order you may move into talking about business.

 A side note here; when conducting business over a meal, it’s important to order something that is easy to eat and not messy. The focus should be on the conversation, not the food. Also, take small bites so that you can chew quickly and continue talking.

 Once coffee and/or dessert are served, assuming your guest wants coffee or dessert, move the conversation back to small talk if you are finished talking business. You want to end the meal on a light note.

 If you practice this conversation flow you will not have to worry about coming across pushy and you’ll have more success with the business at hand.  I hope this helps you feel more comfortable and better able to enjoy the meeting.

Arden Clise, President of Clise Etiquette, is a business etiquette consultant, radio show host and columnist for the Puget Sound Business Journal. As a speaker and corporate trainer, Arden is an expert in the field of business etiquette. She can be reached at 206-708-1670 or If you would like to get etiquette tips please “Like” the Clise Etiquette Facebook page. 

Class 11 Roadmap

Mikaela Houck, Program Coordinator

As admissions wrap up for the class beginning in January 2011, we now look to the new students who will soon navigate their dynamic and rigorous 18-month TMMBA journey. The cohort kicks off with a variety of events and activities that provide a solid foundation for a successful TMMBA experience.

Here’s what is on the horizon:

Welcome Reception: Tuesday, November 16
This evening reception at the Columbia Winery in Woodinville is an opportunity for students to meet their classmates and connect with their study group for the first time.

Program Orientation Part I: Thursday, December 2 – Sunday, December 5
The December Orientation includes four credits of academic course work: Teamwork, Ethical Leadership, and Professional Communications.  From achieving exemplary team performance to communicating effectively, these courses lay the groundwork for essential skills and knowledge that will be used throughout the Program and beyond.

Additionally, students will be required to attend an Etiquette Dinner where they will learn the proper know-how surrounding the business meal.  Students will develop dining savvy that will improve their professionalism and enhance their networking skills. It’s also a great occasion to get to know their classmates and kick-off their TMMBA experience with a sense of poise and confidence.

Winter Quarter classes kick-off: Early January
Official launch of Winter Quarter classes.  Students will participate in an intensive schedule of Microeconomics, Accounting and Statistics.

The Welcome Reception is just around the corner – looking forward to seeing the Class come together for the first time!

Recommender Recommendations

Mikaela Houck, Program Coordinator

Although Tuesday officially marked our early application deadline, we’re still eagerly working through admissions until the Sept. 1 final deadline.  For those of you who are brainstorming recommender options, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. We require two recommendations – no more, no less.  Your application will not be considered complete until both recommendations are received. Please do not submit supplemental recommendations; they will not be reviewed.

2. One recommendation must come from your current supervisor. TMMBA is a very intensive program, so it’s important that your employer, and especially your supervisor, is onboard with and supportive of this rigorous commitment.

3. Your second recommender should be a professional reference.  Whether it is someone working on your current team or a past colleague, the best person for the job is someone who knows you well and can personally speak to your attributes. Your recommender will be asked to touch upon your strengths, areas of improvement, and other personality characteristics (team skills, conflict management, leadership potential, etc), so be sure to ask someone who can provide specific and detailed examples.

4.  You must designate both your recommenders via the online application. Recommenders have the option of submitting the recommendation electronically or via mail. If via mail, you can contact TMMBA for the recommendation evaluation pdf.

5. Track the submission status of your recommenders. As part of the online application, you can see once your recommendations have been submitted.

Questions about the letters of recommendation requirement? Don’t hesitate to contact us at

Early application deadline – just around the corner!

Mikaela Houck, Program Coordinator

It’s hard to believe how fast this Spring Quarter has gone – from the beautiful Seattle weather to the upcoming Class 9 graduation, it seems that summer is on the horizon. With June just a few short weeks away, TMMBA is eagerly anticipating our June 1 early application deadline for the class beginning in January 2011.

If you’re looking to apply by our June 1 early deadline, here’s a snapshot of the required application materials:

If you submit your completed application by June 1, you’re eligible for some additional benefits:  guaranteed your section preference (Monday or Wednesday), defer the $1,500 non-refundable tuition deposit to September, and start participating in career services, speaker events and TMMBA activities.

Apply today! TMMBA has a rolling admissions process, so we’ll start reviewing your file as soon as your application is complete.

Feel free to contact us should you have any questions about the application – we’re happy to help!